If your dog gets a headache, you’ll be sure to notice. Their head might be cocked to the side, and their eyes may roll. They may drool, and they might collapse to the floor. It’s possible that they’ll even yelp in pain. But is your dog really experiencing a true headache?

As it turns out, the answer is yes. In fact, there are a number of different conditions that can result in your dog experiencing similar symptoms to a human who suffers from migraines. The most common type of headache that your dog may experience is called an “episodic tension-type headache.” This type of headache is caused by excessive stress or anxiety, and it can lead to a number of different symptoms.

Why Do Dogs Get Headaches?

Episodic tension-type headaches occur in both humans and canines. In fact, it’s believed that up to 20% of humans who experience chronic migraine pain actually have episodic tension-type headaches instead. In humans, this type of headache is caused by excessive amounts of stress hormones being released into the brain. In canines, it’s believed to occur as a result of prolonged exposure to high levels of stress and anxiety.

Treatment Options For Dogs With Headaches

Unfortunately, there is no specific treatment for episodic tension-type headaches in canines. The good news is that, if caught early, most episodes should resolve on their own within 24 hours. There are a number of things that you can do to help relieve the symptoms, however.

Reduce Stress

The most effective way to treat a canine suffering from an episode of episodic tension-type headache is to reduce the stress that triggers the headache. You can help reduce stress by implementing a number of stress management techniques. These include:


It’s natural for animals to experience high levels of stress and anxiety when they’re cooped up inside. To avoid this, make sure to take your dog out for frequent walks or runs. This will allow them to burn off excess energy, which can help reduce stress and anxiety.

Provide Proper Nutrition

Just like people, dogs are healthiest when they eat a balanced diet. Overeating or eating too many fatty foods can lead to excess weight, which can cause excessive stress to your pet. Always make sure to feed your pet a high-quality, balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs.

Avoid Overstimulation

While it may be tempting to give your furry friend lots of attention when they’re feeling under the weather, it can be harmful. Instead, try to keep them quiet, calm, and in a comfortable place. This can help them to relax and, in turn, reduce the severity of their headache.

Prevent Future Episodes

The best way to treat a canine suffering from an episodic tension-type headache is to prevent it from happening in the first place. This can be achieved by keeping your pooch calm and comfortable and providing them with a healthy diet. You can also help reduce stress by making sure they get plenty of exercise and spend time in a quiet, relaxing environment.

How To Keep Your Dog From Getting Headaches

To help avoid your dog developing an episodic tension-type headache, try implementing the following tips:

Have Patience

While it may be difficult, it’s important to remember that it may take time for your dog to get used to their new surroundings. This can take several weeks, or even months, to complete.

Stick To A Regular Routine

While it’s okay for pets to occasionally be out of their regular routine, it can be unhealthy for them to live outside of their regular schedule for extended periods of time.

Take Them To The Vet

It’s important to visit your veterinarian at least once a year to ensure that your pet is in good health. Your vet can also perform diagnostic tests that can identify any underlying health problems, as well as provide treatment for any conditions that may be preventing your pet from living a healthy life.

Bottom Line

While it’s true that cats and dogs experience many of the same aches and pains as humans, there are also quite a few differences. This is especially true when it comes to their ailments and illnesses. While there’s no cure for episodic tension-type headaches, you can help to prevent them by following these simple tips.