Why Do Dogs Dig Their Beds? And Other Weird Behaviors

why do dogs dig in their beds

It’s funny. Our dogs go through this ritual before going to bed that often includes scratching, digging, and even chewing their beds. But why? It turns out your dog is just “making its bed.”

Very much like you have your bedtime routine, your dog follows a similar one every time they go to bed, and it traces back to Carles Darwin-era behavior.

At LAY LO, our dog beds embrace these behaviors, like our chew-resistant dog bed with hidden zipper pockets to prevent them from chewing the corners.

The same goes for our durable dig-proof dog bed cover to protect the mattress and extend the life of your modern dog bed. 

These behaviors are believed to be an inherited trait that’s actually driven by survival instinct. In the wild, dogs used to share their territory with dangerous animals like snakes and spiders attacking them in their sleep.

So, wild dogs will scratch and dig the ground before going to bed to ensure they chose a spot without dangerous critters nearby. 

Another reason might just be territorial. So, dogs that share their homes with other pets might do this to mark their beds. 

dog sleeping in modern dog bed

The Reason Behind the Digging

When you see your dog digging the bed, it looks pretty funny, and you might think there’s no reasoning behind it. Digging the bed is an inherited trait from your dog’s ancestors. Digging was a temperature control method in the wild, so they would dig nests to stay calm or curl up in a self-fashioned pit to maintain body heat. 

Even when you let your dog sleep in your bed, they still dig through the sheets as they try to find their spot. 

When your dog is doing this to their beds, it’s likely because they’re trying to adjust their temperature. So check the room to see if it’s too hot or too cold for them and adapt as necessary.

Luckily, if you have a LAY LO dog bed at home, you don’t have to worry about your puppy destroying your bed or their own since all of our breathable, durable dog beds are designed with these behaviors in mind. 



The Circling Their Bed Ritual

Perhaps the funniest of all the weird rituals and behaviors your dog has around the bed is when they start circling it. Wolves would follow the same routine as a self-preservation method to ward off or spot any attackers in the wild before going to bed. 

Circling for dogs is also the equivalent of fluffing the pillows for humans. As your dog gets ready for bedtime, they might circle around to help level it up and create a more comfortable space for them to sleep. While it definitely seems funny, it’s actually serving a purpose for dogs. 

dog scratching bed

Why Do Dogs Scratch Their Bed

Similar to digging, dogs also scratch their beds, as well as the carpet and other surfaces. Bed-scratching is a natural behavior in dogs as a way to create comfortable bedding.

This is an inherited behavior that dogs might do unconsciously. This is why dogs like to build a fort in their blanket and dig in with their nose to prep for bedtime. 

Bed-scratching can also be territorial. Dogs have glands in their paws that release specific hormones and ascent on the objects they scratch that signals other animals to stay off.

So, scratching the bed might be a way of marking it as their own. 

The hormones also serve another purpose; because your dog knows its smell, he will come to identify with his sleep area and only want to sleep there.

dog behaviors

Celebrate These Behaviors

Whenever you see your dog dig or scratch its bed, you probably go crazy. But, hey, your dog doesn’t know that he’s going to destroy the bed. Instead of screaming at them, these behaviors should be encouraged to connect them to their roots. 

Of course, to encourage your dog to dig their bed, you might want to invest in a dig-proof bed.

Luckily, all LAY LO dog beds are chew-resistant,  scratch, and dig-proof so that you can encourage them all the way. 

So, next time you see your dog going through its sleeping ritual, don’t correct them.

However, make sure to point out this behavior is only acceptable in the bed and correct them whenever you see digging or scratching non-approved areas like the yard, the couch, or your beautiful hardwood floors.

And, of course, invest in a durable modern bed that won’t turn to fluff after your dog chews, digs, or plays with it.