Dog Health Misc.

Why Do Dogs Chase Their Tails?

I was asked an interesting question recently, and decided it would make a great topic for a health article! A friend of a friend told me about a family dog and their zany behavior quirks, one of which was tail chasing. After describing this unique canine to me, she asked me “Why do dogs chase their tails, anyway?”

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The short answer came right to mind, but as I spoke I realized that there were deeper issues that needed to be addressed as well. Dogs chase their tails for a few reasons, and not all of them are cute or benign!

Why Do Dogs Chase Their Tails?

We have all seen those internet videos, memes, and cartoons of a dog spinning in circles, trying to catch their tail. It can be really funny to see! All that drive, and yet, even if successful all the dog wins is…a mouth full of tail!

Let’s talk about tail chasing seriously, though! Yes, it can be funny, but it can also be a problem that gets bigger if it isn’t caught in time.  Let’s answer the initial question first.

Why do dogs chase their tails? Because it is fun!

Just like a toddler spinning in circles until they fall over, some dogs just get a kick out of spinning around trying to get their mouth on their tail.

For most tail chasers, this kind of activity will peak in their early puppyhood, and tail off (sorry, couldn’t resist) as they get older.

When a dog chases their tail, their brain releases endorphins. This endorphin rush is a pleasant reinforcement of the behavior.

You might be interested in reading about Dog Depression 

So, if you dog enjoys chasing their tail, chances are they will continue to do the activity as long as they get that endorphin rush. For most dogs, this won’t be a problem, just a funny, quirky behavior you can leverage in YouTube videos and Facebook posts!

Some Breeds Are Known For Tail Chasing

Any dog can become a tail chaser…even those with nubbins instead of tails! But some breeds are definitely known for this behavior.

In general, terriers and German Shepherds are most associated with tail chasing. But among the terriers, I’ve heard of a lot of Jack Russell and Bull terriers who exhibit this behavior.

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It is a common behavior to see in dogs with a strong prey drive, so if you have a breed known for that trait, you may see some tail chasing as well!

When Tail Chasing Is a Problem

For most dogs, tail chasing will remain a fun and innocent activity that blows off some steam and entertains us dog parents! But if you have a tail chaser, it is important to monitor the activity for signs of medical problems.

Tail chasing can be a warning that there is something wrong with your dog. If you dog is NOT a known tail chaser, and suddenly starts doing it, you should probably take a look at their rear and consider a consult with your vet. Especially for adult and senior dogs, a sudden change in behavior is always a sign to look deeper into the problem.

Chewing On Tail or Around Base

Sometimes, I have had clients who describe a tail chasing behavior that isn’t really tail chasing.

If your dog is walking in circles trying to chew or lick at their rear, this is not likely tail chasing! It is a sign that something itches or hurts. Pay attention to where they are focused on chewing/licking. Is it their rear legs? The base of their tail? Or are they trying to lick their anus (gross, but they do it!)?

Anal Gland Problems

One of the first things to check when a dog starts suddenly focusing on their rear or anus are their anal glands.

These scent glands are located in a ring of muscle around the opening of the anus. Ideally, these scent glands will naturally empty themselves when your dog poops. But many dogs develop problems with emptying these glands, and need to have them expressed manually by a groomer or veterinarian.

The primary sign that a dog is having trouble with their anal glands is a desire to lick their anus, or scoot their rear on the floor indicating their discomfort. Sometimes the act of licking can look like tail chasing. You may also notice a strange, fishy-smell around your dog.

Once you know the smell of anal glands, you likely won’t forget it!

If you notice these signs, have your veterinarian do an anal gland expression. Don’t have a groomer do it, because if there is a problem your vet needs to see the discharge to help diagnose it.

Anal gland problems are not something you should ignore. It can take a dog a few hours to rub their rear completely raw. Also, an impacted anal gland can rupture, causing a lot of pain and bleeding.

If this happens, then your dog will need to have their glands infused with an antibiotic ointment by a vet, and will need pain medication and oral antibiotics. It can get expensive fast!


Another common problem that clients have described as tail chasing but isn’t are issues with skin around the rear and at the base of the tail.

If your dog is walking around trying to chew or lick these areas, you may notice that the skin is red, swollen, and/or bleeding. You may also see a loss of fur in that area.

The absolutely most common reason to have skin problems around the rear legs and at the base of the tails is an allergic reaction…to fleas. I could write an entire post about flea issues, but suffice it to say that they are the number one allergy we see in veterinary medicine by far.

