So, why do dogs chase their tail? If you’re a dog owner, you’ve probably witnessed your pup sometimes chasing its tail. Sometimes your dog may resemble a tornado, whirling around in hot pursuit of its tail! Sometimes it may just be the odd, quick chase!
It is probably innocent conduct if it’s just occasional and doesn’t appear to be causing an accident. However, if tail-chasing appears to be obsessive, then there may be underlying health or behavioral problem.
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We have put together this guide for those wondering why do dogs chase their tails, to tell you the most common causes and when to seek your vet’s advice. There seem to be multiple reasons why dogs chase their tail, from playfulness to boredom or something more severe like an injury.
To rule out something health-wise, it is often better to contact a vet first, so here are some of the essential explanations for why they show this behavior.
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Dogs Chase Their Tail Out Of Boredom
Sometimes, because of boredom, dogs chase their tails. This may be that they’re left behind most of the day or don’t have enough emotional or physical stimulus. Tail chasing provides a way to entertain themselves and also allows them to expel some of the built-up energy, at least for a little while.
Adding more regular walks to their routine increases their daily activity and brings in some physical and mental games. Many dogs enjoy a good game of fetch, and brain puzzles are a great way to get their minds involved!
This may have become a stereotype if the behavior seems obsessive and repetitive. This is a behavior that can arise because of boredom or anxiety, with no apparent purpose.
You will wish to obtain clinical guidance from a trained canine behaviorist in certain situations, significantly if the behavior is not corrected through raising enrichment or if it triggers tail injury.
It’s normal for puppies to chase their tails
As with human children, with their faces, puppies love to learn more about their environment. So, only because they’re a baby, a potential solution to why dogs chase their tails might be! They learn new stuff about themselves as they evolve.
Puppies are often very energetic, but they can see their tail as a fun toy to chase and are likely to mature out of this activity. They can soon understand that chewing their tail is unpleasant, and, as a consequence of tail chasing, should reduce injury to puppies.
If your dog is obsessively chasing his tail. It could be fleas
Another potential explanation for why dogs chase their tails could be attributed to fleas. Often, as a consequence of an infestation or flea bite allergy, their tail may get very itchy, and they can chase their tail to try to bite it to alleviate this.
If you suspect the action may be attributed to fleas, check their skin for proof-you may find thin, dark brown to black specks in their coat (flea feces) and, as a consequence of frequent licking or scratching, there may even be bald spots in certain instances. Find out all about the detection and treatment of dog fleas with our guide.
A dog may chase its tail to get attention
Do you laugh every time your dog chases their tail? Chasing the tail of your dog can be a means of attracting attention. If they feel like they’re being ignored, dogs might have found out which actions will get you to respond.
Some attention to your dog is always better than zero, so they may stick with this action even though you reprimand them. It’s crucial to make sure that you set aside time to spend time with your dog every day.
Suppose your dog happens to be chasing its tail obsessively. In that case, that may be attributed to an underlying health problem, such as a medical condition that occurs in some kinds of epilepsy.
It may also be an indicator of muscular or orthopedic discomfort. It’s better to rule out some medical conditions first if your dog follows their tail a lot, so make an appointment with your veterinarian.
If your dog is chasing his tail because of an anxiety disorder
A sign of fear may be Tail chasing. Repetitive habits such as this may be a source of relaxation for dogs, and they may continue to do so if they become nervous if it is served as a tension reliever once. Specific common triggers of dog fear can include:
- Being afraid of noisy sounds like fireworks
- Fear of unfamiliar activities, whether new walks or encountering strangers
- Small places for life (such as a kennel or a crate)
- Complex emotional relations with a different pet
- Lack of socializing options
- Previous creepy relationships
- Anxiety correlated with age leading to disorientation
Dogs suffering from these anxieties are more likely to establish strategies for coping. Suppose you think the tail-chasing of your dog could be a consequence of addiction due to fear. In that case, you can talk to a veterinary professional and find a trained canine behaviorist who will advise about how best to treat your pet.
Why Do Dogs Bite Their Tails?
