Why Do Dogs Dig in Their Beds?

Kate Barrington
by Kate Barrington
Is he looking for something or is he nesting? Learn the reason why your dog digs in his bed before he’ll climb in.

Dogs have a natural desire to dig. As natural as this behavior is, it can be a little annoying at times – especially when your dog does it in your newly planted flower bed. But dogs don’t just dig outside – sometimes they do it indoors when there is nothing to dig up. Sometimes they do it in their beds.

As a dog owner, you’ve undoubtedly seen your dog do some pretty strange things but digging in his bed is near the top of the list. Keep reading to learn more about why dogs exhibit this behavior.

Related: 5 Tips to Keep Your Dog from Digging in the Yard

7 Reasons Why Dogs Dig in their Beds

When your dog does something strange, you probably just laugh it off but sometimes you may find yourself wondering the reasoning behind it. The truth is that sometimes dogs just do things for no reason, but most of the time there is a reason behind it.

Here are X reasons why dogs sometimes dig in their beds:

  • Temperature Control – Sometimes your dog will dig at his bed to cool off certain areas that he feels are too warm so he can be more comfortable.
  • Scent – Dogs have a natural desire to spread their scent and giving their bed a couple of good scratches is one way to deposit that scent.
  • Comfort – Many dogs turn in circles before lying down and scratching or digging at the bed is part of the process.
  • Camouflage – In nature, many dogs will dig out an area before lying down to hide themselves.
  • Making Room – Female dogs dig in their bedding to prepare a comfy nest for themselves and their puppies. You may notice this behavior in your dog when she’s feeling broody.
  • Hiding – The most obvious reason anyone digs is to find something – if your dog is digging in his bed it might be because he hid something there and is trying to find it.
  • Nerves – Scratching and digging can be nervous behaviors for dogs, so ask yourself if your dog might be stressed by something.

Now that you have a better understanding of why your dog might be digging in his bed, you may be wondering if it’s a behavior you should try to curb and, if so, how. Keep reading to learn more.

Related: Why Do Dogs Circle Before They Lie Down?

Tips for Changing Your Dog’s Behavior

Generally speaking, if your dog is digging in his bed for any of the reasons above, it is probably not something you need to be particularly concerned about. If your dog frequently displays nervous behavior, it’s worth talking to your vet, but the other reasons are fairly harmless. When your dog’s digging and scratching behavior starts to extend to your own furniture, however, it could be a problem.

Here are some options for dealing with your dog’s behavior:

  • Give your dog some new, more durable bedding that won’t be ripped to shreds if he digs in it from time to time.
  • Keep your dog’s nails trimmed or filed down so he can’t do as much damage.
  • Distract your dog with a new toy or an interactive toy to help him work off his nervous energy in a different way.
  • Put your dog’s bed away during the day and bring it out only at night so he doesn’t destroy it.

Dogs are silly – that is simply a fact of life. If your find your dog digging in his bed, you probably don’t need to be concerned about it. Just consider whether one of the reasons listed above might be applicable and, if you’re still worried, talk to your vet.

Kate Barrington
Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.

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