Have you ever noticed your dog digging its bed which led you to ask the common question, “why do dogs scratch bed sheets?” If you want to identify why your dog is scratching bed sheets and teach them not to do so, you need to have some patience. However, keep in mind that dogs work in a pack hierarchy, which means that they will do anything to please the leader of the pack. In this case, it’s you, which is why they will always follow your lead.

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Why does my dog scratch bed sheets?

Dogs scratch bed sheets for many reasons. They do this to create a cozy spot to rest, to adjust the temperature for a comfortable nap, due to anxiety, in search of leftover crumbs, to mark their territory, and just general curiosity.  

Your dog may also be scratching bed sheets because it is allergic! Sometimes, skin reactions can lead to itchiness and irritation, which leads dogs to scratch, lick, and bite excessively. However, it can be extremely frustrating to find deep claw marks on your bed sheets, especially if you recently purchased them.

The first step is to understand why dogs scratch bed sheets, after which you can fix the problem and ensure that your dog does not spoil any other pretty bed sheets. Don’t worry; there are logical explanations behind this peculiar dog habit, and as dog experts, we’re here to help.

1. To Get Comfortable

Before falling asleep, we tend to rearrange several pillows and throw some around so that we can be super comfortable. It is a common human habit that no one questions. Similarly, dogs will dig around the bed to find the most comfortable spot when they want to take a nap. This habit was picked up before your dog was domesticated.

Due to this, you might find your dog scratching your bed sheets. However, chances are that it is just trying to make a soft, cozy hollow for itself for its afternoon slumber. Usually, dogs associate warm spots with comfort.

Before they were domesticated, dogs would dig holes in the ground and fetch some leaves that could be placed underneath. They did this to ensure that they could be comfortable during their nap times.

2. Adjusting the Temperature

You can’t deny that as humans, we flip our pillows around several times during a time in an attempt to regulate the temperature, especially when it is hot. You desperately look for the cooler pillow side so that you can fall asleep faster and stay asleep throughout the night.

Dogs are very similar to humans in that way. They scratch bed sheets and dig around in an attempt to regulate temperature based on the season. Usually, they dig comfortable, shallow holes when they are protecting themselves from the intense heat.

3. Anxiety

Dogs used to live in the wild, and during that time, fear was a common and rather important emotion they felt which helped them protect themselves from attackers. Over time, they learned to trust their gut feeling to prevent problems before they appear.

Even though you may have raised your dog since it was a newborn, these ancestral instincts are a natural part of their being. 

Even when they aren’t in danger, dogs may try to make themselves feel safe because their instincts might be telling them something.

Dogs also scratch bed sheets when they are feeling nervous. In this case, try to pay attention to your dog’s environment and surroundings. 

Have there been any recent changes in your life? Is your dog being bullied by other dogs in the neighborhood? Before you can fix the problem, it is important that you identify it first. In case you are unable to do so, visit a vet so that he can provide you with an accurate diagnosis.

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4. Marking Territory

Just like their relatives and ancestors, especially foxes and wolves, dogs are territorial animals by nature. They have scent glands located underneath their feet, which is why you will often find them scratching bed sheets and sofas in an attempt to mark their territory.

Now, you might be wondering why your dog wants to randomly mark its territory in your home. To figure this out, see if there is a new baby or pet that you have brought into the house. Dogs are generally competitive by nature, and if they feel like you are paying too much attention to something or someone else, they will fight for you and their belongings.

5. Curiosity

Everyone knows that cats are curious animals, but what about dogs? Who knew that dogs are just as curious? It is a fact that dogs love investigating. This is how they keep themselves entertained, and often, they will hide their belongings and treasures in an attempt to get them out of sight. If you find your dog scratching your bed sheets, it may be hiding its toys or saving the treats you gave it for a later time.

Besides hiding their belongings, your dog may also look for hidden treasures in the bed sheets. The bedsheets may not actually have anything hidden in them, but your dog may still be trying to fool around. 

This is normal dog behavior but can be annoying if your dog starts to steal your things and hide them in places you don’t know even existed. It may be thinking that it is playing a game with you but keep an eye out to ensure that your dog does not take things too far.

6. Material Nesting

If your dog is pregnant, it may be trying to create a nest for its upcoming puppies. Most dogs love beds and would want their pups to be as comfortable as possible.

If your dog is pregnant and you find them doing this, it could be because they are going to give birth soon and are trying to prepare their surroundings for the new puppies. Hence, we would recommend that you stay alert and notice your dog’s behaviors so that you can make some preparations as well.

7. In Search of Food

Did you lay in your bed last night devouring some delicious cheese and pepperoni pizza? If you did, it could be possible that the odor of your food is still lurking around or that you have dropped some bits of pizza within the sheets.

We previously mentioned that dogs have a strong sense of smell. There are high chances that your dog smelt the pizza and is scratching the bed sheets in search of the crumbs you dropped because it is hungry. To ensure this does not happen, store your bed sheets somewhere your dog cannot reach.

Moreover, always remember to dust your current bed sheets to get rid of all the crumbs. We would also recommend changing the sheets so that there are no food odors left behind that would attract your dog. This is a great way to ensure that your dog does not dig around and look for food while completely destroying your pretty bed sheets.

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