10 Reasons Why Does My Dog Scratch The Bed Sheets

Dogs have weird and funny bedtime habits that leave pet owners wondering, why does my pet scratch the bedsheets?

Some people think dogs do this for attention. But it is not always the case. There are various reasons why dogs scratch the bedsheets, and some of them might surprise you.

Your pet may be uncomfortable because your sheets are dirty or smelly. They may be digging or scratching to make it more warm and cozy.

It can be frustrating to see your dog have this nightly routine on your bed. But once you understand the reasons why they do, it will be easier for you to find solutions for it.

Reasons Why Dogs Scratch the Bed Sheet

Your dog probably adores your bed and would like to spend time on it, which is why he scratches it so much. But what is the connection between loving the bed and scratching it? The most frequent reasons for why your dog scratches the bedsheets include the following:

1. For Comfort

You might have chosen a bedsheet that suits your taste, but it might not be good enough for your dog.

Your pet is scratching the bedsheet because he is seeking a comfortable sleeping position. It might be testing the sheets, blankets, or pillows to suit its comfort and taste.

Give your pet a firm “stop” command to show that it is not acceptable. Let them know that it is your bed and no one is changing it.

2. To Make The Bed

Another common reason dogs scratch the bedsheet is that they are trying to make it cozier and comfortable.

Tired dogs tend to scratch and make the bed so they can lay down and rest comfortably through the night.

Your pet may also scratch the bed sheets to make them warmer. You can observe this behavior when you live in colder regions.

3. Natural Instinct

The urge to adjust and scratch the bed is an instinct for dogs. Whether it’s your bed or theirs, they will often scratch, move and adjust the sheets to their liking.

You can trace it down to their ancestors. Wild dogs lay on beds made of rocks and sticks. They often scratch to arrange it until it becomes comfortable for them.

Thus, don’t be surprised that your fur buddy still displays this type of behavior.

4. Boredom or Stress

Dogs also scratch the bedsheet if they are stressed out or bored.

You may observe this behavior when your pet returns from a long and tiring day at work.

Your dog is probably looking for something to do because it’s energetically exhausted. It is why they scratch the bedsheets, just to make it more interesting.

5. Your Dog Smells Food

If you have leftovers on your bedsheets, it will be a real treat and temptation for your dog.

Dogs are attracted to food smells because they consider it as a reward.

Scratching the bed is their way of hunting out potential food sources that serve as tasty rewards or snacks.

Scratching the bed can also signify hunger or lack of food in your pet’s diet.

6. Your Dog Is Nesting

Nesting is a natural behavior for pregnant dogs. It is a habit that comes in anticipation of new puppies.

You will see your dog scratching on surfaces, including bedsheets, floors, and others. Your dog’s maternal instincts are kicking in, and she wants to master her protective skills before sleeping.

7. Marking Territory

Dogs prefer to sleep in a safe and warm environment. Your pet scratches the bedsheet or any area of your home to mark their territory and keep it clean.

Your dog continues scratching on your mattress because he considers it as his space. You can observe this behavior when you allow your pet to sleep inside the bedroom with you.

8. Allergies

Allergies may also be triggering your dog’s scratching behavior.

Your pet might be suffering from allergies to food, dust, and even chemicals. Your bedsheet may have allergens from the detergent you used, and your pet is reacting to it.

Scratching is their way of seeking relief, and it can make them more comfortable when they sleep.

You need to consult a veterinarian if your pet has been scratching the bedsheets for some time.

9. Looking out for Critters

Dogs that spend a lot of time outdoors may also scratch the bedsheet regularly.

Scratching is your pet’s way to get rid of any insects or potential pests hiding underneath your bedsheets.

Your dog needs to hunt and kill to preserve its self-security and ensure that it will return home alive.

If your pet is seriously looking around for critters and parasites, stand back and let it be.

You can help your pet clean the bed if it persists. You may also remove the sheets, dust them out and lay them again.

10. Your Pet Wants to Hide

Scratching is also a way for dogs to create a place to sleep and hide from others.

If your dog feels insecure, he may scratch the bedsheet or any surface at home so that you will not find him there. He’s trying his best to protect himself from danger and preserve his security.