FAD (Flea Allergy Dermatitis) is an allergy to flea bites or to the flea dirt (aka flea poop) that causes the skin to itch and burn.

While you can find signs of FAD anywhere on the body where fleas are present, it is not uncommon to have more fleas located around the rear of the dog than on the front. Fleas often avoid the areas of the dog that are easily scratched!

If you are not using a medicinal flea preventative, then you really need to be on top of your flea patrol. Use flea combs frequently, and look for the flea dirt, not the fleas themselves! By the time you are combing off live fleas, you have a massive infestation.

Flea dirt will be the first sign of flea activity. If you see it, treat ASAP! If your dog develops a skin infection from the fleas, you will spend a lot of money on antibiotics and veterinary care.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Some dogs, just like humans, can develop compulsive or OCD-like behaviors. Tail chasing can become a behavior problem in some dogs.

Remember, we talked above about how tail chasing is fun? It can release endorphins that create a sensation of pleasure in the dog’s brain. In some (usually more driven or intense) dogs, the tail chasing can become secondary to getting that endorphin release.

If you have a dog who obsessively chases their tail, non-stop, to the point of exhaustion, then you may have a dog with a compulsive or OCD behavior problem. Just like obsessive lickers, chewers and other damaging behaviors, a compulsive tail chaser needs to be evaluated by your vet.

Sometimes, using an over the counter calming aid or pheromone product can reduce the behavior. But for some dogs, their OCD can be severe enough that they need prescription medications. Your vet and/or a professional behaviorist can help you solve this problem!


Dog’s chase their tails mostly because it is fun!

In most dogs, the behavior is a short-term interest that declines as they get older. For other dogs, the problem can be a sign of a medical problem, like FAD or impacted anal glands. In the worst cases, it can also be a sign of a compulsive behavior problem. Always consult with your vet if you have questions about your dog.

Be sure to share your pictures and videos of tail chasing in the comments section!

Why Do Dogs Chase Their Own Tails?
This dog is pretty smug about chasing his own tail?

Author Biography

Jen Clifford has a B.A. in Biology from Reed College. She was a field biologist for several years, and then spent 10 years working in veterinary medicine as a receptionist and technician.  Jen is currently a freelance writer living in the Pacific Northwest with her tribe of pets. She is a passionate animal lover who is dedicated to helping people find solutions to their pet-related challenges.

To read more of Jen’s work, check out her website:

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How to Trim Your Dog’s Nails

Nail trims. Words that strike fear into many owners (and dogs)! Why does it have to be so hard? It doesn’t.  In this article, we will go over how to trim your dog’s nails, and some other helpful hints for getting this chore taken care of.

Nail trims may not be fun, but they don’t have to be hard. With the right preparation and some training, most dogs can have their nails trimmed at home!

Quick Lesson in Nail Anatomy

Your dog’s nails may be clear, white, black or a combination of colors. If your dog’s nails are clear or white, you should be able to see a pinkish core that goes partway down the nail towards the tip. This is the “quick,” the living part of the nail that can be accidentally cut when doing nail trims.

The quick is a blood vessel. If you hit the quick, your dog may get upset (it hurts a bit) and may start to bleed. This is probably one of the primary reasons why people pay groomers and vets to do nail trims!

If your dog has black nails, avoiding the quick is harder, but not impossible. You just want to cut less at a time and go slower.

You Might be Interested In:  How to Remove Plaque From Your Dog’s Teeth

For all nails, if you look at the nail as you cut it, you should see a circle impression in the tip of the nail as you get closer to the quick. Stop when you see it!

What Equipment is Needed to Trim Dog Nails

You don’t need a lot of fancy gear to do a nail trim. Find a pair of nail clippers that fit comfortably in your hands. There are many different kinds, like guillotine style and scissor types. I find that it is easiest to use smaller standard clippers, since I have small hands, but just pick a pair that you like.

Make sure you have some styptic powder handy, like QuikStop. Just in case you trim too closely to the quick, you can use this powder to stop the bleeding quickly. You can also use cornstarch, if you don’t have any styptic powder handy, but it can take a lot of it to stop bleeding.

You will also need some treats to give your dog while you are doing the trim! You can even spread peanut butter on a toy to distract then while you trim!

