Why Does My Dog Scratch The Carpet In The Middle Of The Night?

I just bought new carpets and found them all ruined the next morning. Why does my dog scratch the carpet in the middle of the night? If you are here with queries like this, we will help you understand this behavior.

Carpets are a great way to steep your house with luxury. But if your furry friend starts scratching your carpet in the middle of the night, then it will make your mornings that much crankier.

A dog may scratch objects like carpets and beds for numerous reasons. For instance, if your dog feels extra energetic at night, he cannot play with other dogs or with you. So, he starts scratching the carpet to release his energy. He can also have some medical problems like thyroid imbalance which makes him engage in destructive behavior.

You need to find out the root cause for your dog scratching the carpet at night. It will help you take action accordingly, and you can save your expensive carpet from damage once and for all.

In this article I will discuss possible reasons why a dog might scratch carpets in the middle of the night, and what you can do about it.

Why Does My Dog Scratch The Carpet In The Middle Of The Night?

There is no single reason. I am discussing a few potential reasons below.

#1. Digging is in the DNA Of Your Dog

Certain breeds of dogs cannot live without digging because it is in their genes. They consistently chase for small prey by digging holes. If these dogs have not adequately exercised during the day, they become frustrated and may scratch on any surface on the house floor, including carpet.

In fact, animal behaviorists such as Dr. Elizabeth Stelow from the University of California believes that scratching the carpet is similar to making a nest for your dog. Digging a nest is a way for them to protect themselves from heat or cold in the wild.

So, if digging is in the genes of your dog, then it’s essential to train him that digging and scratching inside your house is not good. 

You need to find many possible ways to divert their minds in the middle of the night. For instance, you can keep some of his favorite toys around him so that you can distract his mind using toys rather than concentrating on the precious rugs of your room.

#2. Boredom

Are you not taking your dog outside for playtime because of your busy schedule? If yes, then you are neglecting your furry friend. 

He is neither getting enough time to play nor walk. So he gets bored staying indoors and may take out his frustration on many things inside your house like carpet. You should find time to take your dog outside to avoid getting bored by staying indoors.

#3. Entertainment

Every dog loves scratching the ground. Their paws contain scent glands. So they can send olfactory messages to other dogs by sharing the smell of their paws or the smell of their pee and poop. 

Scratching even leaves a mark on the ground by which other dogs can know about the presence of your dog. So, scratching is entertainment for a dog. But if you don’t take your furry friend outside too much, then he starts scratching the carpet or any other inside your house in the middle of the night.

#4. Your Dog Wants To Seek Your Attention

Dogs are attention seekers. So, if your furry friend feels neglected, he will try to seek your attention. If one tactic does not work, your dog will try another tactic to draw attention. 

For instance, if you scold your dog not to scratch your carpet, then realize that this action has a response from you. So he consistently scratches your carpet to get a response from you.

#5. Fear Or Anxiety

Sometimes fear or anxiety can be the reason for which your dog starts suddenly scratching your carpet. Your dog can get scared because of several reasons. I am listing some of them below.

  • Hearing some loud noise.
  • Hearing thunderstorm
  • You are taking your dog to a new environment
  • You are leaving your dog alone for a  long time.
  • A guest has come to your house.
  • Sudden changes in furniture in your house
  • You have recently moved to a new home.
  • You have brought another dog to your house.
  • You need to determine which of the above factors is fearing your furry friend, and then you can take necessary actions accordingly.

#6. Medical Problem

If your dog has a medical problem, he cannot express it in words. But he may start suddenly scratching many things inside like the carpet on your home. I am listing some of the medical problems which cause your dog to scratch:

  • Allergies in the skin
  • Tumor in brain
  • Arthritis
  • Thyroid imbalance.

You should consult your veterinary doctor immediately if you find that your dog is scratching your carpet, while also having difficulty in getting up or licking his paws or becoming aggressive if you are stopping him from scratching the carpet.

