What does it mean when a dog tries to cover its food

What does it mean when a dog tries to cover its food

Most dogs have a natural tendency to hide their most treasured belongings. This is because they are influenced by their wild ancestors – who would cover and bury their food to protect it from being found by other animals. You can teach them not to do this behaviour again if you make them feel safe and comfortable at home instead of seeing themselves as someone inferior or unworthy.

The Root of the Behavior

An animal who resides in a home with a garden has plenty of room to bury bones and toys. Their domestic life allows for some of the rituals practiced by their wilder ancestors- digging holes and covering them up with their nose being one example. In this process, they are making sure that no other animals will come near their buried treasures. When dogs ‘bury’ something- whether it be bones or food– they often bump at it repeatedly afterwards, much like how their ancestors would check if prey were dead before removing them from danger. The canine family had always been hunters- so checking for life after burying an item felt natural as well (because all hunting species do this).


Dogs who live in homes with gardens have plenty of room for burying bones or toys they’ve grown attached to – living out the ritualistic behaviors of their wild ancestors. When they bury something they’re usually very careful about it, digging a hole and burying their ‘treasure’ deep enough where no one else could find it without great difficulty. Sometimes when they finish burying something they’ll give a few quick nudges before sniffing around for signs that anyone has been there. There are likely to be times when your pup will come up to you looking for reassurance after leaving something buried outside – because this process is important for them whether it’s hunting prey back in their ancestral home or just hiding treats from someone who might try to steal them!


Dogs experiencing nausea-causing conditions may make an effort to air bury their food. They’ll push the dish away or pretend to cover it up with dirt. If your dog all of sudden avoids eating and has additional symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, or mood swings – then a trip to the vet might be necessary. But don’t worry about air burials too much; picky eaters and animals adjusting to a new diet are also prone to this type of behavior.


Feeding your dog extras from time to time can be a sign that you’re very generous – even when the food supply isn’t running low. A healthy pup will take what it needs and leave anything extra for later. Feeding your pet on a regular schedule should prevent them from feeling hungry enough to hoard leftovers; commercial foods tend to overestimate how much dogs need, while raw or homecooked meals give them everything they actually need. Talk with your vet if you’re unsure about what quantity of food would suit them best.


Dogs vary in their level of possessiveness. Multi-pet households sometimes see dogs adopting this behavior, concealing their prized possessions inside your sofa or tucked away in the back yard dirt. As we’ve discussed before though, these behaviors could be symptomatic of an anxiety disorder. If you think that your dog might be displaying one of these tendencies then it might be time for a visit with your veterinarian, as they can help you diagnose any potential illnesses as well as provide treatment options based on what symptoms you’re seeing.


Dogs crave for attention and some might even hide their food from other family members. Intelligent dogs will do what it takes to receive this reward, even if it means being ignored by the owner. Remember, these attention-seeking pets might put themselves in danger if they are not receiving enough love and care.


Dogs may act this way because of their inexperience with different environments. If you have just moved homes, taken them camping or vacationing somewhere unfamiliar, they will show signs of insecurity and fear due to the new area. Scared dogs might try to hide or hoard food in order to save it from being stolen or eaten- leading to an abundance of leftovers for us humans!

Can this behavior be stopped?

Inspect your health for any illness

Be sure that the symptoms are not caused by an underlying medical condition . First, you need to try and eliminate all of the possible diseases and then analyse their signs or symptoms such as lethargy, nausea, diarrhoea and loss of appetite.

Feed them less frequently

If your dog is healthy and does not have any health conditions, you may want to cut down on the food they eat. Try to decrease the amount of kibble fed to your pup from what he or she is used to eating. This will ensure that he or she eats everything offered during each feeding and won’t overeat when full. If all meals are consumed in one sitting, then there will be no excesses saved for later.

Use a heavier bowl

If your dog’s current food dish isn’t working, try getting them one that weighs more. This will make it difficult for your pet to move or push the dish around; they’ll also be unable to hide their food scraps under it.

Take dogs for a walk before mealtime

Take your pup outside before they’ve eaten so they don’t overeat. A tired pup is easier to train and control when it comes time for eating time, plus you’ll have less messes to clean up!

Final Thoughts

Dogs share many instinctual traits with their savage ancestors; however, there is nothing to worry about when it comes to dogs in modern society. Dogs can become uncomfortable if you feed them too much, so it would be best for them and for you if you stopped feeding your dog an excessive amount of food all together! This way, dogs will feel at ease because they won’t have anything else on their minds besides fulfilling the need for pure sustenance.

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