Why Do Dogs Scratch The Floor?

Why Do Dogs Scratch The Floor?

As An Amazon Associate We Earn From Qualifying Purchases At No Extra Cost To You
Dog Scratching The Floor

Every dog owner will concur that dogs exhibit a variety of peculiar habits that we don't fully comprehend. Perhaps you've observed your dog scratching the floor just before sleeping or before bedtime, for example? If so, you could be perplexed by this strange behaviour and ask why. There are various viewpoints on the topic from numerous sources and professionals, as is the case with the majority of canine behaviourism. So, if you've ever wondered why dogs scratch the ground before settling down, you might be curious about some of the causes. Let's look at the issue more thoroughly and get the opinions of some specialists.


The reasons why dogs scratch the floor is largely due to (nesting) comfort while preparing to sleep or in cold seasons to keep warm, as a act of territorial markings, as an entertainment when bored and when a dog is in sick or in pain. In this article, the reasons for this subject will be discussed in greater detail.


Some of the habits that your dog shows can be linked back to their most primitive progenitors, which is something that we have indeed read before. When dogs were still wild animals living in the wild, they had to fend for themselves in order to find meal, habitat, and other necessities for existence. The vast majority of specialists are of the opinion that a good portion of these traits are still firmly embedded within the genetic make-up of domesticated dogs.

Here are the four most significant explanations for why dogs scratch the floor.

  1. Nesting

  2. Territorial marking

  3. Boredom

  4. When your dog is sick or in pain


Nesting is among the most common causes of dog floor scratching. Innate behaviours like nesting may be more common at night time. The dog can simply be attempting to keep warm and cosy before going to bed. The dog might well have inherited the traits of clawing and burrowing from his forebears. To create a cosy sleeping area for themselves, wild canines may have scratched the ground and twigs. That also applies to your dog. In the wild, dogs will scrape to create a cosy home or nest where they may sleep. In addition to establishing this nest spot, scratching the floor helps regulate the temperatures of both the dog and the napping place. For instance, if the floor is too heated to lay on pleasantly and the climate is warm, your dog may scratch off a space to expose cooler grounds for a bedding. Moreover, digging or scratching the area might assist raise up the sides of the resting place for insulation if the climate and soil are cooler.

Territorial marking

The matter of territorial dominance could also play a role in the scratching habit, in addition to the fact that nesting might be a factor. Because dogs perspire through the padding on their paws rather than their skin, this has led some people to believe that scratching is a territorial act performed by dogs. Your dog's distinctive odour is heightened when it scratches at the ground or floor because this behaviour stimulates the discharge of sweat from specific glands located on the underside of the paws. Your dog will be able to establish their rights to the region when this odour is dispersed, since it functions as an indicator of their presence.


The most straightforward explanation for this scratching habit is pleasure. Precisely, entertainment. Some dogs enjoy keeping themselves occupied and consider burrowing and scratching to be extremely enjoyable. Your dog will seek out ways to pass the time if it is bored or wants to burn off extra energy. Digging and scratching appear to be among the enjoyable stress reducer. If dogs don't receive adequate playtime during the day, they might be more likely to scratch the floor at night-time. Continuous scratching is one technique to get rid of any excess fuel your dog may have. If you haven't been exercising and playing with your dog as often as you should, start now. Happy dogs are weary dogs. If a dog is too exhausted to walk around at night, they won't be tempted to scratch the floor.

When your dog is sick or in pain

It's possible that your dog has a disease that worsens at night-time. The dog may, for instance, experience joint problems that get worse if he tries to lay on the floor. Canine dementia and other cognitive disorders may affect older dogs. They might have awakened in the middle of the night and momentarily lost their bearings. The dog could continuously scratch and claw at the floor throughout the night as a result of the nervousness.

How to get a dog to quit pawing the floor

Old towels can be used to lessen the scratches and damages to the ground, if it isn't a medical problem (or clothing/rug material). It needs to be anything you're okay with, in case your dog damaged and scratched it. Your dog may be able to keep its natural instinct to nest by having the towel placed on top of the areas where it scratches while also causing less harm to the fabric and ground.

Other Considerations

The worst-case scenarios for why your dog is excessively scratching or burrowing could be clinical. It has been demonstrated that some health problems can make dogs act destructively. Scratching and burrowing have been two of these actions that have drawn the most attention. Your veterinarian could assist you in determining whether there is a problem if you are worried that the behaviour is clinical. Another potential source of worry that could be driving your dog to scratch is psychological issues like anxieties and fear. Your dog can attempt to flee if he or she is afraid of the weather or there are guests over. It's possible that this urge to flee led to the scratching and burrowing to make a doorway. Make sure you discuss strategies for reducing fear or anxiety in your pet with your veterinarian.

Concluding Words

Now you'll be able to determine if the scratching and burrowing are detrimental and require attention because now you know they are probably just primordial instincts. Thankfully, your pet won't often be in danger from the problems that are causing this scratching and burrowing. Just keep an eye on them and take pleasure in all the subtle nuances that come with owning a dog.

Back to blog

Leave a comment