What could cause my dog to bite/pull her own hair out?

By Nadine Oraby | 2020 Update

Has your dog started to bite their self more often than usual? Is it starting to get bald spots? If this is the case, I am sure you would be going crazy, otherwise why would you be searching for it. Right?

We have got your answer:

Unless there is a medical condition like an illness that your dog is currently facing, the reason for your dog biting or pulling its hair out can be a result of stress or anxiety.

Later in the article, you’ll find out the reasons for your dog’s unusual behaviors.

Why does my dog biting/pulling its hair out?

When a dog starts doing the said behavior, you may start to notice that there are many hairs on its sitting place than usual. Your dog may start to have bald spots here and there on her body and you may also find your dog biting, scratching, licking or even pulling its hair out.

There can be multiple reasons why your dog is pulling/biting its hair out. We are going to look through all the possible reasons and their solutions thoroughly.

Dog’s bite and pull

Just like it is common for a dog to chase its tail, it is also common for a dog to chew on its leg. If you are unable to find any medical reasons for this behavior, chances are that your dog is doing it out of habit. If your dog continues to bite and pull at its own hair for long and starts to develop bald spots, try and identify if your dog is going through any of the medical problems listed below.

Allergies

Dogs tend to develop allergies from the age of six months to three years. Atomic dermatitis is the most common of the allergies that can affect the dogs of many breeds and sex. This may cause your dog to bite and pull its own hair. Chances are that the pulling of hair may lead to the wound getting exposed and can lead to a second-degree infection. You may also sense a foul smell with this allergy so make sure to consult your vet at your earliest.

Insects or parasites

Even the little insects like mosquitos, fleas or ticks can cause your dog discomfort. There biting would result in itching for the dog which will lead to your dog pulling on its own hair. This will usually be only one spot where the dog bites or scratches. The bites may lead your dog to develop hot spots, and if this grows it may become a more serious concern for the skin than it should have been. Get your dog cleaned and checked at your earliest.

Anxiety and stress

If you have recently moved to a new location or your dog is lonely most of the time, chances are that it is biting and pulling just to comfort and soothe itself. You may have to make sure beforehand that your dog has no other underlying medical reasons. If your dog is feeling stressed or anxious, chances are that it will be involved in other destructive behaviors as well, such as breaking furniture or scratching up the furniture as well.

Infections

If your dog has an untreated wound, the scratching and pulling of the hair may result in skin infections like yeast and bacteria infection. Apart from this, chances are that your dog may be going through some other kinds of skin disorder or infections that we are unable to identify you will have to consult your vet, otherwise the problem may get worse than it already is.

Discomfort

At times you will notice your dog biting its own feet or its tail. This may be because of some discomfort or some pain that your dog may be feeling. You should check if it has some nail that has grown too big or a pebble or something stuck to its feet. To relive itself from the pain or from the thing causing it discomfort, your dog will chew or bite or even pull on its fur.

Dry skin

Another reason for your dog biting and pulling its hair can be the weather. If the weather is too cold, it will make your dog have dry skin. If it is not taken care of properly it may result in your dog biting and pulling its hair to stop the itch from occurring because of dryness.

Food allergies

To provide the best and the most nourishment filled food for you would be trying out different brands. You may also be trying out different foods to provide your dog with a variety. Even though your intentions are genuinely nice, there might be ingredients in the dog food that may not suit your dog specifically and result in your dog getting allergies. Make sure you read every ingredient on the bag of dog food so you can evaluate before buying, whether it will suit your dog or not.

How to stop your dog from biting and pulling its own hair

If your dog is pulling and biting its own hair a little too much and you are getting concerned for it, you need to check if your dog is facing any medical issues. If your dog has any kind of illness or an infection, the medical help will instantly help you get it treated by giving anti-allergy or anti-inflammatory medicines to cure the problem.

If the biting and pulling has been caused by any sort of food allergies, you will have to make sure you check your food ingredients thoroughly and not purchase an item with that ingredient again. As far as the allergy that has been found in your dog is concerned, you will have to take your dog to the vet so that it can be treated accordingly.

If your dog has developed a habit of biting and pulling its hair, you would want to stop your dog by distracting it and giving it more toys to chew or bite on. This will help him give its teeth the relief it needs. Apart from this, if you feel your dog is facing some loneliness problems try and take it out for more walks.

Your dog may behave in the said manner because of being alone too much and having nothing to do around. Try and take some time to play around with your dog and go out for walks, this will help your dog to stay calm and may even stop him from biting and pulling.

A positive reinforcement technique can also be applied here. if you stop your dog from biting and pulling and it listens to your command, give it a treat. You can also make a sound whenever your dog bites or pulls its own hair so that it can understand when you are asking it to stop.

Related questions

How does apple cider vinegar help dogs with itchy skin?

Apple cider vinegar has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties that help relieve the dry skin from itching. Since it’s all-natural so it is also safer to use but not on an open wound. If your dog has pulled the hair off and has exposed the wound, do not put the vinegar or it will sting.

Can I put tea tree oil on my dog for itchy skin?

Tea tree oil may contain toxins, which if liked or swallowed by the dog it may cause other problems. You may want to dilute the oil first otherwise it may leave a rash or even irritate the skin.

Can I sprinkle baking soda on my dog?

Baking soda is a good agent for getting rid of strong odors. You will need half to a full cup of baking soda depending on the dog’s size and sprinkle it over your dog. Give it time to absorb the oils and once you wash your dog clean the dog odor will be removed.

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