This article will discuss why dogs scratch or dig in their bed, what you can do about it if your dog scratches or digs in his bed too much, and how you can try and prevent your pet from scratching or digging at its bed.
Dogs are naturally inclined to scratch and dig at their beds. It’s perfectly normal unless it’s a sign of anxiety. Dogs have an instinct to dig, they could be marking territory or just digging out of an instinct for no apparent reason. They could just want the bed to be placed elsewhere or create a nest.
Why Do Dogs Scratch & Dig Their Bed?
Many dog owners have wondered why their furry friend scratches and digs at their bedding. It turns out there is a good reason for this behavior!
Dogs scratch and dig in their bedding to create a comfortable place to sleep. Additionally, they may do this as a way to mark their territory or cover up evidence of their whereabouts.
By understanding the reasons behind your dog’s scratching and digging, you can work with them to create a better environment for them. Let’s proceed to look at the reasons one by one.
Dogs are notorious for scratching and digging their bed. It’s a natural instinct – they had no beds when they were living in the wild, so they scratched and dug at the ground to create a comfortable place to sleep.
Cooler Bedding Area:
Another reason why dogs scratch and dig in their beds is because, when in the wild, they were trying to create cooler sleeping conditions for themselves.
By scratching and digging in the earth, dogs were able to reduce the temperatures of their bedding space.
Even though dogs now have beds, many of them still can’t resist scratching and digging at them. That’s because instinct gets the better of them.
Dogs are descendants of wolves, and as such, they have instincts that compel them to act in specific ways. One of these is their predatory instinct.
By digging deep, the dogs used to go lower than ground level, ready to pounce or attack if necessary. This was a hiding space for them in the wild. The wolf instinct still prevails in them.
Dogs are territorial animals, and they often scratch and dig at their bedding to leave their scent and mark their territory. This behavior is instinctual and usually nothing to worry about.
Dogs scratch and dig their beds to imprint their scent and mark territory. This way they are marking the bed as ‘mine’. Impliedly, the dog seems to like its bed.
It turns out, it could be due to anxiety! Dogs that experience separation anxiety or other types of generalized anxiety may scratch and dig at their bedding as a way to relieve stress.
This way, the dogs let out the excess energy in them and it allows them to feel better because, at the end of the process, they are breathing harder and taking in more air.
Pro Tip: If it is a case of anxiety, you may notice that the dog may not limit itself to its bed but may dig in other places too. It is best that you consult a veterinarian who may help relieve the anxiety. If your dog is going through separation anxiety, you can leave an old shirt or blouse of yours with the dog. This is said to help.
Dogs are very particular about their sleeping arrangements. If you have a dog, chances are they don’t like the location of their bed.
While some pet parents think this habit can be fixed by simply moving the dog’s bed around, it turns out that most dogs find new spots just as uncomfortable.
They will continue digging or scratching at them until they get what they want: a cozy space where he feels safe and comfortable.
Pro Tip: Try moving the bed to a space that has cover. Maybe under a Table. You can even try using an umbrella.
Dogs scratch and dig their beds for a number of reasons. One reason may be that they are bored with nothing to do.
Dogs need mental stimulation as well as physical exercise. Without it, they may turn to scratch and digging as a way to entertain themselves.
Pro Tip: By giving your dog a good walk before bedtime, you can help them relax and get a good night’s sleep. Remember to not do this immediately after the dog’s meal. A minimum of one hour has to pass.
In the case of a pregnant dog, this scratching or digging could totally mean something else. A pregnant dog preparing to deliver may be scratching and digging her bed in preparation for giving birth. This is her way of ensuring her pups are safe.
Dogs scratch and dig to make a comfortable place to give birth, or as some people call it- “nesting.” They will be spending the next few weeks in there, so they want it to be nice and comfy!
If you notice your dog doing this, don’t worry, she’s not making a mess on purpose! She’s just trying to make her nesting area perfect before puppies arrive.
Pro Tip: Give the pregnant dog some old clothes and a big box. She may make herself a comfortable whelping space from them. She may even find her own space to place these clothes. You can even buy a whelping box.
What are the most common reasons for dogs scratching their beds? The answer is simple: Your dog’s bed doesn’t provide enough comfort or support.
