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Why Does My Dog Scratch My Bed Sheets?

The majority of people who have a dog will have seen their pet scratching away at their bed sheets countless times with many people wondering what causes their dog to scratch at their bed sheets.

We have actually noticed a number of people reaching out and asking questions like “why does my dog scratch my bed sheets?” recently so we have decided to publish this article.

Unlike some other dog behaviours that have common triggers causing a common response, it is difficult to pinpoint exactly why your pet dog will scratch your bed sheets.

There are some more common reasons though that we will cover in our article to try and help you better understand the potential reasons that your dog will dig at your bed sheets.

For the most part, a dog digging at your bed sheets is not an issue and wont cause you any problems but it can become a problem if you have just made your bed and your dog runs in and scratches and the sheets and throws the bed sheets all over.

If you have expensive bedding and your dog’s nails are long then your dog may also be able to rip your bed sheets too so it can be worth trying to discourage this behaviour.

Why Does My Dog Scratch My Bed Sheets When Excited?

The most common reason that your dog will scratch at your bed sheets is due to your dog being excited.

If you are in your bed playing with your dog then a sudden burst of excited energy will often cause your dog to try to dig into your bed sheets as a way to show it is excited and to burn off the excess energy.

Another common reason that your dog will excitedly dig on your bed sheets is if you have kept your dog out of the room while you make your bed and then you open your door once everything is done.

Your dog can become excited due to being reunited with you and then jump on the bed to dig into your sheets.

When your dog digs into your bed sheets due to being excited it tends to be a more rapid digging with your dog often breathing heavy and fast while also barking. These are all signs of your dog being excited and expelling the excess energy while showing you that it is happy.

Do Dogs Scratch Bed Sheets When They Are Bored?

Some dogs will scratch your bed sheets when they are bored if you are in the room as a way to try and initiate playing with you.

With so many dogs scratching bed sheets during play time when they are excited, they can associate the behavior of scratching your bed sheets with play time.

You can usually tell if your dog is scratching your bed sheets due to being bored as the scratches will be much slower and your dog will be calm with regular breathing.

They will often scratch the bed sheets for a little bit and then lock eye contact with you and then scratch again and continue to repeat this process.

Your dog will often take long breaks to go sniffing around your bed if it is only scratching due to boredom too. Unless you get involved in playing with your dog then it will usually give up and go and find something more entertaining to do.

Will My Dog Scratch Bed Sheets To Get Comfortable?

Although we do often see people asking if their dog will scratch their bed sheets to get comfortable, we doubt that this is the reason for the scratching.

The majority of dogs are more than happy to sit or lay on the floor when they have their own comfortable dog bed a few feet away.

We understand the logic of why so many people think that a dog scratching the sheets on their bed is for comfort due to this being a common thing that cats do but it’s really not that popular for dogs.

We are not ruling out the possibility of your dog scratching your bed to make it more comfortable but we feel the other reasons in our article are more common and realistic.

Many dogs will also scratch the bedsheets and then jump off the bed to go somewhere else rather than laying on it too. This just backs up our theory that bed scratching is not done for comfort for your dog.

Do Dogs Scratch Bed Sheets Looking For Food?

With dogs being highly motivated by food and many people eating in their bed, it stands to logic that some food will fall onto your bed and that your dogs excellent sense of smell will then help them work out that there is food available.

If the food is under the top sheet on your bed then it is understandable that your dog will try to dig to find it.

This results in your dog scratching away at your bed sheets to try and reach the food under the bed with your dog sometimes frantically digging due to humans often eating better smelling and better tasting food than dogs.

Most dogs will often work out that they are able to simply go under the bedsheets though and get to the food that way rather than digging for it.

With dogs having such a great sense of smell they are often able to smell the food from other rooms too. This can be why some dogs will randomly walk into your bedroom, jump on your bed, and start to scratch your bedsheets.

Will Dogs Scratch Bed Sheets When Playing?

The majority of people like to have a lazy day of laying in bed, especially on a weekend and it’s only natural that your dog will come into your bedroom to get some attention. As you start to play with your dog it may scratch at your bed sheets as part of the game.

As you play with your dog it will often become excited too and as we mentioned earlier in the article, the most common reason that your dog will scratch your bed sheets is due to being excited.

This can result in some frantic scratching and potential damage to your bedsheets so try to keep this in mind.

Some people like to “hide” under their bed sheets when playing with their dog while in bed too.

As you can imagine, your dog will try to dog its way to you by scratching at the bed sheets as a part of the game as your dog thinks it’s helping to free you from the evil bed sheets.

Do Dogs Scratch Bed Sheets For Attention?

Although rare, some dogs may scratch your bed sheets for attention due to you paying attention to them when they scratch your bed.

This is more common when you don’t want your dog on your bed scratching away as you usually respond to your dog quicker to get the dog off the bed and give it the attention that it wants.

This can actually end up reinforcing the behavior and of your dog scratching at the sheets and other bedding as it sees it as a quick and easy way to get attention from you.

Depending on how you act, your dog may also see this as a fun game rather than it being told off for undesirable behavior.

This is why it is so important to learn some proven dog training techniques to ensure that your dog gets the message and understands that it is displaying behavior that is undesirable and not to repeat the behavior.

Unfortunately, many dog owners lack these skills and your dog fails to get the message and continues to display behavior like this.

Will Dogs Scratch Bed Sheets To Maternally Nest?

It is rare that a pregnant dog will scratch at your bed as a form of maternally nesting.

She will probably prefer her own bed or a fresh nest that you make for her as dogs are intelligent enough to register that a humans bed has a fall hazard for her pups if they get close to the edge.

We are fully aware that some pregnant dogs will scratch your bedding or dig on your bed but it is far more likely that she is doing this for one of the other reasons above rather than due to wanting to have her pups on your bed.

Just because a dog is pregnant does not change the fact that she likes to play with her own or will sniff out food on your bed for you.

Depending on the stage of pregnancy in your dog it may be worth keeping her off your bed anyway as it will be harder for her to jump on and off the bed safely.

This may present a potential risk to the dog and her pups too that is easy to avoid by simply keeping your bedroom door closed.


That brings our article going over why dogs scratch bed sheets to an end. We hope that we have been able to help you better understand the more common reasons that dogs tend to scratch at bed sheets and try to dig on human beds. It is a very common behaviour in dogs that is totally normal and expected and does not mean that there is anything wrong with your dog.