Why Do Dogs Tear Up Their Beds?

dog tearing up its dog bed

Dogs tear up their beds because of anxiety, boredom, or seeking attention. When dogs are anxious, they may destroy their bed as a comforting mechanism. When they are bored, they’ll destroy their bed because of built-up energy. If they’re seeking attention, they may demonstrate destructive behavior to get your attention. 

We all try to pamper our pets as often as we can. We get them great tasting food that’s packed with nutrients, buy them the top-of-the-line dog toys to keep them entertained, and find the softest, most comfortable beds possible to make sure they have a long and happy life. 

But sometimes, our dogs will (seemingly for no reason) tear up and destroy the comfortable beds that we spent so much money on. Why do dogs do this? Let’s look at some of the reasons dogs have such strange relationships with their bedding.

Why Dogs Destroy Their Beds

Anxiety Problems

If your dog suffers from anxiety, they may destroy their bed as an outlet for their feelings. Dogs can develop anxiety just like humans. While the research on dogs’ psychological disorders is still ongoing, we know that anxiety can be just as much of an issue for dogs as it is for us. 

Your dog could have an anxiety disorder if it experienced deep trauma in the past. Often, abused or abandoned dogs are at a much higher risk of general anxiety because of the uncertain nature of their lives at one point. 

Your dog may have specific triggers for their anxiety, such as fireworks or loud noises. While you may not be able to completely eliminate these stimuli from your dog’s life, you can still help them by doing everything you can to reduce your dog’s exposure to them. 

If your dog is anxious, one of the worst things you can do is punish them for damaging their bed. Seeing your dog destroy a bed is frustrating, but punishing them will only make them more anxious and less likely to trust you, which will make their behavior worse.

Dogs Get Bored Too

Your dog may be bored. Keep in mind that your dog descended from animals that were constantly hunting and monitoring their surroundings for survival. 

If your dog does not have the right amount of physical and intellectual enrichment, it will become bored and agitated. 

When this happens, dogs will direct these frustrations onto their surroundings. Their beds are an easy target. 

Dogs have a lot of energy, and they need some way to get it out. If this is not through exercise, it will be through destructive behavior.

Looking For Attention

If your dog does not receive enough attention, they may search for it through destructive behavior. Your dog needs you to interact with them. To them, even negative attention is better than no attention at all. 

When the only time you talk to your dog or interact with them is when you are disciplining them for destroying a bed, your dog will continue this behavior. The link is made in their mind that destroying a bed leads to more time spent with you, even if that time is not spent praising them.

Accidental Destruction

Of course, your dog may damage their bed through no fault of their own. If your dog has a bed that is not durable enough for them, you will notice damage over time. 

Big dog breeds are notorious for damaging beds just by being large and strong. The drive to prepare bedding comes from wolf packs preparing their dens for the night in the wild. 

You have probably seen your dog circling and stomping on their bed before settling down to sleep. This repeated action will eventually damage your dog’s bed if it is not made of material durable enough to withstand your dog’s claws. 

If this is the case, simply look for a bed made of stronger material. Always remember to keep your dog’s nails trimmed to minimize the scratching potential.

How to Save Your Dog’s Bed From Destruction

Your dog’s behavior may have you at your wits’ end. Dog beds are not cheap, especially if you have to constantly replace them. But your dog still needs a safe and welcoming place to sleep, or they will not feel at home. 

Fortunately, remedying the problem of bed destruction is usually relatively easy. There are multiple avenues you can explore to fix this issue.

Behavior Training

Dog training is a never-ending process. They may have a grasp of basic commands such as “sit,” “come,” or “stay.” Still, behavioral issues like destructive tendencies require more work. 

You can take your dog to a professional trainer to get some help with correcting your dog’s behavior. They will diagnose and fix whatever issues your dog may have. Keep in mind that if your dog has psychological issues, that may require the expertise of a specialist. 

Make Them Feel Safe

One of the root causes of bed shredding is that your dog is not feeling safe enough to sleep. If you give your dog a safer environment, this behavior will stop.

Remove potential stressors from your dog’s area. If you leave the house with your dog at home, you can help ease their nerves by leaving the radio or television on to provide comforting background noise. You can even find some programs or music albums that have been created for this purpose!

Get a High-Quality and Durable Bed

If this is an ongoing issue, it’s worth the money to invest in a higher-quality bed. Certain brands have created products that are near indestructible. 

We recommend getting a durable bed to accompany any other solution you choose. This will add an extra way to protect the bed from getting destroyed. 

If your dog is simply damaging their bed because of their strength, this might be the only solution you need!

Extra Exercise

Your dog may also benefit from more exercise. Try to tucker your dog out with long playtimes to eliminate any excess energy they may have. 

The benefits of added exercise in dogs are very well documented. In addition to preventing your dog from destroying its bed, you will also increase your dog’s health. 

They will have fewer heart, joint, and muscle issues as they age and will have a much higher quality of life. 

Is Bed Burrowing Causing The Destruction?

Burrowing is a harmless behavior that dogs have when they’re settling in for the night. Dogs circle and paw at their beds to create a safer environment. 

If they were in the wild, this process would displace the top layer of the ground, creating a small area for them to lie down in. By removing the top layer of soil, this area is temperature regulated and lower than its surroundings (which makes it harder for predators to see the dog). 

The burrowing that your dog does is not an indicator of anything wrong, but if they compulsively repeat it, your dog may feel unsafe in their bed.

The solution to this is simple…move your bed to a different location. Maybe closer to you or in a private room. After switching locations a few times, you should find a place where they feel safe. 

There’s Always a Reason For Destructive Behavior

Your dog will not destroy its bed for no reason. There is always something causing their behavior, or they may just have a bed that is not right for them. 

If your dog’s bed cannot withstand them moving around on it, then you need to get them a new one. To treat your dog for its destructive habits, you may need to seek a specialist.

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