Dogs exhibit various behaviors from time to time. You may have encountered that your dog often scratches your bed sheet. You might have wondered, “Why does my dog scratch my bed sheets?” You don’t need to go far to know this. We will reveal all the probable answers to this dog’s behavior.

The good thing is you don’t need to be terrified if your dog scratches your bed sheets. So far, it’s a common behavior noticed in many dogs. But if it’s bothering you or damaging your pricey bed sheets, then you may feel like exploring the reasons for this habit.

Sometimes, it is narrated that dogs do it to mark their territory or to make their space more comfortable. But, these might not be the absolute answers. Let’s explore this dog behavior. 

Understanding Dog Behavior

Dogs are fascinating creatures. They have unique behaviors and instincts. Scratching the bed is a natural behavior of your dog. However, this behavior can be related to several factors. It includes the concept of ‘denning’ in dogs, their genetic behaviors, and some other environmental factors.

The Concept of Denning

The concept of ‘denning’ is a natural instinct in dogs. It is anticipated that it originated from their ancestors, wolves. Wolves used to dig hiding places or caves in the ground. It is also probable that they might have used pre-existing dens to create a safe and secure space to rest. It helped them to raise their young safely. 

And this behavior has been passed down to domestic dogs. They still have the desire or genetic tendency to create a den-like environment. So, this might be the reason your dog is scratching your bed sheets.

The Translation of Denning Behavior

As a dog owner, you may notice that the translation of denning behavior is somehow attached to domesticated dogs. That’s why your dog might prefer to sleep under furniture or in confined places. Or they might sleep in the areas where they are not usually intended for sleeping.  

You can provide your dog with a designated sleeping space, such as a crate or bed. It can help your dog to satisfy this instinct. Eventually, it can prevent them from scratching at bed sheets or furniture.  

Genetic Behaviors 

Genetic behaviors can also be the reason for the dogs scratching your bed sheets. Some dog breeds like terriers and dachshunds are known for their digging and scratching behavior. This type of behavior is linked to their historical purpose. Since the dogs used to hunt small underground animals. 

10 Detailed Reasons Why Dogs Scratch Bed Sheets

10 Detailed Reasons Why Dogs Scratch Bed Sheets

Are you tired of finding your furry friend scratching your favorite bed sheets? It’s true that this behavior can be frustrating. But, you need to understand why they do it. Here we will explore 10 detailed reasons for the question “Why does my dog scratch my bed sheets?”

1. Comfort Seeking

Dogs may scratch their bed sheets to create a comfortable sleeping space. Scratching allows them to adjust the bedding to their liking and regulate their body temperature. If they feel hot, they may scratch to create a cooler surface, and if they feel cold, they may scratch to create a warmer space.

2. Territory Marking

Dogs have a strong sense of smell. They use scent markings to establish their territory. Scratching at bed sheets is one way for dogs to leave their scent and mark their sleeping area as their own.

3. Curiosity and Hunting Behavior

Dogs are curious animals. They may scratch their bed sheets out of boredom or as part of their natural hunting behavior. This can involve searching for food or other interesting scents.

4. Anxiety and Stress

Anxiety and Stress Dogs

Scratching can also be a sign of anxiety or stress in dogs. If they are feeling anxious, they may scratch to relieve tension or release energy. Other signs of an anxious dog include pacing, excessive barking, and bad behavior.

5. Expecting Puppies

If your female dog is scratching your bed sheets, it may indicate that she is expecting puppies. This behavior is part of their nesting instinct. It helps prepare a comfortable and secure space for their offspring. 

6. Parasites

Finally, scratching can also indicate the presence of parasites such as fleas or ticks. If your dog is scratching excessively and has other signs of infestation such as redness or irritation, it’s important to seek veterinary care.

7. Paw Glands

One common reason why dogs scratch bed sheets due to the scent glands on their paws. These glands can leave a scent on the bed sheets. The dog is then inclined to scratch to spread the scent. This behavior is instinctual and rooted in the dog’s desire to mark its territory.

8. Allergies 

Another reason why dogs may scratch bed sheets is due to allergies. Dogs with allergies may scratch their skin. It can lead to itchiness and ultimately cause them to scratch anything they can reach, including bed sheets. If a dog is scratching excessively, consult with a veterinarian. 

9. Boredom and Lack of Exercise 

Boredom and Lack of Exercise Dog

Dogs that are bored or not receiving enough exercise may resort to scratching bed sheets. It’s a way to entertain themselves. To prevent this behavior, it is crucial to provide dogs with plenty of toys and exercise opportunities, including regular walks and playtime.

10. Poorly Maintained Skin and Coat

Dogs with poorly maintained skin and coats may be prone to scratching bed sheets. Regular grooming and bathing can help to keep a dog’s skin and coat healthy and prevent excessive scratching.

Dog’s Habit of Disrupting Pillows and Sheets After Bed-Making 

It’s not uncommon for dogs to disrupt pillows and sheets after bed-making. This behavior can be attributed to their natural instincts. Your dog is claiming the bed as a shared territory and creating a nest. By mixing its scent with your scent, your dog is marking the bed as a comfortable and safe space.

