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Why Do Dogs Dig in Their Beds?

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I recently found a thick carpet in a thrift store. I thought it looked like a warm piece of bedding my dog ​​could use for her nesting. I draped it over her other two blankets and carefully tucked it into the shape of her bed. The next time I visited, she had removed the new cover, pulled it halfway across the room, and left it there. I found them curled up and sleeping on their older blankets.

Preparing for sleep is more time-consuming than a dog lying down. (Photography via Wikimedia Commons)

I don’t know about you, but I have any number of bedtime rituals. Many of them have become so habitual that they now border on instinct. For example, regardless of the temperature, I have sheets and blankets that have to be in a certain order of layers. When I’m not at home, I always wake up earlier than in my own bed. Comfort makes a difference to my sleep ability and quality. Do our dogs observe similar rituals before bed? Let’s answer a few questions about dog nesting behavior, including:

  • Why do dogs circle before they lie down?
  • Why do dogs scratch the floor?
  • Why do dogs dig in bed?

Why do dogs run in circles before lying down?

Sometimes their turning radius is as tight as your 3 by 2 foot dog bed in winter and others as wide as a patch against the fence outside in summer. No matter what time of year, I am always fascinated when I see my dog ​​circling their chosen sleeping place. What motivates her to turn before she settles down? Like my own idiosyncratic bedtime rituals, walking in circles creates a dog’s comfort in several ways.

Long before dogs could snuggle up in our beds or have their own dog beds, circling was a means of ensuring both safety and comfort. In nature, circling a selected spot is a method that dogs use to ensure the exclusivity of their sleeping area. Tramping around on tall grass or leaves leads to sufficient disturbance to drive out all hidden creatures such as one or the other snake, rodent or insect.

Circling is also a safety measure. A dog’s paws display some little-known or heralded features. They are one of the few surfaces on a dog’s body that has sweat glands. Dog paws are more important for the particular matter and also have scent glands. A few turns around a preferred sleeping area – be it a patch of earth or a real bed – effectively marks it with a dog’s scent. If you’ve ever seen an old western movie in which a group of pioneers “circled the wagons”, dog circling may have a similar defensive function. This way a dog can see its place before settling down.

Why do dogs scratch the floor?

This question has a number of variations; One of the most popular and confusing indoor dog owners is, “Why do dogs scratch the carpet?” It’s a question that confuses people forever. The dog is inside! The surface it scratches on, be it carpet, tile or hardwood, is not a malleable material. We get frustrated because the carpet is being torn or mutilated and these other surfaces may need to be buffed or buffed, or worse, left scratch marks.

Cat owners buy their pets scratching posts and scratching posts, but there are few such regulations for our puppies and dogs. Some breeds or types of dogs, including terriers and dogs, are used to digging and digging, whether for prey, safety, or smell detection. If your dog is the digging variety but spends most of his time alone and indoors, he will be denied some of his basic identity. Giving her more time outdoors in the yard or dog park can help her meet a basic need.

A dog sleeps and looks comfortable.

Marking and comfort are two reasons dogs dig and scratch their beds. (Photography via Pixabay)

Dogs scratching the carpet can do so as part of their sleep preparation. Dogs don’t care about the aesthetic integrity of your facility. As with spinning or circling, scratching serves a number of practical purposes, at least one of which is sleep-related. It can be part of the instinctive sleeping ritual associated with their preferred resting place. Circling several times fills a place with the smell of the dog. Scratching can serve a similar function by physically marking and engaging a point. Dogs are just as creatures of habit as we are. I’ve seen my own dogs rehearse the entire pattern: scratching, circling, and resting.

Why do dogs dig on their beds?

Like scratching, digging is another bedtime habit that dog owners notice. This is a different habit or behavior that cat owners are used to, even if they are just as clueless as the reasons for it. The feline equivalent of digging in bed is kneading. Just as dogs scratch and dig to create a comfort zone, cats knead in their resting places, even if it means stabbing your leg in the process, regardless of the impact on your couch, bed, or carpet.

As understandable as the amateur gardeners among us are, a dog digging up the garden is understandable. After all, the earth is pliable and a dog can dig until he’s satisfied. Surely dogs can distinguish between the floor outside and your favorite blanket, your bed, or the floor of their own crate. The material makeup of the dog bed is less important than the plot.

A dog in a bed with pillows torn apart.

Circling, scratching, and digging are common nesting behaviors for dogs. (Photography via Shutterstock)

When it comes to sleep, digging in bed can be habitual and instinctive, or temperature related. In nature, digging in beds serves as a method of extreme temperature control. Because dogs have limited sweat glands, when it’s very hot outside, dogs can dig nests and expose a larger surface area of ​​their bodies to the cool earth. In cold weather, rolling it up in a home-made pit will help concentrate the available body heat.

Is your dog circling, scratching or digging on or near his bed?

After doing the research for this essay, I realized why my own dog dropped her new blanket in favor of her shabby and worn nesting materials. It’s exactly because the old ones are shabby and worn out. I’ve seen it circling and trampling over them countless times. I’ve seen her scratch at them with her claws and dig into them repeatedly.

