It can be very tiring and irritating to have a dog that loves scratching bed sheets. This behavior can frustrate you to the point of banning your dog from the bedroom. You need to understand that this is normal behavior and that it happens for certain reasons; knowing these will help you understand your dog better.
Your dog scratches your bed sheets as a way of marking its territory. They also scratch bed sheets because it is their instinct to scratch and dig a place before lying down. Your dog might also be scratching your bed sheets because it has seen another dog doing so and wants to copy.
Scratching bed sheets is a common behavior among dogs for various reasons, although it is mostly motivated by instinct. Keep reading if you are worried about your beautiful bed linens being soiled and want to learn more about your dog’s behavior.
Why Does My Dog Scratch My Bed Sheets?
Your dog scratching on your bed could mean different things to your dog. Before you consider punishing or stopping your dog from gaining access, you must first understand why it happens. Some of the causes of this are explained below.
Dogs’ Natural Instincts
Before dogs became domesticated, they slept on the ground in the wild. Scratching and digging of the ground made their sleeping spot comfortable and pleasant then. This instinct and other wild behaviors are present in our domesticated dogs.
So, despite laying your bedsheets very comfortably, do not be surprised if your dog still comes around to scratch it. Your definition of comfort might not be the same as your dog; hence it could scratch the bed to meet its comfort level.
Your Dog Is Marking Its Territory
Dogs are territorial, and they often mark their territories using different methods. Aside from urinating, they also make use of scratching to claim territories. Dogs have a gland in the bottom of their feet, which helps them to leave their scent on anything they scratch. So, if your dog has a very close bond with you and does not want other dogs around your bed, it could scratch your bedsheets to inform other dogs to stay away.
A Learned Behavior From Another Dog
Dogs learn and exchange experiences from each other. If a dog sees another dog displaying some behavior, it could learn from it and do the same thing. So, if you had recently just introduced a new dog to your home that likes scratching the bed sheets, there are chances your dog would learn the behavior, then begin to do the same.
Although, there could be other reasons why the new dog is doing this that your dog might not understand. Instead, your dog could join, thinking it is all for fun.
A Maternal Behavior
If you have a female dog who has never scratched your bed sheet before and suddenly begins to when pregnant, maternal behavior is the likely reason for the behavior. During pregnancy, your dog is likely to develop some unusual habits. Most of these behaviors are normal and are usually hormone-induced. Aside from scratching the bedsheets, the dog could also be seen scratching other things.
This behavior is for the dog to create a safe environment for the delivery of its pups. The moment you begin to notice this, it is best you create a nursery for your dog and direct the dog there. You would not want your dog to give birth on your bed, which could mess up your bed and bedsheets.
Why Does My Dog Dig On My Bed?
Digging and scratching a bed are two acts that dogs engage in for almost the same reasons. We have already explained some reasons above why dogs scratch bed sheets. Digging is a natural behavior for all dogs, stemming from their ancestors – wolves.
Back then, dogs dug the ground for shelter, comfort, and protection. When it comes to a dog digging on a bed, the reasons may differ from those mentioned. We will be explaining some reasons dogs dig on a bed below.
Your Dog Is Bored
This is more common in dogs bred to be always energetic and active. For dogs like this, whenever they become bored and less active, they could display destructive behaviors like digging into your bed and destroying your bedsheets. If you own an energetic dog, you are advised to ensure it engages in regular exercise and spends enough time playing and having fun to keep it less bored.
Your Dog Is Anxious
Anxiety is another reason why your dog could be digging on the bed. If your dog has been digging more whenever it is stressed or when you are away from the house, then it shows that the dog is anxious. For such a dog, digging could be a compulsive behavior to help cope with the anxiety. Also, to be sure of this, watch out for excessive vocalization, poop, and urine in different house parts.
To help a dog suffering from anxiety, you need first to identify the trigger factor, then try to remove it. Sometimes, it could even be due to separation anxiety. In such instances, getting a dog sitter could help your dog cope while you are away, rather than engaging in destructive behaviors.
Why Does My Dog Scratch My Bed?
Your dog scratching your bed might be very annoying, especially when it does it regularly. However, your dog is not scratching your bed because it feels like annoying you or damaging your bed. Below are some of the reasons your dog scratches your bed.
Just like people do not like bumpy mattresses, dogs do not like lumpy linens under beds; hence, your dog will scratch your bed as a good way for your dog to fluff your pillows up. They are only attempting to reorganize the bed to make them feel more at ease. This is especially true for dogs in discomfort.
Your Dog Might Be Feeling Hot
If you notice your dog scratching your bed during summer, it could indicate that the dog is feeling hot. The purpose of the scratching could be for your dog to create ventilation, cool itself, then get more comfortable. So, if you notice your dog doing this during hot weather, you could help your dog by taking it somewhere cool or putting on the air conditioner if you have one in the room.
Why Do Dogs Scratch?
Asides from your dog scratching your bed, you might have seen it scratching other things, including itself. When you notice your dog constantly scratching itself, you should be alert that something is up. When a dog starts scratching itself excessively, it is usually due to environmental triggers or food allergies.
When dogs contact pollutants such as soap or insecticides, they can contract dermatitis. Dry skin in dogs can be caused by several circumstances, including cold temperatures and fatty acid deficiency. Your pet may scratch its skin in response to the discomfort.
Surface skin infections can develop if your dog’s body does not produce the required amount of thyroid hormone or when it produces excess cortisol. In cases like this, your dog might have bald spots on its body which it will start scratching as if allergic reactions are bothering him.
You must remember where dogs originate from; regardless of how domesticated they are, they will always have basic impulses that drive their behavior. So, your dog scratching your bedsheets is mostly instinctive behavior. Also, if you notice your dog always scratching its body, you might want to take it to a veterinarian for a checkup to be safe.