Q:

Why do dogs chew their tails?

A:

Dogs have no way of communicating their maladies verbally, so the sight of a dog chewing its own tail is an alarming one, and it means one of a number of problems, including an allergic reaction to parasitic infestation or simply boredom. Pet owners who are unable to determine which of those is the case should take their dogs in for a checkup at the veterinarian because once a dog develops a "hot spot," or a wet, red irritated spot that happens with persistent biting, the cycle becomes even more difficult to stop.

Know More

Full Answer

Allergies that cause a dog to bite its tail include skin irritations such as contact dermatitis that occur when dogs get into substances such as soap or pesticides. This is why it is crucial to keep a dog out of the yard for 24 to 48 hours after fertilizing.

Dogs also get bored. If a dog does not get enough activity in the form of outdoor exercise or stimulation, it often develops repetitive behaviors that mimic obsessive-compulsive disorder, and chewing on its tail is one sign.

Parasites like fleas often set up shop on the tail and start chewing, so the dog's chewing is just returning the favor and trying to dislodge the parasite involved. It's not easy to see ticks, and mites are microscopic, so just because the pests are not visible does not mean they are not there. Talking to the veterinarian is a must when the situation continues without remedy.

Learn more in Dogs

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Do dogs have bones in their tails?

    A:

    Dogs do have bones in their tails. Dog tails are essentially the last section of the dog's spine. A dog's tail can include as many as 23 vertebrae. Shorter natural full tails can have as few as six vertebrae.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why do dogs bite their tails?

    A:

    There are several possible reasons why dogs bite their tails, such as allergies and bowel problems. If a dog is continuously biting its tail, it is a often a sign of a bigger problem than an itch.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why do dogs chase their tails?

    A:

    Dogs wag their tails to convey strong emotions, such as happiness or agitation. Other clues can help people understand whether a dog's tail wagging is a gesture of welcoming or warning.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What kinds of dogs are born without tails?

    A:

    Some of the breeds of dogs that have either short or no tails at all include French bulldogs, English bulldogs, French pointers, Australian shepherds and Welsh corgis. Dogs and their ancestors naturally have tails. However, over generations, humans have bred certain types of dogs to have virtually no visible tail.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore