Updated at: 26-12-2021 - By: petexpert

A big pet peeve you may have is your dog digging into your carpet. This can be a destructive and annoying behavior for any pet owner. Some pet owners may find this behavior to be funny or a little bit wacky. However, most of the time this is an unwanted behavior that your beloved dog may exhibit. So is there any particular reason why a dog does this? Is he looking for something? Does he smell something? Or is this just a bad habit he has picked up? Dogs dig for all types of reasons and in order to remedy the situation you first have to get the bottom of this digging behavior.


9 Common Reasons Why Dogs Dig at the Carpet

1. Preparing for a Nap

In the wild, dogs dig before they lay down for a nap. This is done to ward off any creatures in the vicinity. Also, it helps to loosen the soil and create a more comfortable surface.

Modern pups are spoiled and have cushy beds to sleep on. But, that doesn’t mean that those instincts are any less powerful! You might see your dog pawing at the floor vigorously before doing some circles and laying down. Many pooches do this even when they’re on a couch or bed!

2. A Search for Food

Admit it: you’re guilty of walking around with food every once in a while! While you might think that you’re being careful not to make a mess, you’re likely to drop a few crumbs here and there. Dogs have an exceptionally powerful sense of smell. Those invisible crumbs you can’t see could be driving your dog crazy.

They smell the food that’s lost in your carpet fibers. So, they dig in an attempt to get to it. Those attempts are futile, but that’s not going to stop your determined pup from trying! If this digging behavior becomes an issue, try vacuuming your floors to get rid of any stray crumbs and food remnants.

3. Captivating Smells

This reason is similar to the previous one. However, it might not have to do with food at all. Say, for example, that you just finished working in the garden.


As you make your way back inside, you could have tracked in some soil or other grime.


Your precious pooch is so used to the smells inside your home that anything new is something to get excited about. Thus, it compels them to dig and investigate.

4. Dealing with Separation Anxiety or Stress

Dogs are far more complex than most people think. They can experience a range of emotions just like humans! Stress and anxiety are common feelings that dogs aren’t the best at dealing with.


Anxiety often leads to destructive behavior. Your dog could turn to chewing and digging the carpet or couch to get some comfort.


Does your dog frequently dig on the floor near the door? Chances are, they start feeling anxious whenever you leave for work every day.


If you’re not careful, they could eventually rip up carpet or mar up your hard floors. In this case, digging is a response to emotions that your dog doesn’t like. It’s their attempt at finding solace.

5. Attempts to Hide Items

When dogs enjoy something, they will do all they can to protect it! That’s why you might see your dog carrying around his or her favorite toy all day. If they had the chance, they’d probably bury it in the backyard somewhere for safe-keeping.


Of course, that’s not possible inside. Yet, dogs will still try. They may try to dig in the carpet and furniture to create a safe hiding spot for their beloved toy. Dogs often get very creative with this protective behavior.

6. Pure Boredom

Like stress and anxiety,Its-not-the-owners-fault-2.jpg feelings of boredom force dogs to turn to some strange behaviors. Canines need constant mental stimulation to stay entertained.  When you’re away for the day, dogs have no choice but to find a way to stay occupied. This usually leads to a lot of destruction!

7. Addressing Hot Temperatures

When the temperatures rise in your home, your dog will find ways to cool off. Outside, dogs typically dig a hole under a tree. The tree provides some shelter from the sun while the hole helps to lower body temperatures. Soil is naturally colder the deeper you dig, so it’s a nice little haven for your furry friend.

Dogs will instinctively attempt the same thing inside. If your dog has already resorted to digging to cool off, you need to pump up the AC as soon as possible to avoid overheating!

8. Grabbing Your Attention

If you have responded to indoor digging in the past, your dog already knows that it’s a great way to grab your attention! So, they’ll use it anytime they can!

Sometimes, dogs will do this whenever they’re bored and want to play. They know that you’ll say something, so they take the chance and start digging in the carpet or couch.


Other times, dogs will use this digging behavior for more pressing concerns. For example, maybe they need to go outside to do their business. To let you know, they’ll dig near the door!

9. Searching for a Birth Den

Is your dog pregnant? Digging at the carpet could be a sign that the babies are on their way! Female dogs will search for a birthing den when she’s ready to give birth. She’ll prepare a safe area for her and her puppies.

Usually, dogs will gravitate towards whelping boxes. But if that’s not available, don’t be surprised if she starts attempting to create a den herself.

It’s A Breed Thing

While all dogs have an instinct to burrow, certain breeds were specifically bred to possess a strong urge to dig. Terrier breeds, for example, have been bred throughout the years to hunt, dig up, chase, and catch mice and other vermin living in the ground.

If you catch your fox terrier in the act of digging out a hole in your carpet, know that they are doing the thing they were bred to do. In this case, there isn’t much you can do, except to ensure that your terrier is properly exercised and has plenty of toys that may help curb their digging urges.


Knowing why your dog is digging at carpet, the couch or other furniture is the first step in stopping the behavior. Once you understand their mode of thinking, you can address the problem.

Indoor digging can get destructive pretty quickly. But, your pup doesn’t know any better.

In most cases, it’s an innate coping mechanism. Be vigilant about your training and provide other ways for your pup to express their emotions. With time, your dog will learn that digging is reserved for outside the home.

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