Your dog says a lot with its tail. A happy dog will eagerly wag its tail back and forth, while a scared dog will place it between its legs. Your dog’s tail hair also says a lot about its overall health.  It is natural to be concerned when you notice hair falling off your puppy’s tail. 

Pet owners may wonder, “Will it grow back?”, “ Is my dog sick?”, “ What is going on?”. Since this is a common concern for canine owners, we did some research into this issue. Hopefully many of your questions will be answered by the time you finish reading this article.

Does a dog’s tail hair grow back?

Yes, a dog’s tail hair can grow back under the right conditions. Your dog’s ability to regrow hair on its tail depends on why hair loss occurred in the first place. Let’s look at some of the reasons for hair loss on your dog’s tail and how it can be treated.

Chewing The Tail Like a Bone

If your dog is biting the hair off of its tail, this could be for several reasons. The canine may be trying to rid itself of itchy fleas or ticks that are moving around the area. It may also be dealing with intestinal worms that are irritating the anal area. Once these underlying issues have been identified, you can get proper treatment for the dog.

Your vet may use antibiotic treatments or other medication to help rid your dog of infestations. There are natural home remedies you can use to rid your dog of fleas and ticks. Regular dish soap is an economical option to shampoo away fleas. After your dog is free of painful ticks or itchy tapeworms, it will stop chewing the hair on its tail. Once the tail heals, the hair should grow back over time.

Severe anxiety may cause your dog to treat its tail like a piece of chewing gum. One of the main causes of anxiety in dogs is being left alone for a very long period of time. It is also cruel to leave them in constrictive quarters most of the time. Dogs need some type of companionship –  humans or other dogs. When a pup doesn’t have another fun mammal to focus on, it may become agitated and draw too much attention to the tail.

Dogs are very emotional animals and are capable of experiencing trauma. If your dog is exhibiting signs of anxiety, please do not let this go. Get your dog help from your vet, who may prescribe psychiatric drugs, if needed. Once your dog’s emotional needs are under control, there will be no need to bite the tail. This will give it time to heal and regrow tail hair.

Skin Disorder

If your dog’s skin is flaky, red, or inflamed, it may be experiencing an overproduction of sebum.  This condition is called seborrheic dermatitis.Changing your dog’s diet or adding fatty acid supplements to its food may help your pet repair the skin condition. 

How long does it take for a dog’s tail hair to grow back?

There is no set time that a dog’s tail hair will grow back. You may see some new growth in a week or two. Different breeds grow hair back at different rates. The hair growth stage may be as short as one month or as long as a year.

Are there ways I can make my dog’s tail hair grow back faster?

Making sure your pup has a good diet is one of the best ways to help its hair grow back faster, including the hair on its tail.

Give your dog healthy fats such as omega-3 and omega-6. These supplements reduce skin inflammation and help replace the oils lost from scratching or biting. As you start to see hair growing back on the tail, check if your dog is comfortable enough to let you brush it very gently. Remember, you want to avoid touching the actual tail itself, but try to brush the tail hair as lightly as you can.

Use a simple homemade concoction of  vinegar and water to spray on your dog after a bath. This homemade spray will kill any bacteria on your dog’s tail or main body.

Is it bad to shave a dog’s tail hair?

It depends on what you mean when you say “shave” your dog’s tail hair. Do you want to shave it completely bald? If the answer is yes, you should probably avoid that. Remember, your dog’s tail is an extension of its anus. Your dog’s spine extends all the way to its tail. The tail is quite sensitive, so you should avoid touching it unless you absolutely have to. While dogs might be man’s best friend, they still have boundaries that humans should respect.

However, it is perfectly acceptable to TRIM or carefully brush your dog’s tail hair. Some breeds may have bushier tails compared to others. If that bushy hair on its tail is getting out of control, carefully trim it yourself, brush out any debris, or take your fur baby to a professional groomer. 

Some dogs shouldn’t have ANY part of their body shaved – especially the tail. Certain breeds, like Border Collies ,are outside worker dogs that rely on their heavy fur coat to work outside. When their hair is shaved off, it might not grow back properly again. 

It is not a good idea to mess around with your dog’s tail unless it is an emergency. For example, if your dog’s tail is stuck in something ( Dogs are always getting into mischief) –  sure, pull it out. Do you notice some disgusting ticks implanted on your dog’s tail? Try to carefully remove the tick from it with tweezers, if possible.

Be prepared that your otherwise well-mannered pup can become aggressive or scared if you try to handle its tail.  Moving an electric shaver or other sharp object over your dog’s tail may frighten it. If you don’t know what you are doing, you could possibly knick your dog’s tail in an attempt to shave it. 

Author

I created and currently manage Pet Dog Owner, the website you can go to when you have questions about your dog's behavior. It is my hope that you find Pet Dog Owner to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your dog. You can read more about me and my website here.