Why Do Dogs Scratch the Carpet? 10 Reasons

dog scratching the carpet

Dogs are instinctual by nature. So, if you see your dog scratching the floor and panting, it's most likely have an instinctual reaction!

Dogs scratch the carpet when they get ready for bed. A dog's behavior in the wild would be to scratch the ground, creating a small nest for themselves. Wild dogs would then use this nest to sleep!

In addition, the scratching would keep enemies away! So, if you catch your dog carpet scratching, remember it's their natural behavior!

Let's look at a few other reasons you dog scratches the floor and carpet.

dog scratching the carpet

Why Do Dogs Scratch The Carpet and Floor: 10 Reasons

1. Boredom

Dogs get bored! Depending on dog breeds, some dogs can get bored VERY easily and VERY quickly.

If you think your dog may get bored quickly, be sure to engage your dog with a lot of mental and physical stimulus.

Take your dog on a walk, go play fetch, or leave toys out when you leave the house. This may help to alleviate some of the destructive behaviors that come from boredom!

2. Your dog's anxiety or fear

A ton of dog's that scratch the floor and pant heavily are feeling anxious. This anxiety can be driven by fear or just general anxiety.

If you feel like your dog is anxious, take a look around our blog for additional topics about anxiety and our canine companions.

Anxiety can have a huge impact on your dog's health. If you feel like your dog may be suffering from anxiety, seek assistance from your vet. They may be able to provide some insight and help improve your dog's behavior.

3. Attention Seeking

Similar to boredom, your dog's destructive behavior may actually just be attention seeking!

If you respond to your dog's scratching, they know it is a way to get YOUR attention. So, if your dog gets bored, they may start scratching to get some attention.

Try giving your dog attention before they start scratching. This will help improve that bad dog behavior!

4. Illness

Scratching the carpet and panting heavily may be a sign of illness. This may be unusual, but if his behavior changes drastically, this could be a sign something is wrong.

If your dogs exhibit this behavior, please contact your vet immediately.

5. Trying To Communicate

Similar to attention seeking, communication is a likely reason your dog digs.

6. Making Their Bed

Like our introduction, this is the most common reason your dog digs. In the wild, dogs exhibit digging behavior all the time. One of the main reasons is to make their dog bed, or their nest, before going to sleep. This is completely normal.

Digging before bed would also keep danger away from the sleeping area. The loud noises of digging would keep other predators away from the wild dogs.

7. Food!

A surprise to no one, food is a very common cause of your dog scratching and panting heavily. They may be overly excited at the thought of finding some food or even a few crumbs!

Watch their behavior and try to determine if they begin scratching and panting around feeding time.

8. Pests (Rats, mice, and bugs)

Our dog's attention is very easily distracted. If they see some type of pest on the ground, they're going to go for it!

If your dog finds a mouse or a rat, there's likely more in the house (yuck!). So if you see them digging and scratching the carpet, you know why!

9. Separation Anxiety

This is a huge issue. Separation anxiety in dogs can result in destructive behaviors that can scare any dog owner.

Separation anxiety is the fear that you will not come home after you've been away from your dog. Your dog begins to have serious mental issues, thinking you aren't coming home.

They may even think you are in danger, and this is why you haven't come home. Your dog will begin scratching the carpet and floor trying to escape the house in order to find you. They are simply worried and anxious to find you.

If your dog has separation anxiety, you can look into a behavior modification training or speak with your vet on treatment.

10. Not Enough Exercise

Not enough exercise is another reason why your dog scratches at the floor and furniture.

Pent up energy can create a very destructive dog. When your dog scratches, try taking them on a walk immediately. See if this helps the behavior in the future

dog scratching on carpet

Bottom line

Let's recap what we've learned. Why do dogs dig and scratch? Well, for many many different reasons! Try to isolate the scratching and figure out why your dog is behaving in this way.

If you can figure out why - you can likely find a solution.

Why Do Dogs Scratch Their Beds Before Lying Down

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By Tory Johnson

Tory Johnson is a veteran dog trainer, dog behaviorist, and canine nutritionist with 10+ years experience.

Tory has helped countless families have beautiful relationships with their canine companions.

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