Why Do Some Dogs Scratch and Tear Up Carpets?

Why Do Some Dogs Scratch and Tear Up Carpets?

Health & Safety

If you share a home with a dog that delights in digging up your carpets whenever the mood takes them, you might be wondering what prompts your otherwise calm and well behaved canine companion to do this and how you can stop them!

Dogs love to dig and they also like to make an area as comfortable as they can before they lie down. This is just one of the reasons why some dogs develop a habit of digging away at carpets, but there are other reasons too which includes the following:

An Excess of Energy

Some dogs are pretty hyper by nature and if they can't get rid of all that pent up energy, they get a bit creative which as a result means they have a tendency to develop certain behavioural problems. Digging and scratching away at your expensive new carpet is just one of them. If this is the case, you need to make sure they're given loads of exercise and mental stimulation. When you are out of the house, leaving interesting interactive toys for them to play with, will reduce the boredom factor and should help prevent your pet from tearing away at your carpets.

Fear and Anxiety

You may find that your dog starts scratching and digging at the carpet whenever they hear something outside the home. It could well be their response to something they find threatening or worrying which triggers this kind of reaction. However, dogs often scratch at carpets when their owners leave the house, it's their way of showing they are not happy at the fact they have been left on their own which is called separation anxiety. To help stop them from doing this, it might be worth working alongside a dog behaviourist who would be able to get to the root of the problem and then gently break the habit to prevent your dog from ruining all your carpets.

Abnormal Behaviour due to Illness

If your dog has never scratched at carpets before and they suddenly start doing this, it could be they are not feeling well. It might even be they have developed some sort of neurological disorder and the sooner a vet examines them, the better. You may find your pet has a thyroid imbalance which can cause dogs to become a little destructive. In a worst case scenario, they may have developed a tumour on the brain which can also prompt abnormal behaviours in dogs. The vet would be able to carry out tests to find out what is going on before recommending a treatment.

Compulsive, Obsessive Behaviour

A lot of dogs develop compulsive and obsessive behaviours as a result of boredom. Digging and scratching at carpets is just one of them and it typically happens when dogs are not given enough exercise and mental stimulation. High energy dogs are more prone to developing this type of behaviour when they are left to their own devices for too long. More sensitive characters might start doing it because they find an environment they are in a little too stressful. If you need help in correcting an obsessive behaviour your dog has developed, there's no shame in recruiting the help of a professional behaviourist who would be able to help your dog overcome their issues a bit faster than you would be able to on your own.

Best Type of Carpeting for Dog Owners

If you share your home with a dog, then choosing a hard wearing carpet is a must or you may find that you need to replace it a lot more often. However, you need to be a little careful about the sort of products typically used to protect carpets because some of them are quite toxic to dogs and more especially products that contain VOCs (volatile organic compounds). Some dog owners prefer to have carpet tiles on the floor which makes it that much easier and less expensive to replace any get too stained or dirty.

However, there are companies that produce carpets specifically designed to prevent pet stains from soaking through so bacteria and mould can take hold causing all sorts of problems. It's also important to choose a carpet that boasts a tight weave because otherwise your dog might end up constantly snagging their claws in the fibres which will soon result in a carpet looking pretty tatty not to mention tearing your dog’s nails which could then get infected!


When dogs develop a habit of scratching and tearing up carpets, it can become an expensive behavioural problem. It's important to find out why your pet does this and once you know the root cause, you can try to rectify things. There's no shame in asking for expert help, because a professional dog trainer will know how to tackle the problem that much better which ultimately means you get a positive result faster than if you tried on your own, saving not only your carpets from being destroyed, but it also means you'll have a much happier and contented pooch too!

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