Why Do Dogs Like to Bury Bones?
There's a pretty simple reason behind this weird dog habit.
Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.
You may find it peculiar when you think you’re giving your dog a treat by handing over a bone and they immediately find a place to bury it, whether that be in your backyard or under the covers. All animals have natural dispositions that relate to the nature of their ancestors, and dogs are no exception. From chewing to burying, it all comes down to instinct, whether you have a dog with blue eyes, one of the biggest dog breeds, or a calm dog breed. Make sure you also check out the reasons behind your dog’s other weird behaviors.
Why do dogs even chew on bones?
First, let’s start with the basics. Dogs like to chew on bones for a whole number of reasons. “They love chewing on them because it provides mental stimulation, cleans plaque from their teeth (while massaging their gums), and it’s a nice jaw muscle exercise,” said John Pinedo, founder of Freedom Bound Business. They have a biological reflex to chew so if they don’t have a bone to gnaw on, they will surely find something else to satisfy that urge. Just like the human brain releases endorphins when they exercise, dogs’ brains release endorphins when they chew on bones. This can help reduce stress and keep away depression. Here are the telltale signs that your dog may be depressed.
Why do dogs bury their bones?
The ancestors of our dogs had to hunt for their food, and it’s likely they didn’t have food to eat every day. To keep food hidden from scavengers, they would bury it to save for later and make it less likely for another animal to come along to steal their dinner. “Dogs are natural pack animals and would historically hide their bones from would-be thieves to eat later,” explained Mollie Newton, founder of PetMeTwice. “When a dog buries their bone, they’re simply acting according to their natural instinct.”
It’s also interesting to note that aged bones taste better to your pup after they’ve been dug up because they got the chance to soak up the nutrients and probiotics in the dirt. This is something that dogs know that they need to survive, making the bone ultimately more satisfying. Check if your dog’s bone is made of rawhide and learn what that means for your pup’s health.
What are the best bones to buy for your dog?
There isn’t really one particular bone that dogs love, but typically when it comes to toys your pup chews on, the more natural the better, except when it comes to cooked meat. Newton explained that there is very little nutritional value in the cooked meat bones, and they can splinter, causing your dog to feel discomfort. Make sure you know the warning signs that your dog is in pain.
As humans develop their own personal favorite foods, dogs develop their own personal taste for bones. “Dogs are all individuals and have taste preferences that originate during prenatal and neonatal stages of development,” said Consultant, Veterinary Technologist, and Canine Behavior Specialist Nicholas DeRoma.“Therefore, preferences, such as the type of bones that dogs like best, varies from dog to dog.” Just be mindful of the size of the bone so your pup doesn’t choke on small pieces. Next, see which pet products veterinarians would never buy (and neither should you).