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Why Do Dogs Scratch Their Beds?

We love our dogs, even if they act a little strange from time to time. One oddity that many dogs do on a regular basis is scratch their beds before lying down. Why do dogs scratch their beds? Dr. Jess explains this strange canine behavior below.

Why Do Dogs Dig and Scratch?

There are many reasons why a dog would dig or scratch objects in general.

If your dog is scratch or digging the ground, the carpet, their bed, or any other items on the floor, they may be telling you something…. or maybe nothing at all.

Dogs dig around for many reasons, such as for increased comfort, temperature control, scent and smell concerns, for attention, etc.

Why Do Dogs Scratch Their Beds?

Dogs dig and scratch at their beds and blankets for a number of reasons.

I have compiled my list of the most common reasons why your dog might be doing this peculiar activity just before they hit the snooze button.

#1: Genetics

That’s right! They may just be nesting! Something they have been doing as wild dogs for hundreds and thousands of years before they were even domesticated by humans. Wild dogs from years and years ago, needed a soft bed to lay in to rest.

Digging up the ground around them gave them a softer ground to lay on. Plus, it is ingrained in a dog’s genetics…. their ancestors did it to survive – so it may be harder than you think to stop your dog from continuing this survival instinct!

#2: Temperature Regulation

The deeper into the ground, the cooler the temperature. If a dog (or other animal for that matter) is hot, one way that they may choose to cool off is to dig a hole in the ground to get to the cooler temps below.

Sometimes that may mean that they dig directly in their bed, thinking that they may indeed hit a cooler temperature inside their bed as their ancestors may have years and years ago.

#3: Stress

Ever feel the need to go for a run when stressed? Maybe chow down on your favorite greasy fast food when under pressure?

Dogs also reach to certain tendencies when they are stressed. Most of the time, dogs showcase an increase in stress levels through a few different activities.

One of these stress-indicating activities can be in the form of digging and scratching along the floor or ground, bed there in front of them or not.

Other common signs that your dog may be under more stress includes licking of certain areas of the body such as their paws, and hiding.

#4: Spreading Scent

Dogs love their scent and they also LOVE spreading their scent around and around for all to smell. Your dog may be scratching their bed in order to get their scent all over it.

They also want to mark their “things” such as their beds with their scent to signify that whatever smells like them, is in fact, theirs. Go get your own fluffy bed!

#5: It’s Mine! Finders Keepers:

Treasures should be treasured and sometimes even buried! Many dogs absolutely love to bury their most treasured items that they find so that they do not have to share their prized items with anyone.

If your dog is one of these canines, then your companion may be more likely to dig and scratch at their bed if they desire to stick their treasures deep inside their treasured bed for safe keeping.

#6: Puppies!

Puppies want to play and explore. They want to figure out their legs and experiment with different textures and play methods. This may mean digging around in their bed. Some times when puppies dig and scratch at their beds, they grow out of it in time. Other times, they don’t.

Can You Prevent Your Dog From Scratching Their Bed?

Yes and no. It depends on the dog and it also depends on the reason why they are digging and scratching at their beds.

To keep things simple, the best and easiest thing to do would be to consult a professional. Yes, you should bring your pooch in to your vet for check ups. At their next check up, ask your vet about your dog’s bedtime habit.

If your vet seems to think that your pup is physically fine then move on to the next professional.

Consult with a well-respected and highly-recommended dog trainer.

Describe to them what you are seeing in Fido. I would go as far as saying that you should record (video is oh so helpful here!) their actions and show both your dog’s veterinarian and dog trainer – trust me, it definitely helps us out!

Your dog trainer can help recognize why your dog may be doing this behavior and give you ideas and ways to reduce it or eliminate it all together.

What Are The Best Beds For A Dog That Scratches?

Heavy duty dog beds are going to be you and your dog’s new best friend if your canine companion tends to scratch and ruin their bed due to digging. Not only do they use thick, harder to rip fabric, but they typically are easier to clean!

Here are my current favorite heavy-duty dog beds:

Best Heavy Duty Dog Beds

Here is my current list of best heavy-duty dog beds!

So are you ready to give a new bed a try?

Bed Scratching Summary:

Why do dogs scratch their beds?

Many dogs scratch their bed or the area they plan to snooze in. There are some pretty valid reasons why they do this.

Some dogs may be taught to knock it off, but many dogs will always dig at their beds before lying down no matter what you try to do to prevent them from doing it.

If you are sick of your dog destroying their bed with their scratchy nails, there are heavy duty beds that you can purchase that may be able to withstand the attack.

As always, if you have any concerns over your dog’s behavior, contact your local veterinarian to figure out what is going on and a viable solution to the issue.

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The information provided in this article is not a substitute for professional veterinary help.