Should I stop my dog from chasing his tail? Here’s What to Do Next

Is it medical? Could there be something wrong?

If your dog suddenly starts chasing or biting at his tail, you should schedule a veterinary visit. Dogs will chew at a painful area much like people rub an arthritic knee to provide relief. For example, dogs that get their tails caught in a closing door or nick them on a sharp object will chase and chew at their tails to soothe the injury.

Dogs may also chase their tails when they are infested with intestinal parasites like tape worms that migrate out the rectum. Tail-chasing can also occur when the dog itches around the rear-end due to fleas or food allergies. In addition, discomfort in the tail area due to impacted anal glands or neurological problems affecting this area often cause dogs to nip at their tails.

Medical problems should be diagnosed and treated by veterinarians who can provide pain relief for injuries, prevent and treat intestinal parasites and fleas, or evacuate impacted anal glands. Your veterinarian can also treat allergies with oral medications, such as Cytopoint®, Oclacitinib (brand name Apoquel®), cyclosporine (brand name Atopica®) to alleviate the signs and may recommend a hypo-allergenic diet. These treatments help to manage the condition but do not serve as a cure.

Medical conditions might cause a dog to obsessively chase their tails

According to Dr. Weinberg DVM, if your dog appears to be obsessively chasing their tail it could be due to an underlying health condition, such as seizures, pain, an infection or even cancer. If your dog is chasing their tail a lot, it’s best to rule out any medical issues first, so always get in touch with your vet who will be able to examine them and find the root of the problem.

Dogs might chase their tails to seek attention

Your dog’s tail chasing may be because of attention seeking. If they feel like they’re not getting enough attention from you, most dogs will pull out all the stops to try and get a reaction from you, which may include behaviours such as tail chasing.

To your dog, any press is good press so even if you reprimand them, they’ll see this as a win because they’re getting a response from you. It’s important to ensure you’re setting aside time out of each day to spend time with your dog; our four-legged friends are sociable creatures and need plenty of attention!

How to Stop Your Dog from Chasing Its Tail