My older dog has started scratching the floor, rug, bed, etc. Is there something I can do to calm her?

She does it continually, and I'm concerned she will injure her arthritic paws.

Asked by Carla

1 Answer

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Hi Carla, there could be a couple of reasons for this behavior. To get to the bottom of it, it’d be good to know when your girl scratches. Is it at a certain time of the day, or when she’s alone, or when there’s loud noises for example a thunderstorm? As with all behavior issues, it’s essential to rule out any medical causes for the behavior so it’s worth having her checked by your vet for any physical abnormalities.

If all’s well, then it’s possible that the scratching is a result of her feeling anxious. It may also be due to simple boredom, or a form of obsessive compulsive disorder, or even canine cognitive dysfunction or dementia. Again, your vet or a veterinary behaviorist can offer suggestions on how to manage anxiety or age related changes to your dog’s mind, and those suggestions may include both medication and adjustments to her home environment. | 05.20.16 @ 12:23
Comment 1  
Carla — We had her spayed a little over three weeks ago. She has been doing this since we brought her home. There is no certain thing I have noticed going on when she does it. It is pretty much every chance she gets. Her whole personality seems to have changed. I took her back to the vet a few days back because she was licking her rear a lot. The vet expressed her anal glands so that has stopped. The scratching however, lives on. | 05.20.16 @ 12:54
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$commenter.renderDisplayableName() — {comment} | 11.17.17 @ 17:42
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