Why Does My Dog Scratch the Floor?

A dog scratching the floor at night could mean a lot of different things, from anxiety to a medical condition. Some dogs scratch floors so much that they end up messing up the carpeting or hardwood flooring with their constant digging. In any case, you want to find out and treat the issue that is causing your dog to scratch your floors at night. Some of the most common reasons for this behavior can be found below and also we have some tips to help you stop this behavior.

If you play with your dog during the day and wear him out a little, he will be tired and less likely to put that extra energy into scratching your floors. Its important that you take your dog to the veterinarian in order to get them checked out to ensure no pain or stress from a medical issue is causing the problem.

Why do dogs scratch the floor like crazy?

Marking territory. If you have ever noticed your dog kicking the dirt after defecating, he is most likely leaving a chemical message for other canines to find — and if your dog scratches at the floor indoors, he may be attempting something similar.

How can I get my dog to stop scratching the floor?

Dogs and Hardwood Floors: 7 Ways to Prevent Scratches..Keep Things Clean..Wax Your Floorboards..Keep Your Dog’s Nails Well-Clipped..Take the Dog for Regular Walks..Use a Carpet Runner..Go Doggy Shoe Shopping..Avoid Little Accidents.

Why do dogs scratch the floor while lying down?

Comfort. Some dogs scratch the floor before lying down to enhance the comfort of their sleeping area. … In cool areas, dogs may scratch the floor to create a cozy, warm den to curl up in. Scratching the floor before lying down also helps dogs find the most comfortable position in which to rest.

Why does my dog scratch the floor like a bull?

Wolves and all dog breeds have glands in their feet. These glands contain pheromones that get released when a dog uses his or her back legs and feet to scratch the ground. The chemicals that get released into the earth are absorbed into the area. This is also known as the way a dog marks his or her territory.

We all have our special bedtime rituals and so do our pets. If youve spied your dog scratching, pawing or even biting at his bed before lying down, it may seem like an odd way to settle in for a nap. But just as we slather on face cream, sip a mug of hot tea or prop open a book before bed, dogs have their reasons for this pre-sleep behavior.

If your pup is scratching up a storm, he may be hardwired to go through the motions of transforming his soft bed into a nest or den before he feels truly safe. If you find your pup scratching at the kitchen floor, hes most likely claiming territory, but the living room carpet may not have anything to do with spreading scent at all.

Some dogs will dig at the floor or a wall if they sense rodents or other animals living in crawl spaces in the house. If your dogs scratching has become an issue, chat with your local veterinarian about treatment options to minimize your pups stress.

As a dog owner and breeder, I have always wondered why my cavoodle Harlow is constantly scratching our tiled floor. She has done this strange behaviour ever since she was a puppy.

They see their nest as a safe place for when they are felling scared, frightened or overwhelmed. What I didnt know was that the bottom of my dog‘s paws has special glands that release a scent when they scratch.

Now that I know that have consulted Google and know she doesnt have some rare illness or terminal disease, I can start my day. Wet nose kisses and wagging tails Jimmy and Mum xoxo

– 9 reasons why your dog scratches the floor (like a bull)#1: Scratching for comfort#2: Your dog is making their bed (literally)#3: Its an ancestor thing#4: Scratching for fun#5: Claiming whats theirs#6: Medical issue#7: Emotionally-based scratching#8: Your doggo the investigator#9: Its an insect-chase-away ritual

Your dog scratches the floor due to one or more of the following reasons: to comfort themselves, prepare the place where theyd sleep, acting out on their instincts, claiming their territory, doing it for fun, reacting out of an emotional issue, having a medical problem, or investigating a smell. Especially if someones staying at your house or during loud events such as thunderstorms or fireworks.

By scratching, your dog is simply acting on their instinct to create a den-like place to rest in. Your dog scratches the floor before eating because theyre attempting to make a hole and hide their food in it. A dog that has access to a yard, will dig a hole in the soil, put their food in, and cover it with dirt.

Your dog scratches the floor after pooping to leave a mark with the scent glands located at the bottom of their paws. This is a way to communicate to other dogs who will pass this place, that this spot has been claimed. Domesticated dogs usually hide in small confined places to recreate the feeling of being in a den.

Your dog scratches the floor when theres thunder because they feel anxious. Just because your dog is scratching the floor like a bull doesnt mean theyre getting ready for a fight. My dog Lissa does it every time after she chooses a comfy place on our bed.

This can happen when your dog doesnt have a dedicated sleeping place. Future mom dogs need a place to give birth to their puppies. In the wild, a momma dog with her puppies out in the open would be vulnerable.

