Your new puppy has captured your heart. You’ve invested time and money into your new pet, and that includes spending hours shopping for the best dog beds on the market. Two days after introducing your pup to the adorable, lacy bed with its pink canopy, the expensive piece of pet furniture is in tatters. Why do dogs scratch their beds with their constant digging and scratching? Read on to find out!
Don’t Worry, It’s Perfectly Normal
Dogs of every breed, age, size, gender and background, exhibit this behaviour. It may begin early in life or show up in old age. There’s no need to worry that your dog might have a mental disorder or that you have done anything to cause the problem. Dog owners all over the world face the same challenge. Keeping your dog comfortable and providing bedding that won’t become confetti within a week takes a little understanding and patience.
Bed-Scratching: The Symptoms
Bed-scratching behaviour is characterised by pawing, scratching and rolling around in the area where your dog intends to rest. Many dogs repeatedly circle before settling down. Some nose their way under blankets to create a tunnel or cave where they can hide. Dogs often treat a pile of blankets like a playground, but they will also scratch their resting area even if no bedding is present. If your dog decides to sleep on your cold kitchen tile, he may scratch and paw at the floor around him. Any surface he decides to sleep on is fair game.
Why Does My Dog Scratch Her Bed?
Several factors are responsible for bed-scratching habits. Your dog’s behaviour may be due to one or more of the following.
Bed-scratching is a natural instinct. Your dog’s wild ancestors scratched at piles of leaves, dirt and pine needles to create a comfortable mound of bedding. In the wild dog’s world, digging and circling shifted sticks, rocks and grass into more comfortable or uniform positions. The nest also served as protection against predators. Manipulating the materials around them could help conceal their position, and make them feel less vulnerable. Burrowing under leaves and dirt could create a warmer or cooler space where dogs could escape the harsh weather and extreme temperatures. Many domesticated dogs still retain the burrowing behaviour; that’s why your dog builds a fort in his blankets.
Bed-scratching can be territorial behaviour. Dogs are naturally driven to mark their territory. You’re probably aware that dogs urinate on objects to claim them as their own, but that unpleasant behaviour isn’t the only way to get the job done. Dogs have glands in their paws that leave a distinctive scent on bedding or other objects whenever they scratch. You may only see a tattered blanket, but your dog may see and smell a space that he has made his own. Dogs are more likely to return to a bedding spot if they already feel it’s theirs. This may be why bed-scratching behaviours sometimes begin or intensify when a new pet or person has moved into the house, or there has been another type of major change in the household.
A Learned Habit
Bed-scratching can be learned. Although scratching could be territorial when it occurs after a new animal enters the home, it could also be a learned or mimicked behaviour. This is especially true if the new pet is another dog. Dogs tend to copy the behaviour of other dogs. If your new dog circles and scratches with glee, your other dogs may just join in for fun.
Bed-scratching is part of canine maternal instinct. If your female dog is getting ready to have her puppies, her bed-scratching behaviour will suddenly increase. In this case, it’s called nesting, and it’s a natural, hormonal response. She’s making a nest for the arrival of her new pups to keep them warm and safe.
Strategies for Managing Scratching Behaviours
If simply creating a comfortable spot for your dog to sleep could stop the madness of bed-scratching, life would be easier for dog owners. Unfortunately, even the best dog beds can’t eliminate natural instinct. Here are a few tips that may help you keep the household intact.
- Try adding more blankets to your dog’s bed, or provide softer textures.
- Place one very heavy, large blanket on the bed.
- If your dog is scratching on your floor and leaving marks, consider training classes or invest in nail caps.
- Try relocating the bed to a more private area.
- Invest in a high-quality dog bed that provides support, comfort and durability.
Our Premium Bean Bag Dog Beds Stand Up to Your Pet’s Abuse
Bean Bags R Us offers a range of dog beds created with both your dog’s comfort and his natural behaviour in mind. If you’ve ever napped in a bean bag, you know how comfortable and plush a resting place can feel. Why shouldn’t your beloved family dog experience the same level of comfort? Our dog beds are created with heavy-duty materials that stand up to the worst bed-scratchers while giving dogs a flexible resting place that provides adequate support and lets them manipulate their shape easily to create that perfect spot.
Our Large Dog Beds are available in a variety of colours and can be used both indoors and outdoors. Clean-up is easy; just wipe with a moist cloth. They’re perfect for travel, boarding and dog shows.
Our latest addition, the Ultimate Dog Bed, is made from the same 1680D polyester that can handle restless paws and teeth with ease, and stay in one piece for years to come. It also features a thick, soft, removable faux fur cover for luxurious comfort and warmth. When winter is over, just remove the cover, and you’ll have a cool bean bag you can take outside by the pool. Our Ultimate Dog Bed comes in two sizes to accommodate any breed. Your cat will love them too. Don’t waste your money on cute but inferior dog beds that will end up in shreds; we have the best outdoor dog beds on the market, and your dog deserves one.