In summary, you will need:

  • Pair of comfortable dog nail clippers
  • Styptic powder
  • Treat or other distraction/reward for your dog

Nail Trim Basics

The easiest way to learn how to do a nail trim is to have your groomer or vet do a demonstration. A groomer or vet can point out any special challenges your dog’s nails may present.

Puppy Nail Trims

It is much easier to start teaching your dog when they are a puppy that nail trims are no big deal.

The best way to start is to give your puppy a weekly nail trim. Make it fun! Give lots of treats, take a break after each paw, and make sure your puppy is having a good time. This positive experience will help you when they need proper nail trims as adults.

Puppy nails grow quickly, and have sharp little tips on them that can really hurt! All you have to do is lift the paw and carefully snip that sharp tip off. You are not actually trying to cut back the whole nail, just the tip.

Do this weekly, and your puppy will have a solid start in learning to accept nail trims!

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Adult Dog Nail Trims

You can position your dog in any way that they are comfortable and that gives you access to their nails. This is much easier if you can see the paw too! I like to trim my dog’s nails when they are sleepy.  If they are lying on their side, it is very easy to see the nails, but do whatever works for your dog.

Start by seeing if you can locate the quick. If you can see it, make a note in your mind so you don’t cut too closely.

Take the clippers and begin by taking a little off the end of the nail. You can do this at an angle, so the center of the nail is getting trimmed a bit less. This will look uneven, but on your next cut angle in from a different side. If you keep doing this all around the edges, taking a little more nail off each time, you will be left with a fairly rounded nail end.

How Far to Trim a Dog’s Nails

When you start to see a circle impression in the center of the cut nail, you are close to the quick. This is a good place to stop. It is always better to leave the nails a little longer than risk cutting the quick. That could scare your dog and make the next nail trim harder.

What if You Cut the Quick?

This happens to everyone at some point. Most of the time, you just nick the quick and you start to see some bleeding. Break out the styptic powder and the bleeding will be finished in no time!

I use a moist cotton tipped applicator to do this. Just dip it in the powder and apply the applicator to the bleeding bit of nail with some pressure. Hold it there for a minute, and be sure the powder gets packed into the bleeding area.

Let up the pressure and take a look. If it is still bleeding, apply some more powder and pressure. Do this until the bleeding has stopped. Leave the powder on the nail, and it shouldn’t start back up.

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How Often Should a Dog’s Nails Be Trimmed?

It depends. Dogs who are active or walk a lot on concrete may only need a few nail trims a year, while other dogs may need them every month. I would say every 3 to 6 weeks is average.

It is better to do frequent, easy nail trims. If you allow your dog’s nails to get really long, they could end up getting a nail caught on something and tear it off. Also, the quick can grow very long, making it hard to do nail trims.

I hope this article has explained the basics of doing a doggy nail trim for you! You can also use a dremel to file the nail down, or even just on the edges after a clipped nail trim. Just go slow, take a little off at a time, and stop before you hit the quick. It is that easy!


Jen Clifford has a B.A. in Biology from Reed College. She was a field biologist for several years, and then spent 10 years working in veterinary medicine as a receptionist and technician.  Jen is currently a freelance writer living in the Pacific Northwest with her tribe of pets. She is a passionate animal lover who is dedicated to helping people find solutions to their pet-related challenges.

You can find more of her work at her website

Thank you for taking the time to read this post!  I hope you were able to get some useful insight into how to trim your dog’s nails.  Make sure to come back when you need more dog health information.

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Remove Plaque From Your Dog’s Teeth

The only person who needs to know how to remove plaque from your dog’s teeth is the veterinarian.  The best thing you can do for your dog is learn how to remove plaque from your dog’s teeth.  Plaque will form to some degree and the dog’s teeth may darken with age; however, you can avoid a lot of medical and financial hardship just by starting a regular dental routine with your dog.

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My Grandfather Didn’t Worry About How to Remove Plaque From His Dog’s Teeth!

That’s probably true, but dogs have become part of the family.  There  are still working and hunting dogs that…well….work and hunt.  These days, dogs are the babies of the family and we are the parents.  We’re much more knowledgeable than we’ve ever been and we know what plaque can do to the teeth and gums. 

Dogs are also living longer than ever before. Owners are willing to put a lot of money into veterinarian interventions including surgery, cancer treatment, and oral health issues.  It’s our responsibility to take care of our dogs. 

Why Does it Cost so Much?

