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A dog biting his own tail is by no means a red flag out of the bag. However, if the chewing reaches the point where the tail starts to bleed or gets a ‘raw’ form, then it should become something you should worry about. Below you will find the most common reasons why dogs have this destructive behavior and how you can stop them.
Infestation with parasites like fleas
Is the dog only set on chewing his tail off or are other parts itching as well? If the dog is only focusing on his tail then this might mean that the tail itself is infested by parasites. Among the most common ones are, of course, ticks and fleas. This behavior might be a reaction to the bites the dog receives from ticks and fleas on and around his tail. Itchiness might be behind the dog’s violent chews.
You should try to look carefully for any signs of tick or flea bites around the tail area. Some insect bites will also cause allergic reactions in your dog. An inflamed skin or scabs could be symptoms of an allergy caused by parasite bites. You should also keep in mind that some internal parasites like tapeworms also cause discomfort and irritation leading to the dog biting his tail.
Impacted glands might cause your dog to chew the blood out of its tail. This is usually something that would happen when the glands of the pet don’t empty themselves, which is a natural process. This happens due to multiple reasons, although among the most common ones is the glands getting clogged.
Impacted glands will also come with another very noticeable side effect – an unusual, but strong fish-like smell coming from the dog’s rear. If left untreated, impacted glands will usually make the dog’s pooping sessions pretty painful. This might ultimately make your dog start to bite his tail in frustration.
Boredom or stress
It’s not uncommon for dogs that are bored to start engaging in all sorts of compulsive behaviors, one of which could be chewing their own tails. This is usually something that would happen when your dog isn’t getting enough physical or mental stimulation. Dogs are very social by nature. YOu will always have to keep them as active as possible so they don’t have to resort to figuring out by themselves how to get rid of their boredom.
How to Stop a Dog from Biting His Tail
The first step you will have to take is to make sure that there is no underlying health issue that might create discomfort or irritation around the pet’s tail. Look especially for ticks and fleas around the dog’s body. Also analyze the dog’s collar, clothes, bedding, and other places where he spends time.
If your dog is losing his appetite and seems more lethargic than usual, or has other concerning symptoms, then it might be a good idea to take him to the vet for a consultation. YOu should also consider treating a bleeding or raw tail properly because if you don’t it might be prone to developing all kinds of diseases and infections.
If health isn’t to blame for your dog’s compulsive chewing, then this behavior might indicate a need for your dog for attention so make sure you spend enough time with him. Your dog should get enough exercise so that they are tired and happy enough by the end of the day. A bunch of toys he can chew on can also help.