Why Your Dog Scratches Its Bed

April Livingston | January 3rd, 2018

As humans, a routine is a critical part of our lives. In particular, a bedtime routine is quite typical for each of us. As it turns out, our dogs also have a routine that you might have noticed if you are a dog owner: they scratch at their beds with their front paws before lying down to sleep or even take a nap. While this might seem odd to us humans, there is a reason our four legged friends behave this way: it goes back to their wild instincts. Despite the fact that dogs evolved from wolves over the course of thousands of years, they still have many of those instincts that dictate their behavior.

In particular, scratching at their beds is something that was very common in dogs before they were domesticated. In the wild, scratching at a “bed” or the ground was how wolves or wild dogs made sure they were laying down to sleep in a warm, safe, and comfortable place. This scratching is how a dog might dig a hole or even create a nest of sorts to rest in when in the wild. Also, dogs and wolves both have scent glands on their paws that secrete pheromones when they scratch. This is a way to mark their territory in the wild—or inside your home. This is also similar to some dogs that kick up dirt after they go to the bathroom, which also helps release those scents from their paws.

jumping.jax.and.jovial.juno//instagram

While some scratching of a bed before laying down in it is quite normal, excessive digging or scratching could be a sign of something more serious happening with your dog. This could be a sign of anxiety, so consider a visit to your veterinarian if this becomes a major issue for you or your favorite four legged friend.

Next Article
ADVERTISEMENT
  • Puppies Rescued from Dumpster

    A man walked into the San Antonio Pets Alive! Medical Clinic recently. He wanted to surrender two very skinny young puppies who were just three months old. The staff there instructed him to take the pups to a nearby no kill shelter, and he left. However, he did not make it that far. Four hours...

    Read More
  • Dog Dying of “Broken Heart” Gets Two Miracles

    In July, a shelter dog named Hutch arrived at the Atlanta Humane Society (AHS) from a shelter in North Carolina. Once he arrived, it was clear to the AHS staff that he had a problem. Hutch had trouble breathing and was coughing, so the shelter’s medical team examined him. They found the dog had a...

    Read More
  • Dog Returned for Being Unable to Use Stairs

    Charlie was a sad dog when Mackenize Purdy saw him at the Associated Humane Tinton Falls shelter in New Jersey. Charlie, a seven-year-old Shih Tzu mix wouldn’t make eye contact with anyone who walked by. In fact, he would only face the concrete wall in the back of his kennel because he was so scared....

    Read More
  • Bus Driver Saves Stranded Dog

    While it’s true that no one would really call the man driving that bus a hero per say, he certainly was that and much more to a dog. No one really knows how the dog ended up in the middle of a busy highway, but he was certainly happy to see his hero the bus...

    Read More
  • Dog Reunites with Owner After Three Years

    For a man named Giorgi Berejiani, the bond with his dog Jorge was unbreakable. The pair spent every moment together and were bonded so closely. However, that all changed when Jorge went missing from Giorgi’s home one day. Giorgi lives in Tbilisi, Georgia, and he truly thought he would never see his beloved dog ever...

    Read More
  • Dog Gets “Revenge” When Veterinarian Leaves

    From the day he was born, Pocket the dog has always been a rebel. Pocket is an Akbash, a breed prized for its intelligence and independence. These qualities make the breed a great guard dog, and when pocket’s breeder tried to sell her for that purpose it didn’t go so well. Pocket did not want...

    Read More
  • Neglected Husky Hides in Doghouse

    Bella’s story begins in New Zealand. She was born in the care of a breeder and an environment full of neglect and filth. She was able to escape that terrible place but then found herself in a new home where she and her new family’s dog did not get along. That’s how she found herself...

    Read More
  • Three Saint Bernards Needed Home Together

    It was quite the sight when all 300+ pounds of dog came strolling into an animal shelter located in Canada. The enormous dogs, named Gunther, Goliath, and Gasket were larger than life with their furry bodies and slobbery mouths. Not only were they big, but they had big needs, too: they needed to stay together...

    Read More