Why Do Dogs Scratch the Carpet? [7 Reasons]

Dogs are great pets; they are loyal and offer plenty of health and social benefits. But if you have one, you have probably seen it scratch the carpet or floor a couple of times.

The noise of a dog scratching a carpet or floor isn’t all that pleasing. This behavior can sometimes be a nuisance, especially if they tear the carpet.

why do dog scratch the carpet
Why do dogs scratch the carpet?

So, why do dogs scratch the carpet? Well, there could be a couple of reasons behind it, and some may even surprise you.

Herein, we will share some things that may trigger your dog to start scratching the carpet.

1. Scents and Smells

We all know that dogs have an extraordinary sense of smell. If they pick up any foreign smells, they may start digging or scratching nearby things or surfaces. For instance, soup drops on your carpet could make your dog start scratching it. If this is the case, you will need to clean your carpet immediately.

Better yet, you can note the spots your dog loves to scratch and clean them to get rid of any smells or scents. Always ensure that you keep your carpet clean, especially around the dining areas. If there are no odd smells on the carpet, your dog will probably quit the habit soon enough.

2. Boredom

Dogs are social animals and tend to get bored if they don’t have something interesting to do at all times. When left alone, dogs often resort to getting their paws busy. Lack of toys will probably make your dog start scratching the carpet as a way of keeping itself busy. Try and take some time off to cuddle and pet your dog so that they don’t feel bored.

Ensure your dog has toys available if they spend a lot of time alone. Also, you can hire a pet sitter to take care of your dog while you’re not around. Pet sitters will walk your dog and play with them while you are away to ensure they stay active and engaged in your absence. 

3. Hiding Their Treasure


Hiding things is a survival strategy among most animals, especially canines. In nature, most canines hide extra food for later. At home, your dog could be hiding stuff away from you or other pets. Dogs will often try to hide food or toys anywhere they deem a safe spot in the house.

Most carpets aren’t thick enough, but your dog will try digging up something to hide their treats or toys. Since this behavior is entirely instinctive, you can use training to help your dog stop scratching the carpet to hide stuff.

4. Making a Bed

Everyone likes a cozy and comfortable spot to relax after a long day, and so does your dog. You may notice your dog scratching the carpet and rolling around before finally laying down. Scratching and rolling around is an instinctive behavior most animals use to prepare their chill spot.

Your dog may do this despite having a comfortable lying spot within the house or in its kennel. Whenever you spot your dog scratching the carpet to lay down, make sure you call them out. Encourage them to take their bed anytime they feel sleepy or want to rest. Don’t forget to reward them whenever they head to their resting pad instead of scratching the carpet.

fluffy cavapoo puppy with white chest looks at owner
Bicolor and Tricolour Cavapoo puppies have splashes of white and other shades. Cute!

5. Dog Anxiety

Dogs will resort to anything to help deal with anxiety. Anxious dogs tend to scratch the carpet or floor, pant, and bark a lot whenever left alone. Dogs suffering from anxiety can also destroy many things, from your carpet and floor to seats.

Be sure to take the necessary steps early on if you notice any unusual signs of anxiety in your dog. If you don’t spend a lot of time at home, you may need to hire a pet sitter. Also, try playing and cuddling them when you notice them slipping into bad habits.

6. It’s Too Hot or Too Cold for Them

Like wolves, dogs dug dens to stay safe and protected before they were domesticated. The caves would protect themselves from cold winds, rains, and snow. Dogs scratching their carpets may be a sign that it’s too cold or hot for them.

Dogs that spend more time outside often dig up the cool soil in the garden to cool off. However, if they’re always indoors, they may turn to your carpet instead. Therefore, it is critical to ensure the temperature within your house is moderate at all times.

Also, provide your dog with a blanket during cold nights. You can also knit a sweater for them to don during the cold winter months. During the summer, provide adequate clean and cool water, and allow your dog to spend more time outdoors.

7. Excitement

cute labradoodle photo
A close up face image of Labradoodle puppy Max

We often do amusing things when we are excited. Dogs get excited too, and since they can’t dance or call their besties, they may let out all that joy on your carpet. If your pup spends most of their time indoors, they will probably get excited about random stuff.

If your dog starts scratching the carpet or getting into bad behavior when excited, you need to give them the attention they deserve. You could go out for a walk with them or even play a game of fetch. Give them their favorite toy to play with if you’re held up and cannot find time to attend to them.


Scratching and digging is an instinctive behavior in most animals. However, knowing what triggers this behavior can help you stop this issue and help keep your carpet in mint condition.

For starters, make sure your dog has a warm and comfortable bed. Also, if your dog spends a lot of time alone, ensure they have toys or hire a pet sitter to take care of them while you’re away. Finally, remember that training your dog to stop scratching the carpet can take plenty of time, and you will need to be patient with them.