Have you ever wondered why your dog suddenly decides to hide a treat or some of their food in the most unusual places? Don’t worry, your pup hasn’t turned into a four-legged, furry pirate with a penchant for burying treasure. This behaviour is actually quite common in dogs and has some interesting origins. Read on to learn more about why your dog hides their food and treats and what you can do to help them feel more secure.
It’s all about survival instincts
Believe it or not, hiding food is an innate behaviour in dogs that dates back to their wild ancestors. In the wild, food wasn’t always easy to come by, so dogs would bury their excess food to save it for later. This way, they would always have a backup meal when resources were scarce. Your dog may have never lived in the wild, but those instincts still remain in their genes.
Establishing a safe space
Another reason your dog might hide their food and treats is that they feel anxious or insecure about their eating area. Dogs need a safe and comfortable space where they can eat in peace. If they feel threatened, they may resort to hiding their food to protect it from potential thieves (even if there aren’t any around!). Make sure your dog’s eating area is away from high-traffic zones and loud noises. You might also want to create designated spaces for your pets if you have more than one!
A sign of affection
Sometimes, your dog may hide treats as a sign of affection. They might be “saving” these treats for you, their favorite human, to enjoy later. While you probably don’t want to snack on a hidden dog treat, you can still appreciate the sentiment behind this adorable gesture. It’s cute if nothing else!
Hiding from other animals
If you have other pets in your house, your dog might be attempting to keep their food from being eaten by them. It’s a common behaviour for dogs to horde food in this way as it is something of a “survival strategy“.
Dogs, like humans, can sometimes have eyes bigger than their bellies. If your dog has been given a large treat or a big meal, they might hide some of it to prevent overeating. This is a clever way of portion control to avoid an upset tummy.
It is also possible that you are overfeeding your dog. This might especially be true if your dog is hiding treats around your house. If that’s the case, it might be time to cut down on the goodies!
What you can do to help
If your dog’s food hiding behaviour is becoming a problem, there are a few things you can do to help:
- Provide a secure and quiet eating space for your pup.
- Monitor treat intake and ensure they are given in moderation.
- Offer smaller portions of food more frequently, rather than one large meal.
- Observe your dog’s behaviour and consult your veterinarian if you notice any concerning changes.
So, there you have it! Your dog’s habit of hiding food and treats is likely due to their survival instincts, the need for a safe space, a display of affection, overfeeding or a method of portion control. By providing a secure eating area and monitoring your pup’s food intake, you can help your dog feel more comfortable and curb their need to stash away their goodies.