Stop them if you want to ensure that they will not injure themselves when they scratch the bedsheets in excess.

Give them something more appropriate and safe, like a dog scratching pad or carpet. You can also encourage good behavior by giving treats and praises whenever your pet does good deeds like sleeping quietly on its spot.

Tips to Stop Dogs from Scratching the Bed Sheet

There are several ways to stop your dog from scratching the bedsheets or want to make the bed more comfortable. These include:

Clean the Bed with Baking Soda

Baking soda helps remove odors that may be triggering your pet’s scratching behavior. You can sprinkle the baking soda directly into the bed area and let it sit for a few minutes before vacuuming it off.

Provide a Comfortable Dog Bed

Provide a dog bed that your pet can call its own. It prevents dogs from scratching your bedsheets or joining you in bed.

With a bed of its own, your pet can lay down comfortably when it needs to doze off or wants some quiet and alone time.

Trim Their Claws

Claws may also be causing the bed sheet to tear and scratch. Your pet has large nails that can cause some damage if left untrimmed.

Trimming your dog’s claws can help prevent them from scratching in excess. They only need to do it when they want to mark their territory or hunt for food sources.

Crate Training

Crate training is a great way to stop your pet from scratching or making the bed sheet dirty. Your dog will not want to make a mess inside its cozy crate so that it won’t scratch too much outside.

Properly crate train dogs and teach them how to sit still when their crates are closed. Use positive reinforcement and praise whenever they do good.

Keep Your Dog Out of Your Bedroom

Ultimately, you can stop your dog from scratching the bedsheets by keeping them out of your bedroom.

Make your bedroom a “humans only” room by keeping them out, especially during bedtime.

You may install a pet gate so that they cannot sneak in when you are not watching. Otherwise, you can keep the door closed so that they cannot follow you inside.

Should You Stop Your Dog From Scratching the Bedsheets?

Yes, it would be best if you stopped your dog from constantly scratching the bedsheet. Encouraging your dog to scratch bedsheets is an expensive habit to breed. You have to stop them from doing it; otherwise, you will need new ones regularly.

You must help your dog overcome this behavior and prevent them from becoming territorial about your bed.

Fortunately, there are many ways to help your pet stop this unhealthy habit.

You can take your dog for a quick walk before bedtime or allow them to scratch their heart out on your yard.

You may also try the tips we have discussed, such as cleaning up the bed with baking soda or giving your pet its bed.

FAQs About Why Dogs Scratch the Bedsheets

Q: What does it mean when my dog scratches the bedsheets at night?

A: Your pet may be trying to keep you safe from “threats” in your sleep.

You had probably taught them how to do this when they were pups, but now that they are older, they forgot what you taught them and instead scratch their claws on the bedsheet.

Q: What can I do to stop my dog from scratching the bedsheets when they are in their crate?

A: Dogs feel safe and comfortable inside crates. So you have to show them that it is not a threat to their security. Keep the crate open when your pet is around so that they can enter and exit anytime they want.

After a few days, when your dog gets comfortable with the crate, close it and give them treats whenever they sit still. Then repeat until they stay inside for at least 30 minutes without scratching or whining.

Q: Why does my dog scratch their bedsheets even though there are no bugs?

A: Dogs often scratch to mark their territory.

They may do it because of the smell of another pet on their bedsheets, or they are bored and lonely inside your house for too long. You need to take care of such behavioral problems immediately to prevent them from scratching all day long.

Q: Why does my dog scratch their bedsheets while I’m cleaning it?

A: Scratching their bed while cleaning means that they do not want you to touch their stuff. They would rather keep the bed dirty so that they can lay down on it later.

Final Thoughts

As you see, there are various reasons why dogs scratch the bedsheet. Some are funny, weird and some are annoying.

They may do it out of habit, mark their territory, feel bored or lonely, or even just for fun.

Whatever the reason is, you must stop them from doing this; otherwise, you will have damaged bedsheets all the time.

Fortunately, there are many ways to stop your dog from doing this. You can take them out for a walk before bedtime or give them their own space and teach them not to scratch yours.

If all else fails and you still cannot prevent them from scratching, then it is time to consult your veterinarian for a check-up. There might be possible medical reasons for your dogs’ behavior.


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