If you’ve ever wondered why does my Pug chew her tails, you’re not a lone. It can be funny to see your dog chasing and biting her tail, but what you may not realize is this behavior may mean your pooch has underlying issues.
Why Does My Pug Chew Her Tail
Some of the most common reasons that dogs chew, chase and bite their tail are; allergies, parasites, boredom, anxiety, anal glands and etc.
The great thing is that this behavior can be corrected with the right patience and understanding. However, it’s important to know what’s causing this behavior so you can take the right steps to prevent it or stop the unwanted behavior.
Before we look at why Pugs chew their tails, let’s take a closer look at the Pug tail.
A Look At The Pug Tail
This breed has two types of tails a single curl or a double curl. While this may make it more challenging for them to reach their tails. If your dog has behavioral issues, you will be amazed at how they will chase their tail until they reach and it may even bite it raw.
While it may look funny to see your Pug chasing their curly tail. It usually means that your dog is dealing with underlying problems.
Common Causes & Treatment for Tail Biting and Chewing
Below are just some of the reasons that dogs start biting or chewing their tails.
Fleas, ticks, and worms can drive a dog crazy. A dog will chew their tail excessively in reaction to a parasitic infestation. This becomes an issue when your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, especially, during the spring and summer months.
Some dogs and cats are allergic to flea saliva, which causes them to itch uncontrollably.
If your dog has ever had fleas before, you know they will bite, lick, and scratch at the spot in an attempt to get rid of the discomfort. Relief won’t come until you use preventative measures such as a flea bath, or over the counter flea medications.
Both tapeworms and roundworms can be the cause of making your dog’s hind itch. The itching can cause your pooch to lick, scratch, rub, and scoot to relieve the itch. Dogs become infected when they ingest a flea that is carrying the immature tapeworm larvae, hunting, and grooming.
Nursing mothers can pass roundworms and hookworms to her pups. Roundworms can be transmitted to humans when they come into contact with contaminated stool or soil.
If your pooch has become infected with internal parasites, they will need to go to a veterinarian, which will administer a medication.
Allergies will make your dog very itchy this can cause them to bite at their tail. Dogs are susceptible to environmental or food allergies. The most common food allergies are corn, soy, wheat, beef, dairy and corn. Environmental allergies can be triggered by grass, weed, pollen, plants, and mildew/mold.
If you’ve ever had a skin allergy, your first reaction is to scratch for relief, well the same goes for your dog. Getting your pooch relief may be as simple as using a medicated shampoo.
Avoid using any harsh chemicals that can be affecting your pooch. It won’t hurt to start using humidifiers to help clean the air in your home, which will help both you and your pup.
Some dogs will chase their tails when they are bored, it’s a way for them to exert some of that pent up energy. All dogs need some exercise, even a small lap dog like the Pug dog.
If your Pug is biting and chewing their tail because of boredom. Increasing their exercise to tire them out can be an easy cure. After all a tired dog won’t have the energy to chase and bite their tail.
Do you find yourself laughing and watching when your Pug starts chasing her tail? If so, you’re giving your dog positive attention and they will continue the behavior because they know you’ll notice them more often.
It could be as simple as not giving your dog any attention when she starts chasing her tail. Once she realizes that you’re not interested, she may stop doing it.
Like people, dogs can develop compulsive behaviors if they are stressed or anxious. Stressed dogs are known to fly bite, chase, bark, suck or bite on different parts of their body, spin, tail chasing, and etc.
Dogs love routines and when something changes it can trigger anxiety or stress. Simple things such as moving to a new house or apartment, getting a second dog, fireworks, and etc can easily trigger compulsive behaviors in your pet.
Unfortunately, this will be a little harder to treat. You will need to give your pup time to get used to the new situation. However, whenever you see your pup trying to chew her tail, tell her no and take her attention away from what she was doing.
Maybe your furry friend has injured their hindquarter or fractured their tailbone? It can happen especially if your dog loves playing with other dogs. and is hard to notice, until you notice your dog obsessively biting, chewing, or licking at the affected area.
