Why Dogs Bury Bones and How to Navigate Their Instincts

By Martin B February 27, 2024

Who knew our furry friends had a secret talent for burying treasure? Whether you’ve got a dog, a cat, or just daydream about adopting a pet, the mystery behind why they stash stuff away is a whimsical journey we’re about to embark on.

Quick heads up: the info we’re throwing your way is more of a gentle nudge than a hardcore rulebook. If you’re feeling a bit puzzled about your pet’s quirks, it’s always a good call to chat with your vet – they’re like the pet whisperers.

Alisa Savickaja/Pexels

Unmasking the Motivations of Our Four-Legged Buddies

1. Guarding Their Goodies:

Picture this – your pup channeling their inner archaeologist, burying bones and toys like it’s the most vital mission in the world. Turns out, it’s an age-old instinct, a canine heirloom from wild days. Back then, it was all about keeping the treasures safe from predators or creating a cozy spot for the mini furballs. Now, it’s just their way of making a safety deposit for later. Anxious pups find solace in this buried treasure hunt, a bit like finding a surprise party every time they dig one up.

2. Fun and Frolic:

Our domestic dogs aren’t just into burying for safety; they’re also in it for the sheer joy of it. It’s like a canine version of hide-and-seek, but with bones and toys. They might have picked it up from their ancestors’ protective instincts, but let’s face it, it’s also a game for them. Like kids in a sandbox, dogs might just find burying stuff plain ol’ fun. Unless your pooch is turning your garden into a construction site or showing signs of stress, it’s probably best to let them enjoy their playful excavations.

And here’s the scoop – if your dog’s digging turns into a full-fledged landscaping project, no need to send them to the doggy penalty box. Instead, consider creating a “digging zone” or distract them with a game of fetch. Punishing? Nah, let’s keep it positive.

Clifford Agyekum/Pexels

3. Culinary Conservationists:

Ever seen your dog stash away some leftover kibble like they’re preparing for a pet apocalypse? That’s them channeling their inner survivalist. In the wild, their ancestors mastered the art of food preservation by burying the excess. It’s like their version of storing snacks for a rainy day. Their extraordinary sense of smell helps them relocate these edible treasures, securing a backup plan for the days when the kibble bowl might look a bit lonely.

Is Dog Digging a Drama? Not Really.

In the grand scheme of things, if your pup is having a blast turning your backyard into their personal excavation site, it’s probably just them living their best doggy life. Still, it’s wise to keep tabs on those paws – constant digging could lead to some sore spots. To keep your garden intact and your pet’s paws pampered, encourage them to dig in designated doggy zones, and don’t forget the paw-wipe ritual after their dirt-filled adventures.

Oh, and about those real bones? While it might seem like the classic doggy treat, it’s like giving them a backstage pass to dental drama. Opt for safer alternatives like chew toys and treats – your pup’s pearly whites will thank you.


Curious Queries About Canine Burial Habits:

  1. What’s the deal with a dog burying a bone? Think of it as your furry friend having a little safekeeping ritual – it could be for protection, enjoyment, or even saving a snack for later. It’s all rooted in their primal need to stash and secure their treasures.
  2. Do dogs remember where they bury their bones? You betcha! Thanks to their incredible sense of smell, Fido can play the world’s most epic game of hide-and-seek with their buried goodies. And if they ever forget, a little pet parent assistance with a marker can do wonders.
  3. Which dog breeds are the master buriers? While Retrievers, Terriers, and Beagles might take the crown, it’s not just about the breed. Every doggo is a unique character, and their digging tendencies can be influenced by personal flair, health, and the lay of the land.