Dental procedures for dogs includes professional teeth cleaning, x-rays, and extractions.  If your dog has never had surgery before, the veterinarian may perform pre-screening tests. These tests will help determine whether it’s safe for your dog to undergo anesthesia.  

Dentistry without anesthesia is risky and can be painful for the dog. In order for the dog to be awake for the procedure, they would have to be remarkably calm.

Factor in the wages of the veterinarian, the lab costs for pre-screening, x-rays, anesthesia, and the supplies used, and you’ve got a hefty bill. 

ADVICE:  Shop around for the best price. Not all veterinarian or dog dentistry clinics charge the same amount. If you have pet insurance, they will likely cover supplies, laboratory costs associated with pre-screening, and x-rays.

Are you interested in reading 9 Clever Ways to Afford Dog Tooth Extraction Costs?  Just click the link. 

What Can I Do At Home to Remove Plaque From a Dog’s Teeth?

At home, you can make sure your dog has a healthy diet with either high-grade kibble, or a diet that allows for bone chewing and dental dog treats.

In addition, there are really nice products out there designed to help you remove plaque from  your dog’s teeth. It’s important to only use toothpaste formulated for dogs. Use a soft toothbrush in a size appropriate for the dog. 

Altogether, it’s a good combination of healthy food, appropriate chew toys, and at-home dental care that make the biggest difference in your dog’s overall dental health.

Dog Dental Care – Food Options 

Dog food comes in many varieties and takes into account your dog’s needs. There are dog food products that cover everything from allergies to cancer. 

The following is a list of some of the best dog food formulated specifically for dental health.  I’ve created a series of links to the most popular dog food for dental care.

These are affiliate links, which means if you click on one, I will be compensated, but you won’t be charged for anything unless you decide to shop online.

Hill’s Science Diet Adult Oral Care

Hill’s Science Diet Adult Oral Care Dog Food

I like Hill’s Science Diet for a few reasons. First, they have the stamp of approval from the Veterinary Oral Health Council.  The food has a 5 1/2 star rating on Amazon, and people claim it actually helps remove dog plaque from your dog’s teeth. 

TruDog Real Meat Organic Meat Freeze-Dried

TruDog Real Meat Organic Meat Freeze Dried

TruDog has a unique spin on the raw meat craze….freeze dried meat.  The specific formula in the link isn’t designed specifically for dog oral care, but the food is just crunchy enough to scrub plaque from your dog’s teeth.  It’s organic, hypoallergenic, and doesn’t have additives or preservatives.  I also like the slick, easy-to-open packaging. 

Purina DentaLife Chews for Dogs

Purina DentaLife Chews for Dogs

I’ve given these to my dogs and they seem to like the taste. These particular chews are more rubbery than some of the other chews available. It seems to keep them chewing longer and the longer they chew, the more plaque they’ll be able to break down.

Pedigree Dentastix Fresh Treats for Dogs

Pedigree Dentastix Fresh Treats for Dogs

These are the house favorite! I particularly like the green treats because they smell much better to me.  The dogs really love them and I can visibly see that it has made a difference in their teeth.  

Get Naked Grain Free Dog Dental Care

Get Naked Grain Free Dog Dental Care 

These are fantastic for dogs and come in all sizes. Get Naked products provide added vitamins and minerals. They are also fortified with Omega 3 and 6. The calorie count is a little higher than some of the other products on the market, but not significantly higher.

I always have to balance how many dental treats I hand out in a day to avoid excess calories.  My dogs could use a little weight loss, so it’s important for me to look at the packaging to see how many calories are in one dog treat. 

On average, dogs need about 800 calories per day. The formula is based on 25 calories per pound in order for your dog to maintain weight. If, like mine, your dog is already overweight, you’ll want to look for low-calorie and grain-free dental treat options.

Brushing Stick for Dog Dental Care.

Dog Pet Brushing Stick

This toy is designed to last a long time. It helps remove plaque from your dog’s teeth and is a good gum massager. The thing I like best about this product is that it’s made of food grade materials and it has been approved by the FDA.


Nylabone Durachew Textured Bone for a Large Dog 

I’ve never tried these for my dog but I can easily see the benefits. In addition to satisfying your dog’s need to chew, this synthetic chew toy is designed to last a long time. Unlike a real bone, this won’t hurt your dog’s teeth. They come in different flavors and a variety of sizes. 

The variations in texture design are said to help control plaque and tartar buildup on your dog’s teeth. 

