Why Do Dogs Scratch Their Bed?

Why Do Dogs Scratch Their Bed?

Written by Nectarsleep editorial team

Last Updated on Sep 14, 2022

In this article:

    When we humans have our specific routine of showering, skin care, making the bed, and maybe reading a book - our dogs also have their sleeping routine. Ever noticed how your dog circles right before settling down? Or scratch and dig their bed? This is their regular sleep routine. But, why do dogs scratch their bed? They do it out of natural instinct to create a safe, warm and comfortable space for themselves before lying down. 

    Before becoming our furry babies, dogs resided in the wild, and since then, the habit of digging has continued. Certain traits of dogs cannot be trained, and one of them is this. Digging shows one of their survival instincts where previously they used to make space to sleep especially during wet or cold weather in order to keep them warm.

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    Territorial Marking

    The first and foremost reason for why do dogs scratch their beds is to mark their territory. These four-legged creatures have a scent gland at the bottom of their feet, and that emits their distinctive aroma on the ground - thereby marking their territory. Therefore, the reason why do dogs dig their beds can be a way to showcase that they have made the bed their own property.

    Making the Space Safe

    Why do dogs dig at their beds before lying down even if your house is locked, secure, and comfortable? It is because that is their natural trait to feel safe. Their wild ancestors would follow the same trait of circling and scratching the ground before they would finally lie down in a place offering safety and security. Another big reason answering why dogs dig? It is to scare away any rodents, snakes, or other creatures present in or around the mud, brush, or grass.

    Warmth

    Finding warmth is another factor responding to why do dogs scratch their beds. This is again connected to their wild ancestors’ digging the ground, and finding a place underneath those leaves, branches, dirt, and mud. This was done to insulate themselves from the extreme cold temperatures. If you find your pet scratching the bed more during the winters, you might provide them with a blanket and check if that was the thing bothering them.

    Anxiety

    Why do dogs scratch their beds excessively? The reason might be anxiety. If you find your pet scratching their beds for some time and then settling down to sleep, that is normal for them. But if you find them doing it excessively and not resting after that, chances are high that they suffer from anxiety or over-stimulation and are not instinctive. If you think anxiety is the reason, then immediately speak to your vet about the same and find the most reasonable explanation.

    3 Ways to Protect Your Dog’s Bed Against Scratching

    Dog digging at bed might be normal, but if this continues for a prolonged period, it will make your costly dog bed into a heap of filling and fabric. If the scratching continues, it might also be a result of anxiety or over-stimulation in your dog - which is indeed a matter of concern. But, there are some ways through which you can control your dog’s bed scratching as has been explained below. 

    Trim Your Dog’s Nails

    Not just humans but dogs also need a proper manicure, and they can benefit from that. When you regularly trim your dog’s nails, it protects their expensive and comfortable beds from losing their texture, resulting in a heap of fabrics and fillings. Trimming your dog’s nails every 3 to 4 weeks is generally recommended. When you regularly trim their nails, it will also avert damage to the hardwood floors, furniture, and your face. Moreover, trimmed nails often result in getting less infected. 

    Give Them Other Ways to Play

    If you notice that scratching their beds has become more of a sport than a simple nighttime routine, then your dog might be experiencing less stimulation. The solution for this will be taking out your dog for longer periods, playing with them, and providing them toys to play with. 

    Invest in a More Durable Bed

    The reason behind your dogs scratching their beds might be the bed itself. Buying cheap beds will only result in fabrics and inferior stuffings in them; those are easily ruined by your dog’s scratching and digging. For a dog who scratches its bed, it is useful to buy a slightly expensive bed with supreme materials and stuffing is useful. This will not only result in the bed surface's longevity and give your pet a comfortable surface to sleep on. They probably will be digging less when they find their bed is already so comfy. 

     

    There are several reasons why dogs scratch their beds, and there are also ways to treat it. Investing in a durable bed will undoubtedly be a better option for your dog. They can scratch without causing a mess on the bed, and you will also be relieved that they are sleeping on a relaxing bed.

    This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.
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