The instinct to scratch is a natural behavior for dogs, so it is not at all surprising to see them performing this action. But does that explain why they scratch on the carpet? This post will tell you more.
As a Way of Marking His Territory
It is believed that when dogs scratch the carpet, they are actually trying to mark their territory by leaving their scent behind. This is often accomplished by peeing, pooping, or scratching the area with their paws.
Thus, if you find your dog scratching the carpet, that could be his way of telling other dogs that this area belongs to him.
If you remove the carpet, he will probably do the same action on your walls or garden.
This is often a sign of possessive behavior, and you will want to correct it as soon as possible. Certainly you will not want him to damage your carpet.
There are two ways to stop your dog from scratching the carpet:
- Trim the nails of your dog with a nail trimmer. This will reduce the likelihood of him damaging the carpet and will also discourage him from scratching.
- The use of an anti-biting and chewing spray such as Bodhi Dog Not Here! Spray will stop your dog from scratching and digging on your carpet.
In Search for a Treat
If you find your dog scratching the carpet, there is a chance that he is looking for a treat. This is often the case if he is underfed and can’t keep up with his energy level.
Your habit of eating tidbits on the carpet may have left him looking for any crumbs dropped on the carpet.
If he manages to get any crumbs by doing so, that will further “encourage” him to continue with this behavior.
To make him do away with this behavior, ensure that he is well-fed with a balanced nutrient diet.
There should be at least two meals a day for your dog, with about less than a 12-hour interval between each meal.
If your dog has not eaten for more than 12 hours, it can result in nausea (which is caused by hyperacidity of the stomach).
What is the recommended daily amount of food for dogs?
In general, toy breeds require about 1/4 cup to 1 cup of food per day. For small breeds, 1 cup to 1 2/5 cups is sufficient. For medium breeds, you’ll need to feed them 2 cups to 2 2/3 cups of food a day. A large breed will need 2 4/5 cups to 3 cups of food per day.
Dogs over the age of 10 should be fed less.
Is there a “best” time for feeding your dog?
There is no ideal time to feed a dog, but for most that eat twice a day, you should feed them when you get up in the morning and then when you get home from work in the evening.
What is the best way to tell if your dog needs more food?
Ideally, you should be able to feel your dog’s individual ribs, but not see their definitions when you touch them.
In the case that you are unable to feel his ribs, this is a sign that you are overfeeding him. A dog that has visible ribs is definitely underfeed, which means that more food should be given to him.
Keeping your dog on a regular and healthy diet is crucial to prevent him from going hungry and starting searching for food.
To Escape from the Area
In an attempt to escape from the house, your dog is trying to dig a hole through the carpet. If this often happens whenever your dog is alone in the house, it is a sign of stress and anxiety.
This is often the case if you have just recently adopted him, and he is still trying to adapt to his new home.
Spend as much time with your dog as possible so that he can get used to his new surroundings.
You should introduce him to the new places one at a time, so that he can become familiar with each one before moving on to the next.
Also, get him a crate so that there is a place that he can go to whenever he feels anxious.
It is very normal for your dog to feel stressed when he first comes into a new home and there will be times when he will try to escape from the house.
But don’t worry about it, this will just be a temporary behavior and your dog will settle down soon with your help.
To Ease His Boredom
The instinct to scratch the floor is inherent in dogs, especially when they are bored or restless. The act of scratching helps them to release accumulated energy. Their goal is to find something to do.
So the best way to prevent your dog from scratching the carpet is to provide him with a safe, stimulating environment.
This can be done by providing your dog with simulating puzzle toys such as Kong Classic Dog Toy, playing games such as fetch and tug of war with him and giving him a daily walk.
You see, natural curiosity is a characteristic of dogs. If they don’t get enough exercise, or have enough interesting things to do, they will turn to their instinctual need to find something to do.
To Satisfy His Curiosity What Is Under the Carpet
Dogs scratch the carpet because they are curious and want to investigate what is underneath the carpet. Often, this is the case when your dog smells something odorous coming from the carpet, or hears something noisy coming from underneath it.
He will then dig through the carpet to see if there is anything interesting there.
This behavior might also be explained by his desire to feel the surface beneath the carpet. By doing so, this helps to ease his anxiety as he will know where he is.
