Are you struggling to know why does your dogs dig in their beds?
We have got your back! We have made this article specially made for you! It is their natural instinct, and they also do this because of some part of their genetics!
There is more in the article so continue reading it to get a more clear picture.
We have enlightened eight reasons why dogs usually dig their bed. And we didn’t stop there! We also have listed ways how to stop this behavior in dogs and even prevent such behavior.
Table of Contents
- Why Do Dogs Dig in Their Beds?
- How Can You Stop Dog Digging in Bed?
- The Bottom Line
Why Do Dogs Dig in Their Beds?
There are interesting facts that you must know why your dogs dig in their beds. We have enlisted a total of eight reasons why he does this.
1. To Camouflage and Conceal Them
Dog digging is normal, and it is their natural instinct. Their ancestors have scratched a lot of mud, leaves, etc to make their bedding comfortable to sleep in. In doggy’s dog world, dog dig and circle shifted rocks, sticks, and grass into restful positions.
The dug bed keeps them safe and protects them against predators. They keep on molding the material around them so that they can conceal their position. By doing this it makes them feel less vulnerable.
As we know soil can give warmer or cooler temperature and burrow under soil and leaves gives dogs much cooler space where they can escape any bad weather condition or extreme temperature.
It is their natural behavior.
Have you noticed your dog makes a fort in his blankets? This is because their natural instinct tells them to dig a den and then hide in.
2. To Maintain Temperature
When the weather where you live is not favorable to your pup then he will try to regulate his temperature and make him comfortable by scratching and digging their bed.
During summers, they keep them cool by nicely digging a hole into the soil to keep them away from heatstroke just like snakes, and other animals use this technique. And in cold weather, it will keep him away from storms. Your dog does know this because even their ancestors did this to maintain their temperature.
3. Just For Comfort
Your dog may dig his bed to make his bedding comfortable according to his liking. Just like we fold, fluff, and rearrange our pillows while bedding according to our liking our dog also does the same.
For instance, a dog affected by arthritis may circle and dig the bed in an attempt to make his bedding less painful. It is their way of self-comforting.
Do you know about nesting behavior?
4. Dog Nesting Behavior
Dog digging is part of maternal instinct. If your female pooch is getting ready to give birth to her pup then her bed digging habit will gradually increase. They will build comfortable nests for their babies.
This is called dogs’ nesting behavior. And, it is a natural hormonal response. He digs her bedding to make a nest for the coming baby to keep him warm and protected.
5. To Mark Their Territory
Marking territory in dogs is common. They mark to show their presence and to claim it is their territory and resource so, here their resource is the bed.
You must be aware of the fact that dogs pee on things to show their dominance and mark their territory. Just like they do with toys, your bed, etc, but it is not just limited to peeing because digging, scratching also includes in it.
Do you know dogs have glands in their paws?
Yes, the glands leave a unique scent on bedding or other things whenever they scratch. We may only see the things but the dog’s not they check things by seeing and smelling.
So, when a dogs dig in their beds, it is due to make their territory, and he tries to possess that it is his thing.
Have you observed when a new pet enters your house, your pooch will begin to intensify digging habits more?
They also do this when there is any major change in the household.
6. Out of Curiosity
Curiosity in pooch is considered a sign of well-being as well as social health. They are a great investigator. They dig into investigating something. If they find something interesting and exciting under the bed, like some food, treat, or a toy, then they will tend to dig the bed in search to fulfill their curiosity.
7. Due to Anxiety and Nervousness
If your pooch is digging things aggressively, and it seems that he is winding up things instead of calming himself down then it is alarming!
Did you see any major change in his routine? Or is there any change in your routine?
It can be due to anxiety and nervousness. If you can’t find a solution to this conundrum then in such conditions it is better to take help from a vet.
8. Hide Their Treasure
Dog hide their treasure as a survival strategy. They preserve their surplus food and protect them in the cool ground so that they can eat their food later.
They hide things like pirates. So, if your dog is digging in the bed, he might be trying to hide some special bone, or his favorite toy, or a treat under it. Just to save it for later.
