Unlike the phenomenon of tail chasing, which is quite harmless, tail chewing can be a bit dangerous for your four-legged friend. Therefore, as a dog owner, you should see this behavior repeatedly in your dogs, try to stop it using the methods that best suit you and your dog.
Although there can be a number of reasons why a dog bites its tail, some of the most common are listed below.
1. Skin infections
This is the most common reason why your dog bites its tail. Skin infections can cause discomfort and an itchy sensation in the tails, therefore, to alleviate the discomfort that a dog bites its tail. Take your dog to a vet for a proper tail exam and treatment for the infection.
2. Wound / injury
Sometimes while playing, a dog can hurt himself, which becomes a cause of irritation and discomfort for him and to get rid of that pain, the dog licks his tail or bites it. This will make the situation worse, so if you find that your dog is biting his tail, speak in a soft voice to calm his nerves and then try to see what is the cause of the tail bite. If it is a wound, clean it with warm water and cotton and take your dog to the vet for treatment.
3. Cut tail
Tail docking is a procedure whereby groomers or veterinarians cut off the tip of the tail of purebred dogs to meet a breed standard. However, sometimes what happens is that while the tail is cut, some of the nerves are also cut, which induces pain in that area, causing discomfort to the dog and making it gnaw on the tail. Talk to your vet to get the best possible advice on this.
4. Fleas / ticks
Fleas or ticks are another reason why your dog bites its tail. Examine the tail for fleas and ticks and spritz on some anti-tick powder after thoroughly brushing your dog. This will calm his irritation and he will not bite his tail.
5. Fractured tail
Tail fractures are very common in dogs, especially dogs with large tails. Tail fractures occur when a tail gets stuck in a door or someone accidentally steps on it. It is another very common reason why dogs bite their tails. Take your dog to the vet for a treatment before he gets sick.
6. Hunting instinct
Dogs are born as hunters and it is this instinct that makes them chase their tails and when they finally grab it to bite them. However, as a pet owner, you should remember that while tail chasing is not dangerous for your dog, tail biting is. So do your best to stop this behavior by having your dog wear a collar.
7. Compulsive behavior
Some dog breeds are prone to tail chasing and biting. The result is a vicious cycle in which a dog bites its tail to eliminate irritation; however, chewing causes more irritation and therefore increased chewing. You can talk to your vet about it and put a collar on him so he can’t bite his tail.
8. Anterior trauma
Another reason your dog bites his tail could be due to previous trauma or injury to his tail. Sometimes the wounds heal but the pain remains and it could be this pain that makes your four-legged friend bite his tail. If you have just purchased a puppy, ask about any trauma or injury the dog has suffered so that it is better equipped to deal with the tail-chewing phenomenon.
In all these aforementioned reasons, the common is irritation in the tail. So if your dog is biting his tail, remember that there is some irritation or pain that your dog is trying to alleviate. So now that you know that it is irritation that is causing your dog to bite his tail, the next step should be to identify the cause of that irritation.