Why does my dog lick the carpet?

Have you been wondering ‘Why does my dog lick the carpet?’ – If so, keep reading for some answers.

Dogs can be strange, and some of their behaviours can prove real headscratchers! If you’ve been wondering ‘Why does my dog lick the carpet?’ – then you’ll find some answers here!

'Why does my dog lick the carpet?'

One of the weirdest things you might find your dog doing is licking the carpet. ‘Why does my dog lick the carpet?’ you might find yourself asking.

Now, this might be totally normal is you often spill food on the carpet or drop food accidentally. However, if it becomes excessive, it’s probably something to investigate. Which might be why you’re googling ‘Why does my dog lick the carpet?’.

Licking is usually nothing to worry about, but you might be curious about why this behaviour happens and how you can stop it.

If you’re looking to answer the question “why does my dog lick the carpet?”, then read ahead for everything you need to know! Whether your dog’s licking is due to boredom or a more serious medical problem, it’s always a good idea to get to the root of things.

So, without further ado let’s get going! 

Why does my dog lick the carpet?

‘Why does my dog lick the carpet?’

So ‘Why does my dog lick the carpet?’ – it’s the question you’re searching for answers to. Let’s dig into why your dog might be licking the carpet.

There’s something yummy on the carpet

The most obvious answer to ‘Why does my dog lick the carpet?’ – is that there is food there (or there used to be and your dog can smell it. One of the most common reasons for your dog licking the carpet is that there’s been a spill! Whether this is fresh or a couple of days old, your dog will probably sniff it out. You may not have noticed a few stray crumbs hitting the floor, so what’s happening here is that your dog is simply hoovering up the excess. 

If it’s not a harmful food that’s been dropped, you can rest assured that your dog will be fine. Don’t worry – your keen eye for mess hasn’t failed you, dogs just have a keener sense of smell than humans do! 

Excessive Licking of Surfaces

The next answer to ‘Why does my dog lick the carpet?’ – is ELS. If you didn’t already know, there’s a condition that afflicts some dogs called Excessive Licking of Surfaces (ELS). This syndrome is characterised by excessive licking of household surfaces (as you might expect!). Though carpets are one of the most licked surfaces, your dog may also lick floors, furniture or walls. 

If you think ELS might be the culprit, keep an eye on how often your dog is licking the carpets. If it’s multiple times a day, it’s time to take them to the vet to rule this syndrome out. As licking surfaces can cause intestinal issues if it continues, it’s best to nip this in the bud as soon as you notice it. Sure, it’s unlikely that your dog will ingest something harmful, there’s a small chance that they may consume bacteria, fibres or other damaging bits and pieces. Safety first! This could definitely be the answer to ‘Why does my dog lick the carpet?’.


Boredom is another explanation for why your dog licks the carpet. If your dog is under-stimulated or spends a lot of time alone, then they make take to licking the carpet to pass the time. If you think this might be the case, try getting your dog some new and entertaining toys. My dog loves toys that are puzzles or chew toys – some recommendations are below.


Another answer to the question ‘Why does my dog lick the carpet?’ – could be stress. A dog’s emotions can manifest in different ways, and sometimes a dog will take out their stress or anxiety on the carpet by licking it excessively. As dogs use their tongues to feel things out, they’re probably trying to make sense of things by licking the carpet.

This may be annoying for you, but this could be a good indicator that you need to help your pup get their emotions managed. A good option again, is to provide your dog with toys or puzzles that may help with his stress levels, and that can act as a distraction.

Gastrointestinal issues

Another answer to the question ‘Why does my dog lick the carpet?’ – it’s tummy issues. One of the more explanations for why your dog licks the carpet is a gastrointestinal issue. Vets have found that there is a correlation between excessive licking and gastrointestinal disease. Whether your dog’s licking problem is down to GERD, irritable bowel syndrome, or a nasty bug, it’s good to pin any issue down as quickly as possible to avoid further distress for your pup. This might be the answer to ‘Why does my dog lick the carpet?’.

Attention seeking

Attention-seeking behaviour in dogs is common, so don’t be shocked if your dog is licking the carpet to get you to pay attention to them! If your dog doesn’t get much one-on-one time with you, then they may lick the carpet more as it gets a rise out of you. It may not be good attention, but it’s attention, nonetheless. If your dog sees that licking the carpet gets them some attention, they’ll keep doing it!  


If you’re not familiar with dog behaviour, this one might surprise you. But it’s a common answer to the question ‘Why does my dog lick the carpet?’.

Dogs can engage in obsessive compulsive behaviours just like humans can, and these behaviours may become ingrained in your dog’s routine over time. Your dog licking the carpet may have started as a random act one day, but if it has become excessive and continuous then it’s possible that your dog has developed a degree of OCD. 

This type of behaviour is more common in dogs with underlying medical conditions, so if you’ve not taken your pup to the vet over their carpet licking, then it’s worth going for a quick checkup. If there aren’t any glaring medical issues, then it’s possible that the excessive licking just needs to be trained out with some good old-fashioned behavioural therapy! 

How to stop your dog licking the carpet

Let’s face it, if you’re googling ‘Why does my dog lick the carpet?’ – you’re also likely looking for a way to stop the behaviour. A carpet isn’t a great thing for your dog to be licking or focussed on, and it’s a good idea to try and address the habit.

Spray surfaces with a deterrent

It’s possible to stop your dog licking the carpet with a simple deterrent. This Bitter Apple Spray is great, as it’ll give your dog a nasty taste in its mouth that will discourage licking. I mean, realistically, who wants a mouthful of bitterness? Yuck! 

These sprays are non-toxic for dogs, so purchasing one is a safe option if you’re looking to stop your dog licking the carpet. It’s worth being aware that spray isn’t a failsafe method, but it’s recommended by vets as a non-intrusive way to curb excessive licking. 

Alternatively, it’s worth investing in a licking mat to give your dog something to focus on. This is particularly useful if the licking has become compulsive, as it’s a safe way to calm and soothe your pet while weaning them off carpets! 

Increase exercise

Exercise and mental stimulation for dogs is great for several behavioural conditions. Often, your dog is just bored and under-stimulated. Therefore, giving them an extra walk and some time with a tennis ball can be enough to relieve anxious behaviour and keep licking to a minimum. 

Try not to spill!

We know it’s difficult to catch every spill but keeping crumbs and food that hits the floor to a minimum will minimize casual licking. Again, not every dog has a medical reason for licking the carpet – some just want a taste of that human food! 

Simple plastic trays for your food are a great way to prevent runaway crumbs, so purchase a couple for your family to keep random licks at bay! 

Distract them

As I mentioned above, distraction is a great way to stop your dog licking the carpet. Give them something else fun to focus on and enjoy with their mouth – such as a chew toy or a ruffle mat. I’ve got a few recommendations below – as well as the toy listed earlier in the list!

Head to the vet

If all else fails, it’s a good idea to head to the vet. It’s possible that there could be something medically wrong, so getting to the bottom of things will help both you and your pup to rest easy. 

We hope that this guide has helped answer that question: “Why does my dog lick the carpet?”.

Do you have any tried and tested methods for stopping dogs licking the carpet? Any additional tips and tricks are welcomed in the comments below!

Good luck, dog lovers! Hopefully we’ve helped answer your question ‘Why does my dog lick the carpet?’.

why does my dog lick the carpet

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