9 Reasons Why Dogs Suddenly Scratch The Carpet + 3 Tips


What’s the benefit of owning a dog rather than a kitty? 


Your furry friend doesn’t scratch rugs, but don’t be alarmed if yours does. 


In this article, you’ll learn the causes of your dog’s scratching habit. 

Why Is My Fido Scratching The Carpet All Of A Sudden?

Your pooch is scratching your carpet because of any of these reasons: 


  • A medical condition
  • OCD
  • Anxiety or fear 
  • Attention-seeking habit 
  • Boredom 
  • Marking territories 
  • They’re onto rodents or cockroaches and trying to get a crumb. 

Why Do Dogs Scratch Rugs Before Sleeping?

Your canine scratches your rug before resting due to an instinctual response before preparing for bed. Wild dogs scratch in the ground to create nests for themselves—scratching enables them to keep off undesired guests and helps shelter themselves from unwanted elements.  

9 Reasons Behind Your Fido’s Carpet Scratching Habit

Below are nine possible reasons why your pup suddenly starts scratching the carpet. 

1: Boredom

Dogs frequently scratch rugs due to boredom and to release confined energy. 


You may have to scrutinise your lifestyle at the moment if your dog suddenly scratches your rug. Maybe your tight programme has affected it. 


It may be that you’re preoccupied with your children or you’re up and running for extended periods. Following this, you could have neglected your pup unintentionally. 


Your fur baby may be extremely bored due to no playtime and reduced walks. 


Fidos need to offload their pent-up energy by participating in stimulating activities. If you don’t create time to play with or walk your pup, you will develop new ways of getting rid of that energy. 


Dogs can release their energy by scratching on rugs just like they could dig a real hole in the ground. 


Psychology Today reveals that some fidos get so excited from this habit. It’s no surprise that these dogs decide to scratch rugs as a form of entertainment. 

2: Seeking Attention

Attention-seeking behaviour and boredom go together. Your dog will find ways to capture your attention if they feel neglected—they’ll try every tactic there is to get what they want. 


These tactics often entail doing naughty things that will make you tell your furry friend off, like scratching at the rug. Scolding your dog will only worsen things.


Since dogs are fast learners, they master both the positive and negative approaches to getting your attention. When you tell them off for indulging in the scratching action, they notice that they get a reaction. Your pup will make this a habit hoping to earn your attention every time. 

3: Anxiety Or Fear

Since a dog’s emotional capacity is similar to a two-year-old toddler’s, they can also experience anxiety or fear. These feelings may force them to look for stress relievers like scratching up rugs.


Please pay attention to your dogs when they start scratching at the rug all of a sudden. You’ll have to find out what’s making it indulge in that behaviour. 


Your dog’s anxiety may be due to:


  • Relocating to another home. 
  • Loud sounds like fireworks. 
  • Separation anxiety.
  • Thunderstorm. 
  • Renovations or moving furniture around. 
  • A visitor in your house.


Your fido will begin scratching to try getting away from these scary things—they’ll try digging an escape route. 

4: OCD

Fidos can get OCD, just like humans. In several ways, this disorder combines the initial 3 points. 


A confined dog can’t get rid of excess energy, and it becomes stressed and develops OCD. This disorder can manifest in dogs with licking, chewing, or scratching. 


Your dog may develop OCD if it spends too much time confined. 

5: Diseases

Some diseases can make your dog become a rug scratcher. Fidos have a different way of perceiving pain and illness. 


Scratching could be your dog’s way of dealing with the pain they are experiencing. 


Based on data from pets.WebMD  diseases that can bring about scratching include:



Consult your veterinarian if the following symptoms accompany your dog’s scratching habit:


  • Struggling to get on their feet.
  • Paw licking.
  • Aggressiveness when you attempt to instruct them to stop scratching.
  • Inability to get comfortable.

6: Marking Territory 

Your dog scratching could be a way of them trying to communicate. 


Dogs’ paws have sweat ducts. When dogs scratch, they release a scent. You’ll notice that your dog scratches after they’ve relieved themselves. 


Adding a new fido into your home might make your dog start scratching—this is your dog’s way of marking its territory.


When a neighbour brings in a new dog, your dog can start being territorial.  


If your dog has just developed the scratching habit, it could be that they learnt it from observing another dog—whoever came up with the phrase you can’t teach an old fido new tricks was very wrong. 

7: Weather

Very cold or hot weather can make your dog develop a scratching habit. 


Dogs are naturally inclined to dig holes—it’s their way of protecting themselves from harsh weather conditions. 


When it’s hot, dogs dig holes to expose cooler soil. Digging holes with tall sides will help protect dogs from the cold and wind during the cold winter months. 


As your dog grows old, it becomes increasingly difficult for them to become comfortable. Therefore, they might start scratching your rug to make it softer. 

8: Crumbs

Dogs are known for their highly developed sense of smell. Even the tiniest crumbs of food could cause your dog to start scratching to find them. 

9: Pests

Your dog’s scratching can also be due to the presence of pests such as roaches or rats. Some dog breeds such as Dachshunds and terriers were initially bred to chase down vermin. 


Your dog is likely to hear and smell the pests in your home, which can make them start scratching the carpet. 

3 Tips To Stop Your Dog’s Carpet Scratching Habit

If you want your canine buddy to cease scratching your carpet, you must find the root cause of the behaviour. Once you’ve established the cause, you are well on your way to stopping the habit altogether. 


1: Training

You can use some techniques to stop your dog’s carpet scratching habit. 


When your dog begins scratching, make a sound to get its attention. For instance, you can smack your lips. 


Your dog will learn better techniques for capturing your attention with time. You can then make your dog perform tricks and reward them. Just make sure you are not in the scratch area. 


If you aren’t successful in your training, you can seek a behaviourist to help you. 

2: Get Rid Of Pests In Your Home


If pests are causing your dog to scratch the carpet, call an exterminator ASAP. 


Roaches and rats carry illnesses. Therefore, getting rid of them as fast as possible is your safest bet. 


Ensure you keep a close eye on your furry buddy and any product the exterminator uses.


Talk to your exterminator to find out when it’s safe to go back to your house and the steps to follow before you and your dog can go back into the house. 


Be sure to get a list of the poisons used by the exterminator—you never know what might affect your pooch. 


3: Spend More Time With Your Furry Friend

If lack of attention is what’s causing your dog to scratch the carpet, there are some simple solutions such as:


  • Play sessions.
  • Puzzle toys.
  • Designated everyday snuggle time.
  • Let your dog spend more time in the yard.
  • Get them a sandbox.
  • Take your dog for walks frequently.


These activities will reduce your dog’s anxiety and boredom, and they’ll help your dog forget about scratching altogether. 


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