Does Your Dog Chase His Tail?
26 November, 2013

If you have a puppy, you might have noticed how your pup loves to chase his own tail. This is normal puppy behavior as your puppy thinks it is a play object and hasn’t quite figured out that his or her tail is part of his body.  However, if the tail chasing is frequent, vigorous and occurs in an older dog, it may be time to show some concern. Dogs can injure themselves while chasing their tails, particularly when they finally catch it.

Below are some reasons why your dog might be chasing his or her tail.

Your dog could be chasing his tail out of boredom

Your dog could simply be chasing his tail because he or she is bored. If he or she has nothing to do or play with, he might try his tail.  If you think this could be the reason, make sure that you take your dog on walks every day as exercise will help calm him down.  Further, a toy such as a Kong that he can chew on will distract your pup so he or she is playing with that toy rather than his own tail.

 

Your dog could be chasing his tail for attention

Your dog could simply be chasing his tail because he wants attention.  When your dog chases its’ tail, it can make us laugh and sometimes our dogs simply enjoy the reaction from us. Most pet owners are quick to lavish attention on their pets when they do something funny or out of the ordinary. While the dog may not consciously appreciate the entertainment value of his actions, your pup will soon learn to correspond an activity with a response. Dogs crave attention, so make sure not to praise your puppy when he does this.  Walk away and ignore your dog.

Your dog might be chasing his tail because he is anxious

Some dogs begin chasing their tails as a nervous habit. Stressful situations, sudden noises or constant surprises may even lead to obsessive compulsive tail chasing.  If you have ruled out the other situations, your dog might need a companion or toy to calm him or her down.

Your dog might be chasing his tail because he is itching

Sometimes your dog is chasing his tail because he is itching or might even have an infestation. Parasite infestations, such as fleas or ticks, can cause itching around the bottom of your dog’s tail. Worm rashes or dry skin may produce similar symptoms.   If you think this is the case, take your dog to a professional groomer (and/or try apple cider vinegar on the itch to see if this helps).  If this isn’t the case, take your dog to your veterinarian.

Your dog could be chasing his tail due to a medical issue

There are some canine diseases and neurological disorders like epilepsy that could contribute to your dog chasing his tail.  If you think this might be the case, it would be wise to bring your dog to the vet to see if this is causing the chasing.  This is very rare but if your dog just started to chase his tail, there could be an underlying medical issue.

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