My Dog is Itching and Losing Hair at the Base of His Tail

It’s a common behavior of canines to shed hair from the base of their tail. 

However, this behavior could be alarming if you start noticing bald spots on your dog. 

Similarly, dogs can get itchy around the tail area. These characteristics could be indicative of a few possible problems. 

While the exact cause of itching and hair loss should only be determined by a vet, there are a few clues that could be helpful for you to understand your pet’s behavior better.


Reasons This Could Be Happening


One of the main reasons for itching and hair loss is fleas. 

Dr. Judy Morgan, who owns two animal hospitals in New Jersey, reported that fleas are the first thing one must look for if the dog has hair loss on the tail and itching around this area. 

Warm weather is a favorable condition for fleas to grow and in fact, the groin and tail region are preferred sites for fleas. 

Consequently, if you observe the issues mentioned above with your dog in summers, there is a great chance that fleas have started growing around the tail.


The second cause of itching and hair loss in the list is allergies. 

Humans suffer from allergies and are presented with different signs and symptoms like a scratchy throat, itchy eyes, or runny nose; when dogs get allergies, it affects their skin. 

Allergies, regardless of their source, whether pollen, food, or something environmental, trigger hair loss and irritation in the skin, mainly around the tail. 

This can provoke the dog to display aggression and respond with frequent scratching, biting, or rubbing, which can cause skin damage and hair loss from the base of the tail. 

However, not all dogs are prone to allergies; a few are more sensitive than others.


If you observe your pet biting or licking the backside of this body, this could be due to the presence of worms. 

Primarily tapeworms house the anal region of dogs and cause irritation and itchiness around them. This can make the dog constantly rub the affected area and damage the skin. 

The presence of worms affects the overall health of canines as well. It may lead to diarrhea, weight loss, vomiting, and coarse hair. The dog’s behavior can also change. 

For instance, they may be lethargic all the time and less interested in playing. All the symptoms, along with the shedding of tail hair, can indicate the presence of worms.


Just like disturbed hormones lead to many health conditions in humans, endocrine diseases in dogs can also disrupt their health and behavior. 

For instance, hypothyroidism which means overactivity of the thyroid gland, can lead to bilaterally symmetrical alopecia. The term alopecia stands for hair loss. 

The reason behind this is the thyroid gland regulates hair growth. It has been observed that the hair loss starts over the flanks and then spreads backward. 

This condition causes loss of hair and bald areas around the base of the tail. This pattern differs from the hair loss due to allergies and fleas.

Behavioral Problems

Other than a medical issue, another important cause of your dog’s shedding hair around the base of the tail could be a behavioral dilemma. 

As humans get frustrated when they have stress and psychological issues, the same is the case with dogs. 

Dogs can begin to bite themselves or start picking out hair from the base of their tail, which could be related to anxiety or other psychological problems. 

In other words, a dog picking on its hair is equivalent to you biting your nails. This repetitive behavior can lead to microtrauma and itching around the tail.

What To Do About It

Treat The itchy Skin

To treat the discomfort of itchy skin, here are a few hacks that can be helpful for your dog. You can use oatmeal; instead of feeding it to your dog, make a paste with it. 

Cover the bruised or itchy skin with oatmeal paste and wash it off after 15 minutes. 

You can also use primrose oil on the skin around the tail. Offer a light massage on the affected area with oil, which will lessen the discomfort that your dog is experiencing. 

Groom Your Dog

Grooming your dog regularly can prevent the growth of fleas and other infectious agents around the tail region of your dog. 

However, there is a fine line, knowing when and how often you should bathe a dog. Not washing properly can cause the infection to grow and spread easily, leading to more itchy skin. 

On the other hand, bathing too often will irritate the skin. Because of this, you should study your dog’s breed and follow the instructions of grooming a canine properly. 

Always use a gentle, unscented shampoo that does not irritate the skin. 

Feed Your Dog a High-Quality Diet

Last but not least, you should follow to keep your dog’s skin itch-free and reduce the shedding of tail hair to follow a balanced diet. Nutrition is so vital to any kind of breed of canines. 

The overall quality of life and health of your dog highly depends on the food he eats. 

Good nutrition boosts up the immune system and helps to fight against any infections. 

If you are unsure what to feed your dog, ask a vet or an expert. It will protect your dog from developing possible infections that lead to hair loss.


If you observe that your dog is in discomfort, feels itchy around the tail, and has lost hair from the base of the tail, do not ignore these signs. Fortunately, all the problems come with solutions. 

It can certainly be startling, in many cases, dog owners think of the worst-case scenario – disease, and while this is possible, it’s very unlikely. 

It’s very important to treat the issue as soon as it’s noticed, though. The longer you wait, the more discomfort your dog will experience.

Follow the easy steps shared above and prevent your dog from further complications.

Written by Damon W

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