Why Do Dogs Scratch The Carpet? Weird Pup Behavior Explained

Joan Agie
Oct 06, 2023 By Joan Agie
Originally Published on Oct 11, 2021
Tired Bohemian Wire-haired Pointing Griffon lies on a purple mat.

People with pet dogs enjoy watching their pets play until they start scratching the expensive carpet.

Dogs are known to be best friends with humans. But, sometimes humans have a hard time understanding the weird behavior that dogs exhibit.

While it may seem fascinating to you, dogs scratching carpets is common and can be due to a variety of reasons. You may want to stop your dog from scratching the carpet, so it is necessary to understand 'why did my dog scratch the carpet'.

Carpet scratching may be due to pure fascination with the carpet, or maybe they find the warm feeling of their paws touching the carpet to be something that they’d like to repeat again.

Your dog scratching your carpet could also be because of the fact that you might be extra cautious when your dog is playing on the carpet they own. This extra attention motivates them to scratch the carpet a bit more.

On the negative side, this destructive behavior could be because your dog is anxious, worried, is in pain or has excess energy. To relieve themselves from such emotions, carpet scratching becomes a solution.

Even though trying to dig the carpet may seem like wild behavior, there is a logic behind why dogs scratch the carpet. If carpets are not available, you can see similar scratching and digging on the floor.

Once you figure out the reason why your dog is trying to dig the floor, the next thing to do is stop your dog from scratching at the carpet. How do you prevent your dog from scratching the carpets?

There are steps you can follow to stop this constant digging. But before discussing the prevention methods, let us understand why a dog digs or scratches the carpet.

Find out more about dogs by reading about why dogs smileandwhy dogs howl at night.

Should you let your dog scratch the carpet?

Do you want your carpet to be ruined from your dog's nails? Probably not. Many would prefer it if their dog stopped scratching the carpet. So it is best to understand why your dog scratches the carpet and find a solution for it.

Your dog might scratch the carpet because they are bored or anxious. It can be due to any physical discomfort with the dog's nails or behavioral issues.

This digging can also be due to the fact that they simply enjoy the feeling when their paws hit the carpet.

Whatever it is, the carpet becomes the prey of their digging. It is also common behavior seen in pets wherein they scratch and roll around the area that they intend to lay down and rest.

If your pet dog intends to sleep on the carpet, they may scratch it making it comfortable enough to sleep in. You might have noticed similar digging and scratching behavior among wild dogs, too.

If there are tiny food crumbs that remain in the carpet or if there is a smell from your carpet, either from perfume or food, your pet dog can sense it, and out of curiosity, they will start scratching or digging carpets.

The digs will continue until they find something or create a hole in the carpet. So, it’s better to ensure that the carpet is free from food crumbs and other small bugs.

In some other cases, your dog may have separation anxiety issues. Every time you leave dogs in the house, it seems like that they will get anxious and try to ease the stress by scratching the carpet and digging a hole in it.

It is a form of engagement to forget that they are lonely.

This separation anxiety can be eased by taking the necessary steps to ensure that your pet is not left alone in the house.

Thunderstorms, the arrival of new people in the house that they don’t trust yet, loud noises, and many other things can make your dog more anxious. Although it may take a while to help your dog with separation anxiety, taking slow steps to achieve this is definitely worth it and will also save your carpeting from a new hole.

Different breeds can also use the carpet to hide things. It seems that dogs have a habit of hiding bones and other toys that they found by digging up the soil.

Since the pet dogs are indoors almost all the time, they might replace the soil with carpet to hide their valuable treasures. For them, it is the perfect hiding spot.

Once they mark the carpet as their territory, nobody is allowed there at all.

Dogs may scratch the carpet in order to release the excessive energy inside them.

It goes like this; your dog likes to run around and play but there is not enough space in the house, at the same time they want to release some energy by doing something, the carpet gets their attention and it becomes the object that they can play, scratch and makes holes in.

Also, if the temperature outside is a bit extreme, the cozy carpet might help them regulate their body temperature by providing the necessary warmth. The reason for the obsessive behavior needs to be determined in order to stop it from going extreme. It’s best not to encourage such obsessive digging behavior in dogs.

