Why Do Dogs Like to Bury Bones and Other Objects?

german shepherd mix burying a bone in the yard

What happens after you give a dog a bone? They may chew on it, ignore it, or they may go bury it. Dogs enjoy hiding things in safe places. Often, they are predisposed to bury the things that don’t belong to them. So, why do dogs like to bury bones and other objects? Here are some reasons why dogs like to bury bones and other objects:

1. Their Breed Could Make a Difference

Breeds like Dachshunds, Terriers, Beagles, Schnauzers, and Basset Hounds are more likely to dig and burrow than others. These dogs have an instinct to dig, so they may even bury objects that don’t make any sense and save those resources, as this is a natural behavior to them.

2. Your Dog Could be Anxious

A dog may also bury items when they are nervous or anxious since digging is a calming activity. If a dog does not feel secure at the moment, or in the area they eat in, they may stash their food to devour it at a later time. This can also one of the reasons why dogs carry food away from their bowl to eat it.

You may see these traits more often in homes with several dogs or rescue dogs that were in a situation where they had scarce resources. This attitude may improve once your dog feels safe and is fed on a steady schedule.

Otherwise, it is recommended to consult your veterinary and behavior specialists if it becomes a persistent issue. There are a lot of things you can do to help your dog’s anxiety, but visiting your vet should be the first step.

3. They Could Just Be Bored

When their owners do not provide stimulus and outlets for their energy each day, dogs will find ways to distract and occupy themselves. Burying bones or other objects is something fun for your dog to do, so it could be one of the signs that your dog is bored.

And, this could be annoying since your dog could decide to bury something like your kid’s toys or a tool that you like to use. When you go to relax, you may discover that your TV remote is missing. If your dog likes to bury things when they are bored, it may be buried somewhere in your backyard.

The fix? Do more stuff with your dog. Take them on walks, car rides, play with them more, etc. This helps get them enough exercise and mental stimulation so that they are less likely to be bored and try to find their own entertainment.

4. It’s Instinctual for Dogs to Bury Bones

Another one of the reasons why dogs like to bury bones is that it is instinctual. This is also one of the reasons why dogs dig. These burying instincts may have evolved from the wild forefathers of domesticated dogs, which include wild dogs, foxes, coyotes, and wolves.

They did not always have access to food, so to make the most of what they had, these feral hounds would frequently bury the food in the ground close to their burrows. As the meal is kept away from direct sunlight in the earth, and the temperature of the soil decreases with depth, the food remains fresher longer.

Not only does this allow them to retrieve it later when food is scarce, but it also helps keep the smell hidden from other predators or competitors. This leads to the inherent need for dogs to bury valuables as well. This is attributable to their innate instinct to keep precious objects guarded and secure.

Burying things is a common dog behavior and there are many reasons for your dog’s desire to bury their bones and other objects. It can range from instinct and breed to their mental health, boredom, and more. Being able to answer the question, “why do dogs like to bury bones and other objects?” for your dog can help you make sure this is a normal behavior and keep it from becoming an undesirable one.