Top 3 Reasons Why Dogs Chew and Bite their Tail Until it Bleeds
It’s not always an immediate red flag when dogs bite and chew their own tail. It does become a concern, however, if they are chewing their tail to the point when it bleeds or becomes ‘raw’. Here are the most common reasons that may explain why dogs may engage in destructive chewing behaviors.
1. Presence of fleas and other parasites
Is the dog only chewing his tail and no other parts of his body? This might indicate the presence of parasites on the dog’s tail. The most common being fleas and ticks. The dog may have gotten flea and tick bites around tail. The itchiness could be what’s causing your dog to chew until the tail bleeds.
Have a close look at the tail to see if there are any signs of flea or tick bites. Some dogs may suffer from an allergic reaction due to the insect bites. Watch out for symptoms such as scabs and inflamed skin. Internal parasites like tapeworms may also push dogs to bite their tail as they may cause irritation and discomfort around the dog’s bottom.
2. Impacted anal glands
Dogs may chew their tail until it bleeds due to impacted anal glands. This happens when the anal glands don’t empty themselves as they normally would. It can happen due to a number of reasons such as when the anal glands get clogged.
You may also notice an unusual fish-like smell from the dog’s body when they suffer from impacted anal glands. Impacted anal glands can make it painful for dogs to poop. This discomfort could be what’s causing your dog to bite their tail.
3. Stress and boredom
Bored dogs will engage in compulsive behaviors such as chewing their tails. It happens when a dog doesn’t get enough mental and physical stimulation. Dogs are social animals. You need to make sure their needs are being met so that they won’t have to satisfy their own boredom.
How to Stop Your Dog from Biting His Tail
The first step is to rule out any underlying health issues that could create a lot of irritation and discomfort around the base of the tail. Make sure there are no fleas and ticks around your dog’s body. Do the same check on the dog’s bedding, clothes, and collar.
A trip to the vet is recommended if your dog shows other concerning symptoms such as acting lethargic and losing appetite. Bleeding and raw tails also need to be treated properly to prevent the transmission of infections and diseases.
If the compulsive chewing behavior isn’t due to health reasons, make sure your dog is getting plenty of attention throughout the day. The dog should have enough chew toys to play with (ideally in rotation) and should be getting enough exercise so that they are happy and tired out by end of day.