PetKare Pet Finger Toothbrushes

These are a fantastic way to reduce plaque from your dog’s teeth. These reusable finger tooth brushes help you to get around the teeth and gums. A standard toothbrush is a lot harder to maneuver inside a dog’s mouth. In addition, no calories!

Remember to use toothpaste formulated for dogs. Toothpaste made for us mere mortals is dangerous to dogs if they swallow it.  And they will. 

Vets Best Complete Enzymatic Dental Care Kit

I like the idea of including enzymes, Neem Oil, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Baking Soda and Aloe in the formula. The packaging is minimal and the product is clearly designed to help remove plaque from your dog’s mouth.  This kit comes with a triple-headed toothbrush and toothpaste gel.

Non Surgical Ways to Reduce and Remove Plaque From Your Dog’s Teeth

Plaque Off Powder

This is a great  product if you have the grit to use it regularly over the long haul. This is a little more action oriented than simply giving your dog specially formulated oral health food.

Plaque Off Powder is 100% natural and is made from a type of seaweed.  It’s an interesting product that people claim works well at loosening tartar. However, you’re still going to have to manually brush their teeth, or continue feeding them oral health dog food formulas. 

Stainless Steel Tooth Scaler for Dogs and Cats

This is a tricky one. Scaling your own dog’s teeth is risky if you don’t know what you’re doing. Even the most docile dog can move suddenly or become startled. One wrong move and that scaler could wind up in your dog’s gums. 

*Personally, I wouldn’t try scaling my dog’s teeth at home. I don’t know how to hold the scaler properly, where to start, or how much pressure to put. A trained person will be able to get tartar safely away from the gumline and off the teeth.  If I tried it, I’m sure I would slip and end up cutting the gums.

Periodontal Disease 

Once plaque forms, it doesn’t easily get brushed away.  One layer of plaque becomes two layers, and so on. Layers of plaque on your dog’s teeth harden into what is known as tartar. The gritty surface of tartar provides the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. An abscess will form if the bacteria isn’t treated. 

Periodontal disease is more likely in older dogs with years of plaque build-up.  You will notice tartar on your dog’s teeth by the dark brown staining. The stain typically starts at the gum line and widens over the teeth.

The problem here is that as the tartar widens and expands, it pushes the gumline out of the way.  The part exposed has no enamel and is extremely sensitive. The more the gum line recedes, the greater risk of periodontal disease.

This is What Happens When You Don’t Remove Plaque From Your Dog’s Teeth!

Gum Disease in dogs doesn’t have any outright symptoms to watch for. The best idea is to prevent plaque build-up with regular brushing and occasional professional cleanings.  However, if dogs develops gum disease it can quickly move from an abscess, to gum erosion.

As the gums wear away, the tooth will become loose. Teeth will need to be extracted. The worst case scenario would be tooth and bone loss.

Signs of Periodontal Disease in Dogs

Dogs in chronic pain will typically hide it to avoid appearing weak to their pack. However, you might pick up on some subtle clues.  Dogs might favor one side of the mouth while eating. Bad breath is common in dogs, but this will be absolutely foul. You might notice blood in the saliva as well.

In severe cases, your dog might not want to eat at all and he might pull his head away if you try to touch him.

Complications of Gum Disease

There are four stages to periodontal disease in dogs.  In the first stage, gingivitis develops. Gingivitis in dogs results in red, swollen gums that are painful for the dog.  This stage is reversible if the dog’s teeth are treated.

In the next two stages, the redness and swelling of the gums gets worse.The gums might bleed easily.  

The last stage of periodontal disease is where the veterinarian sees that bone loss has occurred. At this point the gums will hurt a lot. Teeth might be loose as well.  

At the end of the day…

Brushing your dog’s teeth, feeding them dental treats and giving them appropriate toys to chew on still doesn’t get it all.

I suggest making a veterinarian appointment now while the tartar is minimal. The longer you wait the greater chance of infection, abscess, and the development of periodontal disease.

Expenses are directly related to the type of procedures performed. If your dog is healthy and just needs an uncomplicated teeth cleaning, you’re going to save money. Keeping your dog’s teeth clean and free from tartar will avoid expensive extractions in the future.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post.  I hope you were able to pick up some good ideas for removing plaque from your dog’s teeth. Of course, the best time to start is when they’re puppies, but it’s never too late!

