Dogs scratching their bed is a problem that’s not new. Many owners find their dogs scratching their beds or furniture before sitting or sleeping there or even while playing.
This attitude is not new and is not an alarming situation in most situations but still, pet owners feel the need to know the reason or at least try to prevent their dog from ruining the bed or furniture.
We will be discussing several reasons why dogs scratch their beds or furniture and how to prevent that from happening. This discussion will not only help you understand your dog’s psychology but will also provide you with some commonly practiced solutions to deal with it.
This information can be useful for you if you own a dog because you won’t have to change your dog’s bed every few months just because he scratched it. Hence you can save your money in this aspect and at the same time prevent it from happening in the future.
Symptoms of Bed Scratching
Dog’s ancestors were not pets and they had to live and survive in the wild. Hence their built-in nature is filled with habits and behaviors that got passed down from generation to generation.
In today’s world, even if your dog is living in a luxurious and comfortable environment, he would still show you his wild instincts.
Scratching bed symptoms in dogs are natural and are found because of the following reasons:
- In the wild, the ancestral dogs used to scratch the ground to make the area soft and comfortable for them to sleep.
- Dogs also used to scratch and circle their area to align sticks, leaves, or other stuff for them to sleep well.
- Dogs also have special scent glands in their paws and by scratching the area get a specific scent which helps keep other dogs away and hence marks their territory.
These symptoms have been passed down to dogs from their ancestors of the wild and hence it is natural for them to feel these instincts and act accordingly.
Why Does Dog Scratch Beds?
As we discussed above there are several reasons why you will often find your dog scratching his or her bed. It can be due to a lot of natural and behavioral responses from your canine which we are going to talk about here.
The ancestors of this species used to live in wild and had developed habits of survival concerning their environment. Dogs in the wild would dig or scratch the ground or a pile of wood sticks and leaves to create a space for them to rest or sleep.
This did help them sleep quite well and with hiding under the rubble they were also able to deceive predators. With time the living conditions of our domestic dogs have improved but they still get their natural behavior of burrowing or scratching from ancestral generations.
Marking their territory is what every dog does by either urinating on the object or through scratching. Dogs have special scent glands in their paws which release a specific scent when they are scratching a surface.
This scent helps keep other dogs away from what is not theirs. This scent also helps them as a memory reminder of what they marked as their own so that they can return to it easily.
Some dogs might never scratch any of their toy or their bed until they see the same group living with them. The dog will mark his territory and will do every possible act for not letting any other dog nearby.
This can also be a type of learned behavior from a new dog who did this in front of others and other dogs tried to copy him. This habitual feeling means no harm and can just be a way for your dog to socialize to mark what is his.
Natural Maternal Instinct
This behavior is also seen in dogs who are about to give birth. Pregnant female dogs when to prepare to give birth, scratch the ground or bed as a part of their maternal instinct to keep their pups warm. It is basically for protecting the little ones by forming a nest hence called the nesting behavior.
Apart from all the factors above, your dogs can also begin scratching their bed when they are curious to find something underneath. This behavior is sometimes present and sometimes not. When they are curious, they won’t even stop easily until they remove all of the bedding for finding what is inside.
Sometimes scratching is not a calming phenomenon. It can be due to your dog’s curious nature and will make him even more curious than before. This can be an indicator of any underlying anxiety disorder for which you should consult your vet to learn about methods that could help your dog calm his anxiety.
Different Ways to Protect Dogs from Scratching Bed
Scratching is not a problem for anyone when a dog lives in wild or on its own, but when adopted by a family, this behavior can do damage to the pet owner’s possession to a greater extent.
If your dog is scratching his bed every time you get him a new one, then this can be a great loss on your side. As we discussed that scratching beds is a part of your dog’s natural instinct and behavior.
Fighting or resisting your dog’s instincts is not a way out of this problem hence here we are going to discuss some measures which you can take to avoid most of the damage done by this behavior of your dog.
Keep Your Dog’s Nails Trimmed
Trimming your dog’s nails should always be a practice followed by every pet owner. If you make this a habit you can easily prevent your dog from doing any potential damage to the bedding or other furniture.
It is advised that you trim your dog’s nails every 3 to 4 weeks. This not only helps prevent any damage to your floor or furniture from scratching but also prevents any infection to take place in your dog’s nails.
Do check your dog’s nails after trimming them if they are blunt or still sharp. If they still feel sharp, then file them nicely to make the edges blunt.
Keep Them Busy
Your dog when bored or have less to no social life can get anxious and scratch things that are his or which he will find around. So, to make sure that he is occupied, make it a routine of taking him out on a walk, letting him make some friends, and allow him to play with other dogs.
This will keep him occupied and he won’t feel anxious enough to destroy things around him, especially his bed.
Invest in Good Toys
Some dogs like to keep their favorite toys with them when they are sleeping. You can get him some good-quality toys with which he will keep playing until he sleeps. This way you can divert your dog’s attention to his toys and he won’t scratch his bed as a routine.
When buying toys, make sure they are soft and scratch-proof to let your dog have them while sleeping. Make sure that the toy does not contain small objects/parts that can come off easily if your dog chews on it.
Material that is easily torn encourages your dog to scratch on it even more. So, when you place blankets or cushions on your dog’s bed, make sure they are made of scratch-proof material or are strong enough to resist tears.
With having such material as your dog’s bedding, your dog will fail to tear it or damage it and hence would not try it any further. This way you can save your money on buying new bedding every few months.
Dogs love to scratch on a wooden surface and it gets damaged easily as well. When you are buying your dog’s bed, make sure that it is made of strong and scratch-proof material.
Such materials often include robust plastic which is almost impossible to scratch and stays good as new for a long time. Investing in dog beds that are of good quality for once, can save you many bucks on replacing cheap ones again and again.
Dogs love scratching their areas for the feeling of possession and is not harmful until it damages their bed and costs you more money than expected.
So, to prevent that from happening there are several ways that we have discussed above which can safely prevent your dog from destroying its place. Use any method of your choice carefully following the given instructions and you will be good to go.