What Does It Mean When My Dog Licks The Carpet?

It’s not uncommon for a dog owner to ask what it means when my dog licks the carpet, as this sort of behavior isn’t odd at all. However, this isn’t the only behavior that might seem weird to us, but it’s completely normal to dogs. In today’s article, we’ll be taking a look at these weird behaviors and trying to understand how dogs see them.

what does it mean when my dog licks the carpet
What Does It Mean When My Dog Licks the Carpet?

What Does It Mean When My Dog Licks The Carpet?

There are three possible answers to this question, each one being very viable, and you’re the one who’s going to have to determine what’s going on.

Firstly, the most likely answer is – that your dog is bored. People often forget that dogs need entertainment just like people do, so it’s not at all unlikely that your dog will start acting out just because they’re bored.

“But why licking?” you might wonder. Well, we receive information about our surroundings primarily through sight and hearing, but dogs primarily use their senses of scent, taste, and hearing. So, to check out the carpet and see if they can find some entertainment there, they’ll lick it.

This is part of separation anxiety, as your dog is much less likely to act out like this if you’re doing something together.

Then, your dog may be testing the carpet. This is more common with puppies, but to figure out what something is, a dog will often smell it, lick it, and even bite it. Biting random stuff isn’t only the case with dogs.

You can find videos online of wild bears ‘nibbling’ on cars, tables, and even people – not to eat anything, but to figure out what it is. This behavior is also common with dogs, so if you find your dog licking your carpet or biting your carpet, they may be just testing it.

This behavior also applies to other things – biting and licking is their way of examining an object.

Lastly, we have anxiety. Dogs will often lick their mouths, but also lick inanimate objects, as well as their owners when they’re feeling anxious and nervous. If this happens too much, your dog may be suffering from anxiety.

Food and Drinks

If you spilled Bolognese sauce on the spot that your dog is licking, they’re likely licking that spot precisely because of that. It’s unimaginable to us, humans, just how strong the scent sense of a dog is, and they can likely smell food.

Even if you spill food and clean it – some scent will linger. This is especially true for carpets, as we all know how difficult it is to clean carpets properly.

The same rule applies to drinks, too. Dogs love to test our drinks and it’s likely that if you spill a tasty-smelling drink on the carpet, they’ll be able to smell it even after you clean it. Make sure to minimize spilling, as food is a major motivator for dogs and it’s the possible reason behind the excessive licking.

Related Reading: Dog Licks Mouth Excessively

Possible Medical Causes

We already mentioned anxiety and nervousness, but is it possible that your dog is licking the carpet as a way of dealing with physical issues, such as pain and nausea?

Well, when a dog is in pain, they’re going to show that pain in a few characteristic ways. A dog will usually hide, refusing contact with people and other dogs.

It’s also common for a dog to refuse food and drink. However, we know all of this already, what you should look out for are some more bizarre behaviors – such as licking and/or biting the carpet.

A dog in pain will indeed act odd – they’ll often become aggressive towards their owner, but it’s also been reported that dogs urinate in strange places instead of the regular place in their home, while they also don’t want to play or to be petted.

Licking the carpet isn’t the only odd behavior your dog might display if they’re in pain or if they’re suffering from an illness. They could also start eating things that they normally wouldn’t and it’s also common for dogs to eat grass and plants, even though they usually avoid them.

Dogs eating their feces, however disgusting and unsanitary it may be to us, is another common practice with sick dogs.

So, even though it’s not likely that the cause for your dog licking the carpet excessively is medical, this may be just one of those weird behaviors that dogs display when they’re ill.

dog licking the carpet
Dog licking the carpet

To End

Even though it might be weird to you, a dog licking the carpet isn’t that weird for them, especially if someone spilled food recently and they’re attracted to the smell. The only time you should be worried is if this is happening very often and if your dog does it intensely – there might be something happening to them.


stuart and his dog

Family Dog Expert Author

Hi there! I’m Stuart, a devoted dog lover and family dog expert with over a decade of experience working with our furry companions. My passion for dogs drives me to share my knowledge and expertise, helping families build strong, loving bonds with their four-legged friends. When I’m not writing for SirDoggie, you’ll find me hiking, playing with my beautiful dog, or studying music.