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Your dog won’t stop scratching and digging at your carpet? Not only can this be confusing, it can also be pretty frustrating!
He might be damaging your carpet, after all!
So is there anything you can do? The good news is yes! Here’s what you need to know about why your dog tries to burrow into your carpet, and how to stop him.
Why does my dog dig at the carpet?
There are a lot of things that dogs do that can be pretty confusing for us humans. One thing that might seem pretty strange to us is digging.
Digging is natural dog behavior. But that doesn’t mean it’s a welcome one, especially if your dog is doing it inside your home!
If you want to prevent your dog from digging at the carpet and damaging it, it’s important to figure out why he’s digging in the first place. There could be several causes.
Before we get into the possible reasons, you’ll want to take a look at these related articles:
- Why Do Dogs Dig in Their Beds?
- How to Stop a Dog from Digging Holes—9 Tips
- How to Stop a Dog from Digging Under a Fence
Digging is natural for dogs. They do it out of boredom, to prep their sleeping spot, to hide food or toys and because they’re overexcited. When your dog won’t stop digging at your carpet, it can also be a sign of separation anxiety—or a way of getting your attention.
When dogs get bored, they tend to get into trouble.
That’s why it’s important to make sure that you’re providing your dog with enough stimulation during the day.
When dogs get bored, they’ll look for ways to entertain themselves. A lot of dogs will turn back to their natural instincts to try and keep themselves busy.
In this case, your dog might be digging because he hasn’t gotten enough physical or mental stimulation!
The solution to this one is easy. All you need to do is make sure that your dog is getting a little more stimulation throughout the day.
Mental stimulation can also be a wonderful training tool if used correctly. Check out Braintrainingfordogs to learn how to train your dog to be the best dog he can be by using mental stimulation! Or have a look at Dogpackr’s review first to see if it’s a fit for you and your dog!
There are lots of great things you can do with your dog. Try to get in a good mix of both physical and mental exercise.
Here are a few helpful articles that can provide you with some inspiration:
- 11 Tips to Tire Out a Dog (Quickly)
- How Much Exercise Should a Puppy Get?
- 10 Brain Games for Dogs to Play at Home
It might seem backwards, but a dog that’s overexcited can display a lot of the same signs as a dog that’s bored.
If your dog gets a little too stimulated, then he might start digging at your carpet to deal with what he’s feeling.
Dogs that get overexcited tend to lose control of themselves and their bodies. Your dog is no longer able to stop himself at this point, so he needs you to step in!
Dealing with an overexcited dog can be challenging, but there are lots of effective ways in which you can help him calm down.
If you’re looking for some help with an overstimulated dog, then take a look at these related articles:
- How to Deal with an Over Excited Dog on a Walk
- How to Calm an Over Excited Dog Quickly
- My Dog Gets Overly Excited When Guests Come Over—What can I Do?
3. Making his bed
Does your dog usually sleep on the carpet?
When you see him digging, does he lie down right after he’s finished where he’s been digging?
If you notice that he’s doing this, then your dog could be “making his bed”! It’s your dog’s version of how we make our own beds.
Your dog could be trying to fluff up the area where he’s going to sleep to make it a little more comfortable.
If you wish that your dog wouldn’t do this to get comfortable, then one thing you might want to try is giving him a designated sleeping area.
Getting him a nice, comfy bed can help. Crate training might also be helpful. This will provide him with a safe, cozy space where he can get some rest. And it will stop your dog from digging at your carpet!
4. Digging up crumbs
Dogs have incredibly powerful senses of smell. If you had a snack and crumbs got on your carpet, even if it was a couple of days ago, your dog will be able to sniff it out.
Lots of dogs are also highly food-motivated. That means that they’ll work hard to get at any food they find.
This might be the reason for your dog digging at the carpet. You can help prevent your dog from digging by making sure that you’re not eating on the carpet so that crumbs don’t fall down onto it.
Are you looking for a little more advice on dogs and food? Check out these articles:
- Why Is My Dog Refusing to Eat Dog Food?
- How to Stop Your Dog Guarding Food
- 7 Tips to Stop a Dog from Begging for Food
5. Digging is fun
There are a lot of things that we might not find amusing but that dogs definitely do.
It might seem a little strange to us, but dogs dig because they find it really fun!
It all goes back to your dog’s natural instincts. Digging is something that your dog’s ancestors would have done. When your dog does it now, he’s basically reconnecting with those instincts!
Some breeds have been bred specifically to retain traits like digging. For example, Jack Russel Terriers were bred to dig in smaller animals’ dens to get them out.
In cases like these, it can be hard to get a dog to stop digging. A better option might be to designate an area where your dog is allowed to dig. Something like a sandbox in your backyard can help him live out his digging urge without destroying your property.
6. He wants your attention
One of the things that your dog probably wants most in the world is your attention. You’re part of your dog’s pack, and your dog loves you because you’re family.