In fact, she marked these things to be considered her bedding. My disappointment that my dog ​​pulled the new, warm blanket is not your problem. It’s an alien element that has invaded their comfort zone. Only when she has rented the new one by mouth, tore it with her claws and provided her own scent, is it usable.

Read On: Here’s Why Your Dog Will Always Want To Sleep With You

Dog Technology

Why is my dog ​​still getting sick? – Dogster

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why is my dog ​​still getting sick? dogster

How is it possible that many vets report an increase in the ailments normally associated with hanging out with other dogs – visits to dog parks and the like – in dogs stuck at home with their owners during the pandemic?

These include kennel cough, which is common on boarding and daycare, and leptospirosis, a bacterial infection associated with puddles and dirty water. Two things dogs love to wallow in in dog parks?

For example, multiple vets stuck at home and frolicking in the backyard can simulate these very same conditions.

“Everyone is more at home, so they see more things, especially things they might not have noticed before,” says Jenni Grady, DVM, who works at the Community Medical Center, which is part of Tufts University’s Cummings Veterinary Medical Center up north is Grafton, Mass. “As more people have purchased pets during the pandemic, they are seeing behavior that they are not used to.”

In this context, pet owners have faced the occasion and filled veterinary practices and emergency rooms. If there were concerns that people would forego the most routine treatment during the pandemic – either because of the cost of layoffs and closings or fears of disease exposure in veterinary offices – it simply wasn’t.

“It’s just one chance in the setting we’ve seen for so long,” says Kerry Young, DVM, of the Rutherford Veterinary Clinic in Dallas. “They’re willing to go the extra mile because they see their pets as part of the family, so they want to make sure they’re healthy.”

By and large, veterinarians say, pandemic trends have included:
Continuing care, especially for heartworms and fleas. The owners did not stop giving treatments despite the cost. Dr. Grady reports that flea is currently still popular with cats.

An increase in some immunizations, especially for leptospirosis and kennel cough. Dr. Young says she advises patients to pay close attention to shots for their locations such as Lyme disease in the northeast.

Busy clinics and emergency rooms in some parts of the country. Traffic had declined by up to 25 percent at the beginning of the pandemic, reports the AVNA, but it recovered quickly. Dr. Young says she didn’t see this in Dallas, but Drew Sullivan, DVM, says it was common in his Chicago practice that is part of the University of Illinois Clinic. In the early days of the pandemic, restrictions meant veterinarians schedule fewer appointments, while an increase in puppy and kitten adoptions over the past year meant more patients were seen. Dr. Sullivan says, “We were crazy busy and that was a surprise.”

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Dog Technology

Red Heeler – Dogster

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red heeler dogster

Hello Brian,

I am not an expert and I only share my experiences and advice from my own perspective. So what I do may or may not work with your dog … but I hope it will help. I owned 3 dogs before the one we just got, and I’ve been with lots of other dogs, cats, and animals in my half century.

On April 14, 2020 we received a 1 year old Red Heeler named Copper. He likes to be on our heels while walking or running and seems to be intentionally trying to trip us. He also likes to nibble on our hands all the time. He doesn’t bite to injure himself, but rather nibbles and nibbles very playfully. Overall, I understand that for him, it’s playful and fun. I read that this is in the breed.

One thing I’ve read to stop the nibbling on my hands, and something I’ve worked on with Copper, is, whenever he gets into that playful playfulness, gently slipping the matching chew toy, rawhide, into your mouth stuck. or whatever you want him to chew on every time he starts nibbling on my hands. In this way he learns what to / cannot chew on. Then give them plenty of positive praise and rewards for chewing on the right thing.

I keep him on a leash so he doesn’t rush on my grandchildren or suffocate them as they run away from him. I’ll slow him down enough so that he just runs behind or next to them so he can keep up with them. He is very playful and excited so I give him lots of positive praise and answers for behaving the way I want him to. And firmly tell him STOP or NO when I see him doing things that are undesirable.

Another friend of mine had a border collie and said if he didn’t walk his dog daily, his dog would start chewing on everything. But when he took her for walks, she looked great all over the house. So what I’ve done with Copper is take him on walks and frequent long walks several blocks along the river or on the local canyon trails so he can burn off all that energy before it builds up. I see that when he’s cooped up and doesn’t burn that energy, he gets caught up in things and even tears small pieces out of his memory foam mattress when we took off the cover to wash. As Sandy said in her comment, “A tired dog is a good dog.” There is a lot of truth in that. Let your dog wind up, get worn out and burn off that energy.

The positive praise that directs his attention to suitable chew toys, firmly commands him to stop, and especially to burn that energy, seems to work with copper. I also talk to him a lot as if he were human and explain to him what I do with him. He learns from repetition to recognize words and commands. He also knows now that he has to run away from me when I tell him it’s time for a bath, haha.

Copper came from a negligent and potentially abusive home. When we got it, it didn’t even respond to a tennis ball or a squeaky toy. His jaws were weak and he could barely chew the rawhide. He had mange and smelled of the uncleaned dog kennel. Her other dog was a pit bull who was missing half of his hair around his neck / chest and back due to mange. Now that the mange is gone, we are in the process of getting the yeast infection under control that is causing his skin to be red and itchy. Three weeks later, Copper is playing Fetch, is house trained and a really great dog. I attribute this to the intelligence of his breed and do a lot of research online or watch YouTube videos. I can’t remember ever seeing a dog pick things up so quickly.

