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Why Is My Dog Tearing Up the Carpet & What Should I Do?

If you’ve got a dog and a carpet, you probably know full well by now that the latter is not long for this world. How many times have you come home to see your carpet in tatters, ripped up all around your innocent mutt who just looks at you with an inquisitive look on their face? What’s the matter, friend? Don’t like what I’ve done with the place?

Your dog tearing up your carpet is definitely an aggravating experience, for sure, and you want to be done with it. However, in order to do so you need to understand what your dog is trying to do in the first place, and whether or not it’s a good or a bad thing in the first place. Once you know this, you’ll be better equipped to deal with this pernicious problem.

Step 1: Understand Why Your Dog is Tearing Up the Carpet

stop dog ripping up carpet

It’s definitely tempting to chalk your dog’s clawing and scratching to being something that dogs just do, and there’s something to that, to be sure.

Your dog, like everyone else, wants to be comfortable, and scratching is a very comforting thing to him or her. If your dog is trying to take a nap on the carpet, a little pawing at it might make it fluffier and more comfortable for them.

When dogs are outside, they usually scratch the dirt and ground in order to regulate their temperature and claim territory for their own. This, then, is yet another explanation for why your dog tears up your carpet – they want to make sure your other dog (or even your cat) knows who’s boss in the home.

Could There Be Something Wrong?

dog tore up carpet

While these perfectly innocuous reasons could very well be why your dog is ripping up that beautiful carpet, there are some other things you might want to watch out for.

The most important thing to rule out is separation anxiety – dogs will often get bummed out when you’re not there, and tear up the carpet in order to deal with that anxiousness they feel at not having you around.

If you want to figure out if separation anxiety is your dog’s problem, there are other symptoms to look out for.

If your dog always tries to leave with you when you try to head out the door, or whines whenever you don’t let him or her out with you, these are signs that your dog just can’t handle being without you. Flattering, to be sure, but it’s something you should get your dog used to unless you want to stay a homebody.

How Can I Stop My Dog from Tearing Up the Carpet

stop dog pulling up carpet

Luckily, regardless of why your dog is treating your carpet like it just shot him or her a dirty look, there are ways to stop your dog and correct its troublesome behavior.

If your dog is trying to make itself more comfortable on the carpet, be sure to give them a nice, cushy bed on which they can take a nap. This way, they can sleep in peace without needing to make his own safe space for himself.

In order to deal with your dog’s separation anxiety, you might want to keep your dog appropriately distracted while you’re away.

It might be a god idea to give him or her some toys and other things to play with while you’re gone. If you think you will be gone for a longer period of time, get a dogsitter or ask one of your friends to check in on him or her.

There are myriad other methods for stopping your dog from ripping out the carpet of your home, but these are the most effective for the most frequent causes of dog scratching.

Keep that in mind the next time your dog leaves you with a Thunderdome-esque, post-apocalyptic carpet situation upon your return. In the meantime, take it as a compliment: your dog loves you so much, they go crazy without you around!

Here's another good video that addresses chewing in general:​

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Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 6 comments
Dr Don Haskins - June 26, 2017

6/25/17 my 1 yr 6 mo tore up carpet into fluffy small pieces and swallowed them for many days we did not know because She did it under the beds got very sick had 7 days of vet visits many X-rays all kinds of test they couldn’t see any problem until she vomited up a 2n
by3 inch mass then thy realized the need for Barium upper G I and enama’s were still not out of this do now no poo in2 days but we don’t have any more bloody stools she is back to eating only700 plus vet bills no this puppy gets adoring care so there is more to this the vets just say she get holy stressed for some reason

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John - August 16, 2017

I don’t believe any of the above problems/solutions apply to my dog. He is 14 months old has and older brother, plenty of toys, dog beds and this destructive behavior began only recently and only when I am somewhere else in the house.

It clearly is not about comfort seeking or separation anxiety, which leaves only the third option, claiming territory. And this is certainly unacceptable at this point in his development. Any expert thoughts or opinions here? I would hate to lose a family member but I cannot tolerate this and its seeming escalation.

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    PC Carrell - August 17, 2017

    Hi John
    You may need to start crate training or giving your dog more exercise. Some dogs have lots pf energy and if they don’t get enough exercise they begin destroying objects.
    All the best

    Reply
cass - February 13, 2018

This article did not help! My puppy has a certain spot that she goes out of her way to find a way to pull some to unravel…I have covered it, cut it and even tried superglue but she always gets that same area and rips! She has toys all over the room..I have put all kinds of stuff to cover that area but she manages to start the unraveling in no time!! UGG

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    GD - May 6, 2018

    Try putting some foil on top of the spot. My dog seems to know to stay away when it’s there. Not sure if it’s the noise when she touches it but it seems to work. Good luck

    Reply
Beth - May 9, 2018

My 10 month Cocker Spaniel is chewing the carpeted corners of my stairs, chewing up my underwear when I leave my bedroom door open. All of the doors must be closed to keep her out of the bathroom and bedrooms, she also likes to get into the small trash cans and get out toilet paper. I do admit, the carpet chewing happens when no one is home, but the others happen when we are home. Is she that attached to me that anything that smells like me, she goes after and the carpet chewing is the anxiety? She is also pooping in the house after my husband takes her out for 30 minutes. I’m going insane.

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