Dog behavior and instincts
When a dog comes into your life, it's important that you understand its nature.
Even though dogs have been domesticated for millions of years, there are behaviors that are innate to them that they have not let go of.
It is these instinctive behaviors that make a dog what it is - a unique little animal that we love. Therefore, you should not try to change them.
These attitudes include wagging your tail, digging after urinating, rolling over before bed, licking, etc.
But we could also say that if my dog hides his food, it is because of an instinctive behavior inherited from his ancestors, the wolves.
For various reasons, such as survival or to prevent other animals from stealing it, wolves have the habit of hiding their leftover food in the ground.
This is an attitude that our dogs, however little they remind us of wolves today, still retain in their genes.
Reasons why my dog hides his food
Just because it is basically inherited behavior does not mean that we should not pay attention to it.
Let's see, in more detail, why your dog hides his food.
1. To protect it from other animals
Do you live with any other animals besides your dog?
It could be that one of them has stuck his nose in his bowl and stolen some food from him.
Or maybe he didn't, but those genes we were talking about may have intervened and reminded him that it is better to protect his food.
In addition to hiding food, when a dog is afraid that another animal will steal it, it can also eat it very quickly and be harmful to it.
2. Tasty treats
If you occasionally give your dog a treat, one of those that makes him lie down, it is possible that on some occasions he will keep it whole or in part.
It may be to enjoy it later comfortably or, if it is only a part, to make it last longer.
3. You don't give him the right amount
When my dog hides food, the first thing I have to ask myself is if I'm giving him the amount he really needs.
If I'm not, two things can happen:
When I give him less, the dog can hide it to dose during the day.
If I give him too much, he will hide the leftovers to eat them later, protecting them from other animals or from ourselves (if we are to take away the plate).
4. For survival
If your dog is one of those who spends a lot of time alone in the house, he may hide his food out of survival instinct.
This is especially true of adopted dogs that were previously abandoned and lived on the street.
5. For fun
Yes, it may be that if my dog hides the food it's because he just thinks it's funny.
Playing hide and seek is very common with dogs, especially if they consider the stuff they're hiding to be valuable!
So don't be surprised if you see your furry dog trying to hide his favorite toy or food.
What do I do if my dog hides the food?
As you can see, there is no serious reason for a dog to hide its food, other than not giving it the right amount of food.
Therefore, this is what you should do:
- If you are not sure of the right amount of food for your dog, consult a professional.
- Do you have more than one pet in the house? Try to separate them at mealtimes to ensure that each eats their own portion and doesn't steal the other's.
- Observe your pet's feeding schedule. It's normal that if you're always late, your dog will start hiding food to make sure it's there.
- Try to stay close when it's time to eat. That is, don't put his plate down and walk away. The dog may think that you are not going to come back and hide his food.
- Whatever the reason for your dog hiding his food, if you know it is a common attitude in your dog, check his hiding places often. It can happen that the furry one forgets that food and it gets bad. If your dog consumes it after a while, it could get sick.
- In addition to the bad condition, if your pet hides food in the ground, it could get mixed up with parasites, garden chemicals, etc. and end up with food poisoning.
- Similarly, if your dog tries to hide food in the house, you can watch him use his snout on the floor, carpets, blankets, etc. as if he were trying to dig up dirt. This continuous movement can cause injuries, such as burns on the truffle from rubbing against these surfaces. If this happens, try to distract your dog, before he hurts himself.