Have you ever noticed your dog dig and scratch at their bed? Don’t worry, this is not a sign of canine insanity. This behavior, also called “denning,” is totally normal and natural. Denning results from the canine instinct to sleep in areas that are comfortable, protected, and camouflaged, and many factors can trigger this pre-sleep ritual in your pooch.
Denning can be a method of temperature control. Dogs have limited sweat glands, so they often have to get creative and adjust their environment to cool off.
Outdoors, digging holes removes sun-exposed dirt and allows the dog to rest in the cooler soil beneath the surface. Indoors, overheated dogs may scratch at their beds or blankets to get the same effect. Just like flipping over the cool side of the pillow before hitting the hay!
Dogs also burrow when they are too cold. In nature, a hole provides warm and dry protection from the elements. Furthermore, snuggling up in a burrow helps concentrate body heat.
Hide n' Seek
As mentioned, dogs have an instinct to sleep in a well-hidden place. Before they were our pampered pooches, canines had to fend for themselves in the wild. Animals are incredibly vulnerable while sleeping, so being camouflaged while sleeping was a survival mechanism. Though the average house dog doesn’t have to worry about night time predators, your pup may still be motivated to hide during sleep due to this instinct.
Bed scratching can also be Fido’s way of claiming his territory. Dogs have scent glands in their paws, so they often use scratching to disperse scent. Your pup scratching their new, memory foam mattress may be a sign that they really
love their bed and don't want anyone else laying a paw on it!
Female dogs may have an urge to dig at their bed to prepare a comfortable nest for their puppies. This can even happen in dogs that are spayed and are not pregnant!
We all like to be comfy when we sleep - that includes dogs too! Just like we arrange our blankets and fluff our pillows before tucking in, dogs sometimes dig their beds to optimize comfort. Just a few bed scratches and your pup is snug as a bug in a rug!
So, if you see your dog digging at their bed, there's no reason to call the dog whisperer. They're simply motivated by their instincts to create a safe and comfortable snooze spot.
Buy A Durable Dog Bed
Having a dog who digs means needing a dog bed that can withstand their paws and claws.
BARK Orthopedic Memory Foam Dog Bed
: This bed is made from both high quality memory foam and gel that helps relieve body aches and joint pain for your dog. It's soft and comfortable while also being quite durable. Plus, the cover unzips and is machine-washable for those inevitable dog messes. (Starts at $35.99.)