You’ve kicked up your feet for a nice relaxing moment at home. This is part of your routine as you get ready for bed.
A nice cup of herbal tea is warming your hands in the cool winter air, and you can hear the sound of the crackling of the fireplace in the distance. Oh, this is nice. You are relaxed, in your favorite chair, warm, and so comfy.
You lean back to fully enjoy this moment, and then you hear it. “Scratch, Scratch, Scratch.” Why do dogs scratch the floor? What is all this dog scratching about?
You open your eyes, and there is your furry friend, starting his evening routine. Scratching his bed and turning in circles. It occurs to you, that there might be a reason that this is what he does every night.
Why Do Dogs Scratch The Floor?
Well, if you are asking “Why do dogs scratch the floor?”, then we have some possible reasons. The first is instinct.
It makes sense that for several generations, dogs scratched the ground before they laid on it. They could have been gathering together leaves and other small debris to make sure that they had a cozy bed.
They could be making sure that nothing was hiding in those leaves that could harm them. Everything from a snake, to sharp rocks could be a possibility. Then, they turn around and around.
Why Do Dogs Scratch The Ground?
This could be because they want to compress the leaves, but it also can be making sure that the area is truly all clear, and it is safe to go to sleep. Not only are they looking around them, but they are using their sense of smell too.
Additionally, it has been the opinion of some that the scratching could be related to when dogs had to dig their own dens, long before they became domesticated. (This may also explain other digging behaviors, and a desire to escape from a confined area, like your backyard!)
What may not be commonly known, is that like wolves, canines have scent glands on the bottom of their paws and between their toes that produce pheromones.
This also may help them communicate to other canines that this is their bed! This scent after all is long-lasting.
For all we know, they might think that we can smell that this is their bed too! You may have witnessed this at other times, like when taking your dog for a walk and they kick up the dust behind them before they leave a spot.
There are potentially other reasons that your dog might be pawing at the floor, wall or other locations, like you have a rodent in the house. (This is how we discovered we had a raccoon in our bathroom!)
So, if your dog is pawing somewhere other than their bed, that they don’t normally paw, it might be a good idea to investigate!