Why do Dogs Chase their Tails?
Most dogs will chase their tail from time to time and there can be a number of reasons why your canine chum may display these behaviours.
Here are some of the factors that can trigger your dog to chasing their tail and signs to look out for incase it may become a cause of concern.
They’re ‘letting off steam’
Dogs are playful creatures and chasing their tails can sometimes be a way to express this. It can also be a means of expending excess energy and letting off steam. It can therefore can be sign that your dog is not getting as much physical activity as they want or need. Increasing their exercise levels can sometimes curb the desire to chase their tail.
There’s a lack of stimulation
On a similar note, a lack of mental stimulation could be factor in tail chasing. If your dog is frustrated or bored, they may try to cope by chasing their tail. Providing bigger mental stimulation and opportunities for play within their environment can go some way towards tackling this.
They’re trying to get a reaction
Dogs will sometimes engage in tail chasing behaviour to get attention from their owner, especially if this has worked in the past. Even negative reactions from you can act as an incentive to continue to do this as it has indeed got the intended response. Ignoring your dog’s actions could stop the habit.
Sometimes, dogs will get into the habit of chasing their tail as a way to comfort themselves. This can be more difficult to tackle unless you know what is causing their anxiety.
They have issues with their tail
If your dog’s fascination with chasing their tail is accompanied by them licking and/or biting their rear, it could be a sign that they have a wound in this area that needs treatment. You should consult your vet in these instances.
They have a neurological issue
Chasing their tail can be a sign of a neurological condition, particularly if it is not an ingrained behaviour. This can become more common as dogs get older.
Is it a problem?
Chasing their tail is often nothing to worry about but it can require treatment to tackle the root cause(s) and change their behaviour. Many dogs will chase their tail now and again but if it is happening a lot, this can be more concerning and you will need to get a better picture of what is behind this.
If you are worried that your dog’s tail chasing is becoming excessive and/or that it may be caused by a medical or psychological issue, speak to your vet as soon as possible.
It’s always a good idea to have a dog insurance policy in place. That way, you can have peace of mind that your pawfect pal is covered in case of unexpected illness or injury.
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