why do dogs bury bones

Why Do Dogs Bury Bones? A Must-Read

Dogs have a long history with gray wolves. Before humans made dogs domesticated, they were also wild animals. Since then, dogs have become man’s best friend, it can sometimes annoy humans. You have seen your fair share of some strange things that your dog does; chasing its tail, rolling in the dirt, or rummaging through garbage. Why do dogs bury bones?

Have you ever looked under your couch and found your dog’s chewy bone there? Have you ever caught your dog trying to bury a piece of bone in the backyard? Sometimes you find them digging up what they have previously buried and reburying it somewhere else.

Why do dogs bury bones? Dogs like to hide things; it’s their way of keeping it safe. They tend to bury things that belong to them in the ground or in any place they consider safe. But sometimes, your dog would hide your own belongings too.  You have probably found your keys in the laundry once or twice.

Reasons Why Dogs Bury Bones:

Seeing your dog burying treats or toys in their beds or in yours can be surprising. You might also see them digging in your garden and making a mess.

Why do dogs bury bones? There are various reasons why dogs would want to bury bones. Some reasons are

1. Survival – why do dogs bury treats?

Dogs lived in the wild and hunted for food like other animals before humans made them domesticated pets. It was hard to find food in the past. So, once a dog finds food, it eats a portion of the food and buries the rest. When food becomes scarce again, the dog would dig up its buried food to enjoy.

Dogs also had to compete with not just other dogs but with other animals for food. They resorted to burying carcasses and bones; they kept the food away from where other dogs would find it. At a more comfortable time, they dig up their food to eat.

Why do dogs bury treats? They might be burying them for the same reasons their ancestors did. When your dog has too much food to eat, it buries the excess; it would not want you taking the food away.

2. Instinct

According to history, wild dogs used to bury carcasses and bones. Domesticated dogs bury things that they think are valuable. They can also bury toys or their owner’s belongings.

A dog’s natural instinct is to keep things of value safe or protected. Hunting dogs also have high instinct of saving things they find valuable; especially bones.

3. Boredom

Dogs, being one of the smartest domestic animals, need to exercise regularly. They could begin to bury items for you to find when they are bored. It’s like a game to them. They hide your shoes, TV remote, car keys. It’s basically things they know you use regularly. They know these things are valuable to you and you would want to find them which draws your attention to them. And they expect you to play with them.

4. Stress

When dogs feel uncomfortable, they dig. Known to soothe dogs, digging gives them relief when they are feeling stressed or anxious. It makes them feel better.

For example, if a dog feels uncomfortable in an area where other dogs are, it tends to feel anxious and uncomfortable. When food is given to them, the anxious dog would bury its food in the ground to eat at a more comfortable time.

Breeds of Dogs That Bury Bones :

Regardless of breed, all dogs have the potential to dig. Not all dogs are inclined to it. However, some dogs might be seen burying treats or toys in their beds or under the couch. Other dogs might just eat their treats immediately.

What breeds of dogs bury bones? A few breeds of dogs that have the tendency to dig and bury things are

If the above-mentioned dogs are not the kinds you want to own because of their habits of burying things, you may want to consider one of the smallest breeds of dogs like the chihuahua. Get to know about this dog from our previous post here.

How To Stop Your Dog From Burying Things :

If your dog is digging into your garden and ruining your plants or if you’re losing your personal items; items like keys, socks, earrings, here are a few ways to stop them from burying things:

  1. Dedicate a special time to play with your pet. Chances are if it’s preoccupied and properly exercised, it would leave your valuables alone.
  2. Take your dog for long walks or to the park. Interaction with other dogs can also keep your dog occupied, preventing them from hiding things or burying items that belong to you.
  3. Give your dog attention. Neglecting your pet makes it bored. A bored dog is a mischievous dog.
  4. Don’t overfeed your dog. When your dog eats too much, it tries to bury the leftovers instead of leaving it alone. they wouldn’t want you taking the food away. Also, giving them appropriate amounts of food would reduce the risk of obesity.
  5. Giving your dog a treat just after a meal is not advisable. There is a high chance that it won’t eat the treat. You might just find your dog in the backyard, burying its treat.
  6. Don’t give your dog all its toys at once. It could play with one and then decide to bury the other.


The ancestral link between dogs and other animals in its family e.g. the wolves, keeps them predisposed to doing similar things.

Dogs tend to do a lot of things to show they were once wild animals. Most of these things are mostly done unintentionally. They tend to do things like hunting, rolling in the dirt to hide their scent, or howling. Dogs like to bury things because they feel it’s a way to protect what belongs to them.

If your dog likes to bury things, you can make it fun by converting it into a game. This would help exercise your dog and help prevent it from burying or hiding things that belong to you as well.

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