Does your pet dog bury bones?

Dogs bury bones, dig them up and they tend to bury them again at a different place. Dogs as a breed like to hide things in a safe place. They are often predisposed to bury items like bones, toys and other things.

Why Do Dogs Bury Bones

Why Do Dogs Bury Bones? – Discover Why


Dog breeds predisposed to digging and burying things include Basset Hounds, Beagles, Dachshunds, Miniature Schnauzers, and Terriers.

For instance, Cairn Terriers were initially bred to chase and hunt small game. They have continued to maintain their instinct to search and dig.

As all these breeds dig, they also have a heightened desire to save their resources. Their resources include bones. They are more likely to bury bones. This is their normal behavior.

Irrespective of the breed of your pet dog, all dogs have the potential to dig and hide things. If they are unable to dig and bury things in the ground, they will hide them in carpets and other places.


The natural instinct of a dog is to keep their things safe and protected. The development of such behavior is due to survival instincts inherited from their wild ancestors (wolf and wild dogs).

Dogs used to roam wild in packs. They had to hunt for food. Food was not easy to come by and dogs had to make the most of the scarce food they had.

Even if they did manage to get food, other animals will steal it. The excess food was often buried in the ground near their den. Dogs bury bones to prevent it from getting stolen by other predators.

The soil acted as a natural refrigerator. The food buried in the ground is far away from direct sunlight. The temperature of the ground decreases with the depth of the hole. This kept the food fresh for a longer period of time.

The dogs could retrieve their hidden treasure when food was scarce. Your pet dog may choose to bury anything they consider valuable. This includes not just food.

Most dog breeds are now domesticated. Even though they don’t have to worry about their food they are still unable to control their natural instinct to hide food.

Dogs bury bones

Domesticated dogs who are fed on a fixed schedule don’t have to bury their food. If your pet continues the behavior in spite of being well fed, it often indicates overfeeding.

Apart from the scarcity of food, dogs bury bones when there is plenty of food available. They bury food to save and eat it at a later time. Consult a veterinarian on the right amount of food for your breed of dog.


Just like humans, dogs also suffer from anxiety and stress. Dogs bury bones to calm themselves as digging is a soothing experience.

If your pet doesn’t feel safe in the place where they are fed, they can choose to bury food. They do this so that they can eat food at a more comfortable time and place. Such behavior is common in households that have many pets.

When dogs share space with other animals, they may view some of them as a threat to their food. The threat factor may force them to hide food.

Dogs that grew up in places and situations with scarce food resources also tend to bury food items such as bones.

If the dog is nervous or possessive it will hide items from others. It indulges in such behavior to guard things it considers its own.


Most dog breeds are playful and energetic. They need stimulation and outlet for their energy each day. If humans don’t play with them, dogs find their own ways to occupy themselves. A fun game that dogs love is burying bones in the ground.

It is not uncommon for dogs to bury things to get your attention. Apart from bones, most dogs tend to bury toys, shoes, remote, and other things. They do this if they are feeling lonely or bored.

If you see your dog constantly trying to bury things in the ground, give it some attention. This will curb the temptation of digging the ground and burying things.

Most pet dogs want to grab your attention. They will indulge in such behavior so that you feel compelled to pay attention to them. Set aside a few minutes each day to play or walk with them. This will prevent their attention-seeking antics.

Why Do Dogs Bury Bones

Is Burying Bones and Other Things Harmful?

Dogs bury bones as a form of survival. Food was a scarce treasure and dogs buried it as a natural instinct. It is a natural tendency and isn’t harmful.

Digging the ground and burying bones is an annoying but normal behavior of dogs. Certain breeds do it more than others.

Constant digging of the ground can create problems. If the dogs dig continuously their paws may become sore and raw. The paws can get injured if there are any sharp items in the ground.

If your pet dog is digging to consume roots, soil, and other inedible material, they will need behavioral intervention. If you want to deal with this problem, you will need to find the underlying reason for such behavior.

Dogs bury bones as the behavior is hardwired into their brain for generations. The only harm you are most likely to suffer due to this behavior is an untidy lawn. Train your pet to dig at a particular place. This ensures the entire lawn is not damaged.

If your dog is burying things other than bones, you definitely need to pay attention. This is necessary if you are losing valuable things from your home.

Always remember that your dog is not digging up the ground and burying things to annoy you. Digging is part of their natural instinct. They will indulge in this behavior even if they have been domesticated for a long time.

Depending on the specific personality of your pet dog, some may do it more than others. Watching your dog all excited and digging can actually be a lot of fun.

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