Why Do Dogs Chase Their Tails?

by VetDepot on March 27, 2014

dog chasing tail black and white blogMost pet parents have witnessed tail chasing at least once. This seemingly silly behavior can be just as entertaining for the owner as it is for the dog, but, why do dogs chase their tails?

Most of the time, dogs chase their tails to expend pent-up energy. They want to play, and chasing their tail is a natural way to fulfill their prey instinct and desire for activity. If you notice this behavior, it may be a good time for a walk or a game of fetch.

In some cases, tail chasing can be a sign of an underlying condition. Dogs suffering from an anal gland problem, dermatitis, or other medical issues may exhibit this behavior. If your dog seems agitated, is scratching a lot, or is frequently “scooting” across the floor, it’s a good idea to consult with a veterinarian.

In rarer cases, tail chasing can also be caused by obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). If it’s difficult to distract your dog while he’s chasing his tail, you may want to speak with a veterinarian or an animal behaviorist.

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