Dogs are very playful pet animals. They always keep us amazed with their playful antics. They show different kinds of compulsions like pacing, fly snapping, shadow or light chasing, excessive licking, etc. different breeds of dogs show different compulsions such as German shepherd dogs seem to be at risk of tail chasing. Sometimes, they even chew or bite their tails resulting in severe injury.
If you ever witness your dog chasing its tail, there can be many reasons behind it. Consult your veterinarian if he continues to exhibit this behavior as it can be self- destructive. This can also be due to any kind of infection or any other medical issue and hence your veterinarian can prescribe medication for it. There can be many other factors responsible for this behavior of your pet. Some of them are mentioned below:
2. Is your dog just beating its boredom?
It is believed that dogs chase their tails when they feel bored at times. They need to take out their extra energy and therefore they tend to chase their tail. It is recommended that the owner should keep the pet engaged in different aerobic exercises like chasing a ball or going for a walk with the owner, running, swimming regularly, providing numerous dog toys. This will eventually help the dog feel entertained and expel its pent-up energy. Exercising your dog’s body will enrich its life and makes it feel relaxing. Make your pet hunt its meal by hiding it somewhere around the house. They love to play this game.
Always try to provide various physical and mental stimulations to your pet and make it as part of their daily routine.
3. Is your dog exploring its body?
As it has been noticed in younger ones in humans, the babies are continuously in a phase of discovering various parts of their bodies. Maybe he is amazed by this part of its body which continuously moves when the dog moves. After chasing for some time it might leave it. If you do not want your dog to move in circles after his tail, simply nib this habit by providing an alternative such as a toy. It is strictly advised that the owner should not laugh on this behavior otherwise the pet will be habitual of it and will think that this behavior pleases my master.
4. Maybe it is because of any parasitic infection:
Chasing tail can be a reason for any kind of infection growing on the dog’s tail resulting in irritation and scratch. The infection can be internal as well such as intestinal infection. If you notice any such action frequently, visit your veterinarian for a detailed check-up and treatment related to the infestation. The doctor might give ointment or any oral antibiotic drug depending on the condition of your dog along with a hypo-allergic diet.
5. Distract your dog when it starts to chase its tail:
If you notice your dog chasing its tail, try to distract it by providing something else to him like a toy or you may start playing with it or give a snack. You can redirect him by giving instructions to sit or lie down or maybe teach him some tricks when he starts chasing its tail. This will redirect his mind from spinning and chasing. Once your dog is trained to follow and respond to your instructions, you can inculcate this habit whenever you notice any such behavior next time.
Maybe your dog’s tail is injured and he is feeling pain, which is not showing from outside. That discomfort which, he is going through can cause him to chase his tail. It is recommended to keep monitoring your dog closely for wounds, scratches fractures, or other minor injuries which are quite irritating and eventually develop into a major health issue.
Is he chasing tail due to anxiety?
Tail chasing can be a result of underlying anxiousness or it can be due to any phycological issue. As the dog likes this behavior, in other words, we can say that it soothes and provides him with the feeling of comfort, he will be used to of it unless an early diagnosis is taken and measures to prevent such behavior is taken.
6. What should be avoided?
If your dog chases its tail, never scold or punish him. Since dogs often exhibit this behavior when they are in stress or are upset. Adding more, if you will punish him, he will be more upset and the issue will be worsened in spite of getting solved. The very best thing to do during such a situation is to ignore the pet, do not pat him or praise him. This is because if you do the later actions, there might be an increase in his such behavior. He will think this behavior is liked by you and hence will do it repeatedly.
7. When to take your pet to the veterinarian?
If you notice that your dog chases its tail frequently. The action lasts for minutes, you should immediately seek advice from the doctor. If you feel that his tail-chasing behavior is not getting better or gets better for some time but starts again. In this condition do visit a veterinarian. He will give appropriate medication. Never try to give any kind of medication or therapy on your own. It is believed that the results of the given medication take approximately two weeks to show. So, do not discontinue the medication thinking that it is of no use for your pet. Complete the course patiently and soon you will witness the results.
8. Drug Treatment:
The treatment comprises of drug and behavioral therapy. Drugs used to treat tail-chasing include, fluoxetine. Other used are sedatives such as acepromazine. Anti-seizure drugs such as gabapentin.
9. Behavioral Treatment:
Behavioral treatment comprises stopping the dog from completing such compulsive behavior. Moreover, it includes maintaining a regular daily routine such as walking or feeding time. It is also important to avoid aggravation like loud noise and strangers.
Chasing tail is one of the compulsive behaviors. If your dog exhibits such behavior, there might be many reasons behind it. Try to engage your dog in healthy activities, aerobics, or playing with it. Keep a regular check-up of its hygiene. Sometimes dogs chase their tails to discover their body parts. Besides, if you find your dog chasing tail frequently, it is recommended to visit a veterinarian for further medication and therapy.