VCA Animal Hospitals

Explanations for your dog's weird behaviors

Published: Nov 16, 2012

Back to News

Let's face it, sometimes dogs can be downright weird. But as any canine owner knows, a dog's quirks are part of what makes him so lovable. Still, there may be some particular behaviors that leave you scratching your head, so here are some explanations for some of the strange stuff you may see your canine doing.

Why does my dog run around the house like a maniac?
It's not uncommon for dogs, especially puppies, to take off running around the house seemingly at random. In some cases, it may be that your dog is letting out some pent up energy. If this seems to be the explanation, you might want to help him find a healthier way to move his legs. Perhaps you should take him for an extra walk at some point during the day, or bring him to a safe, enclosed area where he can run until his heart's content. If your dog exhibits this behavior whenever you get home from a long period out of the house, it may be a sign that he is suffering from separation anxiety in dogs. If so, you'll need to find ways to calm him while you are away through training.

Why does my dog chase his tail?
There's no shortage of funny videos online that show dogs chasing their tails, but what is the cause behind this behavior? As with the question above, it may be a sign of boredom. One way to treat this issue is to give him some toys that keep him entertained. There are some chew toys that can even help treat dental disease in dogs while stimulating the brain and keeping the body busy.

It may also be that your canine enjoys the reaction he gets from you when he chases his tail. As long as he seems to be enjoying the activity and isn't injuring himself, there's no reason to discourage him from a little spin session.

Why does my dog chew his paws?
If you notice your canine obsessively chewing on his paw, it may be that he's suffering from hot spots in dogs. This is typically a sign of anxiety, and can lead to dangerous health problems if left untreated. If you are worried that this is an issue for your canine, bring him to a vet hospital for proper treatment as soon as possible.

Why does my dog make weird inhaling noises?
Have you ever noticed your dog making a sort of honking, gasping noise? It may be alarming, but this is a common issue known as reverse sneezing in dogs. While this bizarre behavior can be caused by something as harmless as excitement or drinking water too quickly, if it becomes a common occurrence and is troubling to you, head to a vet clinic. Your pet may be suffering from allergies in dogs or some other ailment that causes reverse sneezes.


General Practice

We have over 540 animal hospitals in 41 states that are staffed by more than 2,000 fully qualified, dedicated and compassionate veterinarians, with more than 200 being board-certified specialists. The nationwide VCA family of general practice hospitals give your pet the very best in medical care, providing a full range of general medical and surgical services as well as specialized treatments*: Wellness, Spay/neuter, Advanced diagnostic services (MRI/CT Scan), Internal medicine, Oncology, Ophthalmology, Dermatology, Cardiology, Neurology, Boarding, Grooming

*services may vary by location.

Our family of pet hospitals stands out by delivering the greatest resources in order provide the highest quality care available for your pets. By maintaining the highest standards of pet health care available anywhere, we emphasize prevention as well as healing. We provide continuing education programs to our doctors and staff and promote the open exchange of professional knowledge and expertise. And finally, we have established a consistent program of procedures and techniques, proven to be the most effective in keeping pets healthy.

Find a VCA General Care Animal Hospital near you:


See all VCA Animal Hospitals >


Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

We have twenty-eight specialty hospitals across the US so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology and surgery.

Find a VCA Specialty Care Animal Hospital near you:


See all VCA Animal Hospitals >


Emergency Care

In case of emergency, please call us immediately. If it is after hours, check with a local animal hospital emergency clinic.