When your dog scratches the carpet out of sheer boredom, distract them towards something else. Take them outside for a walk.

Leave the house and play with them using toys. By giving them outdoor time instead of lying aimlessly in the house, they can relax and get rid of boredom. This will eventually free your carpet out of its misery.

Why do dogs scratch their butts on the carpet?

Dogs like to get cozy and comfortable where they rest, whether it’s the carpet or anywhere else. If you find your dog scratching their butts on the carpet, it can be due to an irritation that they are experiencing. Commonly referred to as scooting, such behavior happens when something is bothering your pet.

The issues can be either infection, worms, or something else. If you find your dog scooting more often, it is best to take them to a vet to get checked.

This is not a healthy behavior as the possibility of bacteria getting into the skin is increased. It is not common for your dog to scratch its butt on the carpet. When you notice such behavior in them, it is best to make sure that they are well.

It may seem weird watching them scratching their butts on the carpet, but their irritation causes them to behave in such a way. This usually indicates your pet dog suffering from an anal sac health issue.

To ensure that it does not become more serious, apply medications suggested by the doctor and confirm that they are not doing it after the treatment. This will also stop your dog from scratching its butts on the carpet.

Although you may find it funny, your dog is actually suffering. This is a way of them communicating to say that they are not fine. We should listen to them at times like this.

Black dog Labrador retriever closeup face.

Why do dogs get mad when you scratch the carpet?

Simple. They don’t like to share. Even if you are the beloved owner that they love dearly, some things are off-limits. Dogs mark their territory and when someone else tries to get in their territory, it’s not a pleasant feeling for them.

The reason for your dog getting mad when you scratch the carpet could be because of the fact that the carpet is part of their territory. What if they hid something very valuable under the carpet?

Do you think they’ll let you come near? Absolutely not.

It is possible that your dog has found a perfect bed spot on the carpet. They intend to rest up comfortably in their spot. As a means of getting ready for bed, they will scratch the carpet making it cozier.

If they found you scratching the carpet that is their bed, they are bound to get mad over it. Dogs are territorial in nature, regardless of whether they are from the wild or grown inside a house.

When they find someone invading their space, they might get aggressive. This type of aggressive behavior is likely to occur on the property, which in this case is the carpet.

You can also notice dogs being territorial with humans. The best way to avoid such behavior is to find them a more comfortable bed so that they will leave the carpet bed alone. You can also try luring the dog away by giving them treats as rewards whenever they step out of the carpet.

Sometimes all they are trying to do by scratching the carpet is getting your attention. They want you to play with them and engage in their games.

Should you inform the vet if they do it frequently?

It’s not an entirely alarming behavior seen in dogs. But if you find them scratching the carpet more than normal and notice any other behavioral changes, it is advisable to see a vet and ensure that there is no cause of concern.

You may encounter your dog scratching the carpet every night. This is a way for them to get comfortable sleeping.

Such frequent activity is not a cause of concern since the reason is not alarming. But if you find your dog scratching the carpet more often apart from the nightly scratches, it is best to be cautious and observe them.

If they are scratching for food crumbs or trying to get attention, then distract them from the carpet and engage with them. But if the cause is not that, then your dog may be experiencing some pain or irritation, which can be resolved by visiting a vet.

In other cases, clean the carpet to make sure that there is no food residue left in carpet. Sometimes your pet is searching for the food crumbs that they can smell.

Normally, such scratching behavior is not alarming and can be treated without a vet. But if you find your dog being overly anxious and worried, they may be going through something.

At times like this, it’s better to consult a doctor and make sure that your pet is fine. If you come across instances where the dog is scratching its bum on the carpet, they are bothered by something.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for why dogs scratch the carpet then why not take read about why dogs cough, or are black diamonds real.

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Written by Joan Agie

Bachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

Joan Agie picture

Joan AgieBachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

With 3+ years of research and content writing experience across several niches, especially on education, technology, and business topics. Joan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Anatomy from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria, and has worked as a researcher and writer for organizations across Nigeria, the US, the UK, and Germany. Joan enjoys meditation, watching movies, and learning new languages in her free time.

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