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Why do dogs bury their bones?

Have you ever wondered why dogs bury bones? Do you know the reason behind the burying? Your dog is practicing the natural canine instinct of food hoarding.  Priority pets is a pet care provider that believes in providing educational content to our subscribers.  In order for our to have a better understanding of canine behaviour.  Historically, in the world of early canines, food was quite often scarce. If a dog was fortunate enough to find something to eat, he had to compete with other dogs in his pack and/or other animals to keep his meal. Dogs would bury bones and carcasses of their hunt near their den therefore, if food became scarce again, the dogs would just dig up their old kill and enjoy a meal.

The act of burying food was necessary for survival. Imagine the time and energy it took to catch and kill something alongside being surrounded by other predators just waiting for a bite once they smelled the fresh kill. By burying the remnants of their hunt, dogs were using the earth to act as a natural refrigerator. Dirt prevented other animals from smelling/finding the kill, the coolness of the earth and limited exposure to the sun-maintained freshness.

Another question that arises is why do dogs continue to bury items now they are domesticated house pets? Although your dog does not have to hunt to find their food source as you their owner provides for them daily, that does not remove the natural instinct to ensure future need by burying items away for a later time. Another reason may be that you are overly generous to your dog with food, toys & treats. If you are overly generous your dog will interpret your gift as a gift for later and save it for another time by burying it.

Other driving factors for why dogs bury bones and/or other items is that your dog is bored, lonely or in need of attention. The dog believes that by burying something of value to the owner it may instigate the owner into play. A way to avoid boredom in your dog is to rotate their toys and provide variety.

Dogs are not the only creatures that practice food hoarding. For example, leopards drag their kill high up in the trees so they can eat without fear of intruders. Beavers collect piles of vegetation around their dams in preparation of a cold winter. Squirrels store their nuts in tree hollows or, like dogs, bury them in the ground.

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