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How to Stop Dogs From Scratching and Digging Carpet

Updated November 21, 2016

Dogs scratching and digging at carpets may be expressing underlining problems like separation anxiety, boredom or pent up frustration. Likewise, digging before laying down is a natural behaviour that dogs conduct when they attempt to make a bed out of the carpet. Give your dog plenty of exercise and see if the scratching is reduced. Research your dog's breed. Your dog may have been bred for the outdoors and need several hours a day of exercise to fulfil its hereditary needs.

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  1. Keep your dog's food bowl away from carpeted areas. Instinctively, certain breeds will try to bury their food as a way of protecting it from other animals. Feed your dog in an area with hard flooring to see if they stop digging up the carpet.

  2. Place a dog bed or blanket in the area that your dog is scratching. Dogs like to make nests. Scratching and digging at their carpet may be their way of creating a nest like they would in the wild.

  3. Spray an organic spray like NaturVet Bitter Yuck! No Chew Spray for Dogs, Cats & Horses. When dogs get the spray on their paws and lick, they may be less inclined to dig at the carpet.

  4. Find out if your dog was bred to hunt. Dogs like terriers were bred to capture prey that live underground. To relieve this natural inclination, place their dog toys in several places in the yard for them to dig. The dog will get digging out of their system and may stop scratching up the carpet.

  5. Create a safe place for your dog in a room without carpet. Dogs that experience separation anxiety may express destructive behaviours. Lay down some of your T-shirts with your smell. Place chew toys around the area to give your dog some activity. When you come home, avoid paying attention to your dog for the first few minutes to create a calming atmosphere before petting it.

  6. Tip

    Refrain from rewarding your dog when it digs at the carpet by giving it treats or pats. Give it a firm negative command and ignore it for a few minutes before giving it attention.


    Avoid giving your dog any dog toys that are small enough to get stuck in the throat.

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Things You'll Need

  • Dog bed
  • Blanket
  • Spray
  • Dog toys
  • T-shirts

About the Author

Faith McGee
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