Why do dogs chase their tails? You may have seen your dog chase its tail on occasion if you own a dog. Sometimes it’s just strange, quick chasing, and other times your dog resembles a storm, whirling around in circles chasing its own tail. This is usually a harmless behavior if it only happens once in a while and your dog appears to be unharmed.
If the pursuit of the tail becomes compulsive, it may be a sign of a health condition. For those who are curious about why dogs chase their tails, we’ve put together this guide to explain the most prevalent causes and why you should consult a veterinarian. Why do dogs chase their tails?
Your dog may pursue its tail for a variety of reasons, ranging from boredom to major damage. Before refusing something for health reasons, it’s always a good idea to visit a doctor, but here are some frequent causes for this behavior:
When dogs want to play, they chase their tails:
Dogs, like human babies, enjoy exploring their surroundings with their jaws. So, one plausible explanation for why dogs chase their tails is because they are puppies.
They learn new things about themselves as they become older and, in a sense, explore their anatomy. Puppies are also quite lively, so they may regard their tails as a fun toy to chase, but don’t worry, they will eventually grow out of this habit.
It’s possible that a dog will become bored:
They’re more likely to be bored, looking for attention, or simply attempting to burn off some energy. Many dogs, especially small dogs and puppies are in the same boat. These dogs realize that running in circles is a lot of fun most of the time.
This can be a source of fun for dogs who do not yet recognize their tails as a part of their bodies. They notice an enigmatic item in their midst and presume it is another animal to be pursued. Dogs do not appear dizzy when they run in circles like humans do. So that they last a long enough.
A dog may be sick or have an infection in the rectum:
You should see a veterinarian if your dog starts chasing or biting tail out of nowhere. As people rub arthritic knees for relief, dogs gnaw the sore spot. Dogs that keep their tails inside closed doors or chew on a sharp object, for example, chase and chew their tails to avoid damage.
When dogs are affected with intestinal parasites such as tapeworms that travel via the rectum, they can chase their tails. Chasing the tail can also occur when a dog’s back itch is caused by fleas or dietary allergies. Furthermore, dogs chew their tails due to pain in the tail area caused by impacted anal glands or nerve disorders affecting that area. Why do dogs chase their tails?
Veterinarians can detect and treat medical concerns, such as wound pain treatment, preventing and treating intestinal parasites and fleas, and emptying the damaged anal gland. Your veterinarian may also prescribe a hypoallergenic diet and treat allergies with oral drugs such as cyclosporine to alleviate symptoms. These treatments assist in the management of the condition but do not provide a cure.
It’s possible that a dog’s chasing behavior is connected to its genetics:
Researchers believe there is a link between the desire to chase and high blood and cholesterol levels. Dogs chasing their tails had considerably higher total cholesterol levels, as well as greater and lower density lipoprotein cholesterol, than control dogs, according to the study. Although more investigation into the genetic link is needed, it was nonetheless a fascinating discovery.
Keep in mind that your dog may chase its tail for a variety of reasons. You’ll want to keep an eye on this attitude if you’re both going out for a lot of exercises and playtime together, but you still notice it. If your dog is chasing its tail obsessively and nonstop, you should take him to the vet to make sure nothing is wrong.
To grab your attention, dogs chase their tails:
When a dog chases its tail, most people feel thrilled, therefore the dog keeps chasing to please its owner. If you encourage your dog to pursue his goal, he will learn to race faster whenever he wants attention. Taking notes and playing with the tail is encouraged when you’re chasing it. Why do dogs chase their tails?
Dogs, unfortunately, react to attention in both positive and harmful ways. Even if you admonish your attention-seeking dog, he will be satisfied. Obviously, he prefers that you laugh at his antics, but rebuke is obvious, so it serves as positive reinforcement of the deputy’s behavior. Intuition is the key to avoiding this form of tailgating. When the dog is genuinely running in circles, owners should ignore it and appreciate it when it isn’t.
Infestation of parasites in the tail of a dog:
Parasites such as fleas or ticks could also be a reason why dogs chase their tails. An infection can cause severe itching in their tail, prompting them to run after it and try to bite it to relieve the irritation.
