Why is My Dog Limping?

dog at vet with hurt leg

Causes of Dog Limps

After a long play session at the dog park, you get your pup back home only to notice that something seems off — they're limping. It can be incredibly stressful for any dog parent to see their pup in pain, but taking quick action will get them (and you) feeling better soon!

Here are a few reasons your dog could be limping:


A sprain is a tear or overstretching of a ligament, which is the tissue that connects bones together. This can happen if your pup jumps wrong, twists awkwardly, or falls.

Broken Bones

If your dog's limp is accompanied by crying out in pain, not putting any weight on the leg, or an obvious deformity, they may have broken a bone.


A dislocation occurs when the bones that make up a joint are no longer in alignment. This can be incredibly painful for your pup and is usually caused by an accident or fall.

Torn Ligaments

Like a sprain, a torn ligament is a result of overstretching or tearing of the tissue that connects bones. This can happen from playing too roughly, jumping from heights, or falling.

Paw Injury

Your pup's limp could also be caused by a hurt paw. If they're licking their paw and are unable to put weight on the limb, take a look at the area. They may have stepped on a thorn, glass, or another sharp object.

Treating Your Dog's Limp

The first step in treating your dog's limp is identifying the cause. It's best to err on the side of caution and schedule an appointment with your vet as soon as possible. The vet will determine the cause of the limp and recommend treatment to get your pup back up and playing in no time!

From day Camps to boarding, the Camp Bow Wow Counselors are here to enhance your pup's life with an enriching and fun environment. Come play with us today at a Camp near you!