Dog Biting Tail: What Does It Mean And How Can I Stop It? | Kidadl


Dog Biting Tail: What Does It Mean And How Can I Stop It?

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Dog biting tail or chewing is often caused due to boredom, but it sometimes indicates another underlying reason.

There are various reasons for dogs to be biting their tails. However, it becomes a problem for dog owners when it happens repeatedly and for longer.

Sometimes, dogs make this their habit, which may be a significant concern for all dog owners. If your dog is tail biting, it could signify hot spots, discomfort, or something more serious. Hot spots are one possible reason your dog may be tail-biting. These red, inflamed patches of skin can be painful and itchy, leading your dog to bite at his tail to relieve the pain. If your dog has hot spots, he will likely be licking or chewing in other areas of the body too. Distress in the anal area can also lead to tail biting. Dogs who are constipated or have impacted anal glands may bite at their tail region to relieve the ache. If your dog is tail biting and seems to be straining to defecate, or if the anus is swollen or red, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Tail biting and tail chewing are ubiquitous in puppies. They start chewing when they start exploring their bodies. Dealing with bored dogs who like to chase tails can be difficult if it is a root cause of some impacted anal glands or an infection or an allergic reaction. Tail biting is one of the problematic behaviors pets develop, but some dogs develop behaviors of chewing and gnawing their tail base. They continue to do that to the extent that the affected area starts to bleed. Especially if an allergy causes it, pet owners should know it so they don't repeat the mistakes. Now, these behaviors are certainly not encouraged, and it could be one of the symptoms of stress, anxiety, injury, pain, boredom, or even reactions to food allergies. These are all the more reasons to consult a veterinary professional for treatment of the affected area as soon as you notice something off with the tail area of your pet.

As a pet owner, it is advisable to consult with veterinarians if your dogs continue to bite their rear. It might be a sign of some underlying health issues that need to be checked. Tail biting can also be a sign of boredom or lack of attention. If you think your dog is bored, try to provide more toys and activities. Also, make sure to give your dog plenty of attention and affection.

Why is my dog biting his tail?

Why is my dog biting his tail? This is a common complaint in pet behavior among pet owners and it is similar to tail chewing behavior. The most common reason is that they are discovering their own body and trying to find out what they can do. Moreover, they are having fun and being silly. Pets often feel bored when doing the same things or not receiving enough attention from their owners. Dogs also need to be physically active for better health. They find their tail an excellent toy if they are bored and start biting or playing with it. However, sometimes it might be an indication of a medical emergency too. It is better to consult a vet in such cases.

Sometimes, dogs may also start chewing their tail. Other times, allergic reaction plays a vital role in this behavior of pets. They bite their tails due to some allergic reactions. There are times when dogs feel anxious. Fleas are tiny bugs that fit themselves in dogs' bodies and cause discomfort. So, dogs also chew their tails to get relief from these fleas. It is not very common, but it might also suggest that dogs have internal damage to their tail or spine. 

Tail chasing could signify the dogs being infested with intestinal parasites, which migrate out of their rectum. It can happen further if the dog keeps itching around the rear end due to fleas or tick bites, or it could be an allergic reaction. Discomfort in the rear could also mean damaged anal glands or neurological issues. Evacuating impacted anal glands is possible, and it is essential to have the anal glands treated by a veterinarian if the dog is biting the tail consistently.

Impacted anal glands can produce foul-smelling fluid as the dog puts pressure on the anal gland while trying to defecate, causing the sacs to secrete this fluid on the feces. While the underlying cause could be allergic reactions, fleas, ticks, stress, anxiety, an open wound, or injury, it may lead to serious consequences if the compulsive chasing and licking are not treated. Take the tail-biting behavior discussion to the nearest vet immediately to make sure that your pet is not suffering from any severe medical conditions.

Why is my dog biting the base of his tail?

Dogs biting their tails or dogs chewing their tails is common, but if biting has a specific location, like the base of the tail, this should be taken note of. It is common for the dog to have fleas and ticks and that can be a reason to bite or chew the tail, eventually hurting the skin. It could also just be an allergy.

When dogs start biting the base of their tails, the main concern is the presence of fleas or ticks, which causes discomfort to them. Another common reason for this is allergies. These might be food allergies or even environment-related allergies. Food allergies are more likely to occur in dogs when their diet is changed suddenly. Just like we humans, dogs are also allergic to certain foods. Environment-related allergies are more likely to occur in dogs during specific seasons. They might be allergic to multiple pollens, grasses, or even dust. 

There might be internal reasons too. Your dog constantly biting the base of its tail might be an indicator of the presence of tapeworms in them. You might want to take your dog to the veterinarian for a quick check-up. Another internal reason for this might be hormone imbalances. Hormones play an important role in maintaining healthy skin and hair coats in dogs. Dogs have many hormone-related medical issues, such as Cushing’s disease, diabetes mellitus, Hypothyroidism, and many more. If you think your dog might have any hormone-related issues, you should consult a veterinarian as soon as possible. Certain hormone-related issues may put your dog’s life in danger. 