If your dog doesn’t think that he’s getting the attention that he wants from you, he might look for some ways to get it.
Unfortunately, some of those ways might involve your dog getting into trouble.
If you’ve given your dog attention in the past because of his digging, even if it’s negative attention, you’re still giving him what he wants. That means that you’re rewarding that behavior, even if it’s not on purpose!
Make sure you ignore your dog when he seeks out attention this way. Instead, make sure to give him extra attention when he’s being calm and well-behaved.
7. Separation anxiety
Separation anxiety can be a really challenging thing to deal with for both dogs and their owners.
Dogs that struggle with being alone because of separation anxiety tend to become destructive. They have a lot of nervous energy, and they’re trying to get rid of it somehow.
Your dog could be trying to deal with his anxiety by digging at your carpet. He might be destroying other things too.
If your dog is struggling with separation anxiety, it can be hard to leave him alone. But the reality is that there are times where you are simply going to have to leave your dog home alone!
If you need some help, check out these related articles:
- 9 Signs and Symptoms for Separation Anxiety in Dogs
- How to Crate Train a Dog with Separation Anxiety
- Do Puppies Grow Out of Separation Anxiety?
8. Trying to hide his toys
In the wild, dogs will dig holes to hide their food so they can come back to it later.
Even though your dog might not need to hunt for his own food anymore, he still retains a lot of the same instincts.
Your dog’s toys are some of the closest things he has to prey. He might try to dig up your carpet to bury his toys as a way to repeat what his ancestors would have done.
Try hiding your dog’s toys when he’s not playing with them so that he won’t feel compelled to try to bury them in your carpet.
How to stop a dog from digging at the carpet
If you want your dog to stop digging at your carpet, the first thing to do is to determine why he’s digging at your carpet in the first place.
Once you know this, you’ll be able to take the right approach to getting him to stop.
Here are a few tips that will help you prevent your dog from damaging your carpet.
Make sure he gets enough exercise
One of the most important things that you can do for your dog is ensure that he gets enough exercise throughout the day.
This will help prevent him from having excess energy that he needs to find something to do with.
There are lot of great things you can do to help your dog get some exercise. Walks are one of the easiest things you can do.
Are you looking for some advice on walking your dog? These related articles can help:
- How Long Can a Dog Walk in the Snow?
- How Many Walks Should a Dog Have a Day?
- How to Tell If Your Dog Is Tired of Walking
Make indoors a calm space
If your dog is digging at your carpet because he’s getting over excited, then it might be a good idea to think about what you’re doing with him indoors.
Are you playing super active, exciting games with him? That could be what’s making it so hard for your dog to stay settled when you’re inside.
Think about making inside a calm space instead. Do all the most relaxing things you can think of when you’re in the house, and save all the big, fun activities for when you go outside.
Send him away when he starts digging
If your dog won’t stop digging into your carpet even when you’re trying out all the above tips, then a time out might be in order.
You can send your dog away once he starts scratching at the carpet. This is where crate training might come in handy.
As soon as he starts scratching at the carpet, send your dog away to go settle down in his crate. He should only need a few minutes to decompress.
Get him a dog scratching mat
Some dogs are just natural diggers. Their digging instinct is too strong for them to be able to stop, even with all your training.
So what can you do? Are you out of luck?
Don’t worry, you still have some options available to you. You might want to consider investing in a dog scratching mat. This will give your dog the opportunity to deal with his urges in a much less destructive way.
Remember, you can also provide him with a designated outdoor area like a sandbox where he can dig around too.
FAQ about your getting your dog to stop digging at the carpet
Still have some questions about dogs digging at the carpet? Here are a few answers.
Why is my dog scratching at the carpet all of a sudden?
If your dog never used to scratch your carpet and has started suddenly, there could be a few reasons for this.
Has there been a major change to your dog’s routine? That could trigger anxiety, and now he has some nervous energy to get rid of.
It’s also possible that you dropped some crumbs on the carpet just recently, and now your dog is trying to get at them.
Why is my dog digging at the carpet at night?
If your dog only digs at the carpet when it’s bedtime, then the most likely reasons is that he’s making his bed.
He’s just getting the area ready for him to lie down on!
To stop your dog from doing this, crating him at night can help.
How to stop a dog from scratching the carpet at night
If your dog is trying to make his bed at night by scratching your carpet, try crating him.
You can also give him his own bed to sleep in. He might still try to dig up his bed, but at least he won’t be scratching at your carpet anymore!
You might also want to make sure that your dog is getting enough daily stimulation, in case the issue is that he’s getting bored.
It can be confusing for us humans when dogs start digging at things. And it quickly gets frustrating when they’re digging at things like your carpet!
But there are ways you can help your dog stop. Give the above tips a try and help your dog relax—and save your carpet, too!