All the best to you and good luck to you and your heels.

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Easy ways to deal with matted dog hair

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easy ways to deal with matted dog hair

Matted dog hair is the worst! It’s ugly, dirty, sometimes painful, and once matted dog hair starts it can get out of control and become a health problem.

I have babysat a brother-sister team of Blue Picardy Spaniels. These royal dogs have lush, wavy feathers on their legs, undersides, and tails. This breed is also a ball of energy! Add this gorgeous feathered coat after a long hike of running and frolicking through creeks and you have some serious matted dog hair of your own!

The kicker – the siblings’ people firmly believed that their fur could not be cut. I would try to help by brushing them after our outdoor adventures, but I felt bad for the groomer if I put them down and had to remind the staff, “No cutting!” As if by magic, these two pups would be silky with , mat-free springs come back. How did these snow groomers deal with all that matted dog hair? Patience, the right tools, skills, and help from watchful dog parents.

Dog with crazy messy hair blowing in the wind. Photography © cynoclub | Getty Images.

What you need to know about dealing with matted dog hair

Here are some grooming tips for dealing with matted dog hair:

  1. First, Train your dog to enjoy grooming so he’ll stand still long enough to get the mats out! Start brushing your puppy when he’s young, even when he doesn’t need him. Hand out praise and quality treats so he can combine grooming with happy things.
  2. Pay close attention to areas that are easy to matte: behind the ears and legs, in the armpits, on the chassis and where his collar or halter rubs.
  3. Prevent matted dog hair from forming. A detangler cream or spray will prevent the fur from clumping together and can be used before your puppy jumps into a river or lake to make it easier to brush out after a swim. Only use products made specifically for dogs.
  4. When your puppy’s fur has grown Take a trip to the vet who is badly matted or has not been cared for in a while. Unkempt fur and extremely matted dog hair can cause skin irritation or infection that needs medical attention.
  5. To learn that It is best to speak to your groomer about brushing out your pup and the type of brush. Your groomer will be happy to let you know because the better you groom yourself daily, the easier your job will be.
  6. Don’t ignore the paws. Hair that grows between the pads can become matted. Keep your hair short. If you need a touch up in between professional grooming, purchase a couple of dog clippers. They’re easier than scissors on your dog’s delicate paws.
  7. Hair clippers are also useful for keeping a puppy’s rear end neat and tidy. Between sitting and pooping, this area can quickly get messy. A clean area around the anus is worth a little embarrassment between you and your dog.
  8. Good diet will help them have a healthy coat, which is less likely to mean matted dog hair. Look for omega-3 or fish oil in your pup’s diet and supplements. Of course, consult a veterinarian to find out how much is best to give your dog.

A dog with a grooming tool or brush. How do snow groomers deal with matted dog hair? Photography by Laures / Thinkstock.

Professional snow groomers for handling matted dog hair

1. Deana Mazurkiewicz IGMS, NCMG, IFMS President, Intellectual Groomers Association and Stylist at Pawsh By Deana in Zephyrhills, Florida. facebook.com/intgroome

  1. Never bathe your dog if he has mats or kinky hair. Water acts like a sponge and only makes it stronger.
  2. Use cornstarch to loosen matted dog hair. Rub a little on the mat to loosen it up, then brush it out.
  3. Don’t assume the conditioner will remove or loosen mats. They need to be brushed and combed thoroughly before bathing.
  4. NEVER try to cut out matted dog hair. The mats may be tighter than you think or have skin caught in them and you can cut your pet easily.

2. Windmere Kennels, St. Charles, Michigan; facebook.com/Windmerekennels

  1. Brush! Dogs like poodles and goldendoodles that are considered non-shed don’t shed dead hair on their own. They need help by brushing with a good, smoother brush at least twice a week.
  2. Regular visits to a professional snow groomer are a must to ward off matted dog hair! Every six to eight weeks is recommended.
  3. Mats start at the base, not the top, of the hair. While your dog looks matt-free, hold your fingers on the nape of the hair to check for tangles and growls. Catching a potential mat before this happens will make removal a lot easier.
  4. Research your breed’s specific needs for proper grooming. Depending on your breed, the coat or hair may require different practices to stay healthy and alive.

3. Vanessa Hoyt, Groomer Girls Pet Salon, Lawrenceville, Georgia. Facebook.com/groomergirlspetsalon

  1. Always work on small sections, from the ends of your hair to your skin.
  2. Always use a good conditioner. Demating can lead to serious harm even if done correctly.
  3. Always use cooler warm water as a quick rinse as the last thing you do in the tub. This helps seal the hair shafts. Warmer water leaves them open, making hair prone to breakage and damage. Broken and damaged hair tangles faster.
  4. Always use a finishing conditioning spray.

Top photo: © Tierfotoagentur | Alamy Stock Photo.

Originally published March 27, 2018.

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