Why Are Dogs Always Burying Things?

Digging is not an unusual canine behavior.
i Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

If a lot of your doggie's behavior makes you want to scratch your head in utter confusion, you're not alone. A lot of baffling canine behavior has ancestral origins. Even though your dog may lead a comfortable life inside your home, she may retain some survival instincts -- think burying.

Why Bury?

When a pooch has an inclination to bury items, realize that those items may not be so random. Most of the things that dogs bury are very important or useful to them, whether tasty treats, prized toys or bones. This burying behavior is simply in their blood, as their distant ancestors once had to hide key things to stay alive. If a dog keeps something in plain sight, she risks another party swooping in and taking it away. Burying things is a practical way to keep them carefully tucked away for use at a later time. In times of scarce sustenance, burying precious food often meant the difference between life and death.


Even if your dog has a relaxing and enviable indoor existence with no worries at all about attaining food, burying may be an innate and instinctive behavior for her. You may spot your fluff ball burying toys throughout all areas of your home, whether in the dirt of your backyard or somewhere deep in your living room couch. If you pull up any of your dog's belongings in an unassuming spot of your residence, burying behavior just may be the cause.


If a dog has more food than she needs for the time being, burying is a means of hoarding and keeping things all to herself. Dogs of the "olden days" were fully aware that times of little food were always a very unpleasant possibility. When a dog buries, it means that she feels that things are abundant -- at least for a while.


A dog may dig around in the ground without actually burying anything, although the difference may not be so obvious if you're just casually looking. Dogs dig around in the ground for a variety of reasons, whether they're anxious and looking for an escape, trying to get some attention, going after prey, seeking a little bit of fun, attempting to cool down in hot weather or quite simply just bored. All of these reasons may be totally different, but one thing is consistent: burying and digging are both very normal doggie behaviors.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.

the nest