Do Dogs Feel Pain in Their Tails? What You Should Know

It’s a known fact for all dog owners that our dogs’ tails always tell us the truth about what the dog really feels, we know that wagging their tail from side to side means excitement, and stiffing their tail means fear or stress.

You may be wondering if they can feel their tail, or can they injure their tail and feel pain, well, look no further, here’s everything that you need to know.

So, do dogs feel pain in their tails? Dogs do feel pain in their tails because it has pain receptors, however, the pain receptors do not react the same when they are happy and wagging their tail as when they are relaxed, dogs can even split their tail open while wagging it too hard.

Keep reading If you want to know if dogs can hurt their tails and how you can know if their tail hurts.

Do dogs feel pain in their tails?

dog tail to show do dogs feel pain in their tails

Dogs can feel pain in their tails because it’s filled with tendons and nerves, that’s why when you step on your dog’s tail, they will cry out in pain.

However, the nerves in their tail are protected by the bone but still the bone can be easily injured so you have to be careful around their tail.

If you have children or visit a friend who has children then you need to teach them how to act around, tell them what to do and what not to do, for example, warn them about trying to sit on the dog or trying to pull their tail because it can tear up their nerves.

It can also break and cause even more severe injuries.

Can dogs hurt their tails?

Yes, dogs can hurt their tails, and here are the most common tail injuries.

  • Lacerations: it’s an underlying bone and muscle deep cut and it can be caused by behavior issues that the dog may be suffering from such as anxiety or depression or when they are just bored.
  • Abrasions: this one is simpler, it’s when a dog scrapes his tail against an abrasive surface such as wire fencing.
  • Fractured tail: it’s when the tail bone breaks, it can be caused if the dog fell, slammed his tail hard, or got hit by something, however, a fractured tail can lead to much more serious issues such as nerve damage and avulsion injuries.
  • The happy tail: I think you already guessed this one, it’s when the dog wags his tail due to excitement and hitting the tail against a door, wall, or any solid thing, and it can develop bleeding ulcers and unless you can find a way for your dog to stop wagging his tail, their tail will not heal.

Signs your dog’s tail is hurt?

Since dogs can’t really tell us what’s going on with them, they can still show some symptoms and signs for us to notice if there’s something wrong, so here is how you can tell if your dog’s tail is hurt.

  • Turning their tail to the side.
  • Swelling 
  • Moving difficulty 
  • Holding their tail in an unusual position.
  • Bending in the tail 
  • Wagging difficulty 
  • A kink in the tail.
  • Licking their tail excessively.
  • Raw spots on their tail
  • Excessive bleeding 
  • Color change in the tissues
  • Wounds on their tails 

If you noticed any of these signs in your dog, you should take them to their vet for proper treatment.

Is it okay to touch my dog’s tail?

Yes, it’s okay to touch your dog’s tail but it’s better if you only touch it when it’s necessary, for example, if you think that it may be injured so you need to check for any signs or when you are grooming them but if you just want to pet them then you should probably avoid the tail area.

Why do dogs not like their tails touched?

Most dogs are sensitive in the tail area and it’s usually because it’s close to their anus and may breed some insecurity in them and that’s why it’s recommended to avoid touching their tail because if there is an underlying issue in their tail and you touched it then they may snap at you out of pain.

If your dog is sensitive to touching their tail, you may want to be extra careful when grooming them. You can learn how to groom your dog’s tail and feathers correctly and gently here.

Why is my dog walking with the tail sideways?

Your dog is probably irritated around the rear limbs or they are suffering from nerve damage and it’s making moving their tail harder for them.

It can also be an irritation in their glands or inflammation in their back end, however, as soon as you notice your dog walking with the tail sideways, you need to take them to the vet.

Why does your dog cry when you touch his tail?

When a dog cries when you touch any part of his body, it usually indicates an injury, illness, or trauma.

If they were swimming that day then it will heal by itself, however, crying isn’t a good sign and you should take your dog to the vet.

If you liked this article and found it a useful resource, you can share it with your friends and family.

Also, please, don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. 

Related Questions 

How do dogs get a limber tail?

Dogs can get a limber tail from swimming because when dogs are swimming, they tend to use their tails to keep their balance and to help them with steering which can lead to the limber tail, also, it can be caused by chilly water conditions.

Do dog tails have bones?

Yes, dogs do have bones in their tails and the bone protects the nerves, also, the bone in their tails are responsible for movements such as wagging, curling, or lifting, their tail has between 6 and 23 caudal vertebrae and it also has muscles that attach to the vertebrae that help with movements.

Why is my dog’s tail down?

Dogs tend to hold their tail down when they are stressed or scared, it can also be a cold or a limber tail and it’s more likely if they were exposed to cold weather however, if it’s a medical condition then you should take them to vet but if they are just stressed then you should calm them down. 

Helpful Resources 

First Aid for Tail Injuries in Dogs

Living with a Retriever: Recommendations and Sources

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Hey there, I'm Matt, the author behind With a deep love for dogs and a dedication to strengthening the bond between owners and their retrievers, I've created a hub of resources for enthusiasts like you. Through engaging articles, training guides, and product reviews, I aim to provide practical advice that makes a real difference in your life as a dog owner. Whether you're a seasoned pro or new to the world of retrievers, my approachable and informative writing style ensures that you'll find valuable insights. Join me on this incredible journey of discovering what makes retrievers tick, unlocking their potential, and creating an unbreakable bond with your furry companion. Let's embark on an adventure of dog ownership together. Thank you for visiting and being part of our vibrant community.

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