Why Does The Dog Bury His Nose In Food?

Dog owners often complain about the problem – their pets dig a hole, put bones, pieces of meat, then bury them. Why do they do it, and whether it is necessary to punish the four-legged friends in this case – we consider in the article.

Why Does The Dog Bury His Nose In Food?

Why do dogs bury food

There are several reasons why a dog buries food in the ground. This behavior should be absent in domestic and well-feeding animals. But they often make stocks.


Zoological experts believe that when a dog buries food with its nose in the ground, it hides it from competitors. A similar phenomenon is often observed in animals that know what a strong and prolonged feeling of hunger is. It could appear when living with breeders near a large number of fellows, in a house with cats, in a shelter, on the street. Such conditions force animals to hide food for the future, so that they don’t starve for longer.

Desire to keep food as long as possible

Dogs are guided by instincts based on ancestral memory. She suggests that the bones or meat, hidden in the ground, dry longer and rot more slowly. Four-legged pets are so often trying to keep food that they like very much. They reduce its smell and remain calm for the fact that stocks are not going anywhere. The food is hidden and no one will find it.

If the dog digs in food, you need to be patient and gradually wean the animal from its bad habit. To do this, you should develop a feeding mode so that the pet gorges, but does not leave pieces in the bowl. Portions depend on weight, dog breed and are calculated individually.

It is important to determine when the dog starts hiding food. If she digs in the excess, you need to tell your pet that it is unacceptable. It is better to select food and take it away to an inaccessible place. After a while, the dog will understand that there is no need to bury food.

If a pet hides bones, meat from fellow cats, it is advisable to feed them in separate rooms. The process should take no more than five minutes. Then the bowls are removed. This will allow to accustom the pet to what you need to quickly, leaving nothing. He will not have time for manipulation with instillation, and after a while the dog will not remember him.

If a pet has a habit of burying food recently, it is necessary to pay attention to its diet and daily routine. It is necessary to increase physical activity, the duration of walks. Feed the dog after walking, when her appetite wanes.

Why is it a bad habit

Burying food is an ancient dog instinct that allows them to survive in the wild. At home, it can be considered a bad habit. Full pets forget about their stocks. Food spoils and can harm the animal’s gastrointestinal tract if the dog finds it.

Dogs burying food on the street may become infected with infectious diseases or poison. The soil is capable of maintaining the vital activity of dangerous bacteria and viruses for a long time. It gets poisons, chemicals that threaten not only the health, but also the life of the dog.

The habit of burying food is observed in many domestic dogs. We must try to eradicate it to avoid unnecessary problems. Punishing a pet in this case is useless. He will become afraid and more actively hide food. It is important to determine the time of feeding and to ensure that food does not remain, and the dog does not starve.

A healthy dog ​​has the right to arrange a fasting day, skipping one or even two feedings. If the dog does not eat more than a day, it is an excuse, at the very least, to attend to and attend to it. If, moreover, she seems to be lethargic, apathetic, prefers to lie down (sleep or wallow in her place with an absent appearance), or simply behaves differently than usual. It will be better if you consult a doctor. Refusal of food for more than a day can mean serious problems. But even if this is not the case, let it be better for you to be safe than lose time and lose the dog.

So, the dog does not eat the day, the second … Lose weight and sad before his eyes. At some point (or immediately) it begins to tear with white or yellow foam. She can continue walking large or sit down trying to do it. Or she suddenly has diarrhea, but not necessarily strong. It may have a temperature, but it may not be, or, on the contrary, it will be lowered. So what happens? Your dog may have one of the following problems:

1. Enteritis

This is an acute inflammation in the intestines. Most often, viral or infectious nature. Most common in young dogs and puppies. For the latter it is very dangerous, because The body of the baby is not as stable as in adults, and the recognition and treatment of enteritis often takes several days. Most often, the owners themselves bring the situation to the extreme, trying to treat problems symptomatically, that is, with the help of drugs for diarrhea and vomiting, and the notorious triad (analgin – diphenhydramine – no-shpa), if, among other things, the puppy has a fever. A day passes, two, or even more, until the owners finally realize that the dog needs the help of a specialist. But there are situations where even a timely visit to the doctor does not produce results …

