If you have a dog at home, you’ve probably observed that dogs have some peculiar evening rituals, such as walking around the house twelve times in a circle before lying down or wrapping themselves in their favorite blanket before going to sleep. You may have even spotted your beloved dog clawing and digging at their bedding (as evidence, you may even have a mound of dog bed stuffing on your floor!).
But have you ever stopped to consider why does my dog dig before lying down? Ever considered the universal nature of this behavior in canines? What may be causing your puppy to dig holes in the carpet and damage the upholstery? What treatment options do owners of pets have?
The natural tendency of virtually all dogs is to dig at their bed to create a cozy and warm spot for them to lie down in. It is why almost all dogs dig at their beds. In this post, we will go into more depth on why do dogs scratch their bed, and we will also provide you with information on how you may prevent them from damaging their dog beds by scratching.
Why Do Dogs Scratch Their Bed?
When humans have routines, such as taking a shower, caring for our skin, making the bed, and maybe even reading a book, our dogs also follow individual routines when they sleep. Have you ever observed that your dog will circle the area just before they settle down? Or do they itch and rummage about in their bed?
This is how they usually go about their nighttime ritual. However, Why do dogs scratch their bed? Before they lie down, they do it out of a natural inclination to create a secure, warm, and pleasant place for themselves.
The digging behavior that dogs exhibit today is a holdover from their days as wild animals before they were domesticated and became our beloved pets. One of the stubborn characteristics of canine companions is that they cannot be taught certain behaviors. One of their survival instincts is digging, which they used to do in the past to create a spot to sleep, particularly when the weather was damp or cold so that they could stay warm.
#1. Making The Space Safe
Why do dogs scratch at their beds before sitting down, even when the home is closed, when they are safe, and when they are comfortable? Because of their innate desire to protect themselves, they act in this manner.
Their wild predecessors had the same behavior pattern: walking in circles and scratching the ground before settling to sleep in an area that provided protection and security. Another significant factor in explaining why dogs scratch? This is done to frighten away snakes, rats, or other animals hiding in or near the dirt, bush, or grass.
#2. Territorial Marking
The most important reason why dogs scratch their beds is to indicate their territory, which is also the initial reason they do it. These quadrupedal animals each have a scent gland at the bottom of their feet, which releases the animal’s signature odor into the ground, establishing the boundaries of its territory.
Because of this, one possible explanation for dogs digging in their beds is that they want to demonstrate that they have successfully claimed the bed as their personal property.
Another possible explanation for why dogs scratch their bedding is that they are trying to get warmer. This is also tied to their wild ancestors’ practice of burrowing into the earth and finding a spot to live under the fallen leaves and branches, as well as the muck and mud.
This was done to provide enough protection against very low temperatures. If you notice that your pet scratches the furniture more often during the colder months, you may try giving them a blanket and observing them to see whether or not it is the source of their discomfort.
It’s possible that worry is to blame. It is usual for animals to scratch their beds for a while before falling asleep on them, so if you see your pet doing this, don’t worry about it. On the other hand, if you see that they are doing it excessively and not relaxing afterward, there is a good likelihood that they suffer from anxiety or overstimulation and are not acting on instinct.
Suppose you doubt that anxiety is the problem. In that case, you should talk to your veterinarian as soon as possible about it so that you can figure out what the most plausible explanation is.
Your dog may dig because of an intriguing odor or the sound of something moving about beneath the covers, both of which may be heard. By their very nature, dogs are curious explorers; all it takes is a scent or squeak to start digging.
#6. Bed-Scratching and Copycatting
Getting a second dog in the house may make the first dog’s tendency to scratch the bed much worse. It may be due to territorialism, but if the new dog is a happy-go-lucky scavenger, that attitude might quickly spread to the rest of the group.
#7. Maternal Instinct
A female dog about to give birth to her pups will go into a bed-scratching frenzy before the delivery. This kind of behavior is a component of dogs’ nesting instinct, and the primary factor behind it is hormones. Her digging is in preparation for building a nest for her new puppies, where she can keep them secure and warm.
How To Protect Your Dog’s Bed From Scratching?
You can prevent your dog from scratching his bed using one of these four easy methods.
#1. Trim the Nails of Your Pet Dog.
Before going to sleep, it is customary for dogs to dig up their beds. However, if they have nails that are both long and sharp, it may cause damage to the sleeping area. Additionally, the nails on their hands might get harmed or infected. As a result, it is essential to cut their nails consistently. If you trim their nails, you may avoid damage to the furniture and bedding area that could otherwise occur.
#2. Provide Them With A Variety Of Playing Options
When dogs dig or scratch at the furniture, they may be trying to alleviate feelings of restlessness. However, if this behavior is more than a routine ritual for your dog, they may not get enough stimulation. Give your dog some mental and physical stimulation to help it maintain its high energy level. Give children a variety of different methods to play to divert their focus.
Their excitement may be stimulated by having them participate in physical activity such as walking or swimming or by teaching them motor skills. Dogs are naturally curious creatures that take pleasure in overcoming obstacles.
They will benefit from having their minds challenged with puzzle toys, gundog training, nose work games, obstacle courses, and the like. In this manner, dogs will have a greater sense of relaxation and sleep immediately without attempting to scratch your bed.
#3. Use Up Their Surplus Energy In Productive Ways.
You will need to develop strategies to intellectually and physically excite your dog more if you notice that they are scratching to release their extra energy. Should they need to go on long walks with you?
Take out a toy and engage them in a game of fetch or tug-of-war if they show signs of being agitated. Your dog will be more willing to relax and quiet down after some light-hearted playtime on your part.
#4. Invest Your Money In A Longer-Lasting Bed
You could try many different things to prevent your dog from scratching the bed. However, dogs have difficulty breaking the behavior because of their innate nature. Investing in a bed better suited to withstand wear and tear is the very least you can do to help limit the harm.
Many durable, chew-proof, and dig-resistant dog beds are available today. In addition, purchasing orthopedic dog mattresses or memory foam beds for your pet will provide you with a sense of calm and satisfaction.
#5. Make Sure That Your Dog’s Bed Is A Secure Area.
You should talk to a vet if your dog is digging due to worry. However, you should consider the location of your dog’s bed. Is it in an area of the home where there is a lot of foot traffic and people coming and leaving all the time?
If this is the case, you should relocate the bed to a more peaceful area of the home where your dog can rest and sleep. Better still, please provide them with many sleeping options and let them choose the one that best suits their individual preferences.
Dogs like having their own aroma in their sleep area, so try not to wash their bedding too often. If they have many pillows and blankets, you may rotate cleaning them so that your dog’s bed seems familiar to them even after you’ve cleaned it.
#6. Make Sure That the Temperature Is Appropriate For Them
Dogs may scratch their beds to better control their body temperature in response to the surrounding environment. To keep them comfortable in hot climates, supply them with a fan or air conditioner; in cold climates, make sure to offer them a blanket or a heater. It will help them break the practice of scratching an excessive amount.
There are a few different explanations for why dogs scratch their beds, and a few different treatments are available. Investing in a long-lasting bed for your dog will be in your best interest. They can itch without messing on the bed, and you will feel better knowing they are resting on a comfortable surface.
If your four-legged pals experience anxiety and tension due to your routines before putting them to bed, speak with a qualified veterinarian and give them plenty of reassurance through hugs and kisses. Our forefathers’ natural beginning was nurturing, loving, and offering shelter to other living things, particularly dogs.