LifestyleIs your dog scratching its bed? This could indicate a problem

Is your dog scratching its bed? This could indicate a problem

The dog's kneading of its bed is an atavistic reflex.
The dog's kneading of its bed is an atavistic reflex.
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10:41 AM EDT, November 3, 2023

Dogs sometimes display unusual behaviors that catch their owners by surprise. A common example is the persistent kneading or scratching of their bed. Such behavior merits examination, as it could occasionally signify health problems.

Dogs communicate non-verbally with the world, a fact well recognized by pet owners. Dogs are adept at signaling their stress levels, whether they're tense or calm, happy or relaxed. Observing their behavior is crucial, as certain gestures could reveal underlying health problems.

Why is your dog kneading its bed? Here's the answer

A lot of dog owners wonder about their pet's distinct behavior related to its bed. It's common to find them turning round and round on it, digging, scratching, or kneading their desired spot to lie down.

Fortunately, in most situations, this doesn't raise any alarms - these are natural rituals and ancestral responses originating from the animals' primal instincts. Kneading the bed, as well as circling before falling asleep, are preparations for the space for relaxation. This all conveys a sense of safety to the animal and helps to release its scent, thereby claiming and protecting the space from intruders.

Bed kneading could point to an illness

The issue surfaces when your pet displays overly persistent and disruptive behavior. It's crucial to observe whether the animal is calm and whether the kneading is brief and controlled. If not - if the dog kneads or scratches its bed for extended periods persistently - it may be experiencing discomfort.

Several factors could contribute to this - ranging from an uncomfortable sleeping place, perhaps a bed, or an area with overstimulation that prevents restful sleep. It's essential to understand that dogs choose their safe sleeping spots; respecting that choice can make a notable difference in their well-being.

Sadly, health-related issues could also stimulate unsettled behavior instead of rest. For instance, discomfort due to lying down could indicate joint degeneration or injuries, causing the animal to constantly seek the least painful position.

Other possible causes include neurological diseases and problems with the nervous system. In both cases, keen observation of our pet's behavior, not only before sleep but also during walks or meal times, is paramount to catching early signs of distress. If in doubt, it's always best to consult a vet.

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