Your pet may also bite his tail after an injury, especially when he finds it soothing. The pet may continue to bite or chew his tail sometimes, even after the injury is healed. As we mentioned earlier, an allergy you failed to treat or notice, parasites, or stress could be why pets chew their tails. Proper hygiene and regular grooming can help prevent matted hair and infections.

How to stop your dog from biting another dog's tail?

Tail-biting is mainly caused by overexcitement during play. However, it may occur due to aggression also. It is important to discourage your dog from biting another dog's tail. The first thing that you should do is spot the signs. In many cases, some signs and stimuli lead to a tail bite. For example, your dog may have a good sniff of a dog’s backside before he starts to chew his tail. Learning the signs of this might help you prevent this bad habit of your dog. 

Let your pet interact with other dogs. Let them play together and have fun. Always praise your dog when they exhibit good manners. It will encourage your pet to react positively and push them to behave well and reduce stress. However, you can always take back the praise if they cross boundaries. Look out for signs that he is likely to go after another dog's tail. Try to understand body language in different circumstances. It’s important to stop him before he has a chance to bite the tail. When he goes after another dog's tail, correct him by reprimanding him. Say no in a firm voice, then walk him away. Ignore him for a minute or two to make him realize that he has done wrong. 

Dog biting tail may be a sign of underlying infection caused by environmental factors, stress, anxiety, injury, or pain.

What to put on the dog's tail to make him stop biting?

Sometimes, seeing your dogs biting their tail part is very disturbing. However, sometimes, dogs are not doing it for fun. To make them stop doing this, check their skin for any allergies or dryness. Dry skin can make the skin of your dog itchy and cause discomfort. You can use a mild shampoo with oatmeal to reduce the itching. Some dogs are allergic to flea bites, and they might chew their tail for relief. One single bite can make your dog go nuts. Apply a monthly spot treatment which will reduce the issue with your dog. These treatments usually work in less than 24 hours. There is less fur on his tail which makes his tail the most vulnerable part of his body. 

One of the most effective methods is to use chew spray products. This is a non-toxic, safe and effective way to deter dogs from biting their tail area. Apply the product to the area around the dog's tail, and it will quickly learn that biting is not acceptable behavior. While it is effective, it is advisable to consult a veterinarian before using any type of spray on your dog.

Another method that can be used is to put a cone-shaped collar around the pet's neck. This will prevent the dog from being able to reach its tail and bite it. The downside to this method is that it can be uncomfortable for the dog and may cause it to paw at the collar constantly. If the above methods do not work, you may need to consult with a professional trainer or behaviorist to help correct the problem of your dog.

How to stop your dog from biting his tail?

As humans can, dogs cannot express themselves in words. So, it becomes our duty to understand what they are feeling or what is causing discomfort to them. When they are biting their tail part out of fun, they will stop in a while. If they are not stopping, you can give them a simple command asking them to sit, stop, or run to make them physically active and reduce their boredom. You can spend some time with them playing or taking them out on a walk. Look out for the things that your dog is allergic to. Your dog might be allergic to certain food items. After finding out, try to avoid these food items in the diet of your dog. 

You may want to check dog shampoos and if it is hurting your pet's sensitive skin. In addition, this could be a symptom of affected anal glands. The tail biting and tail chewing make it a hot spot, and the open wound that may happen due to the biting or chewing behavior makes the dog's body open to external parasites. It is triggered when the anal gland does not empty normally as it should. The anal gland lets the dog secrete foul-smelling fluids, which signals the ducts being clogged and the hot spot needs a vet's attention.

Hot spots are places on a dog's body where the consistent chewing and biting lead to an open wound that can develop a bacterial infection causing severe discomfort. It all starts with a scratch on the skin. When they scratch or start licking the area more due to the itching, it only increases stress and paves the way for parasites to use the space. Other environmental factors and tail biting and chewing due to boredom will make the injury a serious health condition. It would help if you took your dog to the vet for an immediate check-up to know about worms in their bodies. Your vet will treat your dog, which might stop him from biting his tail. Sometimes, there may be fleas or tick bites. You should take him to the vet once just in case to confirm. 

How to calm your dog down when they aggressively bite their own tail?

Dealing with dogs with compulsive behavior of tail biting or chewing of an affected area due to an underlying infection or as reactions to environmental factors can be tricky if the dog develops a certain level of aggressiveness. The need to scratch or chew becomes compulsive, and for the vet to treat them for ticks and fleas with medication or diet can be a true challenge.

Dog parents need to remove the tail from the grip of their mouth as this might hurt them. It may also cause various types of infections. To control an aggressive dog, don’t encourage his excitement. Sometimes, his excitement is the reason for his aggressive behavior. Try to ignore their excitement and encourage their calm behavior. When they are calm and relaxed, be affectionate towards them. You can even give them little rewards which will encourage their calm behavior. You should check for the causes of this behavior if it is not ticks, fleas, or any food allergy. Because boredom could be an actual reason for tail-biting behavior.

Written By
Lydia Samson

<p>A diligent and driven mass communications graduate from Caleb University, Lydia has experience in media and a passion for digital marketing and communications. She is an effective communicator and team-builder with strong analytical, management, and organizational skills. She is a self-starter with a positive, can-do attitude.</p>

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