We all know that dogs can be adorable. But, they also have some actions that we might not always love. One of these quirks is scratching the floor with their paws when they are inside the house. It can be an irritating habit that drives pet owners crazy. So, why does my dog scratch the floor? Is my dog trying to tell me something?
Your dog might be scratching the floor for various reasons, some you can’t even begin to understand. It can be annoying, and it can get your pet in trouble. Also, it might point towards underlying medical or behavioral problems like anxiety or separation anxiety. So, it would help if you start by figuring out why your dog does this so you can address it appropriately.
Let us learn more about the ten common reasons my dog scratched the floor and how we can stop them!
Reasons Why Does My Dog Scratch the Floor
Your canine buddy may scratch the floor due to one or two reasons. They might be trying to comfort themselves, are acting out of instincts, have a medical issue, or just trying to investigate things.
The scratching can happen any time of the day depending on these reasons why:
1. Your Dog Is Fixing Its Bed
All dogs need a place to sleep where they feel safe and protected, just like us humans!
This might be under the bed or behind the sofa – but your dog may want to create his own space too. So if you notice that your dog likes to scratch at the floor around his sleeping area, this could be why.
You can make your dog’s bed more inviting with a blanket – but only one that your dog is allowed to sleep on!
Almost all dogs tend to scratch around before lying down. It is more common when your pet doesn’t have a dedicated sleeping area. Thus, they try to prep their spot by scratching or digging.
If you have a pregnant pooch, she might be “nesting.” Pregnant dogs start nesting when they are soon to whelp. It is a habit dictated by instinct. Mother dogs need to prepare a safe and comfortable place for their newborn puppies. But pregnant or not, dogs like their sleeping spots to be comfortable.
2. Your Dog Is Scratching Due to Boredom
Scratching gets the good old blood pumping around the body, so it’s not surprising that dogs will do it when they feel bored. This is especially true of young dogs and puppies. They will scratch the floor even more vigorously when they are about to go into their teenage years.
Though we’d rather have them play with toys, some dogs get a kick when they scratch and dig the floor! It is like an exciting activity that kills their boredom.
How do you stop them? A good way to make sure your dog doesn’t get bored is to exercise him for at least an hour a day and play games with him for a good chunk of that time.
3. Dogs Inherited It from their Ancestors
Dogs are descended from desert-dwelling animals like the fox and the wolf, which scratched the ground to leave their scent around their territory. It is the same as marking it as theirs! Now your dog may be scratching to make himself look big and impressive in front of other dogs, or even to scare off intruders if he senses that someone is outside.
So whether they are domesticated or not, dogs will always have this instinct that comes from their ancestors. They will leave their scent mark either by scratching, urinating, or defecating. It is how they create bonds and set boundaries.
4. Scratching Makes the Floor More Comfortable
Some dog breeds just like scratching the floor. You will find their preferred place by looking at the pattern of scratches on the carpet or your floor! Dogs are quite sensitive to heat and cold. When they are too hot or too cold, they couldn’t complain or set your air conditioner. Instead, they dig or scratch their sleeping area until they find a comfortable spot to snuggle.
5. Scratching the Floor Is Fun!
We know that dogs are crazy about play and anything fun. Scratching the floor creates wild noises, and they might find it really funny. Your pet may be playing around and enjoying this silly activity. It might even be chasing or digging an imaginary insect on the floor!
6. It’s Emotionally-Based Scratching
Anxiety and excitement are two major culprits on why does my dog scratches the floor. When dogs are anxious, scratching may be one of their ways to calm down. Dogs with separation anxiety will often do this when their owners are not around.
On the other hand, it can also be a displaced behavior or excitement that they cannot contain. For instance, they see a squirrel in the yard, but they can’t go after it. So they start scratching the floor to dissipate the excitement that they feel.
7. Marking Their Territory
Just like the idea of doing instinctive things, dogs are very territorial animals. Dogs love to ‘mark’ their territory, and they reinforce this by scratching outside of it too!
This behavior might be especially true of dogs who have been only pets for a long time. But even if you have other pets and family members around, your dog will probably still choose to scratch – just in case!
8. It’s a Doggie Ritual
Scratching the floor can also be a ritual among dogs. Before they lay down to snooze at night, they scratch around and in their bed to drive away any critters or insects lurking therein.
If they do this during the day, your pet may be trying to keep them away from your house and their den.
9. Investigation is On-Going
If your dog is very interested in his surroundings, he is probably always checking out everything going on around him.