“My Dolly is 3 months old. For three days she does not eat, does not drink, sleeps constantly. Yesterday they were at the doctor, he said, he didn’t know what happened to the dog, took a blood test, put on an IV and did many, many injections. Today and yesterday there are no positive results. Please, help! She is very thin. She periodically tears white foam. ”

Thus began the story of a puppy on the Shar Pei Online forum, which, fortunately, was saved. Dolly had enteritis in her non-classical form – for three days she refused to eat, but she almost didn’t vomit at first, and there was no diarrhea. Obviously, for this reason, the first doctor whom mistress Dolly turned to was unable to make a diagnosis. By the way, some doctors believe that if a puppy has an enteritis vaccine (it is included in all complex vaccines), then the puppy simply cannot get sick. This is a misconception, since no vaccination guarantees 100% protection against viruses. And the causes of acute inflammation in the intestines are not limited to the vaccination list. Therefore, enteritis is one of the first diseases that you should think about if your dog is young, refuses to eat, belches, behaves joylessly, prefers to lie down and so on. At the same time, many dogs remain awake on the street, which further confuses the owners. "If she behaves well on the street, then everything is not so bad." you think strongly, you are very much mistaken … In case of refusal to eat, which is accompanied by vomiting and diarrhea, enteritis is the first thing to think about.

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2. Foreign body

What a sin to confess, whose dog never in my life swallowed something completely inedible? But for some such gastronomic perversions pass with impunity, while for others they can be the cause of death.

“Yesterday, our Bonechka left for the Rainbow Bridge. We were treated for 3 months, and the girl dried up and dried up, did not eat anything, she vomited yellow foam. What only the owners did, they consulted with many doctors. All claimed that she had pancreatitis. Poor sobachulya dried from 25 kg to 11. Yesterday the hosts made a not easy decision. And what do you think? At the autopsy, it turned out that she had swallowed a small rubber bouncer, and she was stuck in some channel with her, I don’t remember how they called him to me. That’s because of this doggy and dried up. But now no one is to blame – no boni. ”

If your dog does not eat or eat anything, and after that it vomits up uncooked food, if it experiences discomfort, has constipation, or rare and loose stools, it is imperative to check whether it has swallowed something that unable to digest, whip out or vomit. Normally, a foreign body, if it does not get stuck in one of the sections of the gastrointestinal tract due to its shape or size, comes out with feces, or with vomitus during the week (of course, the sooner the better). The physiology of the dog is designed so that what the animal is unable to digest, the body rejects either through the gag reflex, or "pushes" along with the spent "materials" into the rectum and then out. But there are cases when for some reason this does not occur, or the object is somehow delayed inside. This leads to partial or complete obstruction of the gastrointestinal tract, and as a result causes a lot of related problems: refusal of food, stomach discomfort, constipation or indigestion, urge to vomit or vomit not overcooked food (if the dog is still hungry for eating something then) or by bile. The longer the subject is in the gastrointestinal tract, the more serious the consequences, including death. Therefore, if the veterinarian does not offer you to check the dog for the presence of a foreign body in the gastrointestinal tract, insist that such a test be carried out. It is important to remember that many objects are not visible either on ultrasound or on conventional X-rays (although an experienced surgeon is able to see even small deviations from the norm in the images). The only way to find out if there is a foreign object in the gastrointestinal tract is a radiographic examination using a contrast agent. Contrast agent. barium. It looks completely opaque in the picture and gives a clear image of the digestive tract. According to whether the substance is moving along the gastrointestinal tract and how, it is judged on the presence or absence of internal "obstacles" (in addition to a foreign body, this may be torsion of some of the intestinal sections or invagination). Barium is evaporated to the animal for some time, after which the pictures of the gastrointestinal tract are taken. Discuss the procedure with your doctor. This is exactly the case when your perseverance can save the dog’s life. Cases of obstruction (complete or partial) are not rare.

3. Overturn

So in common is called inversion. reversal, twisting of some part of the gastrointestinal tract along or across the axis. Torsion causes a complete or partial obstruction in the dog, while if there is no classic symptom – abdominal distension. torsion is not often diagnosed.

