Why Do Dogs Bury Bones and Other Goodies?

By Ehtesham

Published on:

Dogs have a fascinating repertoire of behaviors, and one of the most intriguing is their tendency to bury bones, treats, and sometimes even toys. If you’ve ever wondered why your furry friend engages in this peculiar habit, you’re not alone.

In this article, we’ll delve into the reasons behind this behavior and explore the fascinating world of canine instincts.

Survival Instinct

To truly understand why dogs bury their treasures, we need to go back to their wild ancestors. Wolves, the ancestors of modern dogs, would bury surplus food to hide it from scavengers and ensure a future meal. This behavior served as an essential survival strategy when food was not readily available.


One primary reason dogs bury bones and treats today is linked to this ancestral instinct for security. Your dog may view these items as valuable resources, and burying them is a way of safeguarding them for later use. It’s like having a hidden safe filled with their favorite goodies.


Dogs are also instinctively aware of potential competitors, even if they live in a comfortable home with a full food bowl. Burying their treasures can be seen as a way to hide these valuable items from other dogs or even humans. It’s a bit like putting a “Do Not Touch” sign on their belongings.


Dogs have an incredible sense of smell, and burying items can also be a form of scent marking. They remember where they’ve hidden their goodies, even if we can’t detect the scent. This behavior is like a treasure hunt for them, and they enjoy the challenge of finding their buried treasures.


Beyond the practical reasons, digging and burying can be inherently enjoyable for dogs. It’s a natural behavior that stems from their wild ancestors, who dug to create comfortable sleeping spots or to find buried food. So, your dog might simply find burying things to be fun!


Why do dogs bury bones and other goodies? It’s a complex behavior rooted in their ancestral survival instincts, security needs, and the joy of digging. While it may seem puzzling to us, it’s a natural and fascinating aspect of their behavior.

So, the next time you catch your dog burying a treat in the backyard, remember that it’s not just a random act but a reflection of their rich canine heritage.


Is it normal for my dog to bury things indoors?

Yes, some dogs may exhibit this behavior indoors, often scratching at carpets or furniture. It’s a natural urge, and providing appropriate outlets like toys and digging boxes can help.

Should I stop my dog from burying things?

Burying behavior is generally harmless, but if it becomes excessive or disruptive, consider providing more mental and physical stimulation to keep your dog engaged.

Can I train my dog to stop burying things?

While you can discourage this behavior, it’s important to remember that it’s natural for dogs. Instead of trying to eliminate it completely, redirect their digging and burying instincts to a designated area.

Is it safe for my dog to bury edible treats or bones?

It’s generally safe, but monitor your dog to ensure they don’t bury items that could spoil or attract pests. Avoid burying items that may pose a choking hazard.

Do all dogs bury things?

No, not all dogs exhibit this behavior. It varies from dog to dog, depending on their individual instincts and experiences.