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Why do dogs scratch their beds before going to sleep?
16:00 - 11 March 2019
Have you ever noticed your dog doing a few circles or scratching his bed before falling into sleep? What is the reason of this behavior?
We all have our routines before bed-time: a good read, putting on some soothing face cream, sipping a nice mug of hot cocoa or tea… Turns out our dogs do have some strange habits. Many of them do a three-four circles on their beds, while others lie down satisfied only after scratching their pillow or blanket. Why do they do this?
Let’s go back to a couple of thousands year in history. The ancestors of our dogs hadn’t known what it means to sleep on a comfortable pillow or an orthopedic bed. The only trick to make their sleeping place a little cosier and safer was to scrawl it by the use of their paws and claws. This ritual is quite similar to creating some sort of nest. Digging a perfect-size hole in the ground is another creative way to rule out weather extremities: it keeps them cool in the summer heat, and it protects them freezing during the cold winter nights.
Apart from this ancient habit, their sensitive nose can catch an interesting smell in the sleeping-place-to-be, or they see an object that should not be there. Scratching or pawing it is a way to examine the surface and what’s on it. Our pets are unlikely to find a mouse or other small animals in our home, but a tiny breadcrumb could do the job. Sniff, paw and taste is what they do. Quite familiar, isn’t it?
Obsessive scrawling and chewing are obvious signs of anxiety and we should find the cause of our pet’s actual stress. He might be scrathing the floor in an over-excited manner but if the unusual behavior becomes frequent, it’s time to visit the vet and ask the help of a professional dog-trainer, as well.
Index image source: mne.com
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