Canines are naturally curious, and they will sniff, scratch, or lick anything that they find interesting. They will tilt their heads in an attempt to understand something that they don’t.
When they have their nose on something new or ears on a sound you can’t even hear, and they might start scratching to find out about it.
10. Medical Issues
If your dog is scratching like mad, it could indicate that he has a medical problem. If you notice your dog’s scratching has become destructive, your pet may be feeling pained or uncomfortable.
Dogs tend to hide their pain and weaknesses, but their stress level gives them away in the things they do. The more stress they feel, the more destructive the scratching will be. Please bring them to your veterinarian to identify any potential health issues that your pet may have.
Is it Okay for My Dog To Scratch the Floor?
There are dog breeds that are known to be great diggers and scratchers. Terriers love to scratch, and if you encourage your pet to do it, they will continue doing it. A bit of scratching before they settle down at night is not a big issue, and it is all but common to them. However, scratches that started to mark may not be so cute anymore. So when you are bothered about why does your dog scratches the floor, check if they have everything that they need. Providing a comfortable bed and a secure den will keep them from digging a nest of their own.
It would help if you also give your pet plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. They might be scratching the floor because of their pent-up energy.
Tips to Stop My Dog From Scratching the Floor
Though we love our dogs to the fullest, their quirkiness often gets the best of them. When your pet’s scratching becomes too much to bear, find out the root of the problem and apply solutions for it. Here are some tips you can do to stop or minimize your pet’s scratching.
Distract Your Pet
Steer your pet’s attention away and offer them something more interesting. It can be a toy that you wave in the air or just make a smacking sound with your lips.
When you have their interest, make them work for the toy in your hand. Ask them to follow simple commands such as sit and stay. Give them the toy as a reward.
Provide a Comfortable Dog Bed
If your pet has a comfortable, safe place to sleep at night, they will not be scratching the floor before going to bed. Make sure that you have given them enough blankets or dog beds for them to make their own nest. They love those round-shaped dog beds with elevated edges, the ones that look and feel like a nest. Once they become accustomed to this spot, they will no longer scratch up the place before settling down to bed at night.
Interact With Your Dog and Have Fun Times
When your dog is bored, he will make trouble keeping himself entertained. If you can entertain him with a toy or a treat and play fun games, he will no longer need to scratch the floor for his entertainment.
Spending time with your dog will also give them plenty of mental stimulation and exercise. Thus, they are happy and content doggies who have no time to scratch the floors.
Keep Your Floors Clean and Scent Free
Whether you have wooden or tile floors, ensure that they are clean and free from any odor. Spilled water can breed germs and attract bugs. A healthy dog wants to live in a clean environment, too, so if you want him to stop scratching your floor, be sure it is always free of clutter and germs.
Give them Chew Toys
Every dog needs something to chew on, even if it is only a plastic or rubber toy. You can offer them these toys while you are away at work or when you leave the house for errands. These are items that they do not need to share with anyone else, so they will consider these their private property and keep them from destroying the items around the house.
They may even leave your furniture alone if they have these toys, and once you see that behavior coming out of them, it is time to start leaving these chewable toys for their entertainment.
Clean Your Floors
Dogs will follow their noses, so if your house smells like a home where they can comfortably stay, they will be less likely to scratch the floor and dig large holes that attract bugs.
Get Expert Help from a Dog Trainer or Vet
If your pet is too much to handle, you need professional help. There are dog trainers who can teach them the basic commands and also train them to stop scratching floors once and for all. Your dog might also have separation anxiety or some medical issues that’s why they are obsessed with scratching. A check-up with your vet will help pinpoint potential causes and give you doable solutions to help your dog.
Obviously, scratching the floor is a relatively harmless habit. But if you can’t figure out why your dog does it and address that underlying issue, then what’s to stop them from doing something more destructive or potentially dangerous in the future? So we recommend starting with this article on common reasons for scratching floors so you can make sure you’re addressing any potential medical issues that might be causing it.
And remember- dogs are smart! If they know they’ll get scolded when they scratch at home but not outside, then chances are good that all of their pent-up energy will go into breaking things around your house instead of just one spot. Spoil yourself by giving your pet some quality time outdoors where he or she feels safe enough to explore new smells and areas.
You can also include some fun games during this outdoor time that will distract your dog from any destructive behavior like scratching flooring or digging holes in your yard.
- Reasons Why Do Dogs Rub Their Face On the Ground
- Reasons Why Does My Dog Wink
- Reasons Why Do Dogs Follow You To The Bathroom
- Reasons Why Do Dogs Like Sticks