The habit of burying and hiding food is typical to all dogs, small and big. Have you ever seen them proudly strutting around with food in their mouth, just to start digging a hole in which to hide their prize? Of course you have! But do you know why they behave like this?
All animals have odd behaviours that we humans sometimes have trouble understanding. One of many such habits is dogs’ obsession with hiding everything that is most important to them, especially if it’s snacks, bones and other tasty morsels. Actually, this is a behaviour that is driven by instinct.
Let’s consider wolf behaviour. These animals are known to hunt, and stockpile left overs by burying them under ground in anticipation of leaner times; in dogs, who are direct descendants of wolves, this behaviour has remained imprinted.
If your four-legged friend carries food around the house, obviously it would be useless, not to mention wrong, to yell at him. He has no concept of the future and does not understand that his owner will continue to feed him. So, he is driven to hide extra food, creating a sort of a warehouse of stockpiled food.
If Fido is living in an apartment with no access to a yard or small garden, after trying unsuccessfully to dig up the floor, he will try to hide the food under the carpet, behind furniture or inside flower pots… so, take note of all the places to check!
To assure your darling does not start hiding food, you could try reducing his daily food ration. This way, there will be no left overs and hence, no temptation to hide what remains in the bowl. You can use a bowl with an incorporated digital scale, such as Ferplast’s Optima model. This way you will be able to precisely measure the amount of dry food while you pour it into the bowl. This will help prevent waste and above all, ensure you get the dosage right.
If, on the other hand, your pooch hides your slippers or clothes, don’t worry, this behaviour is also instinct-driven: the fabric is reminiscent of their prey!