If you have any comments or questions, feel free to send them to me in the form below.  Likewise, you can always email me directly at:

Why Your Dog Needs TruDog Dental Spray

Stinky dog breath is no fun! It is no joke either. Dental disease is common in dogs and can lead to other health problems.  Products like TruDog Dental Spray help cover the problem, but it’s always a good idea to bring your dog to the veterinarian for regular dental checkups. 

This post contains affiliate links.
Please read my privacy policy and disclaimer.

Having regular dental cleanings done on your dog’s mouth is the ideal way to remove the plaque and tartar that cause bad breath. But dental cleanings are expensive!

Luckily, there are things you can do at home that will reduce the bacteria that cause gum disease and freshen your dog’s breath.

In this post, we will feature some dental care products made by a great company, TruDog. All of these products are completely holistic and all natural and they are inexpensive as well.

These easy to apply home care products include TruDog Dental Spray, Dental Chews and Dental Gel. Fresh doggy breath is just a few minutes away!

Spray Me TruDog Dental Spray

This is our favorite of the TruDog dental products, and it is so easy to use you will wonder why you ever waited!

How it Works

The spray is formulated specifically with all natural ingredients that prevent dental disease, reduce plaque accumulation and soften tartar. This both prevents the bacteria that causes bad breath and makes it easier for the tartar to be removed when your dog eats food and chews on treats.

The ingredients include:

Grape Seed Extract

This extract prevents dental plaque from forming, and reduces the bacteria that leads to gum disease.

Grapefruit Seed Extract

This extract has multiple benefits to your dog. Not only is it high in vitamins C and E, but it also acts as a detoxifier and immune system enhancer. In the mouth, grapefruit seed extract reduces inflammation of your dog’s gums.

Peppermint Oil

It is no surprise to find this oil in a dental product! Peppermint oil is a powerful antiseptic that kills oral bacteria and freshens the breath. It also contains vitamins A and C along with omega 3 fatty acids.

Rosemary Oil

Helps prevent plaque from sticking to the teeth, and contains enzymes that freshens the breath.

Neem Seed Oil

This is a powerhouse oil! Not only does it have antibacterial properties, it also helps prevent bacteria from adhering to the teeth. It can reduce and even in some cases reverse dental disease! It is a natural breath freshener as well.

Thyme Oil

This oil can reduce the bacteria that cause dental disease and gingivitis. Its natural antimicrobial properties will help prevent tooth decay and the eventual loss of teeth from dental disease.

How to use TruDog Dental Spray

All you have to do is spray it into your dog’s mouth once or twice a day. That’s it!

It is especially effective to use at bedtime, where it can work all night while your dog sleeps.

When used as directed, the TruDog Dental Spray works systematically with your dog’s saliva to coat the teeth and gums. There is no need to apply it directly to the teeth; your dog does all the work for you!

You should notice the breath freshening effects right away, and within 3-8 weeks you will see less tartar on your dog’s teeth.

Clean Me Dental Chews

TruDog makes dental chews in two sizes, small dog (5-25 pounds) and large dog (25 and up).

How It Works

Dental chews work in two ways.

First, they work by scraping plaque and tartar off your dog’s teeth as they chew on them. The chews are designed to maximize the amount of tooth surface they come into contact with, leading to more mechanical action. This is basically similar to brushing your dog’s teeth.

The chews also contain ingredients that freshen the breath and eliminate the volatile sulfur compounds that cause bad breath.

How to Use

Give 1 chew once a day to promote fresh breath.

Chews work best when used with other oral care products. While they freshen the breath and remove plaque and tartar, they do not destroy the bacteria that cause dental disease. Using with a product (like TruDog Dental Spray or Gel) that softens tartar and kills bacteria will make the chews more effective.

Gel Me Doggy Dental Gel

This oral gel is a great way to deliver a powerful and effective breath freshener and bacteria fighter right to the source of the problem- Your dog’s teeth and gums!

How it Works

Like the TruDog Dental Spray, this product controls plaque and tartar and helps reduce the bacteria that cause dental disease. It contains the same ingredients as the dental spray (see above). Once applied to your dog’s gums, it bonds synergistically with your dog’s saliva and is distributed throughout your dog’s mouth.

It naturally reduces plaque, softens tartar and freshens your dog’s mouth. No more stinky breath!

How to Use

This is a bit more work than the dental spray, but it isn’t hard to apply.

