If you notice that your dog has been burying their food, you might be confused as to why they have started doing this, particularly if this is a new behaviour. This article outlines the various reasons why this might be happening and what you can do to prevent it.
Dog Pretends To Bury Food With Nose
There are a number of reasons why dogs try to bury their food with their nose. This can be because they don’t have an appetite, they’re being cute, they want your attention, they’re feeling nauseous, they have anxiety, or the might be tuning into their hunting instincts.
Why Does My Dog Pretend To Bury Food With Its Nose?
There are multiple reasons why your dog might pretend to bury food with their nose, including:
Just Being Cute!
Dogs love to believe they’re being cute and they might think that in burying their food that it will impress you and that you’ll find it cute. Especially as doing this is a part of their natural instinct, they only want to please you and might believe that in doing this, you’ll find it cute and that will make you happy.
Just like us, it’s incredibly possible for dogs to be picky eaters. This can occur in multiple ways.
An example of this is if you feed your dog your food. If you start giving your dog your food and feeding them from your hand, they might start to get used to eating from your hand, so when you try to give them food from their bowl, they might not want as they’ll want the food from your hand.
Aside from that, they might get used to certain foods and prefer them or they might get bored of being given the same food again and again. If you pick up on this, try and find whatever works for you and your dog and they should stop being fussy with their food.
It is well known that dogs can be quite clingy and love to get your attention in any way that they can. They might have become aware that you watch them whilst they eat and that if they are acting up a bit whilst eating, you give them some sort of acknowledgement that you’re watching.
This acknowledgement could be telling them to keep on eating their food as opposed to burying it. Dogs don’t care on the reason behind them getting attention from you, so if they realise that by acting up slightly is going to get your attention, that’s what they’re going to do.
Too Much Food To Eat
It’s very easy to overfeed your dog, however, this is something you will want to avoid due to the health risks it comes with. This might vary from giving them extra food at meal times to overdoing it slightly when giving them treats, even if it’s for training purposes.
This will lead them to try and bury their food because they’ve recognised that they’ve got too much to eat for now so they attempt to bury the rest of the food so that they can save it for later.
As humans, when we feel nauseous, we often don’t feel like eating much. Dogs are the exact same. Therefore, they will bury their food so that they can save it for when they are feeling more up to eating something.
Some dogs might get possessive over their food and this can either be due to their breed or because they got separated from their litter too early. They’ll bury their food through fear they have to share their food so they can eat it when no one else is around and likely to steal it.
Dogs hoarding food stems from their ancestors, as dogs originate from wolves and as wolves lived in the wild, they were used to having to hunt for their food. This meant that they couldn’t always guarantee that they would get food, so would hoard it so they always knew they had something to eat.
Even though you will always be able to give your dog food when they require it, they don’t necessarily know this. Therefore, they might hide away some of their food just so that they know they’ll have something to eat in few hours or the next day.
Most dogs have a hunting instinct within them and because of this, they are likely to bury their food. This is because when dogs would hunt in the wild, they had to have a good digging and burying ability, so do this domestically due to their natural nature to hunt.
Just like us, dogs can also get anxiety. This anxiety is likely to extend to their food if, for example, they have previously been starved in some way and are a rescue dog. They’ll bury their food in case they end up going without food again, so they have something to eat in the meantime.
Lack Of Appitite
This is similar to if your dog has nausea and that includes having a lack of appetite. If your dog isn’t ready to have their food when you feed them, they might bury it to save for later.
However, if this lack of appetite continues, it might mean something more serious is going on and you may need to take them to the vet.
Is My Dog Trying To Hide Food From Me?
There is a chance if your dog is burying their food that they’re doing it because they want to hide their food from you. They might perceive you as a threat and think you’re going to take their food from them, so they ‘bury’ the food in the hope that you won’t see it and take it.
Does It Think Someone’s Going To Take His Food?
There is a chance that your dog thinks someone or something else is going to take their food. This is particularly true if they are possessive over their food as they might think someone else is going to try and take it, so bury it to stop this from happening.
What Is He Trying To Tell Me When He Buries His Food?
There are a number of different things your dog might be telling you when he is burying his food. They might be trying to tell you that they’re anxious, that they’re overfed, that they have no appetite, that they have nausea, or that there is something wrong with their eyesight.
How To Stop My Dog From Trying To Bury His Food?
One way you can stop and prevent your dog from burying their food is if you stick to a strict feeding schedule so that both them and you know exactly when they’re going to be fed and this should help you with ensuring you don’t give them an extra meal by accident.
What you can also do is try and figure out an exact amount of food to give them so they don’t get overfed. You might be able to talk to your vet about how much food to give them, or, you can observe them during meal times to see how much food they eat and edit the amount you give them accordingly.
If your dog is still trying to bury their food after you’ve tried this, try training them. Every time you see them go to bury their food, tell them no and if they stop burying give them lots of praise.
Over time, they will learn that they shouldn’t be burying their food and will stop doing this.
At the end of the day, dogs only want to please you, so if they notice that you only give them positive attention when they do something you want, i.e. not burying their food, then they’ll stop burying their food so they get this kind of attention.
Why Does My Dog Cover His Food With His Blanket?
This is also to do with being possessive over their food. If they believe that their food is at risk of being eaten by someone or something else, they will cover their food with their blanket so no one else can see the food, so they can’t steal it.
Why Does My Dog Cover Her Food With A Towel?
Your dog will cover their food with a towel for more or less the same reasons as why they would be covering their food with a blanket. This is because they want to hide their food from anyone who might steal it and so they know exactly where it’s kept.
Why Is My Dog Air Burying Food?
Air burying is essentially what dogs will do when they want to bury their food or an object but they have no way of actually burying it. This can be due to a number of reasons, including nausea, anxiety, being over-fed, having no appetite, hunting instinct, or wanting attention.
Why Is My Dog Trying To Bury Its Food Bowl?
Your dog might be trying to bury their food bowl regardless of whether it has any food in it or not. They might want to try and hide it from anyone who might try and steal the contents of it. This is particularly likely if your dog is rather possessive over their belongings.
If they know that them burying their food bowl annoys you, they might do it just to get your attention. In this case, if you see them trying to bury their food bowl, don’t give them any form of attention and eventually they’ll learn this doesn’t work and will stop trying to bury it.
Where Does Dog Caching Behavior Originate From?
Dog caching behaviour is instinctive in dogs. This is where dogs will eat any leftovers they have if there is nothing else for them to eat. This is why dogs will try and hide their food, because they want to ensure they’ll have something to eat in the event there’s no food left.
Why Does My Dog Bury Food With Imaginary Dirt?
This is because in the wild dogs are used to hunting and then burying their food in dirt so no one else can get it. If you see your dog burying their food with imaginary dirt, it is because it is their natural instinct to use actual dirt to bury their food, so they are imagining they are using dirt in this instance.