Why Do Dogs Bury Bones?

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Why Do Dogs Bury Bones?You may find your dog burying a toy or bone, then digging it up and reburying it elsewhere. This is very common. In fact, your dog may even “bury” items inside on furniture or carpeting. Sometimes they’ll even bury things in piles of laundry. So the next time you’re looking for the TV remote, car keys or your cell phone, you may want to look under the couch cushions and in your laundry! Find out why they do this and how to get them to stop.

Dogs Bury Bones As A Form of Survival

Why do dogs bury their bones? Because a dog’s natural instinct is to keep his things protected and in a safe place. Dogs used to bury items as a form of survival. They would roam in packs and hunt for their food. As you can imagine, this would take some time so when they caught something they didn’t want to risk losing it. So what did they do? They buried it. Later, they would come back to it to eat.

They basically created a refrigerator for their food. Burying their food would help with many things. Other creatures couldn’t find it, the food was kept fresher longer and it was “marinated” with a decadent, earthy flavor!

Why Do Domestic Dogs Bury Things?

As domesticated pets, most dogs don’t have to hunt for food today. So why are they still burying things? Well, first of all, it’s their natural instinct! Dogs have the urge to ensure they’ll have food later. So they bury their food sometimes to make sure their needs are met.

Another reason is that you may be giving your dog too much! (Is there such a thing? 😉 ) Spoiling your dog with too much food, toys or treats can result in them burying it. They may not want to risk having it taken away from them so they say, “Neat! I’ll save this for later!” So, by not overfeeding, you may prevent obesity and excessive burying in the yard, too.

Dogs also bury items as a game. They may be looking for you to play with them. Things buried in this instance may not be their own items but instead your shiny belongings like jewelry, shoes and smaller electronics. These are often things that they see as being valuable to you. So, they could be items you use on a regular basis. If this is happening, your dog may be bored or lonely and seeking attention.

Video: Travelers Insurance Commercial Dog with Bone

You might remember this adorable commercial for Travelers Insurance which features a dog who is hiding his bone.

How Do I Stop My Dog From Burying Items?

Some things you can do to help stop your dog from burying stuff is to rotate their toys, play with them, take them on walks or to the dog park and give them the attention they need. Never scold your pup after the fact, he will not understand what he is being punished for. If the problem continues, you should consult your vet or enlist the help of a professional. We recommend Doggy Dan’s online course which you can do from the comfort of your home. And you can learn more about why your dog does other silly things like chase their tail or digs holes.

What does your dog like to bury and where?

About The Author:

Kimberly received her Bachelor of Arts in multimedia journalism from Simpson College. She has been writing about dogs since 2014, covering subjects such as dog insurance, training, health, accessories and more. Her natural curiosity helps her research as she seeks the truth when learning about, comparing and personally testing canine products and services. With every piece she writes, her goal is to help our readers find the best fit for their unique needs.

Kimberly grew up in a family that loved Labrador Retrievers and remembers running and playing in the yard with them as a child. In 2017, she and her husband adopted their Coonhound mix, Sally, from a local shelter. Kimberly's research was put to good use since Sally faced some aggression issues with other dogs and needed some training to be an inside dog. She worked daily with Sally and sought help from professionals to help Sally become the happy pup she is today.

One of Kimberly's favorite pastimes is spoiling Sally with new toys, comfy beds and yummy treats (she even makes homemade goodies for her). She tries to purchase the safest products for Sally and knows that each canine has their own specific likes and dislikes. Kimberly is passionate about dogs, and knows the bond between humans and canines is like no other.

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My dog routinely buries his bones. Every morning I sit and have a cup of coffee as I watch my husband give our dog his daily bone and we then witness our dog promptly run off to the shrubbery to locate a new spot to bury his daily treat. My dog does not bury any of our personal items, nor bury his own toys, and only does this with his dog treats. I have also never seen him retrieve any of his past buried treasures. Our dog is our spoiled, loyal, lovable canine and well cared for. So, after reading this article, I believe he is not burying the treats to play with us and instead this is more of a natural instinct, where if in need, he would be able to go back to his treats to eat. Incidentally, our dog came to us as a stray, was way too thin, and must not have eaten for some time. So, we gave him the name “Bones” before even knowing this name was also very fitting for his instinctual survival planning.
Chase\'s mom
My dog doesn’t burry anything but sometimes on walks he’ll start doing a digging motion with his back paws and kicks up dirt. Maybe to try and cover up his pee or poop?