Does your dog love to dig? Does your dog bury things all the time? It can be a major cause of frustration, particularly if you are big on gardening. Nobody wants random patches of earth littering their lawn. Maybe your dog has always buried toys and treats, or maybe it’s a new habit they’ve picked up. Whatever the case may be, you can rest assured that this is a fairly natural behaviour for a dog. In most cases, it’s not something to be concerned about, although it can be a sign of other issues.
It’s easy to forget that dogs haven’t always been domesticated. Their wild ancestors, whether they were dogs or wolves, could have passed down this natural act of survival. In the wild, food would have been scarce. Burying it would have helped prevent theft, or provided storage for access a later date. Some dog breeds are more inclined to dig than others. Dogs that were bred to hunt, like beagles or bloodhounds, tend to have a stronger incline to dig than others.
If you’ve noticed your dog is digging on a day when the weather is particularly hot, they might be trying to cool themselves down. Although the surface of the ground may be scorching, just underneath that top level will be much cooler. Try offering your dog some shade or a doggy padding pool to cool them off instead.
Your dog may have turned to digging if they are not receiving enough entertainment or stimulation elsewhere. Take your dog out for a longer walk to help them burn off some extra energy, or try taking short but frequent breaks throughout the day to play with them. You could also purchase some enrichment toys to try and keep them entertained.
Digging could be a sign of a wider behavioural issue linked to stress. Some dogs use digging as a way to calm themselves down. If it’s exclusively food that they’re burying, try and observe them at meal times to see if there’s anything about their eating environment that might be causing them to worry. For example, if you’ve got more than one dog, maybe they feel the need to hide their food. If your dog is a rescue, this may be a learned behaviour from a previous experience.
Fri Dec 30 2022