Moreover, this behavior is also a sign of your dog’s affection and loyalty to you. Dogs are social animals. They enjoy being close to their owners. When they sleep on your bed, they feel a sense of security and comfort.

Dog’s Habit of Disrupting Pillows and Sheets
Although this behavior is normal, it can also be problematic. It may interfere with your sleep or causes damage to your bedding. In this case, you may need to train your dog to sleep in a designated area or provide them with a comfortable bed of their own.

Your dog’s habit of disrupting pillows and sheets after bed-making is a natural instinct. It is driven by their need for comfort, security, and affection. By providing them with appropriate training, you can ensure that both you and your furry friend can enjoy a good night’s sleep.

Ways to Protect Your Bed and Your Dog’s Bed Against Scratching

As a pet owner, you might have experienced the frustration of finding your bed or your dog’s bed scratched. Luckily, there are several ways to prevent this from happening.

Regularly Trim Your Dog’s Nails

Regularly trimming your dog’s nails is an effective way to protect your bed and your dog’s bed from scratches. Long nails can easily cause damage to the fabric or surface of the bed. Make sure to trim your dog’s nails regularly to prevent this from happening.

Trim Your Dog’s Nails

Providing Alternative Ways to Play

Dogs usually scratch as a form of play or when they are bored. Offering your dog toys or other forms of entertainment can distract them from scratching the bed. Providing alternative ways to play can be an effective way to stimulate a dog’s brain. Eventually, it can help to prevent boredom. 

Managing Your Dog’s Anxiety

Managing your dog’s anxiety can also help prevent scratching. Some dogs may scratch as a result of anxiety or stress. If you notice your dog scratching more frequently than usual, it might be a sign of anxiety. Consult your vet for ways to manage your dog’s anxiety.

Investing in a More Durable Bed

Investing in a more durable bed can also be a solution. There are many durable bed options available for dogs on the internet. These are scratch-resistant. 

Some affordable options include basic elevated dog beds that can cost around $47. Besides, orthopedic large-size dog beds can cost around $64. These beds are made of sturdy materials. These can withstand scratching and last longer than regular beds.

Setting up Better Alternatives for Your Dog

If your dog has a habit of scratching the bed, there are several alternatives you can try to redirect their behavior. Here are some options:

1. Provide a designated scratching post

Dogs naturally have the instinct to scratch and mark their territory. You can offer a specifically designed scratching post or a scratching board for dogs. It can provide them with an appropriate outlet for this behavior.

 2. Use interactive toys

 Engaging your dog with interactive toys. It can help distract them from scratching the bed.  Fascinating dog toys can trigger mental and physical stimulation. Puzzle toys or treat-dispensing toys can keep their attention focused elsewhere.

 3. Offer a comfortable dog bed

Ensure that your dog has a comfortable and well-cushioned bed of their own. Opt for materials that are durable and resistant to scratching. This can help redirect their behavior toward a more suitable surface.

4. Try positive reinforcement training

Reward your dog with treats and praise. Especially, when they exhibit desired behaviors. Caregivers can use the scratching post or engage with their toys. Positive reinforcement can reinforce the idea that these alternatives are more rewarding than scratching the bed.

5. Seek professional advice

 If the scratching behavior persists despite your efforts, consider consulting a professional dog trainer or behaviorist. They can provide personalized guidance. They can suggest more strategies to address this.


What does it mean when a dog scratches your sheets?

It could mean your dog is trying to mark their territory or find a comfortable spot.

Providing Alternative Ways to Play?

Your dog may love your bed because it smells like you. Besides, it provides a cozy, familiar, and safe environment for your dog.

Why do dogs scratch the bed like crazy?

Dogs may scratch the bed excessively to release energy and relieve stress.

Should I let my dog scratch his bed?

It depends. It’s better to provide appropriate alternatives. You can provide a scratching post. if it’s not causing damage, it’s generally fine to let your dog scratch their bed.

Why do dogs scratch the bed, especially before lying down?

Scratching the bed before lying down could be a way for dogs to fluff the surface. They want to make it more comfortable or create a suitable sleeping spot.


We have explored the reasons for this question: “Why does my dog scratch my bed sheets?” If we recapitulate, Dogs may scratch bed sheets to create a comfortable sleeping space. Or, they might try to mark their territory, relieve boredom or anxiety, or please their genetic instincts.

To address this behavior, you can provide dogs with designated sleeping spaces. You can try crates or beds, to satisfy their denning instincts. Regularly trimming their nails can prevent damage to bed sheets.

Offering alternative ways to play and managing their anxiety can also redirect their scratching behavior. Investing in durable beds or setting up better alternatives can also help. You can give scratching posts, interactive toys, or comfortable dog beds.

Always remember that each dog is unique. What works for one may not work for another. Positive reinforcement training can be helpful in addressing persistent scratching behaviors. By understanding our pet’s behaviors, we can create a harmonious living environment.