We get it. It’s annoying if your dog just can’t give it a rest and stop biting at his tail. However, it’s essential to remember that he isn’t doing it for fun. The chances are something that is bothering him to the point that it crosses the bridge to obsession. Sympathize with your pooch! He isn’t happy! The best thing you can do is to approach the problem both practically and symptomatically.
Let’s cover both to help your pup get the relief he deserves.
7 Ways to Stop Your Dog from Biting Its Tail
1. Stop Him in His Tracks
We think that this one is the best first step. When your pooch bites at his tail, he risks opening the skin. If he does, he opens the skin barrier to bacteria and other pathogens. When his skin stays intact, it keeps out the nasties that can cause infections or worse. Once it’s broken, all bets are off for any host of problems. The best way to control it is with an e-collar. He won’t like it, but it’s an effective barrier.
2. Apply a Flea and Tick Spot Treatment
Some dogs are so allergic to flea bites that a single one will drive him nuts. The site becomes a hotspot. Think of it as a hyperallergic reaction. Applying a monthly spot treatment can prevent and stop an issue with these pests. Many topical treatments work within 24 hours to give your pet relief quickly. The fur on his tail is less thick than his body, which makes it more vulnerable to this condition.
3. Examine His Tail for Wounds
The immune response in dogs isn’t too different from people. The wound site will get red and become hot. Blood rushes to the site, all of which can cause itchiness and make him bite his tail. If he’ll let you, take a look to see what’s going on with the site. If there is a wound, you can apply an antiseptic and antibiotic to speed healing and relieve your pooch’s discomfort.
4. Look for a Chronic Cause
Sometimes, a sore feeds itself. A dog may hit his tail against a rough surface that aggravates a raw spot. Labrador Retrievers with their otter tail are notorious for this condition. Food allergies also have this pattern. Look for other signs of irritation that may show it’s a systemic problem instead of one confined to your pup’s tail.
5. Observe Your Pup’s Behavior
Pulling fur or scratching are also signs of a stressed pet. Unfortunately, dogs take out their frustrations on themselves. Birds pull their feathers. Dogs bite at their fur. It doesn’t make sense to us, but it’s how they manage it. We suggest looking for triggers to these habits. If possible, eliminate what’s upsetting them. Often, it’s just a change in the routine.
6. Identify a Solution
All of this preliminary work gives you the info you need to make the necessary changes to stop your dog’s self-destructive behavior. Once you know the trigger, you can eliminate it so that your pooch doesn’t have to suffer needlessly. A lot of your detective work relies on observation. The fact remains that dogs aren’t that complicated. Watch, and you will learn what you need to know.
7. Relieve His Dry Skin
Dry skin treatments or baths can relieve an irritant that can make your dog bite at his tail and feet a lot. You can use products such as shampoos with oatmeal to help stop his itching. They reduce the intensity of the immune response and their effects. That means less scratching and a calmer pet. Bear in mind that bathing your dog too frequently can make the problem worse.
We all can sympathize. No one likes to see a dog in distress. Dogs biting tails aren’t happy. They need your help. Fortunately, observation can yield a lot of clues to what is upsetting him and leading you to a solution. It’s a multi-part process of ending the behavior, identifying a cause, and implementing a solution.
Once you figure it out, you can make your dog so much more comfortable. That’s what we all want for our pets, isn’t it? They should have a comfortable and safe life to match the joy they bring to us.
Featured Image: Lumena, Shutterstock