If your dog has been chewing on the carpet, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you a number of possible causes and what you can do about them.
So, why does my dog chew the carpet? Possible reasons why your dog chews the carpet are that it is teething, anxiety, doing it compulsively or that it has learned that the behavior gets rewarded.
Since there are a number of possible causes, it would help to consider what would make each of them more likely. Once you have a good idea of the main cause, it should become a lot easier to get your dog to stop doing it.
Why your dog chews on the carpet
Below are a number of possible reasons why your dog has been doing it and what would make each of them more likely.
The reason why your dog has started doing it could be that it is teething. This would be more likely if it is young, it has started doing it suddenly and it if has been chewing on other things a lot as well. In this case, it would help to give it other things to chew on and to give it lots of positive reinforcement training and “leave it” training.
The reason might be that it is due to an obsessive-compulsive disorder. This is where it has an irresistible urge to chew the carpet so it keeps doing it. This would be more likely if it has been chewing the carpet constantly for a few weeks now. In this case, the best option would be to get help from a vet.
Anxiety could be what has been causing it to do it. This would be more likely if it has started doing it after something happened that could make it anxious or if it does it more at a time where it is likely to be anxious. Examples could be if it does it more when a certain person is around, when you are about to leave home or when there are loud noises coming from outside.
Food stuck there
It might be the case that it does it because there is food on the carpet. This would be more likely if it chews a certain part of the carpet more and it has not been chewing random parts of the carpet excessively.
An issue with its diet
The cause could be that it is thirsty or hungry. This would be more likely if it does it more when it does not have access to water and it has not eaten for a while.
It could also be a sign that there is an issue with its diet. It could be that it is not being fed enough or it is being fed the wrong foods and it is not getting the nutrients that it needs. This would be more likely if it has started doing it since a change in its diet or if it does it when it eats certain foods.
It would help to discuss its diet with your local vet. You can also look here to see what you should and should not be feeding your dog.
Illness could be what is causing it to do it since it might be chewing the carpet to try and soothe its stomach. This would be more likely if it has started doing it suddenly and if it has been showing other signs of being ill. In this case, the best option would be to take it to a vet.
Rewarding the behavior
It might also be the case that it has learned that it gets rewards for chewing the carpet. If you tend to give your dog things such as treats, toys or extra attention, when it chews the carpet, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards. Instead, it would help to reward it when it is behaving the way you want, to try to redirect its focus when it is about to start chewing the carpet and to follow the other tips below.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider when figuring out the main reason why your dog has been doing it.
What else happened when it first started doing it
If your dog did not always chew on the carpet, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it since it might be the case that there was an event that caused it to start.
If it started doing it suddenly, it could be due to things such as if you started leaving it for longer periods causing it to get anxious, teething, illness or it might have learned that it gets rewarded for doing it.
What is different when your dog chews the carpet
It would also help to consider when it does it since the timing might also have something to do with it.
If it does it more at a certain time it would be more likely to be due to things such as being anxious or hungry.
What to do about your dog chewing the carpet
Below are some options you have when getting your dog to stop doing it.
If it has been chewing the carpet excessively or it seems like it might be ill, the best option would be to take it to a vet. By doing so, you should be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular dog and to rule out more serious causes.
Avoid encouraging the behavior
As mentioned above, it might be the case that you have inadvertently encouraged the behavior by giving your dog rewards when it does it. Instead, it would help to reward your dog when it does not do it, to wait for it to stop before giving it any rewards and to try to redirect its focus when it seems likely to start doing it.
Ensure its diet is right
As mentioned above, it could be the case that there is an issue with its diet that has been causing it to do it. You can look here to see what you should and should not be feeding your dog. It would also likely help to consult with your local vet on its diet.
Reduce reasons why it might be anxious
If it has been doing it while you are away, it would also help to try to limit reasons why it might be anxious when you are gone. Ways to do this would include, letting it pee, eat and get exercise before leaving it and to try to periodically check up on it if possible.
Give it other things to chew on
In addition to the above, you could also give it things to be distracted with so that it is less likely to want to chew on the carpet. Things that you could give it could be toys, puzzle games or bones.
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