#7. Your Dog Is Copying Behavior Of Other Dog

If you bring a new dog to your house and he starts scratching your carpet, then your old dog will suddenly begin to scratch the carpet and other things in your home.

#8. Your Dog Wants To Make His Bed

Your dog can start scratching your carpet because of extreme cold or hot weather.

Dogs always have the habit of digging soil. In hot weather, they dig into lying in the cool soil. Moreover, in the winter and rainy season, the dogs dig the soil to make a den and protect themselves from harsh weather. 

They usually make holes under the trees or big buildings. So when the weather condition goes bad, your dog will suddenly scratch everything on the floor, including the carpet, with the hope of making a soft den for his protection.

#9. Your Dog Can Smell Food

Your furry friend can easily smell the food if someone has spilled the food on the carpet. He scratches your carpet in the middle of the night just thinking that the food can be there under the carpet.

How To Keep Dogs From Laying On Rug?

#1. Block Your Carpet Areas

You should block the carpeted area of your room by a baby gate or a barrier so that your dog cannot go to these areas.

#2.Set A Comfortable Space For Your Dog

Now your second step will be to set up a comfortable bed or a crate for your furry friend.

#3.Leash Your dog

Now put a leash on your furry friend and take him to a room where you have laid the carpet. Make sure to remove the barrier or baby gate of the carpet areas. Ask your dog to sit near the carpet areas.

#4. Say  No

Whenever your furry friend steps on the carpet, say NO and bring him back.

#5. Reward Compliance

Your furry friend will stop just before you have laid the carpet. Say YES and reward him with treats or his favorite snacks when he does.

#6. Move Your Dog Everywhere In Your House

Now move your dog everywhere in your house where you have laid carpets. Make sure to say no when your furry friend steps on the carpet and say yes if he stops a few feet before approaching your carpet.

#7. Remove The Leash

Now remove the leash and take him to each room where you have laid carpet. Observe your dog what he is doing by seeing the carpet. If he steps in, then say a sharp NO, and if he stops a few distances before the carpet, then say Yes.

#8. Keep On Practicing

You have to keep on practicing these steps for a few days. Consequently, your dog will move away from your carpet areas.

Frequently Answered Questions

#1. Why do dogs dig in the middle of the night?

They find it comforting to dig holes.

The most common reason your dog starts digging in the middle of the night is that he wants to find a comfortable and warm place to lie down and rest.

#2. Why is my dog suddenly scratching the carpet?

Your dog can scratch the carpet for numerous reasons. I am listing some of them below.

The smell of food coming from the carpet
Your dog wants to draw your attention.

#3. How can I stop my dog from scratching the floor at night?

It depends on the root cause: if it is a medical problem, approach the vet immediately.

Find the root cause for which your dog scratches in the middle of the night.You should soothe or calm your dog if you find him scratching indoors because of boredom or anxiety.

You can keep your furry friend away from the carpet areas when you are not present at home. Distract your furry friend from scratching in the middle of the night.

#4. Why do dogs scratch the carpet in the middle of the night?

Dogs mainly scratch the carpet in the middle of the night due to their inherited burrowing instinct. They want to find a comfortable and secure place to lay down and sleep at night. So they keep scratching and digging the carpet laid on the house.

A Few Final Words

In earlier days, dogs were wild and used to create a den for themselves to lie comfortably and have a good sleep. Although dogs are now domesticated, they still have the instinct of burrowing a nest for them. 

So this is one of the common reasons your dog scratches your beautiful and expensive carpets in the middle of the night. However, there can be other reasons like anxiety, fear, medical illness, and others. You need to find out the leading cause for which your dog behaves so weird at night, and then you can act accordingly.

Thank you for reading, we hope we have answered your queries and you found the content interesting. You might also like to read: How To Remove Dog Scratches From Car? And Why Do Dogs Lick When You Scratch Them