Top 3 Reasons Why Dogs Scratch and Dig the Bed

It might be cute at first but it may eventually get frustrating if your dog starts to scratch and dig the bed especially if this happens while you are asleep. Here are the most common reasons for dogs that scratch and dig the bed.

1. It’s a normal nesting behavior

Nesting is a natural part of your dog’s behavior. The bed scratching and digging could happen with pregnant dogs when they prepare a safe location to have their puppies. The act of nesting, however, isn’t just limited to female dogs. Male dogs may also engage in this behavior as well if they think the bed isn’t comfortable enough to lie down on.

Think about how a wild dog might behave. Some of them might dig themselves a nice hole in the ground to make themselves feel comfortable. Nesting behavior isn’t too much of a concern unless it appears compulsive and stress-induced. Some dogs may also like to be covered while sleeping. In such cases, it may help to give your dog a fleece-type blanket that he can easily move and “burrow” himself into.

2. Dog is anxious or stressed

Digging and scratching is one of many ways for dogs to relieve stress and anxiety. There might be something going on at night that’s making the dog stressed. For example, they might have heard a distant noise or smelled something unusual. Some dogs may also be bored and they have learned over time that digging the bed is a simple way to get your attention.

3. Your dog has excess energy

You might just have a dog that’s packed with energy. Dogs might try to find their own way to burn off excess energy. Digging and scratching the bed just happens to be an easy way to do it. Make sure your dog is getting an appropriate amount of exercise throughout the day. You could also introduce some quick nighttime activities such as chasing a flirt pole to tire your dog out.

How to stop a dog from digging and scratching the bed

You might want to leave your dog be if the digging behavior isn’t excessive and there is no damage being done to the bed. As we explained earlier, it’s perfectly normal for dogs to dig and scratch the bed. In addition to it being linked to the act of nesting, some dogs may also dig and scratch the bed to “mark” their territory.

It’s a different story if the dog’s scratching behavior is causing damage to the bed. In such cases, you should first confirm that your dog isn’t sick or injured. Make sure your dog is getting his needs met (in terms of physical and social needs). It might also be necessary to train your dog to sleep in a separate bed where gentle scratching and digging is tolerated.

Book an online vet appointment if your dog has an emergency but your local vet isn't available. Vetster is available 24/7 for video chat appointments.

Disclaimer: The content on MyPetChild.com is for informational purpose only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian when in doubt.

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