Why does your dog scratch his basket or bed?

Everyone has their bedtime ritual. For some of us, we pat our pillow and prepare our sheets before sleeping. If you’ve noticed your four-legged friend taking a few turns and scratching his basket before falling asleep, don’t tell you again. What does a dog scratching its basket mean and how do you react to it? Find answers in this article.

A dog resting in its basket
Source: Getty Images

Some animals need to turn around before finding the ideal position. The dog is no exception. For millennia, wolves and wild dogs have been digging and scratching their territory to make it more comfortable before sleeping. Even if your dog seems to insist on his basket, it is an instinctive attitude in this animal.

Grate your basket: an animal instinct

This is a natural instinct in this animal. And despite the genetic evolution and its way of life, a dog always keeps in him a wild part. He couldn’t get rid of that instinct. That’s why he scratches his basket. Generally, after the scratching of the basket comes the encirclement, the animal will turn on itself to find the ideal position for its sleep.

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dog scratching his basket
A dog in his bed
Source: Getty Images

A dog scratching its basket to mark its territory

If the dog scratches its basket, it is also to mark its territory. Indeed, scratching releases the pheromones that are under its legs and leave their smell. Perhaps you have noticed that your dog scratches his bedding even more when another animal is under the same roof as him or when you have just washed his blanket.

The dog values ​​its territory and is ready to defend it against any intrusion. This is the case when someone tries to touch their bowl while they are eating. This is why you have to be careful with a dog that shows its teeth. This behavior can be a warning to any stranger.

The reflex to hide from its predators

Another reason for the scratching action is found in this animal’s instinct of concealment. It’s a way to stay safe from potential predators. Dogs like to burrow into its den for protection. It is for this reason that you may notice that your four-legged friend is buried under a pile of blankets and only exposes its muzzle. If this happens, don’t worry, it’s a natural instinct for this animal.

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dog buried under leaves
A dog buried under a pile of leaves
Source: Getty Images

Grate his bedding, a matter of temperature

Dogs have always dug their burrows, more or less deeply in the ground, before being domesticated. They know that by digging the ground a little, they have access to a higher or lower level of heat depending on the outside temperature. Through this behavior, they regulate their body temperature and allow themselves cold during winter or high heat during summer.

This is also why dogs bury themselves in piles of leaves. You may notice your dog scratching his bed more in hot weather, in which case you can opt for a fan to help him cool down.

A maternal instinct

For a pregnant dog, scratching her bedding is part of the maternal instinct. In nature, female dogs prepare holes for their puppies. This behavior is normal. If you notice that your dog is scratching her basket more than usual, it is because she is trying to provide a cozy nest for her offspring. Some female dogs do this even if they are not pregnant. This is a way to practice this exercise.

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puppies in a basket
puppies in a basket
Source: Getty Images

When should you be concerned when your dog scratches his basket?

If you notice your dog scratching his basket harder than usual, you need to observe his behavior. Dogs are anxious animals by nature, if they scratch their basket harder and longer, it may be to soothe their stress. It may even be that his bedding is degraded because of this behavior. You can help him by reassuring him and offering him another alternative to de-stress. If despite this, you do not notice any change, talk to your veterinarian.

How to limit the damage?

For a dog, scratching his basket is a natural behavior. You shouldn’t scold him when he does. If you punish him for this behavior, he is likely to be even more distressed, and scratch even more to compensate. It is not possible for your dog to get rid of this reassuring behavior. We can assume that having torn sheets can get boring after a while, but your dog needs to scratch his bed.

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dog sleeping in basket
A dog sleeping in its basket with a toy
Source: Getty Images

On the other hand, you can limit the damage by regularly cutting your pet’s nails. Professionals recommend trimming every two months, using the correct equipment. In addition, to soothe your doggie, you can add reassuring elements around his sleeping area. It is also possible to consider a cardboard den that your animal can scratch at its convenience, without too much damage or a more resistant basket that can last longer.

Source: Legit.ng

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