Why Do Dogs Tear Up Their Beds & How To Stop It

11 min read

raine nesting in her calming dog bed with her toy to prevent her from chewing the dog bed

What We Know About Why Dogs Tear Up Their Dog Beds

Every dog owner has encountered the question: Why do dogs destroy their beds? We love our pups… but it makes no sense to us when they tear up their brand-new luxury dog bed.

It seems illogical to the human brain: we would never rip up our mattress! So it can be bewildering and frustrating when our fur baby does it — especially when it's a dog bed we lovingly picked out to maximize their comfort and security for a restful sleep.

We've all been there: You buy your furry best friend a new luxury dog bed, only to find it shredded to pieces the next day.

While it can be frustrating and confusing, the truth is that dogs tear up their beds for many reasons.

As a responsible pet parent, it's essential to understand these behaviors and take steps to help your fur baby before the next bed is in tatters.

So, if you're wondering, “Why does my dog rip his bed, and how can I make him stop? Read on and allow us to help explain why they do it and how you may be able to prevent this destructive behavior.

Uncovering the root cause - Why do dogs tear up their beds and how to create a safe and natural calming environment

Nesting Instinct:

One of the most common reasons dogs tear up their beds is to create a cozy nest for themselves. They want to create their own little space to feel safe and secure. Dogs are instinctive creatures, and their nesting behavior is one of the ways they express their natural instincts.

Nesting is an expected behavior of dogs, where they dig and scratch their bedding to create a comfortable and cozy resting spot. This behavior is deeply rooted in their genes, as their wild ancestors used to dig holes in the ground to create a safe and warm sleeping spot.

Moreover, dogs have scent glands on their paws and spread their scent on their bedding, creating a sense of familiarity and security. Nesting also helps them regulate their body temperature, keeping them warm during cold weather and cool during hot weather. So, the next time you find your furry friend tearing up their bedding, remember that this behavior is instinctual and essential to their physical and mental comfort.

Providing our companions with a comfortable and secure resting place they can call their own is important; dogs love and crave it. Understanding and embracing your dog's natural instincts can help you create a stronger bond with them, leading to a happier and healthier relationship.

Separation Anxiety:

Separation anxiety is a common behavioral problem in dogs. It occurs when dogs become excessively attached to their owners and experience separation anxiety.

This can lead to destructive behaviors, such as tearing up their dog beds or other items in the house, to cope with the stress of being left alone. Anxious dogs with separation anxiety may also exhibit other signs of stress, such as whining, barking, pacing, urinating, or defecating inside the house.

The reasons for separation anxiety and stressful situations in anxious dogs can vary from dog to dog. Still, it often stems from a lack of socialization or training or experiencing traumatic events such as abandonment or rehoming.

It's essential to address separation anxiety in their anxious pups with patience and compassion, using positive reinforcement training, providing plenty of exercises and mental stimulation, providing calming pet beds, and seeking the guidance of a professional trainer or veterinarian if necessary.

Our companions rely on us to manage separation anxiety, we can help our furry friends manage their anxiety and feel more secure and comfortable when left alone, with anti-anxiety dog beds.

Teething:

For young dogs and puppies, teething can be a painful and uncomfortable experience. During this stage, they may turn to destructive behavior, such as tearing up their beds, to alleviate their discomfort.

Teething usually starts at around 3 to 4 months and lasts up to 8 months. Their baby teeth fall out during this time, and their adult teeth grow in. This process can cause itchiness, soreness, and sometimes even bleeding in their gums. Many pups may turn to chew on soft objects, including their beds, as a way to relieve their discomfort.

It is important to provide them with appropriate chew toys and redirect their attention away from destructive behaviors to protect their health and development. Remember, be patient with your furry friend during this challenging time and provide love and attention to ease their pain. 

Bordem:

Boredom, in particular, is a common cause of why dogs tend to tear up their beds. Dogs are naturally energetic and require constant stimulation to stay happy and healthy.

They may become restless and bored when left alone for extended periods, especially in a confined space. This can lead to destructive tendencies, such as chewing, biting, and tearing up their beds.

While tearing up their bed may be frustrating for us as pet guardians, we must remember that it is a dog's way of coping with the monotony and internal restlessness that they feel.

Therefore, providing our furry friends with adequate exercise, playtime, and mental stimulation is crucial to curb their destructive behavior and maintaining their well-being.

Territory Marking:

Territory and Scent marking, both expected behavior amongst dogs, is said to be a form of communication. Dogs are naturally territorial animals, marking their territory by leaving their scent on everything they see. This behavior is particularly prevalent in male dogs, although female dogs will also engage in it.