“Yesterday evening we started having diarrhea with water, and at night from 4 o’clock until the morning it vomited, vomiting was frothy, white. The diarrhea continues, water pours straight, every 20-30 minutes. In my opinion, the last time was even a little blood, something pinkish. Has already given 2 times Smektu. so far without result, plus gave activated charcoal. also. Now we went to the veterinary clinic, took blood from us for clinical analysis and biochemistry, and made an IV. Said to continue to give Smektu up to 5 doses per day and activated carbon 10 tablets at a time. They said to put the drip 2 times a day until diarrhea stops. The dog lies in bed, I can hardly drive it to the toilet, I hardly drink it … ”

The dog about which there was a speech, nearly died from a mesentery torsion. For several days the veterinarians treated her for an upset stomach, suggested a viral or bacterial disease, and only after persistent requests from the owner, did the dog finally undergo a contrast X-ray. The result: barium "stands" in the small intestine and does not go any further. Despite the fact that at that moment the dog was already feeling bad, the doctors and the owner decided to operate it. During the operation, it was found out that there is a torsion of the mesentery and, as a result, acute inflammation of the small intestine, severe dysfunction of the liver and gallbladder. The dog survived the operation, but to restore it, it still needed a blood transfusion, long-term treatment and care.

4. Invagination

Invagination is one of the types of intestinal obstruction, in which one section of the intestine invades the lumen below or above the located part of the intestine. Within the framework of this article, I have no goal to describe this disease in detail, I just want to point out that, according to various veterinary sources, invagination occurs in 8-14% of cases of acute intestinal obstruction. Unfortunately, just like the problems mentioned above (foreign body, torsion), invagination is often overlooked. If your dog has stopped eating, she has a violation of the chair, the urge to vomit, etc. (which I have already written about more than once). invagination may be the cause of these problems.

In addition to refusing food, the disease manifests itself in the following symptoms:
Vomiting, and with small intestinal invaginations in vomit traces of blood are noted. Also, during invagination, there may be a complete cessation of the discharge of gas and feces or, on the contrary, an increase in stool with mucus, and in some cases with blood. In the feces of blood may not be, and after a digital examination of the rectum at the tip of the finger traces of blood can lead to the idea of ​​invagination. On palpation of the abdomen is determined by the mobile formation of an elongated shape. Contrast radiography shows a filling defect with smooth edges, sometimes there is a fixation of a thin jet passing through a narrowed opening at the site of invaginate with incomplete obstruction.

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I will give a vivid example of what happens if such symptoms are attributed to an infectious disease, instead of a thorough diagnosis. The case described by practitioners of the Center for Emergency Veterinary Aid. (Moscow):

“A three-year-old chow-chow dog with a diagnosis of rectal prolapse was brought to the surgical department of the Center for Medical and Epidemiological Diseases. According to the owners, the dog got sick two weeks ago: a weakness, refusal of food, vomiting appeared. Were treated with different therapists who made the diagnosis: gastritis, liver and pancreas diseases, intestines. Daily intravenous fluids and fortifying drugs supported the life of the animal. Four days before admission to our unit, the animal was given daily prozerin injections. An objective examination showed that the animal is in serious condition, the stomach is tense, sharply painful on palpation, the intestines are swollen. Fallen rectum sharply edematous, bluish color. There was little chance of salvation. At the request of the owners of the dog, we decided to undergo surgical treatment and found: the entire intestine is black, fetid odor, muddy effusion in the abdominal cavity, triple invagination. small to small and small to the colon with prolapse of the rectum. Invaginations were so deep that they caused mesenteric thrombosis and total necrosis of the entire intestine. Death stepped on the operating table. Damage to the intestines was incompatible with life. Analyzing this case, we concluded that invagination of the small intestine into the colon occurred two weeks ago and caused partial obstruction, but was not diagnosed by anyone, and overdose of prozerin in recent days led to triple invagination and rectal prolapse with mesenteric thrombosis and total bowel necrosis. "
I think, after such an example, the need for timely examination of dog invagination with similar symptoms is obvious.