You need first to realize that the dog is biting his tail so you can find a remedy to correct the tail biting. There are various plausible causes that a dog will continue to bite his tail more than usual. It will significantly improve the chances that the therapy will fix the tail-biting by determining the correct cause.
In certain situations, discovering the root cause of tail biting may entail trial and error, and may involve getting the dog to the doctor. A few of the more popular explanations that a dog would tend to bite his tail compulsively are below.
From food allergies and chemical allergies, dogs may have a variety of allergies. It could be that your dog is suffering from environmental or food allergies if it is biting its tail. Mould, pollen, or household chemicals include some of the more common environmental allergens. Dogs can also be allergic to food, with some dogs allergic to eggs, wheat, rice, or some kinds of vegetables.
A doctor will perform an allergy screening to see what environmental or food reactions your dog can suffer from to test for this. Dogs can also be resistant to fleas, mites, or ticks, and can turn into skin inflammation (dermatitis). When they have an allergic response to fleas, mosquitoes, or mites, often dogs will be seen biting their tails.
Behavioral Causes of Tail-Chasing in Dogs
Dogs suffering from stress may express themselves in the action of tail chewing. Dogs who are not often played, do not participate in psychologically relaxing sports or do not undergo social play are more prone to show tension through habits attributed to fear, such as tail chewing. For sure pets, chewing their tail may be an effort to gain the attention of their owner.
In response to a parasite infestation, a dog can chew his tail. Especially during the colder spring and summer months, fleas and ticks are a widespread affliction for dogs to encounter.
Many dog owners are acquainted with how many dogs react to a flea bite or a tick, scratching, biting, or chewing on the spot to calm themselves to get rid of the parasite.
To keep their dog from being infested with fleas or ticks, often people will make their dog undergo oral medicine, a medicated wash, or carry a medicated collar.
The Anal Glands Impacted
Owing to an infected anal gland, some dogs can bite or chew their tail. For a dog, both their wellbeing and as a social mechanism through which they get to know other dogs and encourage other dogs to know them are incredibly essential to their anal glands.
Traditionally, human beings shake hands as they interact, but a dog will secrete a fluid from their anal glands, and when they touch, other dogs will detect it. This explains why dogs, as they touch, can scent each other’s rear ends.
In addition to tail biting, constipation (difficulty defecating), a foul smell emanating from the rear end, or scooting are other signs that your dog may have affected anal glands (getting into a sitting position and dragging its butt across the ground). The dog can appear to get pus or blood in her stool if the anal glands are badly damaged.
Many dogs will hurt their tails and not warn their owner. If your dog has hurt their hindquarters, it will begin chewing orbiting in the damaged region to attract their injury. One explanation of an injury that may go undetected is if a dog shatters his tailbone.
Dog Chases Tail And Growls
During the tail chase, Vocalization is usually observed in dogs with Osteochondritis dissecans, including growling, inconsistent whining, grumbling, etc. (OCD). Try reaching out to a doctor specialized in neurology or a veterinary behavior expert if the dog growls while chasing his tail.
How do I prevent a dog from biting its tail?
Suppose a compulsive behavior, such as tail biting, is displayed by your dog. In that case, you must interfere and take conscientious action to help deter them from demonstrating this behavior.
This could include using a bitter spray to keep them from biting their tail or having them in a collar that would not encourage them to bite on their tail at hot spots or itchiness.
When they show behavior that needs to end, you must use repetition to inform your dog “No” or “Leave it”. You should use constructive encouragement to motivate them not to bite their tail, as you can give them their favorite treat as a reward if they resist your order.
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If your dog is pursuing his tail compulsively, by biting and chewing on it until he eventually finds it, he will do significant injury. Dogs have been reported to sustain fur loss due to this form of action on their tails and inflict harm.
If you noticed that your dog appears to be running an unhealthy amount after her tail, the only thing you can do about his welfare is to get him checked out by a veterinarian. Your dog may be okay, but if he isn’t, with the aid of a care practitioner, the most straightforward approach to diagnose the concern is.