Most pet owners understand how difficult it is to keep a pet in a carpeted home, especially dogs. Most dogs have the habit of scratching stuff, especially the carpets; this habit usually causes carpet odor due to the hairs they get on the carpet. One of the main concerns dog owners have is how to stop this habit in their dogs.
Some of the main reasons your dog scratches the carpet are anxiety, physical discomfort, fear, boredom, and behavioral issues. To correct the habit of your dog scratching the carpet, you can try to redirect its attention to something else, keep it calm, or take it to the veterinarian.
When a dog starts scratching the carpet, it is usually a headache for the owner as he will have to replace the carpet. Knowing the underlying reason for this habit is the best way to understand how to address and correct it.
Why Does My Dog Scratch The Carpet Before Lying Down?
Scratching is a canine habit that has its origins in wild dog behavior. When you see your dog scratching the carpet before lying down, it means the dog regards that area as its sleeping place for the time being. Know that your dog’s behavior is perfectly normal when it scratches the carpet before lying down.
Dogs enjoy building nests. They like to make sure the den they sleep in is secure, safe, and pleasant. That also implies that if they detect a fragrance that does not belong in their territory, such as that of another animal, they will not rest until their sleeping place is secure.
Your dog may scratch at the carpet before lying down if the temperature in their sleeping space is not right, that is, if it is too hot or too cold. Dogs may dig through the earth in the wild to find a cooler or warmer area to lie. Dogs, like wolves, have pheromone-secreting scent glands in the bottoms of their paws and between their toes.
Scratching the carpet communicates to other canines or animals that this is their nest or resting area, spreading their smell and marking their territory. Scratching the carpet was also a technique for making a shallow nest to keep their body heat if they were sleeping in the cold.
Dogs had to pound grass, dig up dirt, and rearrange the ground surface to make their sleeping space safe and pleasant in the wild. Although dogs now live in far more comfortable environments and do not need to move their bedding to make them more comfortable, this is normal behavior that some dogs engage in out of habit. For the same reason, your dog might dig up the carpet.
Why Does My Dog Scratch The Carpet In The Middle Of The Night?
Nesting is one of the most common reasons for a dog clawing the floor at night. They will scratch before deciding to sleep for the night because they want to be comfortable and secure. Dogs used to do this in the wild to make themselves a tiny den to cuddle up.
Due to their inherited burrowing instinct, dogs scratch the carpet or bedding in the middle of the night. Dogs scratch and dig the carpet to make a cozy sleeping space for the night because they want to feel safe and secure when they sleep. Scratching at the carpet in the middle of the night can indicate separation anxiety.
Without a major life shift, an established dog is unlikely to develop separation anxiety. Separation anxiety cannot be cured, but it can be treated gradually and positively. If separation anxiety is not treated, it can lead to a lot more than scratching at the carpet in the middle of the night.
Your dog might also be scratching the carpet in the middle of the night because it is bored. Dogs who are not physically and psychologically active enough during the day are more prone to be mischievous and take their frustrations out on other things, like the carpet. Hence, it is best to ensure your dog gets enough exercise during the day.
If food has been spilled on the carpet and ascent has been left behind, the dog may believe that the source is under the carpet and that if they keep scratching, they will discover it. This scent is usually noticed when the dog lies down on the carpet, which might be in the middle of the night.
Why Does My Dog Scratch The Carpet When Excited?
Excessive excitement is another reason dogs scratch the carpet. This is especially true for a dog who sees something out the window but cannot approach it. This is similar to how redirected aggressiveness in cats works. Rather than attacking, your dog channels the excitement it gets from birds, passing folks, and squirrels out the window into your carpet.
One of the main reasons dogs get excited is when they see or sense their owner or one of their favorite people coming. In cases where you are outside, and your dog senses you coming, he might start scratching the carpet near the door as a form of excitement and a means to get closer to you.
Dogs also scratch the carpet out of excitement after sensing a favorite smell, most likely food. When a dog smells its favorite food on the carpet, it will start scratching the carpet as a form of excitement to get to the food as it believes that food is under the carpet.
If your dog gets excited over seemingly insignificant things, you will need to discover strategies to divert their attention. Try playing with your dog or taking them for a walk to keep them from digging into the carpet. You can also purchase stuffed toys for them as a way to keep them occupied and remove their focus from the carpet.
Why Does My Dog Scratch The Carpet Under My Bed?
Boredom drives dogs to engage in a variety of damaging activities, and scratching your carpets may be the most fun activity for your dog. If your dog spends much time alone at home or does not have any exciting toys to play with, scratching the carpet may appear to be the only way for them to have fun when you are not there.
However, if you have cautioned your dog on scratching the carpet, it might resort to scratching the one under your bed so that you do not find out. Your dog might also scratch the carpet under your bed in an attempt to hide its valuable treasures since that area is a little secluded from other areas in the house.
If your dog feels ignored and wants to play with you, he or she may dig into the carpet to get your attention. Since your bed is your personal space, your dog will turn to scratch the carpet under your bed in a bid to get your attention. You should create time to play and cuddle with your dog to prevent this from happening.
Sometimes, your dog might decide to sleep underneath your bed; hence, you will find it scratching the carpet under the bed. The dog does this to create a perfect and comfortable sleeping space for itself. In cases like this, you should redirect your dog to its bed or get a small-sized bed beside yours so that it can sleep there.
Keep reading: Why Does My Dog Scratch My Bed Sheets?
Knowing why dogs dig in the carpet will help you stop this bad habit and keep your carpets from becoming worn or hole-ridden. When you catch your dog scratching your carpet, the best thing to do is to redirect their attention to something else rather than shout at it.
Shawn Manaher is a serial entrepreneur but when he isn’t working, he loves dogs. He’s owned different pets over the years, and always gives a part of his heart to each pet.