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Dog Tail Between Legs and Constipation: 8 Causes and Solutions

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If you are a dog owner, you would have known by now that dogs signal in various ways, and some are distress calls. When they are in pain or trouble, their signaling will change, and one of the common ways they convey their emotions is through their tails.

Sometimes dog put their tails between their legs because they are constipated or they are feeling sick, and it’s a signal for you to understand. You might be thinking about how to decode those signals and understand what they are saying. Don’t worry! We have got your back.

In this article, we will read about how dogs communicate with their tails, why they put their tails between their legs, and how to know your dog is constipated with its probable solution. So, let’s get started.

How Dogs Communicate with their Tails?

How Dogs Communicate with their Tails

Our basic understanding of dogs waving their tail is they are happy and excited about something. But it is much more complicated than that, as the direction, speed, and movement can change the meaning of what your dog wants to convey.

Let us see some common signals dog conveys through their tails.

1. Tail Posture

When dogs keep their tails high or are wagging, it sends a message that they are attentive and everything is in control.

Sometimes it may reflect their over-excitement. The posture matters a lot; how they carry their tails is the key.

An under-tucked tail usually portrays their nervousness, and if their tail is soft and just low but isn’t tucked, it means they have lowered their guard and are relaxed.

2. Tail Movement

Tail Movement

As we all know, the waving of a dog’s tail depicts happiness; a smooth too and-fro movement shows enthusiasm and generally reflects their jolly mood.

When a tail is rigid with a little shakiness, it means they are in doubt, some sort of tension, or deep thought. It is better to stay off their space at this time.

3. Tail Speed

As said above, a fast-wagging tail is a sign of happiness, but slow wagging can mean they are in pain, and even their posture and body language will be a little stiff.

4. Tail Direction

Tail Direction

Studies have shown that a dog’s tail direction is also a sign of emotion, and if the wagging is inclined to be on the right-hand side of the body, it means the dog is relaxed and in a positive mood.

Reasons a Dog Has their Tail Between Legs

When your pup has its tail between its legs, you should try to calm them down by showing love and compassion because it is a sign they are frightened or anxious.

They are frightened and want to protect themselves from any injury, and tucking their tails will also make them look small and less dangerous when under threat.

Another reason is they try not to spread their scent by covering the scent glands in their rear ends.

You should avoid doing anything which may cause anxiety and fear in your dogs, especially during this time, as it may lead to some aggressive behavior in extreme cases.

And if the anxiety continues, you may want to talk to a professional dog trainer or related people for advice and what should be done to help them in distress.

They also tuck their tails between their legs when they feel sick or uncomfortable. So this can also be a reason, and you need to check if there is any kind of injury or swelling.

Sometimes nerve damage or anal gland issues can make them tuck their tails, and if you are unable to identify the issue, it is better to visit a veterinarian.

What is Constipation in Dogs?

What is Constipation in Dogs

Constipation is one of the most common digestive problems in pets, especially in dogs. This happens because of the irregular bowel movement of a dog.

This problem can occur just because fiber is lacking in their diet. Ineptitude to clear feces, trouble or pain caused while or after passing feces, is an emergency in dogs and requires immediate medical attention.

What Causes Constipation in Dogs?

There are various reasons that cause constipation in dogs, and knowing them is very important as they may lead to serious health issues.

Some of the reasons are:

  • Deficiency in activities
  • Too much fiber in the diet
  • Lack of fiber in the diet
  • Dehydration
  • Blockage of scent or anal glands
  • Issues caused by too much medication
  • Ingestion of inedible substance
  • Obstruction caused by tumors or masses on the anus or within the rectum

How Can I Tell if My Dog is Constipated?

How can I Tell if My Dog is Constipated

If your dog is straining while pooping, it’s a sign of constipation.

And not just defecating; if your pooch is having trouble urinating, you need to visit a veterinarian quickly because things can escalate very rapidly.

If your dog does not want to poop or feels tired after pooping, that means they are suffering from constipation. Loss of appetite and vomiting are also some signs of constipation.

Some other signs of constipation are:

  • Any cuts or swelling in or around the rectum
  • Making sounds while pooping
  • Less frequent bowel movements
  • Irregular pooping, with small feces with a pungent smell
  • Do not let you touch the stomach
  • Liquid or blood with mucus

How is Constipation Treated in Dogs?

Treating constipation in dogs is sometimes easy when you know what is causing the issue in dogs. The first step is to remove any remaining or impacted feces or such substances. It can be done manually, or you can use medications.

Lactulose is one common medication prescribed for dogs in times of constipation which can come under many different brand names.

In severe conditions, some dogs need immediate medical attention, and a vet would try enemas to clear the remains and help with the dehydration.

You should always contact a veterinarian at the earliest to prevent any further harm to your dog. A vet may observe and let you know the needed treatment.

Sometimes you increase the fiber content in your dog’s diet, which can cause constipation, so you’ll have to lower the fiber in the diet. A vet will also provide other dietary needs for your dog.

If not treated early, constipation can cause health issues, and surgery may be required to treat it further. It can have long-lasting preventive measures, including a vet’s prescribed dietary supplements. Probiotics and other supplements are given when constipation has been treated to provide ease.

When to Call the Vet?

When to Call the Vet

Constipation is a serious health issue in dogs, and you should see a veterinarian as soon as you detect the issue.

You can call a veterinarian if your dog is lethargic, nauseatic, has a loss of appetite or doesn’t have a bowel movement in 72 hours.

Feces with rigidness and a pungent smell or swelling around the rectum is another alarm to call the vet’s clinic.

If you even suspect that your pet dog is suffering from constipation or any other medical issues, please visit a vet to determine and get your suspicion verified to prevent any major health issues.


Q: What foods cause constipation in dogs?

Studies show that large amounts of processed grains in a dog’s food can lead to constipation in dogs.

Q: How will my dog act if he is constipated?

The absence of bowel movement in dogs for more than 72 hours is a sign that your dog is constipated. Dogs will act lethargic, would not like to eat, and can have discomfort in sitting and sleeping.

Q: Can constipation cause walking problems in dogs?

Yes, difficulty in walking is a sign that a dog is constipated.


If your dog has its tail tucked between its legs, it is a probable sign that your dog is constipated. Upon reading this article, you will come to know about what constipation is in dogs and what are the probable causes of it, along with ways to detect constipation and how to get it treated. Hope this article will be helpful for you!

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