This could be because of an uncomfortable material or a size that doesn’t fit your pup well. It can also be because they simply need more time to adjust to the new type of bedding.
Pro Tip: Try making the bed softer or thicker by adding a rug or by placing a pillow underneath.
Fleas or Mites:
Sometimes it can be a sign that there are fleas or mites in the bed. If your dog is scratching his bed a lot, it’s worth checking for these pests to make sure he’s not being bitten and to take appropriate steps to get rid of them if necessary.
Pro Tip: Wash the bed with an anti-flea shampoo and tick shampoo. Also, bathe your dog. Consult your vet.
A new pet in the home can make an older pet feel insecure, so this behavior is often seen more often when there is a change in the family dynamics.
Scratching can also be a sign of anxiety or nervousness, and it can provide relief for dogs who are feeling stressed.
By understanding why your dog scratches his bed, you can help to address the underlying cause and provide him with the support he needs.
Pro Tip: Give your older pet more attention. Pamper him before you fondle your new pet. Spend more time with him. Establish more eye contact and speak to him. Let him know he is still loved.
Lack Of Attention:
As we all know, dogs need to be taken on walks regularly in order to get enough exercise and mental stimulation, but sometimes it can be hard for busy owners to find time during the day or week for this task.
One problem that might arise from not giving your pup enough attention is scratching behavior such as digging at furniture or chewing on items like shoes or clothes.
Pro Tip: There is only one solution to this. Give your dog the attention that is due to that faithful creature. As a pet owner, you owe that to your dog. Dogs clearly understand love. So don’t forget to spend time with your dog.
The Food Burrow:
The dog probably thinks the soft bed is a good place to dig. Well! Wanna try teaching your dog to use a box? How about using a lock & key? Try imagining your dog doing that.
Pro Tip: Try giving your dog a safe place to hide its toys or chews. You can give it a mini trash can and teach it to use its paw to open the bin. That would be pretty cool. Alternatively, try giving it a small basket with a cloth in it.
What Are The Few Things You Can Do To Reduce The Impact Of The Scratches?
Clip Their Nails:
If your dog is scratching his bed frequently, there are a few things you can do to help out. One solution is to clip your dog’s nails; this will help him from damaging his bedding.
If you are not sure how to clip your dog’s nails safely, then have a veterinarian do it. It is possible that the dog may bleed a lot if you clip it too deep.
So, learn from your vet before you do it on your own and do it with a clipper meant for this.
Give Your Dog Other Toys:
Provide your dog with toys that will keep them occupied during the day, and place them near their bed for when they want a nap or need to take a break from playing.
A new toy, or one that has been ignored in favor of other ones, will often do the trick and keep them entertained long enough for them to forget about scratching their bedding.
Give Your Dog Some Chews:
Chew toys or calcium chews are great for relieving stress and boredom in dogs. They’re also fantastic for helping with anxiety issues!
We recommend giving them one or two chews so they can play with them while they get some calcium and their teeth benefit from it too.
An Awesome Dog Bed:
Buying a new dog bed is the best way to stop your dog from scratching its old one. Not all dog beds are created equal, so it’s important to do your research before buying.
There are a few things you’ll want to consider when choosing a new bed for your furry friend. Size, comfort, and durability are all important factors to keep in mind.
You’ll also want to make sure the bed is easy to clean. A good dog bed will last for years and keep your dog comfortable and scratch-free.
Find The Cause And Attend To It:
When we dog owners see our furry friends scratching their beds, we may be tempted to think they’re just bored and want a new toy. But the truth is that dogs will scratch their bed for any number of reasons: boredom, anxiety, or even insecurity.
It’s important to figure out the underlying cause of why your dog is doing this so you can provide them with an appropriate solution. Follow the pro tips under each cause in this blog which will help you.
It’s a good idea to take your pup for a walk before bedtime. This will help them go from being highly stimulated and excited to relaxed enough to sleep, as well as provide the opportunity for some exercise after an inactive day of napping.
However, if they still refuse their bed or scratch excessively afterward it is worth taking a look at what could be causing this behavior.
You may find that there are sources of anxiety in their life such as separation anxiety which can cause excessive scratching and digging even when given access to plenty of time outside during the daytime hours.
In these cases, you should consult with a veterinarian who specializes in animal behavioral health. Which bit of this helped you? Do let me know.