Behavior

Why Is My Dog Scratching the Carpet All of a Sudden? Explained!

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Author: Jacob Kay

Half of the life of Paw Parents goes into figuring out the cause of their fur baby’s weird habit and half into finding the solution to it. If you are a paw parent then you can totally relate to this situation. And if this weird habit of your dog does damage to your goods then the stress level only increases.

Why Is My Dog Scratching the Carpet All of a Sudden?

Scratching the carpet is one such habit displayed by your dog. You might consider it their playfulness or weird behaviour but it can have some serious reasons associated.

Here through this blog, “Why is my dog scratching the carpet all of a sudden?” we will try to provide you with every required insight.

Reasons for Dogs Scratching the Carpet

Here are the reasons behind your dog scratching the carpet:

Anxiety

Dogs tend to feel anxious and behave weirdly to reduce their anxiety, scratching the carpet is one such way to show they are anxious. Dogs may get anxious for various reasons such as:

  • Going to unfavourable surroundings
  • Coming in contact with unfamiliar people
  • Unwanted noise
  • Being left alone
  • Being often scolded
  • Not getting enough exercise

An anxious dog just needs a way to vent out the frustration and may choose to scratch the carpet to do so. However, this behaviour can be prevented by knowing the cause and handling it with care. You can even consult a vet to seek guidance on the same.

Boredom

Reasons for Dogs Scratching the Carpet

Just like humans dogs too get bored if not indulged in any activity. The dog needs constant physical and mental stimulation otherwise they get bored and turn lazy and depressed.

To cope with this boredom if you don’t provide or indulge your dog in any activity then they might find their own ways to keep themselves busy. So if you see your dog scratching the carpet then chances are that he is bored.

Scratching the carpet due to boredom is normal and may not last long so you don’t need to worry about it.

AS mentioned in bechewy, "What’s more, the 2020 study found that out of roughly 13,700 Finnish pet dogs, 72.5 percent of them displayed anxiety-like behaviors—with some of the breeds listed above, along with mixed breeds, making up 35 percent of all the findings."

Discomfort

Unlike humans, dogs cannot communicate by talking so they have their own ways of communicating. If your dog is anxious, bored or facing any discomfort he may show it through it through some actions.

Often these communicating actions are misunderstood as weird behaviour and neglected but it can be an indication that your fur baby is in some sort of discomfort. So next time your dog scratches the carpet and continues it for a long term then make sure to consult a vet.

Instincts

dog scratching pads

Dogs have an inbuilt instinct to dig[1], thus carpet scratching is one of their ways to display this instinct. Breeds like beagles, dachshunds, and schnauzers are more prone to show this instinct.

Another reason behind your dog showing this behaviour is to make the place where they sleep warm and cozy. To prevent this you can provide your dog scratching pads or take them to the ground or place somewhere they can carry out their digging instinct sparing your home carpets.

Smells

Dog’s sense of smell is way more powerful than humans and their curious nose is always at work. So if your carpet is smelling different then your dog may tend to scratch it to investigate the smell.

By using the carpet daily it attracts various smells and this encourages your dog to scratch the carpet. Not only carpet but anything which smells different or unfamiliar will be under your dog’s radar.

Sound

Just like the sense of smell dogs have a strong sense of sound too. They can hear anything and everything be it at even low frequency. The carpet is the place where bugs and insects are mostly found to be living. So if your dog senses that there is a bug crawling under the carpet or hear them making sound then he is likely to scratch the carpet.

Scratching the carpet can also be the redirected behaviour of your dog. If there is some unpleasant sound coming and your dog is getting irritated by it then he may either bark or redirect it through this action.

Energy

Dog is full of energy and they need to be indulged in physical activities to channel this energy. If you are not keeping your dog active and busy then he may find his own way to vent out the energy. Scratching the carpet or zoomies is the most common way for dogs to vent their energy.

Reinforcement behaviour

Scratching the carpet as reinforcement behaviour is mostly not very common and not a good thing. If you are eating something and it accidentally falls on the carpet, and if you forget to clean it or delay cleaning it then your dog will lick it off.

So every time you drop food and don’t clean it your dog will surely be licking it and slowly this will form a habit. This habit can lead to your dog scratching the carpet to want more.

How To Prevent a Dog From Scratching the Carpet?

Here are ways to prevent a dog from scratching the carpet:

Prevent a Dog From Scratching the Carpet
  • Keep your dog busy, take them for walks, play with them, and try to socialize them more. By doing so you can ensure that your dog is not feeling bored and prevent it from scratching the carpet.
  • If you are leaving your dog alone or taking them to some unfamiliar places then make sure to carry chew toys and puzzles. This toy and puzzle help to keep your dog busy and occupied reducing the separation or unfamiliar place anxiety.
  • If your dog is scratching the carpet due to discomfort or some sort of allergies or skin issues consult a vet. Treating those allergies and discomfort is very necessary as it will only increase by scratching on the carpet.
  • To prevent your dog from scratching the carpet train them to stay away from it. Training helps in building a habit in your dog which is also followed by them thoroughly.
  • If your dog is scratching the carpet to make it warm and cozy, provide them with their own comfort place. By doing so you can prevent them from scratching.
  • Even after trying everything if your dog is still scratching the carpet, take the help of a behaviourist. A behaviourist is a professional having expertise in understanding a dog’s behaviour. They can easily identify the cause and suggest a solution to it.

FAQs

Why is my dog scratching the carpet all of a sudden?

If your dog is scratching the carpet all of a sudden then there can be several reasons associated with it. Dog scratching the carpet can be an indication of anxiety, boredom, allergies, dry skin, fleas, a way to seek attention or even nail health issues.

Can stress cause scratching in dogs?

Yes, stress can cause scratching in dogs. Dogs when get anxious or stressed find their own ways to reduce it. Stress is common in dogs, it can be due to boredom, separation anxiety or any other reason. But if your dog is stressed he will more or less vent it out and scratching the carpet is one of the ways.

How can I stop my dog from scratching the carpet?

To stop your dog from scratching the carpet you need to first understand the reason behind it. You need to know if the scratching is due to stress, anxiety or any illness. Many times dog scratching the carpet is related to stress but it can be an indication of serious health problems too.

How do I clean my carpet after my dog scratches it?

To clean the carpet after your dog scratches it you can just simply use a vacuum cleaner or just brush it off. If your dog has torn the carpet then you might need to get it repaired properly.

How do I know if my dog has a medical or behavioural problem that causes the scratching?

To know if your dog has a medical or behavioural problem that is causing scratching you need to observe his behaviour. If your dog is panting, licking, whining or chewing along with scratching then it is an indication of a medical problem.

Conclusion

Though scratching the carpet by your dog seems normal in reality it is not. Instead of ignoring this habit or punishing your dog you should try to find the reason behind it and take necessary steps to prevent it.

We hope that through our blog, “Why is my dog scratching the carpet all of a sudden?” we have provided you with well equipped information. By using this information you can easily deal with your dog’s this habit.

Reference:

  1. Digging in dogs. (2021, November 24). Animal Health Topics / School of Veterinary Medicine.
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About
Jacob Kay
Jacob Kay is a Veterinary Advisor and Editor at WWD. He’s also a dog lover and has two pet dogs of his own. He has extensive knowledge in the field of veterinary medicine and is always happy to share his insights with others.

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