Is Your Dog Burying Their Food? Discover Why And How To Stop It!

Is your dog acting like a little treasure hunter, burying their food all over the place? You might be wondering why they do this and how you can put a stop to it. Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Many dog owners face this quirky behavior. In this guide, we’ll uncover the reasons behind your dog’s food-burying habits and share simple tips to help you manage it. Let’s dive in and keep your pup happy and your yard hole-free!

1. Why Do Dogs Bury Things?

1: Anxiety

A sudden increase in burying could indicate anxiety or a change in their environment. Excessive licking, pacing, or whining could indicate underlying anxiety. If your dog is burying their food due to anxiety, you might notice other signs, like excessive barking, pacing, or restlessness.

2: Attention-Seeking

Dogs are brilliant animals and quickly learn how to get the attention of their owners. Burying food can sometimes be an attention-seeking behavior. Dogs notice what gets a reaction from their owners. If burying food makes you laugh, scold, or pay attention to it, your dog might do it more to get your attention.

3: Breed

While the behavior of burying food can be observed in many dogs regardless of breed, some breeds are more prone to this instinctive behavior due to their genetic heritage and characteristics. Breeds such as Terriers, Dachshunds, Beagles, Siberian Huskies, and Retrievers are particularly known for burying their food.

4: Excess

When dogs bury their food excessively, it can indicate underlying issues such as environmental stress, medical problems, lack of routine, overfeeding, boredom, and lack of stimulation.

5: Instinct

The behavior of dogs burying their food is deeply rooted in their instincts, inherited from their wild ancestors like wolves. These instincts include survival strategy, protecting resources, and natural preservation.

2. What Should You Do If Your Dog Buries Their Food?

If your dog is burying their food, it can be helpful to understand why they are doing it and how you can manage this behavior. Here are some steps you can take:

1: Keep A Regular Eating Schedule

Feeding your dog at the same times each day helps them understand that meals are a regular and reliable occurrence. It can alleviate any anxiety about when they will get their next meal.

2: Meet Their Needs

Seeing your dog’s physical and emotional needs is essential to influencing their behavior, including tendencies like food burying. Make sure exercise is crucial for keeping your dog healthy and content. Ensure your dog gets enough daily activity to expend energy and lower stress levels. A well-exercised dog is less prone to undesirable behaviors such as burying their food.

3: Supervise Their Mealtimes

Monitoring your dog’s behavior during mealtimes can provide valuable insights into why they are burying their food. Take the time to observe your dog while they eat. Note any patterns or behaviors they exhibit, such as hiding food under objects or pawing at the ground.

3. Where Does This Behavior Come From?

The behavior of burying food in dogs traces back to their wild ancestors. Wolves, the ancestors of domestic dogs, would bury excess food to preserve it for times when prey was scarce. This instinct ensured they had a backup food source during lean periods.

4. Why Does Your Dog Think Burying Food Is A Good Idea?

Dogs have several reasons for thinking that burying food is a good idea, including nausea or a lack of appetite, overfeeding, and possessiveness.

1: Nausea Or A Lack Of Appetite

See your veterinarian immediately if your dog is burying their food and exhibiting other symptoms of illness, such as vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy. Lack of appetite or nausea may be signs of an underlying medical issue that requires attention.

2: Overfeeding

 Evaluate the amount of food you are feeding your dog at each meal. Overfeeding can lead to excess food that your dog may feel the need to bury for later consumption. Adjust portion sizes to ensure they are appropriate for your dog’s size, age, and activity level.

3: Possessiveness

 Work on training exercises that focus on teaching your dog impulse control and proper behavior around food. If you have multiple dogs, feed them in separate areas to prevent competition and reduce possessive behavior. Provide each dog with a food bowl and feeding space to minimize conflicts.

5. Can My Dog Get Sick From Eating Buried Food?

When burying food is a natural behavior for dogs, there are potential health risks associated with eating buried food. Monitor your dog’s burying behavior and provide fresh food to reduce the likelihood of them eating spoiled or contaminated food.

1: Monitor

 Keep an eye on your dog’s burying behavior and discourage them from eating buried food, especially if you suspect it may be spoiled or contaminated.

2: Provide Fresh Food

Ensure your dog has access to fresh, clean food at mealtimes to reduce the likelihood of them burying old or unwanted food.

3: Limit Access

 If your dog frequently buries food in specific areas, consider restricting their access to those areas or supervising them more closely during outdoor activities.

6. Is It Just Food That Dogs Bury?

No, dogs don’t just bury food—they may bury a variety of items for various reasons, including bones, and chews.

Bones and Chews: Dogs often bury bones or chews to save them for later enjoyment. In the wild, this behavior helps them preserve their food and avoid competition from scavengers.

7. Should I Stop My Dog From Burying Food?

Whether or not to stop your dog from burying food depends on various factors and individual circumstances. Management, training, and consultation with a veterinarian or professional dog trainer can help address the behavior effectively.


While burying food is generally not a cause for concern, understanding and managing the behavior can help ensure your dog feels safe and secure. By maintaining a consistent feeding schedule, providing a stress-free environment, engaging your dog in physical and mental activities, and addressing any anxiety, you can reduce their need to bury food and promote a happier, healthier lifestyle for your dogs.


What Does It Mean When A Dog Buries His Food?

Your dog might be acting on their instincts. Their ancestors used to bury food when they had extra, just in case they needed it later.

Why Is My Dog Suddenly Trying To Hide Her Food?

Even though our dogs live comfortably with us, they still have their survival instincts. They might hide their food because they have a natural urge to protect what’s theirs, which comes from their genes.

How Do I Get My Dog To Stop Burying His Food?

If your dog is burying food leftovers, they might be getting more than they need. Try feeding them a bit less or giving them exercise just before meals. This can help reduce the urge to bury food. Also, teaching them better behaviors around food can be helpful. Instead of food, give them toys or chews to bury—they’ll still get to do what comes naturally but without the mess.

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