Simply put the correct dose of gel on your finger or on a piece of gauze. Rub the gel along the gum line of your dog’s teeth, upper and lower. You can use it once a day as a preventative, or twice a day if there is a lot of tartar build-up.

Why We Love TruDog!

While TruDog is an affiliate of ours, we work with them because we like and trust their products. We love the high quality of their ingredients and that they are holistic and 100% all natural!

TruDog has excellent customer service, so if you ever have a question you know you can reach out to them for help.

They get top reviews from users, and many holistic veterinarians recommend their products highly.

Their products are backed with a 60 day money back guarantee! So there is no danger in ordering from them. If you are not happy with your purchase, just contact them within 60 days for a full refund.

If you are looking for easy to apply dental products for dogs, check out TruDogs website!

We are big fans of the TruDog Dental Spray, but their Dental Chews and Doggy Dental Gel are also great products that will help your dog‘s oral health. These products are inexpensive and will save you money. 

Before you go!

There’s a lot of information here to digest, so while you’re doing that why not take a minute to Tweet?  I hope you come back soon. You’re not going to want to miss all of the great things I have planned and the informative posts still to come.

Comments or questions?  Feel free to fill in the form below.  You can always email me directly at:


Jen Clifford has a B.A. in Biology from Reed College. She was a field biologist for several years and then spent 10 years working in veterinary medicine as a receptionist and technician.  Jen is currently a freelance writer living in the Pacific Northwest with her tribe of pets. She is a passionate animal lover who is dedicated to helping people find solutions to their pet-related challenges. You can find more of her work on her website

Why is my Dog’s Stomach Making Noises?

Let’s talk tummies! One question that we get a lot is “why is my dog’s stomach making noises?” There can be a lot of reasons for a noisy belly, and the great news is that most of the time, the noises are normal!

That said, sometimes belly sounds can be the first sign that there is a bigger problem brewing.

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Please read my privacy and disclosure policy 

In this post, we will talk about these sounds, and when you should be concerned.

Dog’s Stomach Making Noises

Most of the time, a rumble coming from your dog’s stomach is a normal part of the digestion process.

Basic Digestion

The act of digestion is pretty straightforward. Food gets swallowed, and enters the stomach.

The stomach acids and enzymes break down the food chemically while the stomach contracts, mixing the food around until it is a slurry of digested material and fluids.

From there, this mixture is moved into the small intestine. That is where the dog’s body is able to absorb the energy from the food and move it into the bloodstream.

What’s left of this slurry then heads for the large intestine, where as much water as possible is reclaimed. The remaining material is compacted into a solid and then stored until it is pooped out.

Digestion takes 6 hours to 2 Days

It can take anywhere from 6 hours up to a couple of days for a meal to be digested, from eating to pooping. 10 hours is about average for most dogs. This range is dependent on a few things.

Older dogs digest their food slower, as the intestinal tract starts to slow down. Puppies, on the other hand, seem to do nothing but eat and poop!

Different kinds of food will be digested at different rates. Wet foods may be digested in as little as 5 or 6 hours, while dry foods may take up to 10 hours. Raw meats and vegetables may take even longer.

Normal Digestion Noises

Digestion is a noisy process. There are a lot of different muscles involved in moving the food through the digestive tract. The stomach itself is a giant muscle that both mixes the food and pushes it into the top of the small intestine.

Often, you hear sounds when your dog is hungry, or because they have just eaten their meal.

Typical Causes of Stomach Noise 

When your dog is hungry, their body anticipates the upcoming meal, just like our bodies do when we are hungry.

The stomach starts to make the digestive juices and begins to contract in preparation. This makes those gurgling sounds so familiar to hungry folks everywhere!

After your dog has eaten, you are hearing the result of this digestive muscle activity.

The sounds are made by the liquid slurry of food and digestive juices being squeezed from the stomach into the intestines, or the sound being made as this slurry is moved through the intestines.


Another reason for a dog’s stomach making noise is flatulence. In this case, the noise is actually originating in the small intestine.

There are many foods that ferment naturally in the small intestine, producing gas that also passes down the digestive tract. A few hours after a meal, you may hear the sounds of this gas as it moves through the small and large intestines.

If you dog has problems with excessive gas production (they fart a lot), you should examine the ingredient list of their diet.

Beet pulp, beans, peas and soy products are all associated with fermentation in the small intestine. If your dog is very gassy, these ingredients could be adding to the problem.

