Dogs always surprise us with their behavior. If you have a four-legged friend at your place, you can understand this statement easily. But right now, people are curious to know why dogs hide their treats.
If you also notice your dog doing such things where he starts hiding his food under the blanket or anywhere else in the house, you might be curious to know about it.
Well, when dogs hide their treats, there is nothing wrong with it, and it is a common behavior. They are keeping it safe for later. They don’t want predators to get the leftovers, and it also acts as a source for them to revisit the same location. They were just being curious about the food or treat you gave them.
As a canine friend, this curiosity will not end easily. Hence, we are sharing all the relatable details about it to understand and keep yourself at peace after it. Let’s get started!
Why do dogs hide their food or bury their treats?
When dogs hide their treats, understand that it is a common behavior and there is nothing to worry about. Not only treats, but they also have the habit of hiding their toys too.
In general, one can consider it a situation where they don’t want any other pet to access their things. For example, if you feed your dog their favorite dog food, there is a possibility that they will leave some food and hide it. The reason behind hiding it is that they want to taste it again, but later on, because at this moment, they have a feeling of being full. They also keep it in a place where they can visit easily, and no one can know about it.
Furthermore, the natural instinct is also very prominent in dogs, and they love to compete with other animals around them. If they sense that other animals are in their surroundings and can have their things too, they will probably hide them. They appear in front with the same items when the predator or other animals have left the area, and they feel safe returning them.
Possible reasons behind the dogs’ hiding their treat
There are so many reasons that contribute to dogs’ hiding their treats. In general, it is right to conclude it is their instinct, but one cannot rely on this particular reason alone. Some other common reasons for it are:
This is their nature
Dogs do have a specific nature. If your dog is burying his things, understand that it is their nature, and they don’t want to compromise with it. Dogs always adapt to the survival skills of their wild canid ancestors, and like them, they do not like others who have their things.
Sometimes you notice that the dog is hiding his stuff behind his bed or under the blanket. It is common, and there is nothing to worry about. This behavior is referred to as “caching”. Unless your dog is hiding items that cause any damage to the surroundings, this behavior is acceptable. But if they are hiding things like rotten tomatoes or anything else, it can be difficult to adjust to. You need to pay close attention to your dog to manage the consequences.
Tip: train your dog to deal with such situations. Considering the items they own, it’s a good idea for them to feel safe when others are around.
Your dog might be dealing with anxiety
Anxiety problems are very common in dogs. We are not saying every dog suffers from anxiety problems, but most breeds suffer from it. While feeling anxious, they start doing certain things that make them feel relaxed, and likewise, they start the habit of burying food. They just have a continuous thought that they want to feel safe, and somehow, by engaging in this activity, they relieve their stress.
Tip: if you notice your dog in an anxious state, handle this situation calmly. Handling it with aggression is not a solution, and in return, it makes your dog more anxious.
Overfeeding is not acceptable to any living being, and likewise with dogs. If your dog is full and you are still feeding him, the food will not be accepted by him. Instead, he will bury the food somewhere and pretend to have eaten it all. Be sure to know the diet your four-legged friend consumes in one sitting, and do not over-feed them. Sometimes overfeeding leads to aggressive behavior along with some gastric issues and vomiting.
Tip: Be aware of your dog’s current diet and be certain of the proper feeding schedule. Feeding them at the wrong times causes a variety of issues.
Your dog is feeling nauseous
If your dog is feeling nauseous, he might try to cover his treat with imaginary dirt. This is possible because they may have a feeling of vomiting or some behavioral changes. In this case, it is important to reach out to the veterinary doctor as soon as possible because these issues can create problems later on.
Tip: If you notice your dog in an anxious state, it is advisable to make them calm and let them be at peace for a while. Do not introduce anything to them that can make them feel like puking.
Do not forget that “dogs are possessive”. There’s a good chance you’ve fed them their favorite food or treated them to something they enjoy. In this case, they don’t want any other pets to get their hands on it. So to keep it safe, they just bury the things, and whenever they need them, they revisit the same location and get them.
Tip: This habit is acceptable to an extent. But if along with being possessive, they turn out to be aggressive, it is not acceptable. Be sure to give your dog the best training possible, which lets them handle their possessions too.
Your dog wants your attention
Dogs have the same nature as humans (in terms of feelings). They also do other things that can get your attention. If you are not paying attention to them and not listening to whatever they are trying to convey, the chances are high that they are hiding their food. They are doing it right in front of you so that you pay attention to them and understand what they are up to.
Tip: Spend enough time with your dog to make sure they don’t feel this way. Also, when your dog starts hiding his stuff, try to analyze why they are doing so.
They are saving the stuff for later
One can consider it their nature that dogs like to save things for later. So if you’ve fed them their favorite food, there’s a good chance they’ll want to eat it again, which is why you’re hiding it.
Tip: Learn about your four-legged friend’s likes and dislikes. If you notice them initiating the burying habit with certain food items, introduce it to them on an alternate day or twice a week.)
Your dog is feeling bored
Boredom is natural for dogs. If your dog feels bored, it will start to do unnecessary things that you had not expected. For example, sometimes you see them lying on the floor, and the very next moment, they are active enough to do things entirely opposite to their behavior.
Tip: Examine your dog to see if you can make them feel engaged and active as well.)
Why do dogs run away with treats?
“Sharing is caring,” and this is the statement we have been listening to for a very long time. We cannot, however, apply it to our four-legged friends. If you are feeding your dog their favorite food, they don’t want to share it with any other pet. If you have multiple pets in your home, your dog will get possessive and won’t want to share his food. They go to great lengths to keep it to themselves, and hiding is part of that.