Whats more, research revealed that dogs ancestors-wolves, used to scent mark their territory. The scent glands leave a trace whenever the dog scratches the ground. Research shows that spayed female dogs are more likely to scratch the ground after they urinate or defecate than intact ones.

Theyd also scratch the ground, and pee on a nearby tree, bush, or grass. Does the floor look deeply scratched, almost as if your dogs life depended on it? But even if your dog is trying to hide their painful state, youll notice something is off.

If the reason is separation anxiety, youll notice scratches after you get back home. They tilt their heads when they see something they dont understand and give it their best attempt. Dogs love round beds, with soft elevated edges.

Simply reward your dog for getting anywhere near their new bed for sniffing it, or putting a paw in. So as soon as your dog comes across a soft spot like that, theyll take the opportunity to try it out. If your time is limited, which is understandable, set aside one hour or thirty minutes just for playing together.

Anything, as long as you see it sparks a light in your dogs eyes. So that when you start working again or meeting with friends, or whatever it is youre doing, your dog feels content. Are you worried that your new expensive carpet or floor would fall victim to your dogs nails?

See, we humans have video games, movies, YouTube, and whatnot entertainment opportunities. Sure, your dog might be cuddling with you during a movie, book, or video game session. Take their favorite toy, lift it up in the air, and make a smacking sound with your lips.

Now that youve got your dogs interest, make them work for the toy. Regardless of a dogs age, one thing that applies to all canines is that they love chewing. Besides, if the reason for your dogs scratching is anxiety or OCD, youll need to substitute the activity with another one.

And spare your dog from stressful vet procedures such as teeth cleaning. Puzzle toys Dogs love a good challenge. A small dog such as a Chihuahua or a Mini Spitz would need a softer chew than a Husky for example.

The main concerns of dog lovers include the ingredients rawhide chews are made of. If your dog chews rawhides slowly, then you shouldnt be worried. If theyre no alluring smells, your dog wont go on a digging treasure hunt.

So make sure you dont spill any liquids or drop tasty pieces of food. But harp tunes could also be beneficial and calming to an anxious dog. You could simply type music for dogs ears in Spotify and choose a playlist you like.

Dont feel bad if youve tried some techniques and they didnt work.

1. Your Dog Could be Nesting

One of the main reasons for a dog scratching the floor at night has to do with nesting. They want to be in a comfortable and secure location, so they will scratch before they decide to lay down for the night. Back in the day, dogs would do this in the wild to create themselves a small den to curl up into. Even though dogs have been domesticated it’s still primitive instinct for them to have this nesting behavior inside of your house.

2. Your Dog Gets Anxious at Night

Anxiety at night is a possible reason as to why your dog continues to scratch your floors. If you rearranged the room or house lately, this could cause the anxiety that leads to scratching. Another common issue is that at night you are asleep and not paying the dog attention and they may feel less safe.If a storm is happening and there is thunder or lightning, these things can be the cause of anxiety. Another anxiety-provoking situation is that new people or pets are in your home. If you have a friend over for the week, you might notice the anxiety in your dog is higher. A dog is territorial so the anxiety could come out through scratching your floor.

3. Your Dog May be in Pain

There are certain medial situations that could cause your dog to act out in a destructive manner, and pain is one of those medical situations. Pain creates stress in both humans and dogs, so if your dog is in pain he might become stressed out. The more stressed out your dog gets, the more he might be scratching the floor as a way to relieve this pain and stress.

Some say it’s instinct 🐺

We all have our special bedtime rituals — and so do our pets. If you’ve spied your dog scratching, pawing or even biting at his bed before lying down, it may seem like an odd way to settle in for a nap. But just as we slather on face cream, sip a mug of hot tea or prop open a book before bed, dogs have their reasons for this pre-sleep behavior.So why do dogs scratch at their beds? The reason most likely goes way beyond just getting cozy …

Instinct

While it’s hard to believe a Shih Tzu or poodle ever ran with the wolves, some habits are particularly hard to break, even after thousands of years.Some experts suggest that a dog scratching at his bed may be an evolutionary holdover from the days in the wild, before domestication. If so, this behavior was an important part of helping wild dogs and wolves stay comfy, safe and warm, becoming so ingrained that dogs perform the behavior even when it’s not necessary.“There has been some conjecture that digging at bedding, upholstered furniture or soft flooring (such as rugs or carpets) is akin to digging a hole or spreading bedding to make a nest,” Dr. Elizabeth Stelow, chief of animal behavior services at the University of California, Davis, told The Dodo. “This is the most likely purpose when the dog then lies down in the specific spot it was scratching.”Dogs dig holes for protection from extreme heat and cold, and other predators. If your pup is scratching up a storm, he may be hardwired to go through the motions of transforming his soft bed into a nest or den before he feels truly safe.

