Watching your dog scratch the carpet is frustrating and, at the same time, makes you wonder why they do that.
Scratching of carpet is not new to dogs, and it goes back a long way, similar to digging mud and chewing things.
Before knowing how to stop them from scratching your carpet, you should first know what drives them up to do that.
Today on Canine Weekly, you will learn why dogs scratch the carpet, how to stop your dog from scratching again, and all related information and tips.
Let’s start unraveling the mystery.
Why Does My Dog Scratch The Carpet?
There can be several reasons why your dog scratches the house carpet. While it may seem sudden or random, trust me, it’s not. There is a pretext and perhaps a reason why dogs do that.
It may be hereditary or sometimes boredom or any health issues, or a combination of those.
Let us look at the probable reasons why your dog scratches the carpet in detail.
From a dog’s perspective, the most common thing to do when you want attention is to scratch the carpet or start chewing furniture.
And who doesn’t want attention? Dogs will just act like a toddler when they need attention. They will do something they should not do.
If you instantly call them or pet them when they start scratching the carpet, you might just be reinforcing this behavior.
And the dog might have decoded this trick and will keep repeating it. Next time your dog scratches your carpet, ignore them and go away; this way, the dog might understand he will not get attention.
Some dogs’ instincts are burrowing as they were initially bred to burrow, and this trait has remained with them.
Dogs are bred to chase rats and other small animals that used to live in small holes and harder-to-reach places, developed burrowing as their hunting method.
Since they do not come across any badgers around, they tend to attach themselves to a part of your carpet to get their thing done, and there is not much you can do about it.
But it is never less frustrating to see that, is it?
One of the most common reasons why your dog scratches your carpet could be anxiety. Several reasons cause anxiety in dogs.
Some reasons why your dog is anxious are easy to identify. Loud noises outside, like storms, thundering, or even fireworks, can create anxiety in your dog and make them nervous.
And when they are nervous, they try to relieve their stress by scratching the carpet or digging the floor.
Another reason anxiety is triggered is separation or leaving your dog alone for long periods, making him stressed and frightened.
When you go out for work or off the room, they may scratch the carpet at the door or starts scratching the floor around you. This is what separation anxiety is.
4. Grown Nails
One easy answer to why your dog is scratching your carpet is their grown nails are making them uncomfortable.
They scratch their claws because they think they can file them away, as long nails can cause immense pain to them.
In addition to damaging your floors, carpets, and furniture, long-grown nails can damage your dog’s claws by growing under the skin, causing immense pain and suffering.
Some dogs are joyful in the process of getting their nails trimmed and will sit on a lap with a smile on their face. On the other hand, some dogs have sensitive skin and feel pain when you trim their nails.
For sensitive-skinned dogs, either take them to a groomer, where they will trim and groom with expertise, or to a vet, where they will provide a sedative and then trim and groom as they feel less pain.
5. Excessive Energy
Dogs sometimes are way too energetic, which could be one reason they scratch your carpet.
To stimulate excessive energy, they scratch the carpet until they feel tired. Getting your dog enough exercise and playing is important as their required physical stimulation is fulfilled.
They may sometimes scratch the carpet in excitement; if that is the case, you might have to redirect their thoughts.
If they see a bird in the yard or hear some other dog bark outside, they will scratch the carpet as they can not do the other thing, and if that’s what’s happening, calm the dog down and redirect his thoughts elsewhere.
6. Temperature Control
Some dog breeds do not like hot weather, especially the ones with dense coats or cute furry ones.
And their instinct when they feel hot is to dig, as when initially bred, they used to dig the soil to get the cooler surface and rest on it.
If they are digging or scratching up the carpet, it may be because they are looking to get a cooler place to regulate their body temperature and rest. Dogs like Huskies, Norwegian Elkhound, and Malamutes are known for doing these.
Providing fresh and cold water on hot summer days is important, as it also saves the dog from many health and behavioral issues.
How Do You Get Your Dog to Stop?
It is important to know the ‘Why’ of a problem before acting on ‘how’ to eliminate it. Almost all the reasons why a dog scratches a carpet are covered in the above topic.
Knowing why your dog scratches the carpet does not lower the frustration and stress until you cure the root cause.
Before your carpet gets fully damaged and your dog is habituated to destroying it, it is time to act on how to solve the issue. Follow the below-mentioned steps for an effective solution.
