Why Do Dogs Bury Bones?

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Why do dogs bury bones? If a dog were out in the wild, it would need to hide its food or bones for long term survival. Dogs would roam in packs, and this could be a long and tiring process, once they finally find something to eat, they would bury it to protect it from other animals. They would later return to where it is hidden and dig it up. So, all in all, a dog would bury their bones for long term survival. 
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Why Does My Dog Hide His Bones?

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Runs In The Family
The main reason for your dog burying its bone is due to the fact it’s practicing the canine instinct of hoarding food. Moreover, domestic dogs' ancestors would have lived on a “feast and famine” diet, which in short means they eat and save. Because a meal would be hard to come by, they would keep the bones and any leftover meat by burying them. They would return a few days later to eat again. The dirt protects the meat from the sun and ensures it stays moist and edible.

It’s A Game - Play With Me….
The words above more than likely sum up what your dog is wanting. To play! It’s a dogs' way of playing hide and seek, in the hope that its owner will hunt around the try to find the hidden item. You may find that your dog will not only hide their bones but their toys as well.

Why Does My Dog Dig? How Can I Control This?

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Element Of Surprise
Sometimes as an owner, you need to be cruel to be kind. The best training technique we used to control our goldens’ digging was to spay him with a water hose as he was digging. This element of surprise shocked him and made him stop digging and run. We only had to do this once, when he was digging in the future, we would head towards the hose, pick the handle up, and he would instantly remember what happened the first time and stop digging. By all means, it doesn’t completely stop them from digging as this type of behavior is in their nature, but it has certainly reduced the number of times he digs.

Provide Enrichment Activities
Just like chasing their tails to burn extra energy, dogs may also bury their bones or toys. The digging and burying of the items will burn any excess energy your dog has. To help stop this, it is a good idea to provide your dog with the exercise it needs as well as extra enrichment activities. Struggling with enrichment activities? Click here for some cheap and easy activities for your dogs.

Hide and Rotate
When our retriever (Neville) was a pup, we would consistently buy new toys from him every time we went to a shop or supermarket that sold toys. Before we knew it, his toy box was overflowing, and he wouldn’t be as interested in his older toys, thus resulting in him digging up the garden. I asked a friend (doggy expert) for some advice, and she suggested hiding some toys and re-introduced them from time to time as a treat. This worked incredibly well and contributed to decreasing his garden digging.

Is It Safe For Dogs To Eat Buried Bones?

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Yes, with precaution - As this blog post states, it is a natural tendency for dogs to bury their toys and bones in the garden. Even though your dogs' wild ancestors ate carcasses and bones, domestic dogs may suffer intestinal problems if they eat the bones, as well as the possible risk of choking on any loose, sharp pieces.

FAQs

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Can Dogs Get Worms From Raw Bones?
Not the bone as such, but the meat on the bone can have a variety of parasites present. These include; Toxoplasma gondii, Sarcocystis, Neospora caninum, Toxocara Canis (roundworms), Taenia, and Echinococcus (tapeworms). To ensure your dog doesn’t suffer from these parasites, you should ask for guidance from your veterinarian regarding worm tablets.

How Often Should You Give Dogs Bones?
The general guideline for dogs is 1-2 raw bones per week with a few days gap between each serving. However, this may vary for different dogs, so it is best to talk to your veterinarian for advice. It’s always a good idea to speak to your vet about your dogs' nutrition, asking them about the consumption levels of raw meat as well as other foods and treats.

Why Does My Dog Cry When Hiding a Bone?
This is an instinctual behavior and shouldn’t be a cause for concern.
What Breeds Of Dogs Bury Bones? What Dog Breeds Dig The Most?
Airedales, Golden Retrievers, Manchester Terriers, and Miniature Schnauzers

Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?
It could be for a number of reasons, including a nutrient deficiency, sickness or the just because it tastes great! Check out our article "Why Do Dogs Eat Grass" to find out more information!
 

Do Dogs Outgrow Digging?
Not always. Some dog breeds will stop digging as they get older but this is rarely the case. As it's in their nature, most dogs will continue digging from an early age all the way through to when they're a full grown adult. 

 

 

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Disclaimer: Each dog is different, and every circumstance is different. All efforts have been made to provide accurate information. However, it is not provided by a qualified Veterinarian, Veterinarian Surgeon, or Behaviorist. The information provided is purely educational. The information should not be used as an alternative or substitute for medical care. If you have any health or medical concerns, contact a qualified Veterinary Surgeon or Veterinarian immediately.

 

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