Marking territory

Dogs, like wolves, have scent glands on the bottom of their paws and between their toes that secrete pheromones. Spreading their scent helps dogs communicate on a nose-to-nose basis, and the scent produced from these glands can be long-lasting.If you have ever noticed your dog kicking the dirt after defecating, he is most likely leaving a chemical message for other canines to find — and if your dog scratches at the floor indoors, he may be attempting something similar. However, this theory has one catch.“Some people think that dogs are mainly spreading scent on those areas and establishing territory,” Stelow said. “I would think this is more true of scratching or pawing on hard flooring, as the ‘digging the nest-hole’ theory has less credence on tile or wood.”If you find your pup scratching at the kitchen floor, he’s most likely claiming territory, but the living room carpet may not have anything to do with spreading scent at all.

To investigate

Though less likely, digging inside can also be a way for your dog to investigate something that sparks his interest — whether it’s a delicious smell or a fascinating sound.“Some dogs will dig at the floor or a wall if they sense rodents or other animals living in crawl spaces in the house. This is uncommon, but I’ve seen cases of it,” Stelow explained. “The odor of dropped food or other interesting scents in the flooring or furniture may also elicit scratching/pawing/digging to find the source.”Fingers crossed, the source of the scratching is a few crumbs, rather than a mouse.

Why Is My Dog Scratching the Floor?

As a dog owner and breeder, I have always wondered why my cavoodle Harlow is constantly scratching our tiled floor. She has done this strange behaviour ever since she was a puppy.So today as I watch her madly scratching at nothing, I decided to find our why?Scratching or digging is a natural behaviour which has evolved from wild dogs. I learnt that it is behaviour in their DNA.While we humans might think is odd, there are many reasons why our dogs scratch and dig. It could be a sign of boredom, nesting, security or even territorial.

Boredom

Most of us would rather our dog play with toys. Some dogs simply get a kick out of scratching at the floor. Go figure!If your dog is bored they are more likely to scratch and dig. And if your dog has excess energy same thing. So simple solution is more exercise. Or giving them a treat to keep them occupied. Like my Boredom Buster Box.

Comfort

We all know that floors are not a very comfy place to lie on. But why do some dogs feel the need to scratch on them before snuggling down.This scratching makes the ground more comfy “homely” or helps them find a more snug position.

Nesting

In pregnant dogs, nesting is a sign the birth is near. They need to prepare a nest/den to give birth and raise their pups.They seek privacy because they think, they and their pups are vulnerable to predators. And because the puppies need shelter from the elements.Your dog doesn’t need to be pregnant to nest though. Our dogs like us need their own personal space. Somewhere quiet and dark with room only for them.They see their nest as a safe place for when they are felling scared, frightened or overwhelmed.

#1: Scratching for… comfort

Dogs also have preferences about temperatures like we humans do.So what happens when your dog feels too hot or cold?They can’t turn on or off the airco. Or the heating.But they what they can do dig a hole. When they’re in the wild at least. And search for coolness or warmth there. Depending on the weather.

This behavior is also known as nesting.

Pregnant dogs do it too. That’s how you can tell the birth is near. Future mom dogs need a place to give birth to their puppies. They’d do this in a den.This choice is dictated by instinct. In the wild, a momma dog with her puppies out in the open would be vulnerable. Not only to the weather conditions but also to predators.But pregnant or not, all dogs like having their own comfy space.

#3: It’s an ancestor thing

Domesticated or not, dogs will be dogs. Meaning, they’ll keep instincts that remained from their ancestors. Such instinct is scent marking.Michael D. Breed explains this in his book “Animal behavior”. He adds that this behavior is also typical of cats.What’s more, research revealed that dogs’ ancestors-wolves, used to scent mark their territory.Either by defecating, urinating, or ground scratching. That’s how they’d put boundaries, create bonds, and reproduce.

#4: Scratching for… fun

Does your dog show satisfaction whenever they scratch at the floor?If so, here’s the answer to your question. Some dogs do it just for the fun of it.You might think that scratching is an unusual way for a dog to entertain themselves. Well, not really. It all boils down to personal preference.You know, for some people football is life. Then there are those who wouldn’t play it even if they got paid. So you see, everyone’s definition of fun is different.

