Why Do Dogs Chase Their Tails?
Chasing their tails is one of the common habits of dogs. Most of the time, it is harmless. But sometimes, it could be a precursor to an irregularity in their body that can pose a great risk to their health.
If you’ve noticed that you’re dogs are chasing their tails in an uncommon way, it’s time to know what it could possibly mean.
What do dogs chase their tails?
Normally, dogs are chasing their tails out of boredom. Because they don’t have anything or anyone to play with, they play with any moving objects around them. Which, in this case, their own tails.
Because of their boredom, chasing their own tails could be a call for attention. Dogs are naturally active animals. They would want you to play with them or make them do anything to pass the time.
While these two are harmless, the third one isn’t. Fleas and mites could cause great itchiness and irritation to the dogs’ entire body, including their tails. Their automatic response is to scratch or bite their own body just to relieve the discomfort.
Muscle aches and other body pains can make them chase their own tail, too. They tend to get confused about the discomfort that they feel that they try to ease the pain by chasing and biting their own tail. One of the most common body pain that a dog experiences is stomach ache caused by indigestion.
Lastly is anxiety. Dogs can get anxious for various reasons such as a new environment, unfamiliar people and animals, and even a new activity. This can make them chase their tails unconsciously.
Is it dangerous for dogs to chase their tails?
If your dog tends to get bored easily, it could be a sign of a neurological problem. The constant desire to play even beyond their body’s capacity could lead to a lack of focus and discipline.
This is an early precursor that your dog might be difficult to train and may develop unruly behaviour later on. After chasing and biting their own tail, they might chase and bite other people.
Anxiety could trigger bigger biological problems, too. Too much stress could even make a dog vomit.
On the other hand, fleas and mites could lead to bacterial infections. When dogs scratch and bite unto their own skin, it will leave open wounds, which could be a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi.
Can you prevent dogs from chasing their tails?
When dogs chase their tails in an uncommon manner, the owners should do something to prevent it. You can start by developing a regular exercise routine to relieve both their boredom and anxiety.
A generous amount of Vitamin B12 and Vitamin A could also improve your dogs’ nerves and brain development. This will reduce the risk of any unruly behavior.
Dogs have various unique habits. However, since they can’t talk, small actions like chasing the tail could have various meanings. If you’re a responsible owner, you will keep track of your dog’s habits to prevent any serious threat to their health.
Laura Robinson, DMV
Dr Laura practices at the Antonio Animal Hospital in California, where she was born and raised. She is an advisor to Wuffes, ensuring all our products and content is of the highest standard