Why Do Dogs Cover Their Food

Why Do Dogs Cover Their Food?

Dogs are man’s best friend, and one of the most intriguing things about them is their behavior. One such behavior that has puzzled owners for ages is why dogs cover their food. This act is common in many dogs, but it can be perplexing to some owners who may wonder if it’s a sign of something wrong with their pet.

In this article, we will explore the various reasons why dogs cover their food. We will look at the different theories and scientific explanations behind this behavior. From natural instincts to domestication, we will delve into the mind of your furry companion to understand why they do what they do.

Natural Instincts

Dogs are descendants of wolves, and as such, they have inherited many of their ancestors’ behaviors and instincts. One such instinct is the need to protect their food from other animals and predators. In the wild, wolves would bury their food to keep it safe from other animals and scavengers.

This behavior has been passed down to domesticated dogs, which explains why some of them will try to cover their food by digging around it or pushing objects like bowls or toys over it. This instinctual behavior could also be linked to a dog’s territorial nature.

Protection from Spoilage

Another possible reason why dogs cover their food is that they are trying to protect it from spoilage. Just like humans, dogs prefer fresh food over stale or rotten ones. By covering their food, they could be trying to protect it from flies or other insects that could contaminate it.

See also  why is my dog hiding from me

In addition to this, dogs have an excellent sense of smell and can detect even the slightest changes in the odor of their food. By covering it, they could be trying to preserve its freshness and prevent any unwanted smells from getting in.

Hiding Food for Later

Dogs are known for hiding things they consider valuable, such as bones or toys. It’s not uncommon for a dog to bury these things in the backyard or under the couch. The same applies to their food.

Dogs may cover their food as a way of hiding it for later. This behavior is usually seen in dogs that are not fed on a regular schedule or those that have been conditioned to expect limited access to food.

Anxiety and Stress

Just like humans, dogs can experience anxiety and stress. In some cases, covering their food could be a sign of anxiety or stress. If your dog is feeling anxious or stressed, they may exhibit unusual behaviors such as pacing, whining, or even aggression.

Covering their food could be a way of coping with their anxiety or stress levels. By covering their food, they could be trying to create a sense of security and comfort for themselves.


In conclusion, the act of covering food is an instinctual behavior in dogs that has persisted even after domestication. Whether it’s protecting their food from other animals or preserving its freshness, dogs cover their food for various reasons.

As pet owners, it’s essential to understand and appreciate our furry friends’ behavior and instincts. By doing so, we can provide them with the care and attention they need to thrive and lead happy lives.

See also  what does f1 mean in dogs

So next time you see your dog covering their food, remember that there’s more to it than meets the eye. And who knows? Maybe they’re just trying to save you a snack for later!