Why Do Dogs Scratch Carpet? Important Things You Must Know


Dogs are cherished companions all over the world, adored for their lovable traits, wagging tails, and vivacious nature. Yet, even the most delightful dogs sometimes display actions that can vex their owners, prompting them to wonder, why do dogs scratch carpet.

It can irritate and frustrate pet parents to see their dog scratches the carpet. It is not only harmful to your house, but it is also confusing dog behavior to see.

Worried pet parents may wonder if their dog scratching the carpet is an indication of anything more serious. Let’s look at why dogs scratch carpets and what you can do to prevent it.

Reasons Why Dogs Scratch The Carpet

When you see your dog scratching the carpet, before trying to stop, you must first understand what is causing it. Otherwise, you’re approaching the problem blindly, with little prospect of success.

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons that may trigger your dog to scratch the carpet.


Boredom drives many dogs to engage in a variety of harmful dog actions. When dogs have left alone for extended periods, they might get bored and restless.

Scratching the carpet can help them release pent-up energy and keep themselves occupied. If you feel boredom is the cause, you must provide your dog with the necessary activity and training. The lack of socialization and energy production is having an effect, and it’s essential to make long periods of quality time for your dog.

Separation Anxiety

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, when their guardians prepare to leave, most dogs with separation anxiety get nervous. Some appear worried or depressed before the departure of their guardians or when their guardians are not there due to separation anxiety.

Some dogs strive to keep their guardians from leaving. The objective of treating a dog is to reduce the dog’s anxiety and other underlying fear by training him with other canine companions to enjoy, or at the very least accept, being left alone.

When they suffer from dog anxiety, they may begin digging into the carpet to release their worry and stress.

If your dog is digging the carpet and floor near the front entrance, they are likely frightened whenever you leave the house.

Attention Seeking

Dogs want to seek the attention of their owner. If you are preoccupied with personal matters and your dog is not receiving the care it needs, frustration will arise.

When your old dog is seeking attention, it’ll frequently act out in the same way that a rebellious child or toddler might; it’ll do something they know it shouldn’t do since it’s more likely to provoke a reaction from its owner and get them the attention they need.

What you can do is devote some time to your dog. Take it out for a walk around the park for some workout. As soon as the problem receives the attention it needs, it will gradually fade away.

Release Pent-up  Energy 

Do they receive adequate exercise and/or stimulation? If not, your dog may be scratching the carpet to release some pent-up energy.

If this is the case, you will most likely see the behavior coexisting with other ‘hyper’ behavior patterns, such as barking, dashing around, and chewing.

Digging Up Crumbs

Even if you and other dog lovers keep your home clean and have a strong vacuum for pet hair, there’s a possibility you missed a few food crumbs here and there. Dogs’ acute sense of smell food allows them to detect a single crumb hidden in carpet strands and attempt to pull it out.

A cockroach, slug, mouse, or another animal may leave an interesting fragrance on the carpet that you may not notice, but your dog will.

If the dog finds a certain fragrance particularly alluring, it may scratch at it to obtain the scents on its pads, which contain scent glands.

Instinctive Behavior

Dog breeds, particularly ‘ratters’ such as terriers, who were raised to hunt tiny rodents, frequently from small, difficult-to-reach areas and holes in the ground, appear particularly hellbent on happily digging away. Therefore the dog scratching the carpet might be instinctual also in hiding things.

It’s no wonder that after thousands of years of scratching the ground to make it comfier before lying down, your dog may still indulge in this evening ritual even if they’re only going to sleep on your carpet.

If your dog scratches the carpet when they get a treat or is fascinated with a favorite toy while scratching the carpet, they may be instinctively attempting to bury their new cherished treasure.


When old dogs are excited about anything, they will be digging and scratch the carpet rapidly. Your dog may appear to be urinating on the carpet for no apparent reason when, in reality, he or she witnessed a bird or squirrel in the yard.

Your dog needs daily outside walks as well as visits to dog parks. A dog confined in a house all day without access to fresh air frequently expresses his displeasure by carpet scratching.

To Control Temperature

If it’s a really hot day, your dog may be digging up your yard to find some cooler dirt and rest there. Certain breeds like Malamutes, Huskies, and Elkhounds are particularly known for their digging behavior in the soil to avoid heat.

If your dog is digging into the carpet, it is possible that they feel it may be attempting to create a cozy spot to regulate its body temperature. Turn on the air conditioning and make sure your pooch always has access to fresh, clean water throughout the hot summer months. 

Additionally, to keep your dog warm throughout the winter months or on cooler days, put them in a sweater, acquire a heating pad, or add an extra blanket to their bed.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

According to the American Kennel Club, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is also known as Canine Compulsive Disorder (CCD) in the canine world.

Completely normal dog actions that are conducted in such an intense, repetitive manner that they are difficult for the dog to cease and can interfere with the dog’s capacity to function are indicative.

Normal canine behaviors that have become obsessive in certain dogs include sucking on their flanks or a toy; constant licking, pacing, spinning, and chasing the tail; freezing and gazing; snapping at flies or your dog sees unseen stuff; and excessive drinking of water or eating dirt.

How Can I Stop My Dog From Scratching The Carpet?