1. Give Your Dog Some Work.
If your dog is bored and scratching the carpet, they want your attention. And the best solution is to give them a task or a game to keep them engaged.
Search and rescue games are good for a dog’s physical and mental health; fetching the ball or finding a toy similar to these games will help them overcome boredom.
If they are engaged in something, they won’t ask for your attention, and scratching of the carpet will ultimately stop.
2. Clean The Area
Start your day by cleaning the areas where your dog roams, especially the carpet area. Do dusting, vacuuming, or mopping as you like, but cleaning the area daily is important.
No secret dogs have powerful noses; if they smell some food or a bit of their favorite meal there, they will dig until there’s a hole.
If there is even the slightest odor in even the fibers of your carpet, that’s a mission for your dog right there.
Keeping the house clean makes it healthy for both dogs and people.
3. Increase Exercises
One way to get them quiet at the end of the day is to get their energy into the right place. Increasing exercise will do the trick.
Increase their walking or running time as much as they require; that will provide the dogs with all the physical and mental stimulation needed for their growth and fitness.
Bring in toys for better engagement. Toys that help the mental growth of the dogs should be introduced in the early stages of the dog.
The more you keep the dog engaged; the better; rubber-made or more elastic toys are good for them as they are durable and robust.
All dogs have different interests when it comes to exercise; identify it, which will make your job even more convenient.
4. Provide Your Dog With Better Bedding.
Scratching the carpet could be because your dog is trying to find a better, more comfortable resting place.
They will go for the carpet if they do not see a cushioned or soft spongy thing. They do not care if the carpet isn’t the perfect place; they will keep trying.
This problem is the easiest to solve, and providing bedding that is comfortable for their resting can solve the issue. Keep some cushions and bedsheets for them to do the nesting; it’ll keep everyone happy.
5. Grooming is Required
Sometimes grooming is all it needs to stop the dogs from scratching the carpet. Trimming the nails is important as it may cause pain and discomfort in dogs.
This is easy to detect; if they are clacking when walking or scratching their claws against furniture or carpets, it’s time to trim the nails.
Some dogs enjoy this grooming and will happily sit on the lap to get their nail trimmed, some not so much. Try professional groomers and their expertise for painless and effective grooming for dogs with sensitive skin.
Some dogs scratch the carpets when they feel hot; they try to regulate the temperature via scratching, thinking it may dig and find a cooler soil or surface for them to rest.
Bathing regularly on hot summer days is the best way to keep them cool. Always keep cool, fresh water at their dispense.
6. Calm Them Down
As mentioned, anxiety can be very harmful and disturbing for your dog, and it can have an even bigger impact on you.
While it takes time to treat anxiety in dogs, you will have to be persistent and supportive to get them out of it. Always talk to and pet them when noise or lighting makes them anxious.
Thunderstorms are one such thing, which makes the dogs behave abruptly, and some owners say that thunder jackets help solve this anxiety.
Lighting and firecrackers can often spook them, and sometimes providing them with their space and making them feel loved is all they need.
Dogs get nervous and anxious when left alone for long periods, avoid doing that and try socializing them to improve their temperament and eliminate fear and separation anxiety.
Yes, in most cases, a dog scratches the carpet because their nails have grown too big, making them uncomfortable. Try trimming their nails or filing them to see a change.
A professional grooming service can also do it; you can choose accordingly.
You must carefully observe your dog’s behavior to understand why they are scratching the carpets. There can be various reasons why they are doing it. It can be anxiety, grown nails, excessive energy, or something else.
Yes, training your dog can certainly help in stopping them from scratching the carpet. They will learn to obey your commands, and when they start scratching the carpet, your single command will stop them from doing it.
This article focuses on a very important and common topic in a house where dogs are pets. Trying to know the reason behind your dogs’ behavior will help you understand what they need or what they are communicating. Many people seek a solution, and this article provides every possible answer.
Let us know how much it helped stop your dogs from scratching the carpet.
Hi, I’m Walter,
I live in Oklahoma City, USA, and have extensive dog caring and grooming expertise. In addition, I provide dog training tips and tricks through my blogs in Canine Weekly. I have a Dog Behavior and Training diploma and have previously worked as a Dog Trainer at ROC Animal Training and Behavior and Tip Top K9 of OKC Dog Training.
Apart from writing on Canine Weekly, I share my views on Twitter and Linkedin.