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Why is your dog hoarding his food?

 by lucy on 17 May 2018 |
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Most dogs dive nose-first into dinner, but for some peculiar pets, carrying their kibble to a different spot becomes a habit. If your pet is part of this pack, there are several possible causes underlying his behavior:
 
  1. Pack mentality: Before they were domesticated, dogs ran in packs. For more subordinate members, this meant stiff competition surrounding meals. To avoid fighting with more dominant pack members, outranked dogs would carry their food out of sight. Some domesticated pets still carry this pack mentality today, but you can help ease Fido’s food anxiety by feeding your dogs separately in multi-pet households or crating your pet during mealtime to prevent him from carrying his food away.
 
  1. Separation anxiety: As pack animals, dogs are also social creatures. Some prefer to eat with their humans and, if fed in a separate room, will develop a habit of carrying their kibble to be closer to the family. To remedy this behavior, simply arrange your dog’s meals so you’ll be home during dinnertime and feed him in the same room you’ll be occupying.
 
  1. Heavy metal: If you have metal food bowls, you’ve likely noticed the sound kibble makes when it hits the dish. This noise—and even the sound of his tags hitting a metal food bowl—can startle your pet and lead to anxiety about eating directly from the dish. If your dog seems to be carrying his kibble away because of these metallic clinks, try swapping his metal dish for a heavy plastic food bowl.
 
  1. Creating a cache: Wild dogs couldn’t always rely on a regular meal, so your pet may be tapping into his survival instincts by creating a cache of food. If you find Fido’s kibble or treats in unusual spots, he’s probably saving them for later. To prevent this behavior, make sure you don’t overfeed your pet and keep him confined to one room or area during mealtimes.
 
When offered a tasty treat, many dogs will also carry it away to a different spot or room for consumption. While this may seem offensive to some owners, your pet is simply acting on his instincts. Protecting a high-value resource—in this case, a rawhide bone or other tasty morsel—helped your pet’s ancestors survive. The tastier the treat, the more likely your dog is to hide it away from competitors, so you can consider it a compliment the next time Fido runs away with his reward.

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avichai baruch
avichai baruch
Israel, NIR BANIM
19 Oct 2018
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