The key to preventing carpet scratching behavior is determining the proper root cause and implementing the appropriate remedy. For example, if your dog is scratching the carpet out of boredom, increasing their daily activity is a smart option.

When you’re ready to take on these destructive behaviors, follow the instructions below:

Clean Your Area

Dogs have a keen sense of smell. They can detect even the smallest crumbs embedded in the fibers of your carpet. Dog digs if they detect a few crumbs of their favorite meal on the carpet.

Cleaning the carpet for your dogs is essential for keeping the house clean and healthy for both the dog and the people.

Train Your Dog

One of the most important aspects of a puppy’s development is proper and thorough training. Other dogs make excellent pets and are rarely aggressive. But, owing to a lack of effective training, your dog may exhibit violent or destructive behavior at times.

Positive reinforcement techniques, such as shifting the dog’s attention to a more suitable action or rewarding the dog for good innate behavior, are used to train a dog, not to scratch carpets.

To guarantee long-term success, training must be consistent and patient.

Increase Your Dog’s Exercise

Daily exercise is critical for dogs to be mentally stimulated and physically healthy. If they have excess energy, it is evident that they should be given enough exercise. Long hours of walking are beneficial, but running is preferable.

Exercise assists dogs in maintaining a healthy weight, improving cardiovascular health, strengthening muscles and bones, and increasing flexibility and range of motion. A tired dog is less likely to scratch the carpet fibers at the end of the day.

Give Rewards

There are several methods for rewarding your dog for a job well done. Throwing a tennis ball at the end of a long “stay” or romping in the backyard after practicing “wait” by the front door might be fun. 

Food rewards, on the other hand, are typically the most practical and effective approach to influencing your dog’s behavior. Here are some tips for choosing the right dog treat for the right situation.

  • Keep Dog Training Treats Small
  • Use Stinky Dog Training Treats
  • Changing Up Types of Treats

Avoid Punishing Your Dog

Dogs do not always comprehend why they are punished, especially if the punishment is inconsistent or delayed. This might make them confused and anxious, and it may even cause them to have bad connections with the owner or training.

If a dog is disciplined brutally or frequently, he or she may begin to link their owner with bad events. This can sever the tie between the dog and the owner, making it more difficult to create trust and a beneficial relationship.

Positive reinforcement and other humane training approaches may be used to help dogs learn and behave better.

Provide a Comfortable Bed

A good dog bed gives your dog an environment that is not only comfy for a sleeping area but also supportive.

Consider how you sleep best. A nice dog bed has several characteristics that should be considered when buying one for your beloved buddy. Thankfully, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals gives important guidelines for selecting the ideal bed for your dog.

  • A good dog bed provides joint support
  • Better Sleep is Ensured by Good Beds
  • Your dog requires a place to relax
  • Excellent Dog Beds are simple to clean

Provide Dog Toys

We’ve all seen a puppy or adult dog having a fantastic time playing with puzzle toys. They provide mental stimulation and exercise, aid in the teaching of instructional directives such as “give it,” and are just entertaining. 

Below are various dog toys and what they do for your four-legged buddy to assist dog owners to navigate the toy section at the local store.

  • Interactive toys
  • Balls
  • Chew toys
  • Noise toys
  • Soft toys

Seek Professional Help

This is especially important if your dog has just begun its scratching behavior on the carpet. Rapid changes in behavior may suggest that something has gone wrong.

Getting expert assistance from a vet immediately or a dog behaviorist can assist in determining the underlying cause of the behavior and developing a treatment plan to address it.

A veterinarian can rule out any underlying medical concerns, but a behaviorist may examine the dog’s behavior and provide ways to change it.

Professional assistance may also give you and other dog lovers peace of mind and support if you are feeling overwhelmed or unsure how to manage the issue.


How do you stop a dog from scratching the carpet?

Digging is an innate action in dogs and is not done on purpose to annoy owners. A sandbox full of sand may be a wonderful present for a dog who enjoys digging. Time is of the essence: always correct and reward shortly after the deed.

Offer a scratching post or pad, dogs scratch to keep their nails healthy, so giving a suitable spot for them to scratch can help redirect their activity away from the carpet.

Why does my dog scratch the carpet before they lay down?

To improve the comfort of their sleeping area, some dogs scratch the floor before lying down. In hot and harsh weather, dogs may scratch the floor to cool down. 

Dogs, like cats and many other four-legged animals, have scent glands on the bottom of their feet that release a unique pheromone. Scratching at something might be a method for your dog to signal that they have claimed a bed.

Why do dogs scratch the floor with their paws?

There are various reasons why dogs scratch the floor with their paws. They are either marking territory, preparing a bed, bored, looking for attention, excited, or anxious.

It’s critical to watch your dog’s behavior and context to figure out why they start scratching the floor with their paws.

Final Thoughts

Dogs like scratching and digging, which is natural most of the time. If, on the other hand, your pet becomes obsessed with it or exhibits other damaging habits, you should take some practical actions to aid your pet. As a dog owner, it is critical to recognize and treat the underlying cause of your dog’s behavior. 

You may assist minimize carpet and furniture damage and provide a happy and healthy environment for your dog by offering appropriate alternatives, obtaining expert assistance when necessary, and avoiding punishment.

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