As a pet owner, one thing you invest in when acquiring a dog is a fine bed with beautiful fabric for your buddy.

Have you ever walked in on your dog to find him scratching the bedsheet? It must have left you wondering, particularly the first time you saw it happen.

It probably surprised you until now why your dog engages in such behavior. What on earth could he be searching for, you may ask yourself, that he would rag such an adorable piece of fabric. 

Your dog may scratch the bedsheet for different reasons that may be unknown to you. We will unravel nine of them as we proceed with this article.

Also, apart from getting to know why your dog scratches your bed sheet, you should be interested in knowing how to react when you find him doing it again.

We will find that out in this article will tell you all you must know about the attitude and when you should seek your vet doctor’s attention regarding the behavior. Let’s get the ball rolling.

9 reasons your dog scratches your bedsheets

It is not always a friendly scene to watch your dog scratch your bed sheet, especially if it disturbs your sleep or causes damage to the bedsheets. Several factors are responsible for this bed-scratching attitude.

We’ll share cues on how you can help your dog reduce and eventually stop the behavior, but your approach to it will be more effective if you know why your dog scratches your bed sheet. Your dog’s behavior may be because of one or more of the following.

1. Instinct

Scratching your bed is an instinct for your dog.

Remember that your dog is a descent of the wild wolf and some of their traits can not be done away with.

To make a snug stack of bedding, your dog’s wild ancestors scratched at heaps of leaves, pine needles, and dirt.

Digging and arranging scattered sticks, grass, and rocks into more comfortable or consistent locations in the wild dog’s world. 

Out there in the wild, they dig or scratch the ground to clear out sticks and stones before they lay down to sleep to make themselves comfortable. 

Even though your canine companion takes his rest in your bed or his. It is in his intuition to tidy up his space before resting his head. That is why you’ll find your pet scratching your bed sheet. 

 This nest also functioned as a deterrent to predators. Manipulation of the twigs and stones in their environment could help them hide their position and feel less exposed.

Burrowing under leaves and soil could provide a warmer or colder environment for dogs to get away from the elements and extreme temperatures.

Though they are now domesticated, this behavior is still present in many dogs hence, your dog tries to build a refuge in his blankets.

2. Territorial Behavior

Bed-scratching can be a sign of dominance. Naturally, dogs are compelled to mark their territory. You should know dogs urinate on things to claim them as their belonging, but urinating is not the only way to accomplish that.

When dogs scratch over a surface, sweat glands in their paws release a characteristic smell that lingers on the surface, including the bed sheet when they do so.

You may step in there and see a ragged bed sheet while your dog sees and smells an area that he has marked as his.

If your dog perceives a bedding location to be his, he is more inclined to go back there. This could be the reason bed-scratching behavior starts or speeds up when a new pet or human comes into the house, or when there is a change in the environment.

Your dog could also imbibe in this act if you have just used a clean bed sheet, you could notice your dog scratching at the covers more regularly. As a human, you enjoy the smell of a clean bed, but the dog will not recognize it. Therefore, dogs will often move in little circles to lay their scent before settling down. 

3. Search for treats

If your dog has been allowed to bring treats or toys into the bed to play or dine, he could perceive them later on and may dig for them.

Even though you know there’s nothing under the sheets, the smell of those items can persuade your dog otherwise.

4. Maternal Instinct

Canine maternal instinct includes bed-scratching. Your female dog’s bed-scratching behavior will abruptly escalate as she prepares to give birth to her puppies. It’s known as nesting in this scenario, and it’s a natural hormonal response. She’s preparing a nest for her new pups to keep them warm and safe when they arrive.

Female dogs who aren’t pregnant will often nest if your pet is feeling a little broody, she may seek solace in the establishment of a fluffy, comfortable, and nurturing environment.

5. Temperature balancing

Dogs used to sleep outside before we let them into our houses, and the instinct to build a den or nest is still there in their behavior.

Dogs would dig dirt and soil away, not just to sleep comfortably and mark territory, but also to maintain their body temperature.

It’s a brilliant idea as digging into the earth keeps their legs and lower body warm in the cold, helping them to retain more heat. In warmer temperatures, the reverse is the case since the dirt is cooler.

6. The breed of your dog can influence its disposition towards digging. Terriers were bred to dig and catch small rodents, and that urge can still be present in our catered to dogs these days.

6. A Learned Habit

Bed-Scratching can be a learned attitude. Scratching could be territorial when a new animal comes into the house, but it could also be a learned or imitated behavior. This is particularly true if the new pet is a dog. Dogs tend to emulate the behavior of other dogs. Your existing dogs may join in the fun if your new dog circles and scratches with pleasure.

7. To check for parasites on the bed

Your dog is sensitive, as his sensory organs are fully at work. He might have noticed some potential parasites such as ticks or lice and mites on the bed and decided to scratch the bed sheet to find them.

Parasites like ticks always like to be hosted in dogs, which is deadly for your animal. Hence, he might try to fish them out. 

Should this be the case, your dog would appear keen and serious while displaying this behavior because he is carrying out serious business at that moment. 

Stay there for a few minutes to see if he will stop. If he does not, help him out to check the bed sheet, dust it, and lay it again.

8. Stress or Anxiety

You may notice your dog scratching at her bed more if you bring in a new pet or something else that increases her stress levels.

This practice can sometimes lead to nervous behavior, in which the scratching no longer aids her relaxation.

You might try distracting her from scratching with a more appealing toy, giving her something to do instead of scratching. If that doesn’t work, seek advice from your veterinarian.

9. It’s In Their Genes  

Some dogs bask in having a good old dig and they do not mind having it anywhere, even if it is not outside!

How can I stop my dog from scratching my bedsheets?

If you understand it is in your dog’s instinct to scratch on surfaces, including beds, and you find it interesting to watch, then you may not need to stop him.

However, if the scratches on your bedsheets get torn, that is unacceptable, and you may want your dog to stop.

It might not be as simple as setting up a comfortable space for your dog to sleep for him to stop the frenzy of bed-scratching because even the best dog beds can not take away his instinct.

These tips can help your dog reduce its behavior while you keep your personal space tidy.

  1. You could have a no-dog policy on your bed. It will take some training but by encouraging the dog to sleep elsewhere (in their bed, on the floor, or in a crate, for example), they’ll learn sheets aren’t for tearing up.
  1. Sometimes, your dog is scratching to get under your bedspread where it is cooler since he can not lift them with his fingers as you do. If you would like to have him sleep in bed with you, you can lay the bed halfway so that he doesn’t have to struggle with lifting the layer of bed cloth by scratching.
  1. Prevent your dog from using toys or taking treats while in bed so that your dog does not scratch the bedsheet, thinking that they are still there when they are not.
  1. Pay attention to the temperature of your room at night so that your dog would not have to dig to keep himself warm or stay cool.
  1. Make use of seamless bed sheets and avoid embroidered ones. This would limit the damage that can be done.
  1. Groom your dog’s nails regularly to keep them short. This will prevent digging deep enough to tear the bedsheet.
  1. If there is more space on the bed, you can put their blankets or sheets so that they won’t have to scratch into yours since it smells of them already. This works especially when you have just changed the bedsheets.

You might even fold their blankets to urge them to settle on that spot.    

If the behavior persists, enroll him in training classes or get him in nail caps.

Now that you have discovered why your dog scratches your bed sheet with ways you can put out that behavior. It is not enough to find out all that.

If you want your dog to stop dragging your bed sheet, make use of the tips stated above so that you can see your bed sheet without pulling off a worried look anymore.

Also, if the behavior gets wild and destructive, you may need to get in touch with your veterinarian for professional advice.