Why Dog Buries Toys

by Ella Miller
Your dog may bury one of her toys to keep it safe for now.

Your dog may bury one of her toys to keep it safe for now.

Janie Airey/Lifesize/Getty Images

Your sweet and quirky companion may leave you perplexed when, after being presented with a carefully selected toy, he trots off and buries it in your backyard. This behavior is rooted in your dog's ancestry, from a time when burying food was a necessity for survival. Digging and burying behaviors are also part of a natural hoarding instinct.

Hiding, Preserving and Hoarding

Your dog's ancestors had to bury the food they acquired in a hunt to hide it from other dogs. Sometimes a hunt would be so successful that a dog would have too much food to chow down on in one sitting, so burying the food for a later time was a way to preserve it. If the dog became hungry again, she could simply go back to her "pantry." Burying the food also kept it out of the sun, which helped to keep it fresher longer. Though your dog doesn't have to hunt for her own food and her toys are presented to her just for being her cute self, these hoarding habits may still be alive and well in her.

Photo Credits

  • Janie Airey/Lifesize/Getty Images

About the Author

Ella Miller has been writing for health, beauty and animal health/welfare publications for more than six years. She has firsthand experience volunteering with animal rescue nonprofit organizations. Miller studies journalism with a minor in animal science at Middle Tennessee State University. She is also a licensed cosmetologist.

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