Why Do Dogs Dig at the Carpet? (And What You Can Do About It)

Image of a golden retriever puppy looking guilty after digging at the carpet
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Digging at carpet is a relatively common behavior seen in dogs. However, it can be a nuisance if your dog is damaging your carpet or furniture.

So why do dogs dig at the carpet? There are several reasons why your dog might dig at the carpet — but the good news is that you can train your dog to stop doing it.

These are some of the most common reasons that your dog may be digging at your carpet.

For Comfort

If your dog has anxiety, they may be digging at the carpet for comfort. Just like outside, they would dig a hole in the ground to have a cool and safe place to sleep. Your dog may be trying to do this inside.

Your Dog is Acting on Instincts

Digging is an instinctual behavior in dogs. Most dogs love to dig a hole outside to bury things or even as a place to keep cool. They may even be trying to dig a hole to bury a bone or treat that you gave them.

Burn off Excess Energy

If your dog has a lot of energy, they may dig at your carpet to burn off this extra energy.

Separation Anxiety

If your dog suffers from separation anxiety, they may dig at the carpet, trying to escape the house. Some dogs will dig at the carpet near a window or closed door as a way that they are trying to escape and get back to their owner.

Food on the Carpet

If you have recently dropped a piece of food, crumbs may be on the carpet. Your dog may be digging, trying to get this small piece of food out of the carpet so that they can eat it.

Boredom

When dogs get bored, they usually become destructive. This may be tearing up the carpet, chewing baseboards, or destroying furniture.

Trying to Get Comfortable

Some dogs will dig at the carpet or a blanket to fluff it up and make it more comfortable to lay down on.

Your Dog May Have a Medical Issue

If your dog got stung in the face or has a tooth abscess, it may look like they are digging at the carpet, but they are actually rubbing their face on the carpet trying to itch their face. Your vet can examine your dog to determine if there is something medically wrong.

If your dog is digging at the carpet, trying to figure out why it is one of the first steps to stopping your dog from digging at your carpet.

What can you do to stop your dog from digging at your carpet?

Once you have figured out what is causing your dog to dig at the carpet, you can start to change these behaviors and stop them from digging at the carpet. These are some things that you can try to help your dog stop digging at the carpet.

Make a Loud Noise

Many dogs will stop what they are doing if you make a loud noise. If you clap, you will startle your dog, and they should stop digging at the carpet.

Distract Your Dog

If you see your dog digging, take their attention away from digging, and give your dog a toy. This should be a toy puzzle or a chew stick or something that will distract them from digging at the carpet for longer than just a few minutes.

Give Training Commands

If you see your dog digging, you can stop your dog by making them perform a command or trick like sitting, lying, etc. This is a great time to work on the “no” command.

Use a Rug

If your dog continues to return to the same area to dig every time, putting a rug or mat over this area can help. This way, if they do destroy the rug, it’s a lot easier to replace than carpet. You can even use a plastic covering for your carpet in that area. This is similar to the carpet or floor coverings that are used under office chairs.

Clean the Carpet

If your dog is digging because there is food, vacuum or clean your carpet. This will help remove any scents that your dog may be smelling and trying to dig up.

Take Your Dog for a Walk

Increasing your dog’s exercise will help them not want to dig at the carpet. Most dogs have extra energy that they store up during the day. Taking them for a long walk in the afternoon will help them burn off this extra energy and not want to dig at the carpet.

Get Your Dog a Friend

Some dogs get very bored, and getting another dog to play with will help decrease their boredom and not dig at the carpet as much.

Give them a comfy spot to rest

If your dog is trying to fluff the carpet and find a good soft place to sleep, provide them with a soft bed or blanket in this area where they can rest.

Take them to your vet

Some dogs may be digging due to a medical issue, especially if they are just starting to act abnormally. In this case, it’s a good idea to take your dog to a vet for an examination to make sure that there is nothing medically wrong with your dog.

Use a Calming Supplement

If your dog is suffering from anxiety, there are calming treats and prescription medication that your dog can take to help keep them calm and relaxed and hopefully stop them from digging at the carpet.

Final Thoughts

Your dog digging at the carpet is never a good behavior that you want them to continue. There are many reasons that your dog may be digging at the carpet.

The first thing is to figure out why your dog is digging at the carpet. This may be a medical issue, anxiety, or boredom. Once you figure out what is causing your dog to dig at the carpet, you can quickly and easily fix these issues. By stopping your dog from digging, you are fixing any issues that they may have going on so that they can live a healthy, happy, and stress-free life.

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