Check their skin for evidence of fleas and fleas if you suspect this behavior is linked to fleas and fleas. You may find small, dark brown to black dots in their coat (flea feces). Excessive licking or scratching can also cause bald spots in some people.
Tail chasing is also thought to be an age-related issue:
At both ends of their lives, dogs chew on their tails. When small dogs are familiar with their body parts, they chew on their tails. Dogs regard the tail as a toy rather than an important part of their anatomy. Chasing a young tail is usually a one-time occurrence that does not necessitate assistance. Why do dogs chase their tails?
Older dogs chew on their tails due to a lack of awareness on the other end of the spectrum. Dogs may engage in increasingly repetitive actions, such as chewing, when their mental acuity declines. Chewing implies a cognitive deficit in this situation, which may necessitate behavioral therapy.
Tail chasing is an indication of anxiety in a dog:
Anxiety might be indicated by chasing the tail. Dogs can find comfort in such repetitive actions, and once they’ve learned to use them as a stress reliever, they’ll start doing them anytime they’re frightened. According to veterinarians, there are a few frequent reasons of anxiety in dogs:
- Small residential areas (such as kennels or crates).
- Aggression with other pets.
- Lack of opportunities to be social.
- Past horrible experiences.
- Physical or emotional abuse at home.
Dogs who have gone through the above events are more likely to cope with compulsions. If you feel that chasing your dog’s tail is the consequence of an anxiety issue, you should get treatment from a behavioral specialist who can advise you on the best way to help your dog.
Tail chasing could be considered a compulsive behavior:
Some dogs, like some people, have obsessive-compulsive disorder, which can present itself in the form of chasing the tail. A dog suffering from separation anxiety may chase its tail in the same way that a worried person bites his nails.
When other dogs are in the yard, they may chase their tails or become more aroused by the presence of an animal or bird. Alternatively, a dog may bite its tail after an injury, feel at ease, and continue to chew it after the injury has healed.
Regardless of the cause, dogs with OCD are continually chasing and chewing their tails, which develops into a compulsive habit. Some injuries do not heal because the dog continues to injure the tail. Breaking the cycle of self-trauma requires some work on the side of the dog and the dog’s owner.
To prevent suffocation, your veterinarian or veterinarian may recommend behavioral modification strategies, which may be paired with drugs.
Stopping dogs from chasing their tails can be done in a variety of ways.
Because the majority of tail-chasing activities are normal, they are not always ‘real’ worrying behaviors. There are a few things you can do to get your dog to quit chasing its tail so much.
Providing psychologically stimulating, engaging, or interactive items for your dog, such as puzzle feeders or puzzle toys, can alleviate boredom, which may result in a tail chase. When they start chasing their tail, you might try to divert their attention by tossing a toy for them to play with instead.
If your dog chases its tail numerous times a day despite following the procedures above, it may need to see a veterinarian. Your dog will be thoroughly examined by your veterinarian.
A neurological examination may be performed to rule out any spinal trauma or injury that is causing discomfort or irritation. Samples taken with skin abrasions and tape will be examined under a microscope for parasites in addition to any bacterial or fungal illnesses.
Your veterinarian may also ask you to bring a fresh stool sample to your appointment so that they may check for intestinal parasites. If there is a medical reason for your dog chasing his tail excessively, the treatment will be determined by that reason.
Infections and parasites may be treated with medications. Spinal cord injuries may necessitate additional, specialized testing to establish the severity of the trauma.
Dogs bite their tails occasionally because they are bored or intrigued about it. When a dog bites its tail for the second time, it could be an indication of something more serious.
While chasing their tails may appear innocent and give the most fun for both you and your dog, it is critical to keep an eye on this tendency. They risk catching their own tails if they do not adhere to the preceding rules, especially in tiny dogs that are not “acquainted with the tail.” When a dog’s tail is harmed, it contains several small bones that might be damaged or broken.
Furthermore, if your dog perceives its tail to be prey, it may bite it, resulting in a bite on its own tail. So, if you notice them about to catch their breath, you might want to discourage them from doing so that they don’t damage themselves.
It’s a good idea to take an elderly dog to the veterinarian for a checkup if you observe it chasing its tail a lot. A veterinarian may be able to identify a medical issue that can be treated with medication. If chasing the tail becomes a problem, a veterinarian can offer advice on how to cope with it.