When to Worry About Stomach Noises

Honestly, if the only thing concerning you is the noises you are hearing, then you can probably relax. As long as your dog is resting comfortably and has no other symptoms, the noises are probably caused by normal digestion.

Even if you don’t usually hear your dog’s stomach making noise, we wouldn’t worry unless there were other signs of a problem as well.

Sometimes a dog just eats faster than usual, or drinks a bunch of water after a meal. Maybe they ate a new treat, or snacked on some grass in the yard. These can alter the sounds your dog’s stomach makes while it digests the food.

Signs of an Upset Stomach

Sometimes your dog’s noisy stomach is accompanied by other symptoms. Keep on eye on things if you notice these signs that your dog’s stomach is upset.

Dog’s Stomach is Painful

This can be a subtle symptom, and some dogs hide their pain really well. Signs that a dog has a painful tummy include pacing, panting, arching their back, and laying their belly flat on a cool surface (like a kitchen floor).

Also, many dogs try to eat grass when their bellies are painful. It is better to prevent them from doing this, as the grass can just make them feel worse.

This kind of pain usually passes within a few hours. If it is accompanied by other symptoms, you may want to make an appointment with your vet.


It is no fun, but dog vomit happens. Most of the time, we have no idea what caused them to vomit. Vomiting can be both a benign process and a sign of a bigger problem.

A single episode of vomiting isn’t usually a big deal. Multiple episodes of vomiting, however, point to a bigger problem. Even then, it just depends.

Examine the vomit, and make a note of what you see in it. Common things to see in dog vomit include partially digested food, grass and other natural materials like twigs, and bile (when they vomit on an empty stomach).

More concerning things you may find in dog vomit include parts of dog toys, remains of treats like rawhide, pig’s ears and cow hooves, or foreign objects like rocks.

Go to the vet or emergency hospital immediately if your dog:

  • Is vomiting blood or a substance that looks like coffee grounds.
  • Is vomiting food and water immediately after eating/drinking (not holding either down).
  • Is retching but is not able to vomit, or is not producing any vomit. This could be a sign of bloat. Emergency care is needed ASAP!


This is one of the more common signs of an upset stomach. Diarrhea can range from a semi-solid stool to a soft stool all the way to a complete liquid. Sometimes a dog will have a normal stool, and then have diarrhea shortly thereafter.

Many folks try and treat diarrhea at home by feeding a bland or homemade diet. Some folks use probiotics as well, or add pumpkin to their dog’s diet.

This problem will usually resolve itself within a few days.

When to Seek a Veterinarian for Diarrhea

Head to the vet if your dog has had diarrhea for more than a few days without any improvement. Also, if they have vomiting and diarrhea together, a vet visit is a good idea.

Take pictures of the vomit and diarrhea to show the vet.

Bring a fresh stool sample with you! The vet might want to test it for parasites or signs of a foodborne pathogen.

It is not uncommon to notice fresh blood in the stool when a dog has a bout of diarrhea. If your dog is producing a stool that looks black and tar-like, seek veterinary care urgently.

Medications that Upset the Stomach

Many medications can cause an upset stomach in dogs.

Oral flea and tick products like Bravecto, Comfortis, Trifexis and NexGard are all associated with vomiting and sometimes diarrhea in dogs.

The most usual side effect of these products is vomiting. Bravecto and Trifexis in particular cause some dogs to vomit. This is usually only problem the first or second time they take the medication. Talk to your vet if your dog always gets an upset stomach after taking these kinds of preventatives.

You can lessen the chances of your dog vomiting by feeding the medication with a small meal.

As long as your pet holds the medication down for an hour, you do not need to redose them! The active ingredient that prevent parasites is already absorbed by then. If they vomit sooner than one hour after, call your vet for advice.

Noisy Can Be Normal!

As you can see, it is pretty normal for your dog’s stomach to make noises. Unless you are seeing other signs that your dog is not feeling well, the noises themselves should not cause you any worry.

As always, if you have concerns about your dog’s stomach noises, flatulence or belching, consult your vet. They are a great source of information, and they can reassure you that all is well!

Author Bio

Jen Clifford has a B.A. in Biology from Reed College. She was a field biologist for several years, and then spent 10 years working in veterinary medicine as a receptionist and technician.  Jen is currently a freelance writer living in the Pacific Northwest with her tribe of pets. She is a passionate animal lover who is dedicated to helping people find solutions to their pet-related challenges. You can find more of her work at her website