Why Do Dogs Dig in Their Beds?

dog digging in bed

Digging behavior is not uncommon among dogs, and sometimes they even dig in their beds.

While this might seem like a fairly harmless behavior, it can indicate a problem with your pet.

When you understand the possible reasons for this, you’ll leave nothing to chance.

Reasons Your Dog Digs in its Bed

Below we have listed some of the most common reasons that dogs dig in their beds. This should help you with determining why your dog has started doing this.

1. They’re trying to stay comfortable

Sometimes a dog will dig in its bed on a hot day as a way of keeping itself comfortable. There are actually a lot of different animals that dig into the ground to stay cool when it is hot outside. This can actually lower the body temperature of your dog, which helps prevent overheating. If your dog is doing this on a hot day, this is probably the reason.

2. They want to make sure it is a safe place to rest

Dogs have also been known to dig into a certain spot just to make sure that it is safe for them to rest their head. This is another very old instinct these animals have that goes back a very long time. It is essentially for your dog’s own peace of mind.

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3. They’re Marking their Territory

If you notice your dog digging in its bed, it could be because they are marking their territory. This could be a matter of your dog wanting to rub their scent on the bed. It is basically your pet’s way of saying “hey, this is mine”. Some breeds have stronger territorial tendencies than others, but this is another very common explanation for digging in a bed.

4. They’re trying to hide from predators

As strange as it might sound, your dog could be digging in its bed to hide from predators. This is an ancient instinct that also goes back many, many years. Before dogs were domesticated, they’d often dig into a certain spot to hide from other animals. It could just make them feel a bit safer at home, and there’s nothing wrong with that. You don’t want to punish your dog for doing this, as it is in their nature.

5. Priming the area for Puppies

Your dog could also be getting the bed ready for its puppies. This is a fairly common behavior in dogs for the first day or two after they give birth. A female dog might dig into the bed to make it comfortable and safe for their young ones.

If you have a pregnant dog that is digging in its bed, they might be on the verge of giving birth. You’ll need to keep this in mind so you can make all of the necessary preparations. The more prepared you are for this, the smoother everything will go.

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6. They are trying to bury something

A dog might occasionally try to bury something in its bed instead of in the backyard. While this is obviously not a very effective way to hide anything, your dog might not fully understand that. This is normal digging behavior, but it’s not something you should necessarily encourage.

7. They have problems with Anxiety

digging can become a big problem if your dog is doing it obsessively. If this is the case, they could struggle with anxiety. The fact is that some dogs are more high-strung than others. This behavior can be set off by hearing a loud noise, or just by being left alone. Dogs that have separation anxiety sometimes dig in their bed as a way of comforting themselves.

dog bed 2

How to Stop Your Dog’s Digging

If your dog’s digging is damaging their bed or it has become obsessive, you’ll need to take action.

Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise

If your dog is digging in its bed because it is anxious, they might just need more exercise each day. This is particularly common with high-energy dogs like golden retrievers. If they aren’t getting out enough, they might begin exhibiting destructive behaviors like this.

Distract your dog

You can also try distracting your dog with a fun toy to play with when it begins digging in its bed. A puzzle toy with a treat in it can be especially effective.

dog digging 2

Get them a new bed

If your dog always seems like it is struggling to get comfortable in its bed, you might want to get them a new one. Make sure that you get a bed that is large enough to accommodate your dog. An orthopedic bed is perfect for dogs that have conditions like arthritis or hip dysplasia.

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Train your dog

You should try to work with your dog and train it not to dig. While this behavior is not always destructive or problematic, it can become so over time. It is important that you teach them simple commands that they can recognize, even if it’s just “stop!” You may have to spend a while working with them until the training finally sticks, but it’s well worth all the effort in the end.


  • One of the most common reasons dig in their bed is to get comfortable. These animals will sometimes do this to lower their body temperature to stay cool on hot days.
  • This might be your dog’s way of testing out the bed to see if it is a safe place to lie down, especially if it is a new bed.
  • Your dog could also be digging in the bed to rub their scent on it. This is part of a dog’s normal territorial behavior.
  • Some dogs dig in their bed due to primal instincts that can be traced back many years. Wild dogs used to dig into a spot to avoid detection from predators.
  • If your dog has recently given birth in the last day or two, they might be preparing the bed for their puppies.
  • If you have a pregnant dog that is doing this, their digging might be a sign that they’re going to give birth soon.
  • When you are trying to put a stop to this behavior, try distracting your dog with a delicious treat.