Likes the Feeling of Scratching on the Soft Carpet
There is a reason why your dog scratches the carpet: he loves the feeling of the carpet against his paws. He likes to feel the texture of the carpet, and loves digging his paws into the carpet.
The carpet material feels nice and soft to his touch which explains why he likes to rub his paws against it.
Do not be surprised to see your dog rolling around on the carpet as well.
Providing Relief for His Swollen Paws
When a dog scratches the carpet, he is trying to get rid of something that is irritating him. This could be the case that he has a bad case of fleas or parasites, and he is trying to ease the discomfort on his paw through scratching on the carpet.
It is quite possible for a dog to get swollen paws because of a foreign object that gets caught between the pads of the dog’s feet.
Other factors contributing to this problem include bites from insects, fractured claws, and the result of infections (allergic reactions).
So keep a lookout on your dog’s paws and skins. If you see any sign of swelling or other irritation, then it is time to take your dog to the vet.
He Is Grooming His Nails
There is a strong urge in dogs to groom themselves. It’s a natural behavior for them.
So, it’s not surprising to see your dog scratching the carpet to groom the fur around his paws. He is doing this to get rid of the dirt and debris.
Additionally, he might be grooming his nails because they are bothering him.
Check your dog’s nails if he seems to be spending a lot of time grooming his paws to ensure they are not overgrown and are free of dirt.
He Is Feeling Cold
The reason that dogs scratch the carpet is because that helps them stay warm while they are sleeping on the carpet.
To find out if that is the reason why your dog keeps scratching on the carpet, keep a lookout for other signs that reflect your dog is feeling cold.
Shivering, trembling, or cuddling into warm spaces are all signs that your pet is feeling cold.
In search of warmth, he may curl up on your bed, on your sofa, or next to the fireplace.
He will also start avoiding cold tiles and resting on warm carpets instead.
He Is Searching for His Toys
Your dog may be performing this act because he is trying to find something. He may be searching for his favorite toy which you had taken away from him.
As he sees that you are always sitting on the carpet, he believes that his toys are hidden underneath the carpets.
By scratching and digging on the carpet, he hopes to uncover something valuable.
Finding a Safe Place to Hide His Food
It is a natural instinct for dogs to hide their food. They probably inherited this behavior from their ancestors.
This is something to do with the fact that dogs often have to hunt for their food in the wild, and they won’t finish it in one go. They will usually hide their food in a den or other shelter for later consumption.
The instinct to hide their food is still present in dogs even though they no longer need to do so to survive.
As a result, you shouldn’t be surprised if you discover traces of your dog’s food tucked under carpets or sofas.
Creating a Cozy Sleeping Spot
Here’s why your dog scratches your carpet. He’s looking for a place that will provide him with a comfortable night’s sleep. You may find this to be the case if you do not give him a warm, cozy place to sleep.
If you have provided your dog with a sleeping space, it could be a sign that he is uncomfortable in his present environment, and he may need to be resettled elsewhere.
Possibly the weather has turned cold, and you have not prepared a warm blanket to cover his sleeping bed.
As a way to keep himself warm, he will sleep on the carpet and scratch at it.
If this is the case, it’s time to think about your dog’s sleeping arrangements.
He Is Trying to Ease His Fear and Anxiety
When your dog scratches the carpet, he could be trying to ease his fear and anxiety. This is often the case when you have a dominant dog at home and your dog feels threatened by him.
As he does not have a crate to hide in, he will be licking his paws and scratching the carpet in an attempt to calm himself down.
Do not be surprised to find your dog hiding and sleeping in the bathroom just to avoid the dominant dog.
He Is Telling You That He Needs to Go Potty
Dogs scratch the carpet because they want to go outside. This can be the case when they want to go outside to pee or poop.
Barking or pawing at the door, crouching, being restless, sniffing around or walking in circles are other obvious signs.
If you see these signs, take him outside as soon as possible. You should praise him and give him a treat if he goes potty.
This Behavior Had Been Encouraged by You
Do you often go over to your dog when you see him scratching the carpet? If you are doing so, this makes him feel that he is being rewarded (getting your attention) for his actions.
That will make him believe that whenever he needs your attention, he will just have to scratch the carpet, and you will go over to him.
To correct this undesirable behavior, do not respond to him when he performs this act.
Eventually, he will realize that this behavior is unrewarding and will stop it.