This is typically a natural instinct. Your pup’s ancestors often scraped up leaves and dirt in the wild to create a makeshift bed to sleep on. Shifting the leaves and dirt helped hide them better from predators.
That’s right, your bed-scratching furry family member marks your new bed as their territory. Like many other animals, dogs have scent glands on the underside of their paws that secrete a pheromone that lets other animals know this is their territory.
Scratching is less destructive than digging and is for the dog’s well-being. Just as we fluff our pillows before bed, scratching is a way of softening a hard surface and making it comfortable. Breaking up a hard surface creates a softer surface to sleep on.
Your dog’s tendency to scratch his bed before going to sleep may be perfectly normal, and the behavior is likely an instinct he’s inherited. In the thousands of years that your dog’s ancestors have survived in the wild, your pup has learned to claw and circle his bed for safety and comfort.
The reason almost every dog digs in their bed is because it’s a natural instinct to create a comfortable, warm place to lie.
If your dog’s scratching keeps you up at night, that’s a big clue that he may be suffering from atopic dermatitis or allergic disease. Pets suffering from this disease can develop hot spots or even open sores. These can lead to bacterial or yeast infections, says Dr.
Scratching the ground is gone to spread their scent and mark their territory to let other dogs or animals know that this is their nest or resting place. Scratching the ground was also a way for them to create a shallow nest where they could store body heat in case they slept in the cold.