You might wondering why do dogs bury bones? For some animals, this is a kind of preservation of available food supplies so that they can be obtained and used at the right time. This is common behavior for many kinds of birds and mammals, including the ancestors of dogs – gray wolves, from which dogs inherited many of their instincts. There may be several reasons why do dogs bury bones.
4 Reasons Why Do Dogs Bury Bones
Wolves, which are known to be very good hunters, tend to stay close to their prey long enough to completely consume it, but sometimes they bury the remains of a killed animal. research has shown that even wolf cubs use this tactic and can move their prey several times to prevent a brother or sister from reaching it. Therefore, when dogs behave in this, at first glance, unusual, be calm – they are just following their “inner wolf”.
Today, most of dogs do not need to bury their food, after all they have loving owners who feed them. Still, why do dogs bury bones? However, this does not mean that their aspiration to save food for the future has suddenly disappeared.
Sometimes this instinct has nothing to do with food preservation or protection it from scavengers. In addition, dogs can save toys, for example, so that they can be played again later. In addition, dogs can so calm down or play with the owner.
Meanwhile, some breeds of dogs, more precisely, hunting dogs, are simply more prone to digging in the ground – it does not matter if it buries a bone or just creates a burrow. Dogs specially bred for hunting, such as terriers, dachshunds, beagles, basset hounds and schnauzers, often like to bury toys, bones and treats. It is not uncommon to see a dachshund hiding a bone under sofa cushions.
Since these breeds are bred specifically for digging, they may also have an increased desire to conserve their resources, what can explain why do dogs bury bones. This is normal behavior for them. Remember that all dogs can dig regardless of the dog breed.
Dogs need daily walks and play, to help the dogs get rid of excess energy. If the dog’s needs are not being met, they will find their own ways to keep themselves occupied. An example would be the fun game of stealing the TV remote control and burying it in order to get your attention and make changes to thier monochromatic daily routine.
Stress and anxiety can also influence this behavior. Some dogs who are anxious may bury objects to calm down, as digging is a calming behavior. If the dog does not feel safe now or in the place where it is being fed, it can bury the food in order to eat in a more convenient place or at a more convenient time. You may also see more of this behavior in families with multiple dogs, or among dogs raised in a kennel or shelter, where the dog may feel a lack of food.
This behavior can improve if your dog feels safe and feeds on a regular schedule, but if not, it is advisable to consult a veterinarian and behavior specialists.
Why Is Buring Bones A Bad Habit?
Burying food is an ancient instinct for dogs to survive in the wild. At home, it can be considered a bad habit. Well-fed pets forget about their reserves. The food spoils and can harm the dog’s gastrointestinal tract if the dog finds it.
Dogs burying food outside can contract infectious diseases or poison themselves. The soil is capable of supporting the vital activity of dangerous bacteria and viruses for a long time. It gets poisons, chemicals that pose a threat not only to the health, but also to the life of the dog.
The habit of burying food is observed in many domestic dogs. We must try to eradicate it in order to avoid unnecessary problems. Punishing the pet in this case is useless. He will become afraid and more actively hide food. It is important to determine when to feed and make sure there is no food left over. And the dog is not starving.
Potential Problems with Bone Burying
While bone burying is a normal and instinctive behavior for dogs, it can sometimes lead to issues. Here are some potential problems that might arise due to this behavior:
Damaged Property: One of the most visible problems with bone burying is the potential for damaged property. If your dog is burying bones in your garden or yard, it can lead to dug up plants, scattered mulch, and unsightly holes.
Choking Hazard: If the bone your dog buries is small, it could become a choking hazard. This is especially true if the dog tries to swallow it quickly, perhaps because they are worried about it being taken away.
Digestive Issues: Bones, particularly cooked ones, can splinter and cause serious health issues. These splinters can get stuck in your dog’s mouth, throat, or intestines, causing cuts, infections, or even blockages.
Aggression: If a dog feels that their buried treasures are threatened, they may exhibit aggressive behaviors such as growling, snapping, or even biting. This can be a particular issue in homes with multiple pets or small children.
Parasites and Bacteria: Bones that have been buried and then dug up later can be contaminated with bacteria or parasites, which can pose a health risk to your dog.
How to Handle a Dog’s Bone-Burying Behavior
If your dog’s bone-burying habit is starting to take a toll on your garden or you’re concerned about potential aggression issues, there are several strategies you can implement:
- Provide designated digging zones: If you have the space in your backyard, consider setting up a specified digging area for your dog. You can encourage them to use this area by burying their toys or treats there.
- Use chew toys as an alternative: Rather than giving your dog bones, consider durable chew toys. These not only satisfy your dog’s need to chew but are also safer as they don’t splinter like bones.
- Training: If your dog becomes possessive over their bones. It’s a good idea to work on “drop it” and “leave it” commands. This can help prevent any aggression issues and ensures you can retrieve the bone if needed.
- Monitor outdoor time: If burying becomes a problem, supervise your dog when they are outside. You can then redirect any attempts to bury bones.
- Consult with a professional: If the burying behavior is causing significant issues or if it’s associated with aggression, don’t hesitate to reach out to a dog behaviorist. They can provide you with personalized strategies and techniques based on your dog’s specific needs.
Remember, your dog’s instinct to bury their bones is entirely natural, but that doesn’t mean you can’t set some household rules. With patience and consistency, you can manage your dog’s bone-burying behavior effectively.
Understanding the instinctive behaviors of our pets is key to ensuring their well-being and safety. The practice of dogs burying bones is a fascinating aspect of their behavior, harking back to their ancestors’ survival instincts. While this behavior is normal and in many cases harmless, it’s crucial to monitor and manage it to prevent potential problems. Remember, every dog is unique, and what works for one might not work for another. So, always keep a watchful eye on your furry friend and create a safe, loving environment where they can indulge their instincts without causing harm or discomfort.