How to Keep a Dog from Tearing up Your Carpets

Dogs and carpet…this is a clash almost as distinct as dogs and cats. After all, carpets are meant to add esthetic appeal, serve a lot of different functions, and remain clean throughout their years of service. Dogs are dogs, and they don’t have any real function in a home other than being a part of the family and doing what dogs do – being adorable!

Sadly, one of the un-adorable things that dogs do is damage carpets. It could be that they track in so much dirt and debris that the rug is doomed to an early spot in the nearest carpet graveyard. It could be you have a pup resistant to house training and who soils the rug too often. Yet, one of the biggest problems that dogs and carpets experience together is that dogs seem to “tear up” carpets frequently.

Why Do They Do It?

Your dog might come indoors and immediately, and aggressively, dig their front and back feet into the carpet – just as they do after marking a spot outdoors. This is a behavior that dogs use to access the scent glands on their feet and simply say “This spot is mine.”

Yet, your dog may also decide to soften up the carpet by digging roughly at the fibers, making it a bit fluffier as they do. Of course, some dogs actively tear up the carpeting out of separation anxiety or boredom, even going so far as the chew it up and expose the padding below.

So, first things first – determine just why your dog is tearing up the carpet but be aware that multiple issues could be at work.

Use Common Prevention Methods

If a dog is digging out of anxiety, you’ll need to address that, or the carpets will never be safe. That is the subject for an entire book. However, there are many methods you can work on either with an expert in dog training or by using the many online resources. The good news is that a lot of dogs are helped with anxiety and soon stop their destructive behaviors.

If the dog is just softening up a resting spot, you have a few solutions. The first is to invest in dog beds and train the dog to use those rather than laying down on the “softened” area of rug. The next is to make that area off limits and hope they don’t choose another spot to begin the same behavior.

Lastly, territorial marking (not soiling due to house training accidents) can be remedied with a basic vinegar spray you mist over that area or a carpet-safe solution available from many pet suppliers. You might also consider investing in heavier mats you lay over the carpet that allow the dog his or her moment of triumphant marking without damaging your rug!

Be sure that any rug tearing behaviors are not medically or emotionally triggered. Your dog could be bored and need some toys. Your dog could be desperately trying to get outside to “go” and may need longer or more frequent walks as the remedy.

When all is said and done, rug tearing is not uncommon and can often be remedied through training, distractions like toys or bedding, and a quick visit to the vet. Repairs are always possible, but it is best to stop the source of the problem before it gets too destructive