Stress or Anxiety Might Increase the Scratching
If you bring in a new pet or something else that increases your dogs stress levels, you might notice her scratching at her bed more. Sometimes this habit can spill over into anxious behavior where the scratching no longer helps her relax. You could try distracting her from scratching with a more enticing toy, providing a more enjoyable alternative. If that doesnt work, you might want to talk with your veterinarian.
Imagine the end of a long and tiring day. When it comes to finally getting some time to rest or sleep, we can simply collapse into our beds or couches and drift to dreamland.
During the days of the wild, wolves would do the same ritual, which is believed to be a self-preservation method to ward off or spot any attacks in the wild before they fell asleep.
When dogs overheat, they will pant and sweat through their paws. They have a harder time cooling off than humans do, which is where digging comes in.
You might notice your dog doing any of these rituals especially when they receive a new bed or receive a newly washed blanket they sleep on from the laundry. This is because they simply want to mark it with their scent and make it theirs.
Scratching the floor was also a way for them to create a shallow nest where they can retain body heat in case they were sleeping in the cold.
Why do dogs scratch their beds?
We can’t see or sense it, but when dogs circle and scratch at their beds, they are actually staking a personal claim to that special place. One surprising feature of a dog’s paw pads is its scent glands. When dogs get ready for bed, then, their feet serve two purposes.
Scratching at their beds and circling before lying down both help our dogs chase away any unwanted pests and mark an area with their unique scent. If another dog tries to use it, the unique odor sends a message: This bed is already occupied by a dog who has put in the work to get it just right.
Home thermostats are set for our comfort, rather than that of our dogs. If the heating or air conditioning bothers your dog, he relies on the same strategies as he does outside. By digging a bed in a shady spot during summer, or one exposed to direct sunlight in winter, dogs use ground temperature to their advantage. They dig to cool down or warm up.
Dogs also dig in their beds to make themselves more comfortable. It’s the same impulse that leads us to twist, turn and fluff our pillows before finding a position that feels good. Unfortunately, our pups don’t know the difference between grass and home furnishings. Digging can change the ground — or the chair or couch — to be softer, more inviting and more restful.
Why Do Dogs Scratch Their Beds Before Lying Down
While you’re going through your bedtime routine of brushing your teeth and setting out your clothes for the following day, you may notice that your pup has a routine of his own: scratching at his bed before lying down. There are a few reasons dogs scratch at their beds. Most do it out of instinct to make the space safe and more comfortable, but it could also be a sign of anxiety or distress. We’ll explore these possibilities below to help you figure out if your pup’s behavior is perfectly normal or cause for concern.