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Why do dogs bury things – Know Reasons

Why do dogs bury things – Know Reasons,Have you ever caught your dog in the act of burying a bone, toy, or treat? It’s a common behavior that many dog owners have witnessed, but have you ever wondered why dogs bury things? As it turns out, there are several fascinating reasons behind this canine tendency. 

Why do dogs bury things - Know Reasons
Why do dogs bury things – Know Reasons


In this blog, we’ll explore the why do dogs bury things and what it means for your furry friend.

The Evolutionary Origins of Burying Behavior in Dogs

To understand why dogs bury things, we have to go back millions of years to the origins of the canine species. Dogs are descendants of wolves, and burying behavior has its roots in the survival instincts of their wild ancestors. In the wild, wolves would often bury excess food to save it for later, when prey was scarce. By burying their food, they could protect it from scavengers and preserve it for when they needed it most.

Why do dogs bury things - Know Reasons
Why do dogs bury things – Know Reasons

As wolves evolved into the domesticated dogs we know today, this food-burying instinct remained. Even though modern dogs have a steady supply of food from their owners, the behavior is so deeply ingrained that they still feel compelled to bury things. It’s an instinctual behavior that has been passed down through generations of canines.

Hiding Food from Competitors

One of the main reasons dogs bury things is to hide food from potential competitors. This could be other dogs in the household, neighborhood strays, or even wild animals that may wander into the yard. By burying a bone or treat, a dog is ensuring that it has a stash of food that no one else can get to.

This behavior is especially common in multi-dog households, where dogs may feel the need to protect their resources from other canine family members. If you have more than one dog, you may notice that one dog will bury a bone or toy, only to have another dog dig it up later. It’s a constant game of hide-and-seek, driven by the dogs’ instinctual need to protect their belongings.

Why do dogs bury things - Know Reasons
Why do dogs bury things – Know Reasons

Saving Food for Later

In addition to hiding food from competitors, dogs also bury things to save them for later. This is especially true for bones, which dogs may bury with the intention of coming back to them when they’re hungry again. By burying a bone, a dog is ensuring that it has a tasty snack waiting for it whenever it gets the urge to chew.

This behavior is also seen in dogs who are fed on a schedule, rather than free-feeding. If a dog knows that it won’t be getting another meal for several hours, it may bury a treat or toy to enjoy later, when it’s feeling peckish. It’s a clever way for dogs to ensure that they always have a little something to nibble on, even if their owner is late with dinner.

Stress Relief and Boredom Busting

Burying things isn’t just about food and survival, though. For many dogs, the act of burying a toy or treat can be a form of stress relief and boredom busting. The repetitive motions of digging and covering up an object can be calming and satisfying for dogs, much like how some humans find knitting or gardening to be therapeutic.

If a dog is feeling anxious or stressed, it may turn to burying behavior as a way to self-soothe. By focusing its energy on digging and covering up an object, the dog is able to redirect its nervous energy into a constructive activity. This can be especially helpful for dogs who suffer from separation anxiety or other behavioral issues.

Burying behavior can also be a way for dogs to alleviate boredom. If a dog is left alone for long periods of time with nothing to do, it may turn to burying as a way to pass the time and keep itself entertained. By burying and unburying toys or treats, the dog is engaging in a fun game that helps to stave off boredom and keep its mind active.

Why do dogs bury things – Know Reasons

Protecting Valuable Items

Finally, some dogs may bury things as a way to protect their most valuable possessions. If a dog has a particularly special toy or treat, it may feel the need to bury it in order to keep it safe from harm. This could be because the dog views the object as a prized possession, or because it’s something that the dog knows its owner values highly.

Why do dogs bury things - Know Reasons
Why do dogs bury things – Know Reasons

By burying a valuable item, a dog is ensuring that it remains in pristine condition and isn’t damaged or lost. It’s a way for the dog to keep its most cherished belongings safe and secure, even if it has to dig them up again later. This behavior is often seen in dogs who have been through traumatic experiences, such as being rehomed or living in a shelter, and may be a way for them to feel more in control of their environment.

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So, in summary, dogs bury things for a variety of reasons, from their evolutionary instincts to protect food, to their desire to alleviate stress and boredom. Whether your dog is burying a bone, a toy, or a treat, it’s a perfectly normal and natural behavior that is deeply rooted in the canine psyche.

As a dog owner, it’s important to understand and respect this behavior, even if it means that your dog is occasionally burying things in your garden or under your furniture. By providing your dog with plenty of toys and treats, and giving it plenty of exercise and mental stimulation, you can help to curb excessive burying behavior and ensure that your furry friend is happy and healthy.

So the next time you catch your dog in the act of burying something, take a moment to appreciate the fascinating history and psychology behind this canine tendency. It’s a behavior that has been passed down through generations of dogs, and it’s a testament to the incredible adaptability and resilience of our canine companions.

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