Why Do Dogs Bury Bones?

February 28th, 2017

Why do dogs bury bones? Why do dogs bury shoes and toys and all sorts of ridiculous things?

Basically it comes down to your dog’s desire to keep his things in a safe place and protected from intruders. So why is this so important?

Burying things used to be necessary for a dog’s survival.

Dogs of yore

Thousands of years ago, wolves and wild dogs roamed together in packs to hunt and kill everything they ate. Hunts would require lots of energy, effort, time, and patience. And a kill would usually yield more meat than the pack could eat in a sitting. If the leftover meat wasn’t buried, other animals would smell it and come running … and try to steal it!

Burying meat underground also acted like refrigeration. Covering it with dirt helped maintain its freshness by keeping away sunlight and flies, and “seasoned” the meat with the flavors of minerals from the soil.

So survival is one reason dogs bury bones. There are 3 other reasons, too.

Your dog is full

If you give your dog too much to eat and he can’t finish it all, he may feel compelled to bury the rest with a “yaaaay, I’ll have snacks for later” attitude.


Sometimes dogs will bury things to get your attention if they’re bored. Usually this won’t be food, though. More like shoes, watches, jewelry, favorite sweaters, etc. Burying something you love is a way for your dog to get you to play with them or give them attention.


Even if your dog isn’t bored or full, they may still bury things because that instinct has been passed down for generations and is ingrained so deeply. It just may never go away. Just keep your favorite things out of reach so your dog doesn’t bury your stuff in the yard.

Is your dog a digger and bury things? Let us know the strangest thing your dog has ever taken and hid from you!