#5: Claiming what’s theirs

Dogs might scratch at the floor to leave a “mark” so to say. And a message to other canines. It saysThis is achieved with the sweat glands in dogs’ paws. The scent glands leave a trace whenever the dog scratches the ground.By doing this, your dog achieves two things. Apart from their unique scent, they also leave a visual trace. And they claim their spot.Just like this dog here:Research shows that spayed female dogs are more likely to scratch the ground after they urinate or defecate than intact ones.This is how other dogs become aware of your dog’s presence.Territory marking behavior is seen in coyotes and wolves. They’d also scratch the ground, and pee on a nearby tree, bush, or grass.

#6: Medical issue

Is your dog’s scratching destructive?Does the floor look deeply scratched, almost as if your dog’s life depended on it?Then your dog could be suffering from a medical issue.If your dog is in pain, it’ll show somehow. Despite the fact that dogs will try to hide it.The reason they do that has to do with their survival instinct. Because if they show they’re suffering, they could become an easy target for other predators.But even if your dog is trying to hide their painful state, you’ll notice something is off. It’s most likely stress that will give them away.The more the stress levels go up, the more scratching they’ll do.

Anxiety

Here are the emotions that could be causing your dog’s floor scratching:

Boredom

A bored dog will look for ways to entertain themselves. After all, dogs are all about play, and they’re opportunists above all.

Excitement

According to VetStreet, what you’re seeing could be displacement behavior.An excited dog might want to do something they can’t. As a result, they will substitute the behavior they’re unable to perform with another one.For example, your dog sees a cat or a squirrel in the yard. Their instinct tells them to go after it. But they’re in the house and can’t. So instead, they start scratching at the floor.

#8: Your doggo – the investigator

Dogs are naturally curious. They tilt their heads when they see something they don’t understand and give it their best attempt.If your dog has their nose on a new or interesting smell, they might try to get to the bottom of it. Literally.This also applies to certain sounds your dog might hear. Even if you hear nothing.

#9: It’s an insect-chase-away ritual

You could also call scratching a ritual. And a very important one at that.If your dogy wasn’t domesticated, they’d be doing this in a den.But why scratching?By doing so they’d let critters know this place is taken. By dog and no one else.Smart. And much needed.And even though your dog has a dog bed and all the toys they could ask for, instincts are instincts.Plus, the desire to have the “bed” for themselves is strong. It’s like they’re saying

#3: Let your dog at it

Are you worried that your new expensive carpet or floor would fall victim to your dog’s nails?If your eye is twitching just at the thought of the possibility, then you should skip this tip.Still here?Good. If you see your dog is growling and enthusiastically scratching, just let them be.See, we humans have video games, movies, YouTube, and whatnot entertainment opportunities.Sure, your dog might be cuddling with you during a movie, book, or video game session. But the way you both see this same experience is different as the sun and the moon.Yeah, your dog loves touching you – being close and cuddling. But… they need their own source of excitement.While cuddling is cool and all, it’s about chilling. Scratching though is a form of exercise.

#4: Distract your dog

You don’t want your dog to be scratching at the carpet or the floor?Then try this easy method to steer their attention away from it.Provide them with something more interesting to do. Take their favorite toy, lift it up in the air, and make a smacking sound with your lips.Now that you’ve got your dog’s interest, make them work for the toy. Tell them to perform a simple action such as “sit” or “lie down”.Then give them the toy as a reward.

#5: Chewables to the rescue

Regardless of a dog’s age, one thing that applies to all canines is that they love chewing. It’s engaging and time flies when they’re doing it.Besides, if the reason for your dog’s scratching is anxiety or OCD, you’ll need to substitute the activity with another one.There are many options to choose from:

Dental toys

Dental toys are great for your dog. Not only will they keep your pooch occupied but they’ll also prevent plaque build-up.In the long term, that’ll save you a lot of worries. And spare your dog from stressful vet procedures such as teeth cleaning.

Puzzle toys

Dogs love a good challenge. And if you provide them with one, they’ll leave your floors and carpets alone. All that energy will go into solving the “puzzle” you gave them.A famous and effective example of a puzzle toy is the Stuffed Kong. It can provide your dog with hours of entertainment. As they try to figure out how to get the tasty treats out of there.And once they manage, the experience would prove to be rewarding in itself. This will stimulate your dog to continue their quest for treats.

Rawhide chews

Last but not least there are rawhides you can give to your dog. Dogs love them. And these chews can entertain your dog for hours and even days.How much a rawhide will last depends on the size and age of your dog. And how fast they chew.A small dog such as a Chihuahua or a Mini Spitz would need a softer chew than a Husky for example.

#6: Keep it clean

The floor I mean. If they’re no alluring smells, your dog won’t go on a digging treasure hunt.So make sure you don’t spill any liquids or drop tasty pieces of food. Without cleaning properly afterward.