Your dog will need X-rays to diagnose and treat the issue.
Impacted Anal Glands
It could also be that your dog is biting at the base of her tail until it is bleeding because of an impacted anal gland. Your Pugs anal glands play an important role in your pup’s life. They are the way that dogs greet and learn about each other.
This is one of the reasons that dog’s sniff each other’s rear ends when they first meet. Their anal glands give off unique smells that helps dogs learn about each other. It sounds disgusting, but it’s similar to how we shake hands when we meet someone new.
It’s not unusual to see dogs scooting, biting, and licking their rear end if their anal glands are bothering them. Your dog won’t stop biting or scooting until you secrete the anal glands. A high fiber diet may also help make your dogs stool harder, which will help their anal glands secrete better.
Stress and Anxiety
All dogs are vulnerable to separation anxiety, even Pugs. Pugs are companion dogs and love being around their human family. When left alone for long periods of time, your pup might start showing signs of obstructive behavior. This could lead to chewing their tail, scratching walls and etc.
The best way to deal with this behavior is to provide your pooch with more exercise, interactive toys or mental stimulation.
You Have A Puppy
Young puppies are notorious for chasing and biting their tail. At a young age, puppies may see their tail as a toy and may not even realize that it is a part of their body.
Generally as your pup ages, they grow out of this type of behavior.
A hot spot ( aka pyotramatic or moist dermatitis) is a condition when your dog’s skin develops infected lesions or open wounds from scratching and licking so much. These spots can appear anywhere on the body, even the tail.
Hot spots require moisture and bacteria to form. Untreated hot spots can quickly become large red, irritated lesions.
Without proper hygiene, your dog’s anal area can become itchy. The hair around their anal area can have fecal matter, or they can even have poop on their behind from where they just went bathroom.
Dogs in general are pretty clean and are constantly grooming themselves. However, it is hard for them to reach all the way around and clean their behinds.
If this is what’s causing your pup to chew her tail until she draws blood, just give her a bath using a good dog shampoo and this should take care of the issue.
What To Do If Your Pug Is Biting Her Tail
As you can see, there are several reasons a dog will bite or chew the base of the tail.
But, good news! Whether it’s your pup’s anal glands, practicing better hygiene, or allergic reactions to something in your home. All these issues are treatable.
Once you notice that your dog has started biting and chewing her tail, it’s important to find out what’s causing this compulsive behavior. If ignored, tail biting can lead to self-mutilation.
How To Stop A Pug From Biting Her Tail
There are several different methods you can use to stop this compulsive behavior. The method you use will depend on the severity of your dog’s issue.
If your pooch has suddenly started biting and chewing their tail suddenly out of the blue and they won’t stop. It may not hurt to take them to your local vet to have them run some diagnostic tests to find out what the underlying problem.
Preventing The Behavior Before It Escalates
It will be much easier to stop the behavior before it escalates. At the first sign of your dog chasing and biting their tail, instead of laughing, start discouraging the behavior. You can discourage the behavior by spraying something bitter on their tail that will discourage the chewing and biting.
Pugs can be stubborn and don’t always listen to commands like “No” or “Leave it” so you may want to consider using a dog cone to prevent them from chewing. A cone can be extremely helpful, especially, if your dog is chewing their tail raw.
It may take time, but eventually, your dog will learn the word “No” whenever they try to chew their tail. Don’t forget to reward them with a treat when they obey your command, as this will make them learn that much faster.
Final Word On Pug Biting & Chewing Tail
If you’ve noticed that your Pug has just started chewing his/her tail, instead of laughing you may want to consider consulting with your veterinarian. They will be able to tell you what underlying problem your pooch has.
They may even be able to help you find the right treatment plan to get your dog some relief.
References And Further Reading
Pet MD – Vladimir Negron – How To Treat Hot Spots On Dogs
Capital Gazette – Francine Rattner – Ask a Vet: Dog’s itching could be due to tapeworms, skin infection