5. Organ failure

When your dog feels bad and refuses to eat, blood tests (general and biochemical), as well as urine and feces tests – this is the first minimum that you must do in order to find out if indisposition is not a symptom of organ failure, for example hepatic, renal or pancreatic. Simply put, check the dog for the presence or absence of kidney or liver failure and pancreatitis. Intoxication, which accompanies these diseases, causes the dog to refuse to eat, because Eating causes her physical discomfort, bouts of nausea and pain. Another possible cause is gastritis or peptic ulcer disease. Unfortunately, it is difficult to see them by blood tests, but you can indirectly see them in dog feces (as well as the accompanying symptoms that the experienced veterinarian knows about).

It should be remembered that with invagination and a foreign body (especially in advanced cases), blood tests may indicate the presence of acute multiorgan failure, namely renal, hepatic, heart failure, pancreatitis. If your dog is not checked with contrast radiography, doctors will be tempted to diagnose pancreatitis or acute renal failure, and this is the way to kill the dog, because they will start to heal from the consequences without removing the original source.

6. Other reasons for not eating

One of the reasons for refusal of food or sudden loss of appetite can be a wound, a foreign body in the dog’s mouth, or bad teeth.

“Mashka did not eat or drink for several days. Comes to the bowls of food and water, and stands above them, like a bull, sigh and sad returns to the place. Given her fastidious nature in food, I did not start to panic right away. At first she tried to diversify her diet. But when she refused to always eat with great appetite, I was worried. There was a feeling that she wanted something, but for some reason she could not. They called the breeder, she insisted on a thorough examination of the mouth, gums and palate. When I climbed Mashka in my mouth, I had a shock – deep in the mouth, right in the gums sticking a thick darning needle. I immediately remembered that just a few days ago, my Skoda tore a box with sewing and knitting accessories, but it never occurred to me that she could try to chew something out of it. The needle went along the upper palate and its second end was rested in the gum of the opposite side. With grief in half, I managed to get a needle from the gums. The inflamed area treated with chlorhexidine and smeared with Metrogil paste. Masha came to life in front of her eyes, first of all she drank a whole bowl of water and requested food. And I almost took her to the veterinarian for tests … "

Among the items that usually get stuck in the mouth and interfere with the dog, causing physical pain and discomfort: bone fragments, slivers from wooden objects (from furniture to "harmless" chewing sticks and games with fitting), hard and sharp pieces of toys, and another that is able to get stuck between the teeth or in soft tissues. That is why I first of all recommend a thorough inspection of the oral cavity if the dog does not eat (often in such cases it “buries” the food unhappily for good reason, as it feels hunger).

In addition to foreign bodies, be sure to inspect the dog’s mouth for a sore tooth, gum inflammation, teeth cutting (up to a year in a dog), abscesses on the cheeks (after bites, injuries, etc.). All this can cause problems. And almost all of them (except rotting teeth) can be solved at home.

The last thing I want to remind you: a dog may refuse food as a result of stress. For example, with a dramatic change in the situation, with the loss of the owners, or in the absence of a beloved owner (Shar-Pei most often has one owner, to whom he is tied with all his canine heart).

Careful analysis of the situation will help you understand the reasons for your dog’s hunger strike and choose the right measures to solve this problem. The main thing is not to expect that everything “will resolve itself”.

The dog perceives the yard as a personal treasury. As soon as she finds something interesting or gets a tasty bone, toy, or other item from you, she will most likely go and dig it. Why?

Main reasons:

  • Instinct. Dogs were not always domesticated. Wild animals tend to hide food on a "rainy day" so as not to starve in the future. This does not mean that your pet is starving. On the contrary: he has a certain excess, which he digs in, obeying the habits of his ancestors.
  • Boredom. With the help of digging dogs often have fun when they have nothing to do. At this moment they can bury various objects and food in their pits.
  • A game. This reason follows from the previous one. Dogs just love to dig and hide their things, and then find and dig out the "treasure"!
  • To attract attention. The dog may begin to dig almost under your feet and will bring fragrant bone so that you will be distracted from your business and pay attention to the pet.
  • The value of things. If you live in a house with your own plot, then not only bones, but also your belongings may be buried! Dogs are very intelligent animals. They see that certain items are of great value to you, and can hide them to keep them safe and sound.
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Many four-legged friends sometimes surprise their owners with unusual behavior: they dig holes and put their food there. It is interesting to understand, or bones, and whether it should be punished for it.

