Why Does My Dog Scratch The Carpet? ( 5 Most Common Reasons)

As a dog owner, you’ve probably very often been in a situation to wonder, “why does my dog scratch the carpet”.

It’s completely understandable how this can be not only annoying but also worrisome.

Yes, your carpet will probably get destroyed.

However, the owners usually worry about what’s causing the pets to act like that healthwise.

If your dog has a habit of scratching the carpet, he probably also scratches doors and the furniture inside your home.

This can cause significant material damage, especially when you don’t have the money to fix everything so often.

Well, I’m here to share some of the most probable reasons why your pet is doing it.

Also, I’ll offer some solutions that could help him/her to stop.

Some of the reasons, and therefore solutions, are very simple and aren’t that serious, while some may require visiting a vet.

The most probable reasons why your dog digs in your furniture

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1.He/She noticed/smelled something 

It can be very easy to grab a dog’s attention.

That’s why they become very curious when seeing something unusual.

A small crumb on the floor or even a new smell of the detergent can be the reason that causes scratching.

This isn’t alarming, and it’s a very natural thing for dogs to do, as you’ve probably already noticed when your pet is outside.

This behavior is pure instinct.

Also, it could be signal that your dog wants you to take her/his favorite leash for hiking and go up into the mountains!

2.He/She wants to get comfortable  

 

Do you have a female dog, and you’ve caught yourself wondering, “why do female dogs scratch the carpet?”

Well, you should know that it’s not something that only bitches do.

Both male and female dogs love digging the ground a bit and then making a few circles around that place before lying down.

It’s their equivalent of humans fluffing up the pillow in order to be more comfortable.

This helps them to control the temperature of that spot and adjust it to their preferences.

The exact same reason is behind them digging the carpet, they just want to be cozy.

Also, they almost always do that to mark their territory, which also makes them calm and comfy. 

3.Fear and anxiety

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This is a very frequent cause of your dog digging the floors and carpets.

I’ve noticed that my pet always does it when there’s a storm outside, and he gets really scared.

If you’re worried your doggo is doing it because of the fear, try to calm him/her down by petting him/her. 

While my dog was still a puppy, he used to try and dig the carpet whenever I was about to go outside.

A quick google search on “why do puppies dig at the carpet” gave me the right answer – separation anxiety.

Luckily, I hired a trainer to help me out.

Now my dog doesn’t behave like that when I’m not home, only in rare cases when he gets too scared.

That’s why you should consult a professional if you’re wondering, “why does my dog scratch the carpet when I’m away”. Anxiety is the most probable answer.

4.Obsessive-compulsive behaviour (OCD)

Is your pet trying to repeat a certain behavior such as digging at the carpet or chewing onto something for a long time?

If the dog is being super-concentrated on the action, he/she is probably experiencing the obsessive-compulsive disorder.

You can try and distract your pet by calling him/her and engaging in some other activities.

However, sometimes, the OCD is so bad that the dogs don’t pay attention and continue digging.

In that case, you should visit the vet or a behavior specialist that can help you resolve this habit.

You’ll probably be directed to a specialist or a trainer that will know how to stop the obsessive-compulsive behavior.

5.Illness 

Some physical and mental illnesses can cause destructive behavior that makes the dogs a bit aggressive towards the objects in your home.

The most usual “victims” are your carpet, doors, and furniture.

When your pet feels even the slightest discomfort healthwise, he/she will start behaving weirdly and dig at the carpet. OCD can be considered one of them.

These cases require an immediate visit to the vet because he/she will know how to give the diagnosis.

Other similar concerns 

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  • Why does my dog scratch doors?

Door-scratching usually occurs when your dog wants to go outside to play or pee. Also he/she could be in heat and ready to mate.

It can also happen when there’s someone at the door, and he/she wants to warn you.

Other than that, your pet is probably doing it for the same reasons why he/she digs at the carpet or the furniture.

Keep all of the above in mind before deciding whether or not your dog needs to see a vet.

He/she is most likely to need professional help if the reasons behind that behavior are illness and previously described OCD.

  • Why does my dog scratch the carpet after playing?

Sometimes, dogs get too energetic while playing that they need some time to cool off.

You’ve probably seen your dog being super-happy and excited as soon as going outside.

It may spend some time playing with you or other dogs, but it will keep the same level of energy when coming back home.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

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Well, since your pet has so much energy and excitement, carpet scratching is almost inevitable.

Your pet will sometimes need time to calm down and fall asleep.

You can either be patient or offer an alternative, such as additional playing until he/she gets tired.

  • How to keep my dog from scratching doors?

One of the main reasons why dogs scratch doors is the need to go for a walk.

Therefore, the best thing to do is to take them outside regularly before the scratching begins.

Also, dogs prefer a certain schedule that you set up from the beginning. That’s why you should try and take him/her outside at the same time every day, if possible. 

Why does my dog scratch the carpet and how to keep him/her from doing it?

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If your dog scratching the carpet really annoys you or worries you, there are some ways that you can stop him/her from doing it.

  • Redirecting attention

As soon as you notice your dog digging at the carpet for too long, call his/her name.

Try to occupy the dog’s attention with some other activities.

The best way is to try to pet him/her or begin playing with him/her.

You can also let him/her outside if you have a garden, or take him/her for a walk.

This will help your dog to forget about the carpet and stop scratching it.

  • Calming your dog down

When your dog gets upset and starts digging, the best thing to do is to calm him/her down.

Your pet is most likely scared or anxious for some reason and needs your presence to feel safe.

Talk to him/her with a reassuring voice and slowly pet his/her head.

This will have a calming effect, and the anxiety and fear will disappear.

Also, you can try taking him/her out for a walk since that can be very calming for the dogs.

  • Remove the carpet

Another efficient way of keeping your dog from digging is to remove the carpet for a while.

It can be a great solution to break the habit and make sure your doggo forgets about digging at it.

Be aware, though, he/she may try to scratch the floor, so consult the professional if that happens.

 

  • Give commands

Sometimes, your dog will need some training to stop with the scratching.

Raise your voice a bit and command him/her to stop.

You can also clap your hands loudly, and this will scare him/her enough to stop doing it.

Don’t forget to give your pet a treat when he/she listens to you.

Some dog owners find spraying the dog with a bit of water when digging very effective.

If you’re unsure how to train the dog, hire a professional trainer.

  • Find an alternative for the carpet – toys, doggy bed, etc.

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If your dog is really energetic, buying him/her some fun dog toys may be all you need.

Your pet will enjoy playing with them and forget all about your carpet and furniture.

Also, if the dog has trouble getting comfy, treating him/her to a cozy dog bed is the best thing to do.

In that way, he/she will dig at the bed before lying down and have a peaceful place to sleep and relax.

  • Consult a professional

Did you try all of the above, and none of the solutions helped?

Well, then it’s time to take your dog to the professional and see if there are some medical issues.

The vet will answer the questions like “why does my dog scratch the carpet?” in the best way possible.

Any type of illness can cause that behavior, and that’s why it’s important to consult your vet.

He/she will know what’s happening and maybe even direct you to a licensed professional trainer or behavior specialist.