Why Do Dogs Hide Food, Treats, and Toys

Why Do Dogs Hide Food, Treats, and Toys?

Have you ever noticed your dog hiding an item you gave them? It doesn’t matter if it’s food, a treat, or a toy. This is an instinct for our four-legged friends! Dogs often bury their most prized possessions to keep them safe for later. However, there are additional reasons for this behavior, which will be outlined throughout the article.

We mentioned earlier that hiding valuable items is an instinct of dogs. It is a throwback to the survival skills of dogs and their canine ancestors. Foxes, wolves, and coyotes never knew when their next meal would be, so they would bury their food in cool dirt to protect it from the sun and scavengers. This behavior is known as “caching.” Some dogs may hide food, treats, and toys due to past negative experiences. For example, dogs from backyard breeding and hoarding situations may have had to compete with other dogs for limited resources.

Dogs can be possessive of items which causes them to hide them. Some dogs are more possessive than others, especially in a multi-pet household. Over-feeding may also indicate that you are overly generous with food and treats. When a dog hides food or treats, it may be trying to tell you that they are full and can save the food for a later time. Consult your veterinarian if you need help determining how much food to feed your dog. You would never guess it, but dogs who hide items may seek more attention. Dogs are intelligent and learn quickly that negative attention is better than no attention! Dogs will act out when they feel neglected.

Hiding items is an instinct for our four-legged friends. Dogs may hide items due to survival instincts, negative experiences, over-feeding, possessiveness, or attention-seeking. More than likely, hiding items is not a major issue. However, it may become a nuisance down the road. Do your part as a pet parent to determine why your dog is hiding food, treats, and toys. You can address these behaviors with patience and consistency.