Why Does My Dog Hide Treats and Food?

Have you ever ever seen your canine hiding meals or treats? Whether or not it’s only a cute, occasional quirk or one thing bordering on being a bit of possessive, understanding your canine’s motivations is vital. Is your canine burying meals to reserve it for later, or is he coping with unaddressed stress or anxiousness? Right here’s a take a look at why your canine might cover meals or treats, and when try to be involved.

Your canine could also be responding to pure instincts

Why do canines cover their treats or meals? Your canine’s pure instincts often is the purpose. These instincts can embody:

Saving for shortage

Canine are pack animals by nature, so hiding meals and treats may very well be a part of serving to the pack survive.1 Their ancestors used to bury meals each time they’d a surplus, simply in case there was shortage later. As a result of it’s cooler beneath the bottom, this additionally helped protect the meals.2

Instinctual useful resource guarding

Canine instinctually need to guard their assets.3 Their ancestors skilled a number of competitors, whether or not inside the pack or with wolves, coyotes or different wild animals. Guarding meals was integral to survival. This intuition continues, regardless that your pups normally have greater than sufficient meals. You would possibly even discover your pup hiding treats beneath blankets, in beds or in your laundry for a similar purpose.3

A excessive prey drive

Canine with a excessive prey drive are extra liable to digging.4 This similar intuition may also make them extra more likely to bury vital assets in your yard, like meals and treats.

Whereas any particular person canine can love burying issues, some breeds usually tend to default to digging than others. These embody Terriers, Basset Hounds, Dachshundsand Beagles.3

Your canine’s surroundings might play a task

Why do canines cowl their meals or treats? Generally environmental elements contribute. These would possibly embody:

Lack of meals or an excessive amount of meals

Curiously, each a scarcity of meals and an excessive amount of meals can result in hoarding behaviors. In case your canine has considerations about not having sufficient meals—similar to if he’s in a multi-dog family—he would possibly begin hiding meals.1

But when a canine hides treats or meals, it will also be due to overfeeding. He might need to save the leftovers for one more time.1

An unpredictable routine

An unpredictable routine may additionally affect your canine’s actions. Not understanding when meals is coming can create a need to hoard it.Organising a feeding routine your canine can rely upon might assist.

Your canine’s psychological well being could also be linked

In the event you’re questioning, “Why does my canine bury his meals?” it may be resulting from unaddressed emotional points. Listed here are two examples:

Stress or anxiousness

Stress or anxiousness may be the wrongdoer. This will manifest as a priority that one other canine in your family will take a deal with away.2 Or your canine may need had unhealthy experiences with meals shortage and competitors up to now, similar to if he lived on the road or in a shelter.3

So how have you learnt in case your canine is simply enjoying or if she’s harassed when she hides meals and treats? Watch to see if one canine is intimidating one other, and look ahead to different indicators of stress or melancholy,3 similar to turning into withdrawn, consuming much less, licking paws, having much less power or being extra aggressive.5

Boredom

Boredom or lack of psychological stimulation is also the wrongdoer.2 Take time to bond together with your canine and do extra enjoyable actions collectively.4 This would possibly embody enjoying video games of fetch, going for jogs, or coaching your pup in scent work.2

Seek the advice of a veterinarian for a medical checkup

In the event you’re asking, “Why is my canine hiding meals and never consuming?” you would possibly need to examine with a veterinarian, particularly if that is accompanied by different indicators of sickness, like vomiting or diarrhea. Generally a medical challenge that’s inflicting the canine to have nausea or inappetence can set off this.6 It may very well be something from a gentle stomachache to arthritic ache or a extra severe sickness.6A dental downside may additionally contribute to sudden meals aversion or ache when consuming.7

Do you have to cease your canine from hiding meals?

In the event you’re discovering pet food in bizarre locations, you’re not alone. A lot of the time, that is merely a traditional motion your pup enjoys.1 But when he hurts himself within the course of or damages your property—or for those who’re involved about greater points at play—then you definately would possibly need to encourage your pup to cease.

In the event you do, at all times use optimistic reinforcement coaching that builds your bond.2 Since stress can already be inflicting the difficulty, you don’t need to improve it with punishment or yelling. And chasing your canine will simply make issues worse, as she would possibly begin seeing that as a enjoyable recreation.

Some pet homeowners would possibly really feel extra snug getting a coach’s assist.3

Suggestions to assist cease your canine from hiding meals or treats

Search for something that may set off your canine’s conduct. Listed here are some ideas for getting began:

  • Get a clear invoice of well being out of your veterinarian, particularly if it is a new conduct.2
  • Be sure you’re not overfeeding your canine.2
  • Take into account establishing child gates so she will’t take the meals anyplace else.2
  • Do extra enjoyable actions collectively.2
  • Once you’re away, go away a number of interactive toys.4
  • Feed your canine in the identical room the place you’re, in case he’s lonely.8
  • Arrange a reliable feeding routine so your canine is aware of when meals is coming.3
  • When you have a couple of canine, strive giving them treats or meals in separate rooms.4
  • For the reason that sound a steel bowl makes might set off your canine to take meals some place else, strive altering the bowl and see if it helps.8

The underside line

Hiding meals or treats is a pure intuition for a lot of canines. Whether or not it’s an issue that wants intervention will depend on the person pup. That’s why it’s so vital to spend time together with your pup so you may higher perceive what makes them completely satisfied.

From Pets Greatest

However even probably the most attentive pet mother and father need assistance from their veterinarians. At Pets Greatest, our canine insurance policy might help cowl the bills of standard checkups. Pets Greatest policyholders can communicate to a veterinary skilled anytime by a 24/7 Pet Helpline.

Sources

1Coelho, Steph. (2022, December 15.) Why Your Canine Likes to Bury Bones, Toys, and Something Else They Can Get Their Paws On. Insider. https://www.insider.com/guides/pets/why-do-dogs-bury-bones

2Kearl, Mary. (2019, November 6.) Why Is My Canine Hiding Issues? American Kennel Membership. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/coaching/why-is-my-dog-hiding-things/

3Miller, Jenny. (2022, January.) Why Do Canine Conceal Treats and Toys? BARC London. https://www.barclondon.com/blogs/information/why-do-dogs-hide-treats-and-toys

4Kucera, Tabitha. (2022, March 25.) Why Canine Bury Bones and Different Objects. The Spruce Pets. https://www.thesprucepets.com/why-dogs-bury-bones-4580377

5Miller, Jenny. (2022, Might.) Tips on how to Recognise Indicators of Despair in Canine. BARC London. https://www.barclondon.com/blogs/mindfulness-wellbeing/signs-of-depression-in-dogs

6Rodgers, Linda. (2022, November 7.) Why Is My Canine Not Consuming? Reader’s Digest. https://www.rd.com/article/dog-not-eating/

7(2020, December 9.) 8 Indicators Your Canine Might Have Dental Ache. Angel Pet Hospital. https://www.angelpethospital.com/8-signs-your-dog-may-have-dental-pain

8Smith, Melissa. (2019, September 4.) 4 Causes Your Canine Might Be Carrying Their Meals Away. Petful. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/why-dog-carries-food-away/

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