Why Does Dog Try to Cover Food?

Updated on November 2, 2022

Can you tell me why my dog uses his nose to push his food?


How come my dog always seems to shove his food in with his nose?

Is your dog refusing to eat or hoarding food? Is your dog often nudging its nose into its bowl? Since we anticipate that this may be a source of frustration for many pet owners, we’ve done some digging into its possible causes.

If the dog is trying to hide its food, why is that?


How come my dog constantly tries to wrap her blanket around her plate? Why do canines hoard their rewards?

These are common inquiries, and what makes the conduct so intriguing is that it is not typically linked to the disease or other disorder. A dog is engaging in caching or saving behaviour when it chooses to place a blanket over food or any other thing. You are correct; your dog is engaging in resource conservation in order to return to the cache at a later time and enjoy a tasty meal. Many mammalian species have been observed engaging in the practise of food caching or food hoarding, and we can confidently label this as typical behaviour. The issue with caching is that well-cared-for dogs are not likely to get hungry, therefore the hidden food will likely go bad. If you feed your dog on a regular schedule and never seem to run out of food, your dog may not feel the need to return to the cache any time soon.

What about the practise of ‘nose-pushing’?


The significance of this action is unclear. Your dog is probably still engaging in caching behaviour when it aggressively presses against the bowl containing its food. The act of “setting aside” food is canine shorthand for “I’d like to eat this later.” Dogs can hoard everything from treats to their normal food. It’s not because your dog is bad or doesn’t want the treat or food; just the opposite, in fact. Caching is an instinctive habit that indicates your dog is planning to store food for later consumption.

Now the question everyone is asking is why. What use is this sense if you’ve raised your dog in a place where food is never in short supply? Wild dogs, like domesticated ones, need to go on regular hunting expeditions only to have enough food to eat. Unfortunately, not every hunt ends in success. As a last resort after a fruitless hunt, the wild dog will devour any leftovers. By hiding treats, the dog will have something to eat when the time is appropriate to go hunting again.

However, not all canines exhibit excessive caching behaviour. Most canines with this trait were bred for the purpose of hunting. A history of food scarcity may explain why some dogs hoard their meals to an extreme degree. Let’s say you’ve decided to give a dog from a shelter a forever home. The dog you’re thinking of adopting might be more prone to this kind of behaviour if it had previously gone without meals for several days. Caching may become more common as the dog is reconditioned, especially if food shortages occur on a regular basis in the past.

Anxiety and insecurity are additional potential causes. Your dog may occasionally feel food insecure if he or she lives in a multi-pet household with other animals. Your dog may steal your food if you tend to feed your dogs in the kitchen or living room. Because the desire to hide the food is rooted in fear or worry, your dog may consume it or lose interest in it. Dogs come in a wide variety of temperaments. While it’s true that many canines share these traits, there are exceptions. Each of your four canines, no matter how similar they are, has its own unique personality. You, as the owner, would have a deep familiarity with your pets.

Knowing where and how your pet prefers to eat will help alleviate the food hoarding behaviour. In the event that your dog’s request is reasonable, you should give in and feed it where it prefers. In any case, this strategy is preferable to letting your dog stockpile food and leaving you to clean up half-eaten garbage all over the house. Dog owners who are familiar with the challenges of addressing their pets’ tendency to hoard food will make their decision quickly.

Here are some rules to follow in order to prevent food hoarding:


Any uneaten food must be removed quickly to prevent your dog from hiding it.
Never feed your dog more than he can consume in one sitting. All that extra food seems like a great cache.
Never provide goodies in excess. Small, inconsequential treats are best for dog training. It’s possible that, if your dog has an outdoor doghouse, he or she will bury the remaining treats there and forget about them. If there is spoiled food inside the doghouse, cleaning it will be a chore.
Get on a consistent feeding schedule. Your dog has a schedule it must follow every day. Dogs’ food anxiety and hoarding tendencies are eliminated when they learn to anticipate and receive their meals at roughly the same time each day.
Examine the underlying causes of any other undesirable actions you may have witnessed. It’s reasonable to assume that negative actions might lead to similarly negative actions.

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