Unlike tail chasing phenomenon which is quite harmless, tail chewing can prove to be a little dangerous for your four-legged friend. Hence as a dog owner should you see this behaviour repeatedly in your dogs try to stop him by using methods best suited to both you and your dog.
Although there could be various reasons why a dog is chewing on him tail some of the common ones are listed below.
1. Skin infections
This is the most common reason why your dog is chewing on his tail. Skin infections can cause discomfort and itching sensation on the tails hence to relieve that discomfort a dog will chew on his tail. Take your dog to a vet for proper examination of the tail and get the infection treated.
Sometimes while playing a dog might injure himself which becomes a cause of irritation and discomfort to him and to get rid of that pain the dog will either lick his tail or chew on it. This will worsen the situation, hence if you find your dog chewing his tail, talk to him in a soothing voice to calm his nerves, and then try to see what the cause of tail chewing is. If it is a wound clean it with lukewarm water and cotton and take your dog to the vet for treatment.
3. Docked tail
Tail docking is a procedure whereby groomers or vets cut the nip of the tail of the purebred dogs to conform to a breed standard. However, sometimes what happens is that while tail docking some of the nerves is also cut which induces pain in that area thus causing discomfort to the dog and thus making him gnaw his tail. Talk to the vet for the best possible advice on this.
Fleas or ticks are another reason that your dog is chewing its tail. Examine the tail and watch out for fleas and ticks and spray some anti-ticks powder after thorough grooming of your dog. This will soothe his irritation and he will not chew on his tail.
5. Fractured tail
Tail fractures are very common in dogs, especially in dogs with big tails. Tail fractures happen when a tail gets stuck in a door, or someone steps on it accidentally. It is another very common reason why dogs chew on their tails. Take your dog to the vet for a treatment before it becomes bad.
6. Hunting instinct
Dogs are born hunters and it is this instinct which makes them chase their tails and if and when they finally catch hold of it to chew on their tails. However, as a pet owner you should remember that while tail chasing is not dangerous for your dog but chewing his tail is. So make efforts to stop this behaviour by getting your dog to wear a collar.
7. Compulsive behaviour
Some breeds of dogs are prone to tail chasing and tail chewing. The result is a vicious circle wherein a dog chews on his tail to get rid of irritation, however, chewing results in more irritation, and thus increased chewing. You can talk to the vet regarding it and put a collar so that he is not able to chew on his tail.
8. Previous trauma
Another reason why your dog is chewing his tail could be because of some previous trauma or wound he suffered on his tail. Sometimes the wounds heal but the pain remains and it could be this pain that causes your four-legged friend to chew on his tail. If you have just bought a puppy inquire about any trauma or wound that the dog has suffered so that you are better equipped to deal with his tail chewing phenomenon.
In all these above mentioned reasons the common thing is irritation in the tail. So if your dog is chewing on his tail remember that there is some irritation or pain that your dog is trying to get relieved off. So now that you know it is the irritation that causes your dog to chew his tail the next step should be to identify the cause of that irritation.