Rachel
Rachel is a stay-at-home pet mom, caring for her dog, cat, turtle, tortoise, and fish. She's a content writer in various niches but most notably in the pet field, educating pet parents on the health and wellbeing of their furry friends. When she's not writing, she's reading, playing video games, or organizing something.
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Health Learn About Dogs

Why Do Dogs Bury Bones?

Rachel Poli Author
Rachel
Sep 6 ·

Have you ever caught your pooch burying something in the backyard? Or maybe you found one of their toys tucked away under the blankets when you made your bed in the morning? So, why do dogs bury bones and other objects? There are a few reasons for this, and the answer is straightforward.

why do dogs bury bones

Why do dogs bury bones, and what does it mean?

Dogs came from wolves. Today, there are still wolves that live on the “feast or famine” rule. If they don’t eat their food right away, someone else will. Then they’ll go hungry for the night. So even though your pup gets fed a couple of times a day (plus the occasional treat), the instinct to bury is still there.

Their ancestors did it

Your doggo might tend to bury their food, bones, and toys because their ancestors did it. So even if you feed your pooch multiple times per day, they might still have the thought to save some for later.

In addition, if you have more than one animal in the house, such as another dog or a cat, your pooch might also bury its bone to hide it from its sibling. Sometimes, they’re not in the mood to share. This is your dog’s way of conserving food. If they’re not hungry at the time, or they know they might be hungry before bed, they’ll store their bone away somewhere. 

Instinct

Every dog breed is part of a group, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC). For example, if your dog is part of the working or herding groups, chances are they need plenty of physical and mental stimulation throughout the day. They may be high in energy and want to work.

Dogs in the hunting group tend to dig and bury objects more than other breeds. This is because digging reminds them of hunting, such as digging into rabbit holes. So, they bury their bones to find them again later. It may be for fun, instinct, or something to do later on in the day.

Some dog breeds are more prone to digging than others. For example, Basset Hounds, Beagles, Carin Terriers, Dachshunds, and Miniature Schnauzers, to name a few, have the instinct to dig and bury.

why do dogs bury bones

Too many objects

Also, your dog might be burying their bones and other objects because there are overwhelmed with everything they have. This isn’t to say they’re ungrateful and don’t want it all, but they want to save it for later.

For instance, if you give your dog a bone after they finish eating, then chances are they’re not hungry. So, they’ll politely take the bone and then bury it somewhere in the house. You might hear them munching on it as a midnight snack later on.

Boredom and anxiety

Sometimes, it might not be instinct or ancestral at all. For example, your pooch might be bored or anxious. If your dog needs physical and mental stimulation throughout the day and you’re at work, they’ll try to find the stimulation themselves. This can lead to digging. Your dog might bury objects to find again later, or they might enjoy the sensation of digging a hole.

In addition, if they’re feeling nervous, they’ll dig as a self-soothing technique. If your pooch is digging a lot because they are anxious, then you can see your veterinarian about it. 

Is burying harmful?

Most of the time, no. Burying bones, toys, and other objects is not harmful, especially if your pooch is tucking something in their blankets inside their crate or on your bed.

However, excessive digging can leave your dog’s paws and pads raw and sore. In addition, some soils and dirt have harmful chemicals in them that can hurt your dog’s paws as well. Should this happen with your dog, then it’s time to call the vet.

Stopping your dog from digging

Most of the time, burying objects and digging is no big deal. However, even if your doggo is doing it for instinct, you don’t always want them digging holes in your garden. So, if you notice your pooch digging outside, there are ways to get them to stop through training.

For example, don’t stop them and then walk away. Your doggo will wait for you to leave before they begin digging again. All it will teach them is that they can dig when you’re not around.

Instead, stop your dog from digging and redirect them to another activity. Then, praise them when they’re not digging the yard. Eventually, they’ll learn that digging holes in the yard is unwanted behavior.

why do dogs bury bones

Why do dogs bury bones?

There are many reasons why your pooch may bury its bones, toys, and other objects. It could be harmless, but if it becomes excessive, then it’s time to get in touch with your vet.

Similar reading: learn more about what your dog does and why

Rachel Poli Author
WRITTEN BY
Rachel
Rachel is a stay-at-home pet mom, caring for her dog, cat, turtle, tortoise, and fish. She's a content writer in various niches but most notably in the pet field, educating pet parents on the health and wellbeing of their furry friends. When she's not writing, she's reading, playing video games, or organizing something.
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