Understanding Why Dogs Dig Beds: Causes & Protection Tips
Every dog owner has had the experience of buying a new mattress and having your furry friend start digging into it with their paws. Is this a bad habit of theirs, or is there something else going on?
In this article, we'll take a deeper dive into why dogs like to dig in their beds, and will also offer some valuable tips to help you protect your mattress. If you're interested in the reasons behind your dog's behaviour or how to protect your home, then read on!
The evolutionary origins of dog digging behaviour
- Dogs' Wild Ancestors: Dogs derive their digging behaviour from their wild ancestors, such as wolves. Wolves would dig into the ground to find hidden food such as insects and small mammals, and dug holes in the ground to escape extreme weather. This habit has been passed down to today's domestic dogs.
- Body Warmth: In the wild, dogs dig into the ground to find underground layers of warmth and cold to regulate their body temperature. At home, this instinct drives them to dig into mattresses to find a comfortable temperature.
- Territory Marking: The sweat glands in a dog's feet secrete a special odour and mark their territory by digging. This is a form of communication and territorial demarcation.
Other common reasons dogs dig in their beds
- Play and Recreation: For some active dogs, digging is a way to kill time and energy and can be considered a playful behaviour.
- Comfort Adjustment: Dogs dig into the mattress to adjust its shape and find a more comfortable sleeping position. Similar to how humans adjust pillows or blankets to find comfort.
- Hiding Food: Some dogs will hide food in their beds. This is an ancient survival instinct and they may "bury" extra food in case they need it.
- Health Problems: Persistent digging behaviour can be a sign of health problems such as skin disease, parasitic infections and other health issues that need to be monitored by the owner and veterinary assistance sought.
3 Ways to Protect Your Dog's Bed from Scratching
- Choose high-quality mattress materials: For example, use strong nylon or canvas fabrics that are more resistant to digging behaviour.
- Trim your dog's nails regularly: Long nails increase the risk of scratching the mattress. Therefore, they need to be trimmed regularly and use professional pet nail clippers to ensure safety.
- Train your dog's behaviour: Good habits can be taught through professional positive reinforcement training, such as the use of commands and rewards.
Choosing the right mattress for every member of the family
- Dog's needs: Choose the right mattress for your dog, taking into account its size, age and health. For example, an older dog with arthritis may need a memory foam mattress with extra support.
- Needs of Human Family Members: Choose the right mattress for your family member, taking into account their sleeping position and physical needs. For example, someone with back problems may need firmer support.
- Suilong mattress recommendations: Suilong offers a wide range of mattress styles and features to help family members choose, including models that help improve sleep quality.
How to choose the right mattress for your dog
- Size and weight: The size and thickness of the mattress needs to be appropriate for the weight and size of the dog to support the bone structure and ensure comfort.
- Materials and durability: Choose mattress materials that have been specially treated to resist scratching and washing to ensure long-lasting use.
- Consider cleaning and maintenance: Choose a mattress with a removable, easy-to-clean cover to ensure your dog's sleeping environment is always clean.
Now, not only do you understand the reasons behind doggy bedding, but you've also learned how to choose the right mattress for each member of your family and how to maximise mattress protection. Protecting your home investment and meeting the needs of your family pet is entirely possible. Remember, choosing a high-quality mattress and performing regular maintenance is key. If you found this information helpful, please share it with other dog owners to help them too be able to better understand their pets and enjoy a comfortable home environment!
Q: Why do dogs scratch and circle before lying down?
A: Dogs often scratch and circle before lying down due to an instinctual behavior passed down from their wild ancestors. It helped create a comfortable sleeping spot by trampling down grass or leaves and also served to establish territory or check for any lurking pests.
Q: Are there specific types of beds that deter dogs from digging?
A: Yes, there are beds designed with materials that are more resistant to a dog's digging behavior, such as elevated beds or those made with heavy-duty, durable fabrics. Additionally, orthopedic and memory foam beds may lessen digging due to their added comfort.
Q: Can training deter my dog from digging at their bed?
A: Yes, positive reinforcement training can help deter unwanted behaviors, including bed digging. Every time your dog settles on their bed without digging, you can offer praise or a treat. If they begin to dig, a gentle "no" or redirection can guide them towards the desired behavior.
Q: Does my dog's breed influence their digging behavior on beds?
A: Some breeds, especially those bred for burrowing or hunting, might be more inclined to dig than others. However, any dog can exhibit this behavior, as it's rooted in instinct and not strictly limited to specific breeds.
Q: Are there any health concerns related to dogs digging at their beds?
A: If a dog suddenly starts digging excessively, it might be an indication of discomfort, allergies, or even pests like fleas. Always ensure that the bed is clean and in good condition, and if the behavior persists or if there are other signs of distress, it's a good idea to consult with a veterinarian.
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