Has your dog started to attack their bed? Normally a dog’s bed is their space to relax and chill so it can be super distressing to see them attack their bed. There are a lot of reasons that your dog may be attacking their bed so in this blog we are going to take a closer look at them and offer advice on how to help them stop destroying bed.
So exactly why do dogs destroy their beds and how can you stop it?
Well, this depends on how your dog is destroying their bed, are they erratically digging or scratching? Or are they peeing on them? Or maybe they’re chewing their bed to pieces?
Below we break down the 3 main ways your dog may be destroying their beds and give you our top tips to help stop the bed destruction.
Why is my dog scratching and digging in their bed?
Scratching their beds is such a common trait for dogs and could mean any number of things. Alongside urination it could be their way of marking their territory or it could be a habit they picked up from their parents as puppies or it may just be an instinctive action they do without thinking.
Alternatively, if your dog is nesting, they may start scratching their bed as part of their maternal instincts. Female dogs have a natural instinct to prepare their bed for puppies when they come into heat, even if they’re not pregnant. It can be super upsetting to watch but having them neutered may help lessen the behavior over time as their body adjusts.
When dogs dig in their bed they are usually trying to become more comfortable in their bed, however, this can damage the bed and break through the material if it’s a frequent behavior.
Digging is often a pre-sleep ritual for dogs, in the wild they would dig in mud to make an indentation to sleep in but the behavior has continued with domestic dogs instinctively. However, as the bed won’t move instead of becoming more comfortable, they just end up destroying their sleeping aid.
Why does my dog pee on their bed?
You may think when your dog pees on their bed that they are unwell or haven’t properly remembered all the toilet training you’ve given them. However, it could actually be an indication of many things as listed below:
Potential reasons why your dog is peeing on their bed include:
- A side effect of a urine infection
- Feelings of anxiousness, excitement or nervousness
- Incomplete house training
- Naughty behavior
- To mark their territory
Try using a waterproof dog bed to help prevent the damage that your dog peeing on their bed causes however this won’t help the behavior long term. Our cage cushions have a waterproof inner lining and a removable outer cover which can be washed so is perfect for dogs who urinate on their beds.
To help correct the behavior it’s worth taking your dogs toilet training back to basics and reinforcing that they should only go in the garden or on a puppy pad. Make sure to reward them with treats and affection every time they do it right.
If your dog sleeps in a cage you could maybe try using one of our cozy and calming beds which are designed to fill half the cage and then pop a puppy pad down in the other half of the cage to help your dog to separate their sleeping area from where they go to do their business.
Likewise, if your dog sleeps in a bed try putting a puppy pad near the bed to help reinforce the separation between sleeping and peeing spaces.
Why is my dog chewing their bed?
Your dog could be chewing their bed could be a result of an overly excited playtime, boredom, or anxiety. When dogs are feeling stressed, anxious, or panicked they may become destructive as a way to express their feelings and begin to chew their bed, unfortunately, some dog breeds are more likely to suffer from separation anxiety than others. As for boredom your dog may just have plenty of pent-up energy, be overly stimulated, not be having enough walks and exercise time, need some more training or need some more attention.
If you think the chewing is a result of feelings of stress and anxiety, consider ways you can eliminate them. Are you able to give them some more training to help with separation anxiety? Or are there some changes you can make to your routine or home environment that will make your pet happier?
If it’s pent-up energy maybe try some more exercise or enrichment activities to help combat that over-stimulation.
Still not sure exactly why your dog is destroying their bed?
Your best bet is covering all likely basis in your approach, our 6 steps below may be a good place to start.
- Let your dog use their bed when supervised so you can stop any destruction as soon as it starts so they can begin to learn that the behavior is not okay. When they start to chew, dig, scratch or pee, tell them ‘no’ firmly to indicate that it’s bad behavior. If they don’t listen to you distract them with a squeaky toy so they can begin to associate the solution to the negative feelings as being playing rather than bed destruction.
- When you’re not around to supervise try taking the bed away, if the floor is hard or cold try putting a blanket down as an alternative option.
- A dog’s instinct is to chew, it helps them to relax and release excess energy. Try getting them a range of chew toys to try and then when they start to chew their bed get them to chew on the toy instead.
- If you see your dog lying or sitting comfortably in their bed without any destruction make sure to reward them by stroking them and giving them a treat.
- Look into how much exercise your dog’s breed should be getting and ensure you’re meeting this, if they’re not getting enough exercise, they may have loads of excess energy they need to burn off. Try an extendable lead for your walks to give them more freedom to run and play during their work and burn off that energy.
- Once your dog is showing signs of being less inclined to destroy their bed start building up the amount of time, they have with it. You could start with an hour and build it up gradually until they’re eventually allowed to be left with it.