Why Does My Dog Scratch The Floor?

Unlike a number of other odd behaviors, a dog scratching the floor is not one that should make you get too worried as it can easily be dealt with.  That said, this article will help answer the ‘why does my dog scratch the floor?’ question.

Why Does My Dog Scratch The Floor?
Image by Julie Rothe from Pixabay

Possible Reasons For Dogs Scratching The Floor

The following are possible reasons why your dog is scratching the floor:

  • For entertainment.
  • To get comfortable.
  • To mark their territory.
  • To nest.

Now to explain:

One of the reasons why dogs scratch the floor is entertainment. When dogs are bored and have so much boundless energy, they could just start to scratch for the fun of it.  

In cases like this, this act is not dangerous unless your dog is actually destroying something.

Dogs are also known to scratch and dig the floor when they are trying to get more comfortable.

Most times, they do this to control the temperature of their resting area. For instance, when the ground is too hot, they will scratch and dig to get to a strata of the earth that is cold enough.

Another reason (which stems more from their primitive nature) is for marking out territory. The bottom part of the paws of a dog have some special glands that leave behind a particular scent when they scratch or dig.

Another reason why your dog might scratch the floor is for the purpose of nesting.

This is only found in pregnant dogs. They do this when they want to give birth to their puppies in a bid to keep themselves safe.

When Should You Be Genuinely Worried That Your Dog Is Scratching The Floor?

When your dog scratches the floor as a result of anxiety, there is a high chance that this behavior can further degenerate into something more serious.

Knowing fully well that the aggressive behavior of most dogs stem from fear or anxiety, we advise that you see to it that this is eliminated.

Some other times, your dog could be scratching the floor because he is trying to get rid of an itch.

That might not be a course for concern if the scratching isn’t very consistent.

If it is, check the pad of your dog’s paws to see if there are any skin irritations, lumps or something else that could be causing the itches.

And if you notice anything out of the ordinary, do report to your doctor immediately.

Also, when your dog scratches and digs as a result of it claiming territory (in the case when you own multiple dogs) and another dog claims it, it could degenerate into a serious fight.

Cheshire Animal
Image by Lars Forseth from Pixabay

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How To Make Your Dog Stop Scratching The Floor

Well, as a matter of fact, in most cases, it depends on the reason why your pet carries out this act.

If it is as a result of boredom, let your dog enjoy himself by scratching the floor, provided he isn’t damaging anything.

Clipping his nails could make sure of that. Otherwise, dedicate more time to playing with your dog.

You could also take your dog for longer walks where he can get to expend much energy. Peradventure you are the busy type, do well to hire a dog walker.

Another option that you could employ is to ensure that your dog has a comfy place to sleep.

According to research, it is proven that dogs like to sleep in a round shaped bed that has edges.

Getting them a bed that looks more like a nest helps them to be more comfortable and in no time, the digging and scratching will subside.

In cases, where your dog scratches to mark out his territory, you’ll need to teach him that good dogs interact well with other dogs. And that the house is for all of you.

In addition to that, though, you could get your dog his own space, like a crate or house, so that when he just wants to be by himself, he will have somewhere to go.

Why Does My Dog Scratch The Floor? — FAQs

Why Does My Dog Scratch The Floor At Night?

If your dog is scratching the floor at night specifically, it could be because they are scared of the dark or the night time.

So, you could try leaving the light on wherever your dog sleeps and see if that helps.

If that doesn’t help, you could try situating your dog’s sleeping spot in a place where they can see you. And this doesn’t have to be on your bed.

Situating your bed close to you helps reassure your dog that you are there. This could stop the night scratching if it is anxious behaviour.

Why Does My Dog Try To Dig In The Carpet?

Your dog digging in the carpet could just be them trying to make it more comfortable for them by making it fluffier. The fluffier the carpet, the easier it is for them to relax on it.

It could also be your dog’s way of releasing tension or anxiety. If this is the case, they usually just keep on digging without attempting to lie down.

Why Is My Old Dog Digging At The Carpet?

If your old dog just started digging into the your carpet, we recommend that you immediately report to your vet. Now, we are not saying that this behavior is certainly indicative of something wrong, we just want to be sure that the possiblity that something is wrong is eliminated.

So, basically, if you notice any sudden change in behavior with your dog, immediately report to your vet.

That said, your old dog is possibly suddenly scratching the carpet because they are anxious.

What Does It Mean When A Dog Scratches Its Bum On The Floor?

If your dog is scratching its bum on the floor, you really want to check that out because it is most likely an infection.

Well, your dog is certainly battling with an irritation and trying to get comfortable if they are scratching their bum on the floor. However, that irritation could be as a result of infection as we already mentioned or even worms. So, get that checked out at your vet’s as soon as possible.

How Can I Get My Dog To Stop Scratching The Floor?

To get your dog to stop scratching the floor, start with speaking with your vet so that you can eliminate the possibility of a medical condition.

Once you’re certain that your dog isn’t suffering from any medical condition, consider getting them a soft doggie mattress or pillow and placing it in that spot where they usually scratch. If it is comfortable enough, they should make do with that and stop scratching your floors.

Also, always make sure that your dog’s nails are properly clipped and never too long.

Will A Dog Ruin My Hardwood Floors?

Left to their own devices, a dog could certainly ruin hardwood floors. However, if you are intent on getting a dog, you shouldn’t let this deter you.

You’ll just have to put measures on ground to ensure your hardwood floors are not ruined.

For one, always ensure that your dog’s nails are the right length. Also, if you haven’t gotten your hardwood flooring yet, consider getting the kind that doesn’t show the scratches.

Finally, this is not about scratching but getting to your dog’s little poops and pee on your hardwood floors goes a long way in preserving the beauty of your floor.

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