Top 4 Reasons Why Dogs Scratch and Dig the Carpet
There will be times when your dog will drive you crazy, such as when he scratches or digs the carpet to the point it gets damaged. Here are the most common reasons that may explain the carpet-scratching behavior.
1. Dog is excited or anxious
Digging is one of many ways a dog may express his excitement. Context is important. You might notice the carpet scratching as a reaction to certain situations, such as when you are back home from work. On the flip side, dogs may also dig the carpet when they are anxious. The dog’s body language will give you the best idea of whether your dog is happy or sad. Anxious dogs, for example, may have their tails between their back leg as they scratch the carpet floor.
2. Investigating a new scent
Your dog might be in detective mode. He could be scratching and digging the carpet because there is an unfamiliar scent coming from it. This could happen if the carpet is new or if something recently spilled onto the carpet material. Someone in the household may have accidentally spilled some beverage on the carpet.
3. Dog is in pain
Some dogs will find objects to scratch if they are in pain. Scratching and digging may provide a bit of relief against any discomfort and pain felt in the body. Dogs might like digging against the carpet because most are soft and made of fabric-based materials.
4. Dog is marking his territory
Some dogs are more territorial than others. Scratching the carpet could be one way to mark their territory. Dogs have scent glands in their paws. Scratching allows them to release the scent onto the carpet. In some cases, you might also have dogs that urinate on the carpet.
How to stop a dog from digging the carpet
There isn’t one single solution that will stop a dog from digging the carpet as it depends on the cause of the behavior. One thing for certain is to never punish a dog when he digs or scratches the carpet. This never works out well. Instead of punishing the dog, you need to reinforce what good behavior means or redirect their digging to something else.
For example, you could have some old blankets laying around for the dog to dig and scratch. This might be necessary if the carpet-scratching is due to a dog’s natural instinct, such as fulfilling the need to nest.
It would also be important to keep the carpet clean in case the dog is trying to investigate some food crumbs or liquid spills that have made their way into the carpet. Last but not least, don’t give your dog a reason to scratch the carpet. Tire them out with fun exercises and dog walks.