When a dog marks his territory, he communicates to other dogs that this is his area, and he is in charge. Dogs also mark their territory to mark their place in the pack. By leaving their scent on things, they ensure they are seen as the pack's leader. We have experienced this and created an easily washable luxury waterproof dog blanket to help with this issue.

This behavior is often seen in dogs who are feeling insecure or anxious. A dog may tear up his bed to mark his territory, leaving his scent on it to claim it as his own. Understanding this behavior and addressing the underlying causes is essential to have a happy and healthy pet. Encouraging positive behaviors and providing a secure environment can help reduce a dog's need to mark his territory excessively.

We can help our furry friends overcome this behavior with patience, love, and positive reinforcement and create a strong bond with them.

Fear or Anxiety:

We always want our furry friends to always feel comfortable and safe. Unfortunately, some dogs may experience fear or anxiety, which can be exhibited in various ways, such as chewing or tearing up their beds.

This behavior is commonly seen in dogs who suffer from separation anxiety or have experienced traumatic events. When dogs are afraid or anxious, they seek comfort and relief from their stress. Chewing or tearing up their bed may be an instinctive way for them to alleviate their anxiety and release some tension.

Addressing this behavior with care and understanding is essential, as punishing your dog for stress relief will only add to its anxiety. Providing your dog with an exercise routine, mental stimulation, and their own calming environment and space, such as calming pet beds, can go a long way in helping them feel more relaxed and secure. Additionally, consulting with a veterinarian or certified dog behaviorist may provide further insight into managing your dog's fear or anxiety safely and healthily.

Hunger:

Hunger is a basic instinct that drives dogs to seek food, just like humans. When dogs do not have access to enough food or do not receive meals at regular intervals, they may feel the urge to chew or tear up their beds.

This behavior is a natural consequence of their innate drive to search for food when hungry. It is also important to note that some breeds, like Retrievers and Bulldogs, are more likely to exhibit this behavior due to their innate desire to search for and retrieve items to bring back to their owners.

To prevent destructive chewing behavior caused by hunger, it is vital to ensure that dogs receive adequate food each day and have access to safe and appropriate toys and chews to satisfy their natural urge to chew.

By meeting your dog's nutritional needs and providing appropriate outlets for their chewing instincts, you can help your furry friend feel satisfied and content and reduce the likelihood that they will tear up their beds or other household items. Remember, a happy and healthy dog is a well-fed dog.

Lack of Exercise:

Dogs are naturally active creatures, and when they do not receive enough exercise, they may become restless and even destructive. A lack of exercise can lead to behaviors like excessive barking, digging, and, yes, tearing up beds.

This behavior can be frustrating for all of us, but it is essential to understand that our dogs are simply trying to release pent-up energy. Exercise not only helps to keep our dogs physically fit, but it also provides them with mental stimulation, which can help to reduce their stress levels. So, incorporating regular exercise into our dogs' daily routine is vital for their overall health and well-being and can also prevent destructive chewing behaviors.

Whether going for a run, playing fetch, swimming, or hiking, there are various ways to get our dogs moving and curb their destructive tendencies.

Dental Problems:

It is essential to understand that dental problems in dogs can lead to destructive behaviors such as chewing their beds.

Dogs suffering from dental problems will often chew on objects to alleviate the pain and irritation they are experiencing. In the same way that humans become cranky and irritable when we are experiencing tooth pain, dogs are often on edge and looking for relief.

Furthermore, as dogs use their mouths to explore the world around them, they may accidentally ingest foreign objects, creating further complications with their dental health. Therefore, it is crucial to prioritize your dog's oral health by providing them withroutine dental check-ups, brushing their teeth regularly, and investing in appropriate dental chews and toys.

By supporting your dog's dental health and head and neck support, you can help prevent destructive behaviors like chewing on their bedding and create a healthier and happier life for your furry best friend.

Curiosity:

When it comes to dogs tearing up their beds, it's easy to become frustrated or confused. However, it's essential to consider the curious nature of our beloved canines.

Like children, dogs are endlessly curious and want to explore their environment, including any new textures and materials they may encounter. Tearing up their beds may be an act of pure curiosity, driven by their natural instincts as playful and inquisitive creatures.

We can encourage this behavior in safe and controlled ways by providing them with toys and puzzles that allow them to explore new textures and learn through play. In doing so, we can indulge their curiosity while protecting our furniture and belongings.

Illness:

For instance, an illness or discomfort may make a dog feel restless, agitated, and unable to settle down, leading to tearing up their dog bed. In addition, chronic pain or anxiety can also trigger destructive behavior in dogs, as they may feel the need to chew or bite to relieve the discomfort.

