Many dogs are known to chew and consume inedible things. At some point, you may be asking why is my dog eating carpet? Of all household items, carpet might be the last thing a dog may target as a snack.
However, canines suffering from Pica and separation anxiety are likely to do this. Also, you have to consider teething and grazing as possible reasons as well.
In this post, I have discussed six possible reasons why your dog may try to eat carpet and what you can do to stop this behavior.
Why is my dog eating carpet? 6 Reasons
Pica is a condition where a dog ingests inedible items like plastic, paper, wood, fabric, and even rocks. Take note that this condition is also observed in humans and other animals.
Moreover, Pica is a compulsive behavior, and experts are quite baffled why it occurs. Most cases are related to an underlying illness, old age, and learned behavior.
Whatever the cause is, it’s important to address Pica right away. This condition can take a deadly turn if your dog ingests poisonous items or objects that could block its airway or intestines.
The treatment for Pica varies based on what caused it in the first place. Your dog’s vet will conduct a thorough examination to rule out other possible reasons.
Aside from that, increasing your dog’s physical activity and providing interactive toys will help stop the carpet-eating behavior. In some cases, treating Pica can be a life-long task.
2. Separation anxiety
Another common reason why canines eat inedible things is separation anxiety. A lot of dogs suffer from this condition, and it can really result in a slew of unwanted behaviors.
An anxious dog will find ways to ease its stress. It may chew the couch, destroy doors, or have accidents all over the house. Meanwhile, there are also some canines that will vent is anxiety toward the carpet.Since dogs can’t talk, they usually express stress through chewing. Some would end up eating a portion of the item they are chewing, which can be the case with your carpet.
Separation anxiety is common and easy to address with the right approach. Early training and desensitization will help dampen a dog’s anxious tendencies.
Remember that separation anxiety in dogs only gets worse as time goes by. It’s important to solve the issue to spare your dog from the stress and your carpet from the damages. Please read here: How To Cure Dog Anxiety The Right Way
3. Puppy teething
Before you jump to conclusions, you should first think about your dog’s age. If you have a puppy that’s younger than six months old, teething might be to blame for its carpet-obsessed behavior.
Teething puppies are in great discomfort. To appease this, they will chew almost anything their little daggers can reach.
Carpets are soft and gentle on the mouth, which makes them an easy target for a restless, teething canine.
The good thing is that teething will soon end, and your carpet will be spared from further damage. However, if your dog’s carpet eating isn’t ceasing, you should consider the other potential reasons on this list.
Grazing is pretty common among canines. Most dogs will chew and consume grass and leaves, though carpets can also be a subject of their appetite.
This can happen if your dog is suffering from nutritional deficiencies or stomach upset. And if the canine can’t go out to access grass, they will find your furry carpet as an alternative. Grazing doesn’t usually cause serious problems, but since carpet material is indigestible, you have to correct the behavior. Take note that carpet materials can block a dog’s digestive tract, not to mention that some carpeting have toxic substances.
5. Spilled food
On a less serious note, it’s possible that there’s spilled food into the carpet, which attracts your dog. Soups, drinks, and snacks can also cling to the carpet material. And in order to get the tasty traces, your dog may decide to chew the carpet up.
It’s important to clean up food spills as soon as possible. Aside from preventing your dog’s carpet-eating habit, it will also prevent the risk of inviting pests into your home. Besides, who likes stinky and messy carpets?
6. Pent up energy
Dogs that are locked up indoors for long without physical and mental stimulation will look for ways to expel their excess energy. This can lead to destructive behavior, which could include chewing your carpets.
This will be a bigger problem if you have a naturally athletic breed like Border Collies, Australian Shepherd Dogs, or Golden Retrievers. These canines need ample exercise each day to dampen their destructive behavior.
How to stop a dog from eating your carpet?
While the carpet-eating habits of your dog can be quite expensive, there’s a way to fix it. The following tips will surely help put a stop to the destructive pastime of your pet.
Redirect your dog’s energy
Since boredom and lack of exercise can lead to carpet chewing, it’s important to keep your dog occupied. Take it to walks around the neighborhood and schedule playtimes. If you’re going to work, consider getting interactive toys that will keep your canine’s mind off eating the carpet.
Aside from that, chew toys are also an excellent way to divert your dog’s attention from the carpet. This comes in handy if your pet is still teething. Just make sure that the chew toy is gentle on the gums.
Brush up with training
It’s important to interrupt destructive behavior as early as possible. You can train your dog to stop chewing the carpet by using the reward system.
For example, if your dog starts hyper-focusing on the carpet, call its name right away. When the dog comes to you, use a clicker, then give the canine a treat. This will teach your dog that there’s a reward in leaving the carpet alone.
Make the carpet taste bad
If you want immediate results, a bitter apple spray will come in handy. You just have to spray it on the portions your dog loves chewing.
Bitter apple sprays, as the name shows, have a bitter taste. When your dog chews on the treated carpet, it will taste the awful flavor. In no time, your dog will stop chewing and eating the carpet.
However, I suggest conducting a patch test in a hidden spot of your carpet. While bitter apple sprays don’t usually stain, I won’t take chances, especially on an expensive rug.
If you don’t want your dog to eat your carpet, don’t let him access it in the first place. However, this can be challenging as canines are like toddlers: they don’t respect the rules!
One thing my friend recommended is using electronic scat mats. These are like typical mats with a smooth surface but with sensors connected to a receiver collar. The moment your dog steps on the scat mat, it will receive a mild static correction. It’s like a wireless dog fence collar but inside your home.
You can place scat mats around the spot on the carpet your dog loves to chews.
Why is my older dog chewing carpet?
If your well-disciplined senior dog starts to chew and eat your carpet, something is surely off.
The first thing a veterinarian will consider is cognitive decline. This is expected among aging and old canines. It makes them prone to Pica, or the disorder that leads beings to consume inedible items.
However, it can also be a typical case of boredom, stress, or anxiety. As with young dogs, it’s important to get to the root of the problem to solve the issue.
Aside from that, it’s best to take your senior dog to the vet for proper examination. It’s important to rule out underlying health problems, especially if the carpet eating is getting worse.
If you are wondering why is my dog eating carpet, it can be due to Pica, grazing, or separation anxiety. However, it can also be due to boredom and food bits stuck on your carpet. Observing your dog and consulting the vet is the best course of action to take. You’ll never know if an underlying illness is at play until your get your dog gets checked.
When trying to figure out the cause of the problem, consider the age of your dog as well. Young dogs can chew and eat carpets when they are growing teeth. Whatever the reason, consulting your vet is the best option.
Thank you for reading and take good care of your dog!
Dave Bryan is an experienced editor with a passion for animals and writing. With a degree in journalism and years of experience in the publishing industry, he has honed his skills in crafting engaging content that informs and entertains readers. As an editor at Petcosset, Dave brings his expertise to ensure that the content produced is accurate, informative, and compelling. He has a keen eye for detail and is committed to maintaining high editorial standards. Dave is also a dedicated pet owner and loves spending time with his furry companions.