Congenital reflexes

The most common reason is the triggering of a natural reflex in a dog, when the animal simply stores for a rainy day. Such a phenomenon can occur in dogs that have been taken into the house as an adult, or they have often had a feeling of hunger before. This is very well manifested at first in dogs that previously lived with a breeder along with a large number of other dogs, or in homes where. In such conditions, animals begin to compete and hide food from each other in order not to remain hungry. If you took a small puppy into the house, then the habit of bury food in it will quickly pass with time, as soon as he understands – no one will select his food in the house.

The similar reflex is shown, as dogs are descendants of wolves, and they have a habit during the hunt to attack animals even larger than themselves. Naturally, to eat all the prey at a time does not work, so the wolves usually break up the remains and bury, leaving as a reserve for the future. Our four-legged friends do the same. There is also another reason – it is possible that yours and hides all the food so that other cats or dogs do not approach it in an attempt to take away food.

Why else is this behavior

Another reason dogs often bury food or bones is the sincere desire of your pet to keep a tidbit unspoiled as long as possible. Hidden in the ground, food is less susceptible to rotting and will dry out longer. Therefore, it is possible that your four-legged friend just loves what he eats and seeks to stretch his pleasure.

And finally, another reason is the smell of food. By burying it in the ground, you can reduce the smell of food. And this allows not only to make your stock less noticeable to other animals, but also helps the dog itself not to be distracted once again by the food already stored in order to calmly search for food for the future.

You should not blame the dog for such behavior, because it is difficult to go against the nature of the reflexes. It is better to pay special attention – if she never experienced a sharp and prolonged hunger in her life, then it is quite possible that she simply would not think of hiding food in the ground.

The key to why domestic dogs sometimes dig in bones received from us is a way for wolves to get their prey. Small animals, the size of a mouse, wolves track down and grab on their own. Most often, they rush at them, press them with their front paws, gnaw them with a few bites, and then eat them. Approximately also they arrive and extraction in slightly larger size – for example, rabbits. If the victim tries to resist, it is enough to shock the wolf enough. Medium-sized animals, like sheep or deer, wolves cut their throats for a few seconds. They do not leave the prey of this size for later, because Even a young fawn has several wolves able to eat on the spot. It is believed that an adult wolf at one time can eat about 9 kg of meat, and during the day about 20.

If wolves manage to catch large prey, such as a cow or a horse, then the question arises of what to do with the “excess” meat. In such situations, the wolves eat their fill, and the remnants are left in the same place, to return to them later. If only a few adult wolves caught the prey, then just in case they can tear off a piece of meat and bury it in the ground. It helps to keep prey from scavengers, for example, crows, and in summer from flies and their larvae. Most often, wolves bury their prey on the spot, although sometimes they take it with them to the burrow.
Usually a wolf digs a hole with its front paws, holding meat in his teeth. When the pit reaches the required size, the wolf puts the prey in it, and then buries it, using its face for this. Unlike cats, they never use forepaws for this. After that, they lightly tamp the ground with the muzzle and leave. When he returns, he digs a hole with his front paws, takes out the meat, shakes it off the ground and sits down to eat it.

Thus, it can be assumed when the domestic dog wants to bury the food. For this to happen, the food must be abundant. A hungry dog, like its wild ancestors, will eat as much as it can. If something remains, it will take out into the yard and bury. However, even well-fed dogs, if they receive only ready-made, soft food, are not able to go anywhere with it. They will take out the bones and bury them.
Even if the dog is not full, a large bone, especially one that is hard to eat at one time, is great for putting it off until later. For this reason, even hungry dogs most often bury bones.

Dogs that are too abundantly fed and exceptionally soft food also have the instinct to bury food debris. They know that what is in the bowl is good, but because They are already fed up, trying to "bury" a bowl of food in the corner of the room. Sometimes "digging" movements are reduced to symbolic movements of the muzzle, moving the bowl on the floor. This behavior of the dog should give a sign to his owner that he is overfeeding his pet.

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