Furthermore, certain medications or treatments can also cause unwanted side effects, such as restlessness or agitation. As caring pet owners, it is crucial to seek veterinary advice if your furry friend exhibits any signs of destructive behavior, as this could be a red flag for underlying health issues that need to be addressed promptly.

Attention Seeking:

It's important to understand that a dog's natural instinct is always to seek attention from its owners.

When dogs do not receive enough attention, they may resort to destructive behavior, such as tearing up their bed or chewing on inappropriate objects. This behavior can be seen as a way for the dog to communicate with its owners, asking for more attention and interaction with its environment.

Without this stimulation, dogs may become anxious or bored, which can be alleviated by providing mental stimulation or playing interactive games.

As caring pet parents, we must ensure that our furry friends receive the attention and care they require to maintain good behavior and overall well-being.

 

How to Keep Dogs From Destroying Dog Beds

Now that we understand why dogs destroy beds let's brainstorm how to prevent it from happening. Here are a few solutions for how to keep your dog's bed (and your pillows) safe from harm. 

Train Your Dog 

Once a dog destroys a bed, breaking the habit is easier said than done. But there are many methods to figure out how to keep dogs from destroying beds. You can use rewards to encourage good behavior and distraction to redirect their attention. 

When you catch your dog chewing her bed, say “no,” then offer her a chew toy instead. Praise her and give her a treat when she chews on the toy and stops chewing on the bed. You can also reward her with praise and a treat when the bed is not chewed after being left alone — start in small increments at first. Praise your dog when she calmly lies in bed as well.

Provide a More Appropriate Object to Chew

Give him something else to chew, such as a toy or a dental bone. Your best shot at success is choosing a toy with a similar texture to the dog's bed. Bring your dog to the pet store and let him pick out a few toys to be sure that you get ones that will keep him engaged and occupied.

Do not purchase something that will be potentially dangerous to swallow. As an alternative to chew toys, dental bones are beneficial for gum health and last several hours.

Create a Calm Environment 

There are several ways to go about creating a calm sleeping environment. Reducing anxiety with soothing music is one technique for how to stop dogs from destroying beds. Move the sleeping area if necessary, away from windows if weather is the stressor. Soothing music or a loop of white noise could help to block out any sounds like fireworks or other dogs barking that may disturb or rouse your dog. 

Dogs are social animals, and being near you may quell their nervous need to chew. Move your pet bed or dog's bedding closer to your bed (but not on your bed if you want to maintain boundaries).

Temporarily Take Away Access to the Bed

While this is not a permanent solution, this temporary measure works if you have to briefly leave the dog unsupervised before he is fully trained. However, do not leave the dog without a soft place to sleep for long. Creating a stressful situation for your dog where they don't have a restful home base can lead to other destructive behaviors based on stress. 

Use a Protective Cover or Dog Blanket

Cover your bed or the dog's bed with a protective cover to shield the soft bed underneath. This is especially important if your dog sleeps on your mattress or sofa. An easily replaceable protective cover will save you the headache of getting new furniture, and are convenient for easy washing and replacing. 

Use a Dog Crate

This is a method commonly used for training puppies when first brought to their new home. Keeping your dog in a crate to sleep, or when you are out, will prevent him from destroying your bed. Give him a dog blanket or a cushion that is extra durable while in the crate — make sure it's comfortable, as you don't want him to feel he's being punished. 

Tips on Preventing Dogs From Destroying Beds

  1. Patience. It might feel like trial and error until you figure out the best solution. Patience alone will not solve the problem, but it makes dealing with it a lot easier. If your puppy is teething, it is vital to still train her with positive reinforcement and redirection, but knowing that it is likely just a phase will help keep you sane. Remember, losing your patience will stress out your dog more, potentially causing more chewing. 

  2. Hire a trainer.If you do not have the time or patience or have not had success training your dog, consider hiring a trainer to come to your home. Getting professional guidance may be the key to ending the “my dog keeps destroying his bed" cycle.

  3. Speaking of asking for help, contact your friends with dogs. They might have techniques to prevent a dog from destroying its bed that you may not have thought of!

  4. Make sure you give your dog food, water, and potty breaks regularly. A reliable routine and life's essentials will keep your dog relaxed and comfortable.

Conclusion

The truth is, we may never know the real answer to “why do dogs tear up their beds”. All we can do is support them and give them what they need so they don't feel like they need to. We love our dogs and want them to feel relaxed and stimulated. Animals Matter provides durable, luxury dog beds and pet couch protectors to keep your furniture safe from harm. Our collection includes deluxe companion products such as calming dog beds, anti-anxiety dog beds, orthopedic dog beds, sturdy outdoor dog beds, and more to keep your dog (literally) in the lap of luxury.


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