You have to keep an eye on your dog to find which is his favorite spot. This is common behavior, but it should be discouraged by pet owners if they start digging your neighbor’s house garden or if he is trying to your new shoes
We understand you are fed up with scratching behavior in dogs. Therefore, keep reading to know how to prevent it!
How Can You Stop Dog Digging in Bed?
You can discourage dog digging behavior by following given below three ways
1. Trim His Nails
When you regularly trim your dog nails it helps to minimize the risk of damaging things. A good manicure is also helpful.
You should trim your dog nails every three to four weeks. Trimming the nails of your dog on regular basis can prevent your furniture, beds, floor damage. Not just that it also helps to prevent their nails from being infected.
If you trimmed his nails and still find that it is sharp then you can gently file his nails to prevent edges from developing.
2. Find Another Way to Play
If scratching and digging of the bed have become more of a fun game to your dog then it is important to calm him down and find an alternative solution to this.
It can also be due to not having enough stimulation. For this, you can try talking to him for a long walk or give him a toy that keeps him busy and occupied. With this method, you can avoid and reduce his digging behavior.
3. Get a Durable Dog Bed
A lot of time it, not your dog’s fault, it can also be because of the cheap bed he is using. Cheap dog beds are crafted with fabrics and stuffing which won’t last long because it is not designed to last longer against a dog who digs and scratches every night!
Therefore, it is important to invest your money in durable and strong beds. Something he is designed and crafted with strong material and fabrics and which super comfy for your dog. Because when he gets cozy in bed it will limit his digging behavior.
If you get a bed made for orthopedic dogs or made of memory foam it will the best choice for your pooch.
Dogs’ paw pads are not ordinary they have surprising features their paw pads are built with scent glands. So, when your dog scratches his bed right before going to bed they serve two purposes. First, when they scratch at their bed it helps them to chase away unwanted pests, and second, they mark their territory with their distinctive smell.
The reason why your dog is digging bed or anything in between in the night is because of their genetics. The burrowing instinct instigates them so, that they can feel comfortable and secured in the middle of their precious sleep, and they dig their bed to make a comfortable sleep area for the night.
Dogs’ nesting is a kind of territory marking. Dogs encircle their bedding area before sleeping to marks their property with their scent.
It is like keeping a blanket and telling it my area. But, it is not just limited to this because dogs nest in bed also because of maternal instinct it happens more often if puppies are arriving.
Dogs have natural instinct to hunt things. If he detects any pest problem in your kitchen or garden he will dig to hunt out for the pest. Digging in dogs’ is the way to try and check comfort and protection in their surrounding. Therefore they like to dig.
The dog usually does digging and laying in it because that makes them feel comfortable. It is generally because they are too hot, or freezing, and either want to cool down themselves or want to keep themselves warm. Other than this it could be possible when he is under stress and wants to feel safer and secured so, they underground themselves.
The Bottom Line
I hope the above-mentioned sets of reasons are clear, and you have understood well why your dogs dig in their beds!
Basically, it is all due to their genetics and their behavior. As we know dogs are a pack animal because they are domesticated from wolves, and they dig a bed to protect themselves against the predator. But, it is fine because we have also covered how to stop dogs from digging too!
Other than this if you know other reasons then the comment section is all yours. We would love to know additional reasons too!
- News On 6. (2020, March 31). Why Do Dogs Scratch Their Beds? News 9. Retrieved August 25, 2022, from https://www.news9.com/story/5e6fc912f86011d4820c3a65/why-do-dogs-scratch-their-beds
- Aydin, A. (2019, March 27). “Help, my dog is destroying everything!” Zooplus Magazinee. Retrieved August 25, 2022, from https://www.zooplus.co.uk/magazine/dog/dog-training/destructive-dog-behaviour
Karen Valenzuela is a dog behaviorist & trainer from Brooklyn, New York, and a freelancer for DogLovesBest. Karen is so much into dogs that she decided to become a dog behaviorist since she was in Middle School, and she did it too! She pursued her career as a dog behaviorist and now she’s certified through ACAAB. She has trained more than 10,000 dogs to correct their behavior and helped them develop a strong bond with their owners. In her free time, she loves to explore new ways of making the pet canine’s life more interesting and also has the ability to give those ideas the form of insightful posts.