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Why does my dog dig? Vet Vs The Net

Perhaps digging is one of dogs’ most famous attributes, but why do they do it? Dave the vet discusses dogs’ reasons for digging…

Why do dogs dig?

It is completely normal for a dog to dig. The usually do it because they are playing, because they are trying to dig up a bone they have buried or because they are looking for food. 

Why do dogs bury their food or bones?

This is known as food hoarding and is a basic canine behaviour. Dogs do it to mask the smell of their dinner from other hungry animals who might steal it away from them. Keeping food buried deep beneath the ground into the soil can also help to keep it cool, which makes it stay fresh for longer. 

What if I don’t want my dog digging up the garden?

Whilst some dog breeds – typically terriers and former hunting dogs – are more likely to dig than others, dogs often dig because they are bored or because they have loads of energy that they aren’t using up.

If you don’t want your dog to ruin the lawn, try distracting them by playing some fun games with them. During the colder months, or if you’re looking to entertain your dog while you’re at home, puzzle feeders can be great at keeping their mind occupied. 

Which games should I play with my dog?

There are plenty of fun games to play with your dog, including:

  • Fetch
  • Tug
  •  Hide and seek
  • Finding food

Want to find out more?

If you want to find out more about dogs and their curious nature, have a chat with your vet.

Find your nearest vet using our Find a Vet page, or speak to a vet online using Online Vets.