Sometimes they also experience competition in the surroundings, because of which they are not in a state to keep the stuff in the open.
Note: If the hiding behavior of dogs is not accompanied by growling or barking, it is entirely normal. But if they are barking and growling and hiding the food, you need to train them and check with a dog trainer to prevent future problems. Some dog breeds suffer from compulsive disorders, due to which they start behaving so.
Is it possible to stop a dog from hiding food or treats?
If you feel annoyed just because your dog is hiding food items anywhere in the house, you need to stop it. Yes, there is a solution to treat the condition. The possible measures you can adapt to include
Training is important
First of all, do pay attention to training. During the training session, let them know that hiding things is not good and will not bring anything to them. However, unless your dog does not understand the situation clearly, it will not stop hiding things.
Do not encourage them
If you notice your dog is hiding treats or food around, and you are still not saying anything, it acts as a negative encouragement to them. This is not the right way to deal with such a situation. Instead, handle the situation with patience and let them know that they are not supposed to do it. If you encourage them, they will start hiding other stuff too.
Understand their state and treat them
Sometimes it happens that your dog is feeling anxious, and in that case, it is important to understand them and treat them likewise. Your dog can’t say anything but can portray things with his body language. As a dog owner, you need to understand how to read a dog’s body language so that you can take the best measure according to the condition.
Do not overfeed them
Over-feeding the dog will only cause problems. Take a small portion of food and feed them. This not only promotes healthy digestion but also lets them maintain proper behavior. If you over-feed them, they will start hiding treats anywhere in the house. Sometimes you notice that they start pushing the food bowl away too.
Make things easily available
If you notice your dog hiding their toys or treats, there is a possibility that you are not giving them sufficient time with them. In that case, make the things easily available. For example, if you give them their favorite food rarely, they will hide it and save it for later. Instead of doing so, introduce a little bit of the same food regularly to them.
Controlled eating environment
A controlled eating environment is important to create during the training sessions. Be sure to get a baby gate or barrier so that they can sit in a proper environment and eat their food properly without learning the habit of hiding their food or treats.
Things to ignore while teaching your dog to stop hiding things
You need to ignore certain parameters while teaching your dog to stop hiding things. This includes:
- Do not punish your dog. Punishment acts as a negative reinforcement for them, and they tend to repeat this activity repeatedly.
- Let your dog enjoy himself for a while, but don’t take the equipment away without offering it to him.
- Do not encourage this behavior in your dog in any case. It doesn’t matter whether they are hiding any food or any toys, encouragement can have a negative impact on them.
Is it normal for dogs to hide their food?
It entirely depends. In some cases, it is normal, but sometimes it can be troublesome as well. If your dog does it rarely, there is nothing for you to worry about. But if it is frequently happening and they are also destroying things around them in order to hide the food, you need to check them out with the veterinary doctor right away.
It is essential that dogs do not engage in such things because sometimes engaging in such activities makes them so anxious and aggressive that they actually forget about the real things happening around them.
Is it normal for puppies to hide their food?
Puppies are untrained and do things according to their instinct. Sometimes the puppies are afraid, and other times they are just in the mood to have fun. It is a common behavior shown by puppies. Also, understand that if the puppy is feeling anxious or stressed, they will start doing so to seek your attention and let you know that they are going to do something.
Thus, if your puppy is hiding their food, stop them. Stopping them will be part of their training, and they will understand that doing it is not good.
Why does a puppy hiding its belongings cause issues?
Puppy-hiding things can be a problem at times. Sometimes it happens that you are not ready for the upcoming situation. First of all, they create a mess under the couch, behind the door, or sometimes under the blanket, which makes the task of cleaning harder.
Additionally, they create a lot of waste, making you feel annoyed. At younger ages, dogs learn a lot of things. If we make a habit of repeating this episode, they will become accustomed to it, and it will take a long time to correct this behavior in them.
“For dogs, such behaviors are normal. But as an owner, you need to understand that getting used to such things is not good for dogs. Sometimes they hide unwanted items that can be problematic too. Thus, pay attention to your dog whenever they are repeating such behavior. “
Hiding treats around is normal for dogs, and there is nothing to worry about. But when they adapt to the same activity excessively, you need to train them to stop it right away. Training a dog is a time-consuming process, but one can do it seamlessly with the proper guidance.
If you are finding something unusual with your dog and feel that this is not a part of their normal behavior, reach out to the veterinary doctor right away. In some cases, a dog is doing so to seek your attention, but they are going through some problems in reality.
Frequently asked questions about pet dogs hiding food
- Why does my dog push his food around with his nose?
If your dog is pushing his food with his nose, understand that they are either full or do not like the food. If both these possibilities are not there, they probably suffer from some health condition, including stress, anxiety, or other.
- Why is my dog trying to hide her food?
Your dog is trying to hide her food so she can enjoy it later on. For example, if you give your dog her favorite food, she will want to hide it so that she can enjoy it again.
- Why does the dog act like burying food with its nose?
Dogs pretend to bury the food with their noses because they do not like it. If you feed them their favorite food and continue to pretend to bury it, understand that they do not want it or are full.
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I am a pet lover who spent her childhood in the company of a friendly Labrador Retriever. I believe that pets make our lives more enjoyable and stress-free. Currently, I have two budgies Kiwi & Koko as pets, and planning to adopt a pup soon. So, here I am, attempting to share my experiences and knowledge to improve the lives of pets and pet owners.