Why Does My Dog Scratch My Bedsheets?

Sometimes canines might show some weird behaviors, something that can be associated with health problems or even their breed. Most pet owners complain about their pets scratching their couches or bedsheets, which appears abnormal to some of these owners.

In some cases, this might be quite okay as your canine might be trying to comfort itself. To identify the reason behind the scratching, you need to inspect your couch or bed sheets for any critters or fleas. If you find nothing, then there is no reason to worry. However, you should look further into things if your canine does it quite frequently.

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Why Dogs Scratch Bed Sheets

Dogs often scratch bedsheets when they are in a comfort zone. Scratching and snoozing at surfaces is a behavior that dogs have in their blood. It is common for canines to dig or snooze while hunting. Another reason for dogs to scratch is when they are overheated while on bedsheets.

All dogs have sweat glands on their paws, so they relieve themselves of the excess heat as they scratch on a soft surface like couches and bedsheets. If the surface is overheating, you might also notice that your pet tried to dig deep into the bed instead of just scratching.

Some dogs just enjoy burrowing. Certain breeds are prone to burrowing behavior and may need a specially shaped dog bed to enjoy their own bed. Consider getting your pup a dog bed for dogs that like to burrow or a burrow blanket!

Natural Instincts

Scratching is an instinct that is in the DNA of all dogs. Your pet’s ancestors used to scratch at dirt, pine needles, and piles to make a comfortable heap of beddings. This bedding also protected wild dogs from predators and other enemies. Therefore, manipulating things in their surrounding helps them conceal their positions and make them feel secure.

In some cases, wild dogs burrowed to escape the extreme temperatures, scratching under the dirt, and leaves helped the canines create a colder or warmer environment depending on the surrounding areas’ temperature.

Territorial Behavior

Scratching or burrowing can be a sign of territorial dominance. Dogs have instincts that drive them to mark their territory. As they scratch on a source, they leave their scent there, something they use to show that the place is theirs. You can see a tattered bedsheet, but your canine smells and sees it as its own space.

Learned Behavior

Sometimes burrowing or bedsheet scratching can be a learned behavior. Besides scratching being a territorial behavior, sometimes it can be due to mimicry, especially if you introduce another dog into your home.

This is because canines usually try to imitate other dog’s behaviors. If your dogs see a new pet scratching and circling with joy, they will likely join it for fun.

Maternal Behavior

It is a maternal instinct for dogs to scratch on surfaces. Female canines usually tend to increase their scratching behavior when they are almost having puppies. Under such a circumstance, this scratching is called nesting, and it is a biological, hormonal reaction. She is doing so in preparation for the new puppies.

Strategies for managing scratching behaviors

If creaking a comfy spot for your canine to sleep is not enough for it to stop scratching, try the following tips;

  • Put a large and heavy blanket on the dog’s bed.
  • Provide softer textures for your dog or add extra blankets to your canine’s bed.
  • Relocate your dog’s bed to a private and silent place within your house.
  • You can invest in nail caps or take your dog for training classes if it leaves marks on floors after scratching.
  • Consider buying high-quality canine beds that offer comfort, durability, and support to dogs.

What To Do If My Dog Scratches Bed Sheets

If you are tired of having your bed messy because of your dog’s scratches, you need to do something to relax it. You can decide to take it out for a walk before it retires to bed. Or take it to a rough source where it can scratch without your worries.

Moreover, you can look for a place where your dog can do the borrow and scratch before you return to the house. After ensuring that the dog Is relaxed, you can now take it back to the house.


It is normal and natural for dogs to scratch on surfaces. But when you become suspicious of your dog’s behavior, it is essential to look further into things to help you take proper action.

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Peter Newman

Peter Newman is the owner and editor for Puppy Leader. He has two dogs and loves to train them daily. Every day, Peter takes his dogs to the park and lets them run around and play together. He also trains them each day with different commands and tricks.