CORNING, N.Y. – September is Animal Pain Awareness Month. The month is dedicated to educating pet owners about animal discomfort. Being able to notice the signs that your pet is in pain can help your animal’s livelihood incredibly.

There are several signs of discomfort and/or pain in your animals. If your animal stops eating, they may be experiencing pain in their mouth or stomach. A lack of playfulness and difficulty going up or down stairs can be due to joint pain or arthritis.

The list goes on, but an overall change in your pet’s behavior can be a sign that something is wrong with them. Be sure to pay attention to their eating habits as well as their sleeping schedule to see if anything seems abnormal.

There are over-the-counter supplements you can give your pets to better their overall health. But, it is important to check with your veterinarian before doing so. Most veterinarians are able to answer questions about your furry friend’s pain during a simple phone call.

“Most of our staff can answer routine screening calls so they can tell you if it’s something serious,” Dr. Mike Cary of Towne and Country Veterinary Hospital. “Sometimes it’s just rest. It depends on what the cause of the pain is. With any doubt call your vet.”