Why Do Dogs Hide Their Treats? Hidden Delights

Have you ever found a hidden stockpile of dog treats around your house or yard? This is a common behavior in our canine companions, tracing back to their wild origins where hiding food was vital for survival.

In this article, we’ll delve deep into why dogs hide their treats and how to manage this instinctive habit. Keep reading to unravel the mystery behind your pup’s hidden delights!

why do dogs hide their treats

Key Takeaways

  • Dogs hide their treats due to instinctual behavior, territorial instincts, playfulness, hunger, overfeeding, and stress or anxiety.
  • Hiding treats is a natural behavior for dogs that goes back to their wild ancestors who needed to store food for later.
  • Providing a designated hiding spot for your dog’s treats can satisfy their natural instincts and keep things organized in your home.
  • Monitoring feeding habits and ensuring a balanced diet can help reduce the need for dogs to hide treats and promote a healthier relationship with food.

Reasons Why Dogs Hide Their Treats

Dogs hide their treats due to instinctual behavior, territorial instincts, playfulness, hunger, overfeeding, and stress or anxiety.

Instinctual behavior

Dogs come from wild animals. To live, they had to store food. This is why your dog hides treats now. It’s an old habit that all dogs have in them called ‘instinct’. Even if your dog has lots of food, it will still hide treats.

It is a way to make sure they always have something to eat later on. Each dog does this in its own special way but it’s normal for all dogs.

Territorial instincts

Dogs have strong territorial instincts, which can be a reason for hiding their treats. They want to keep their prized possessions safe and secure in their own space. It’s an instinct that goes back to their ancestors who would bury food to protect it from other animals.

By hiding treats, dogs are guarding their resources and ensuring they have something to rely on later. So if your dog hides treats around the house or in the yard, it’s just following its natural instincts to protect what it considers valuable.


Dogs hide their treats out of playfulness too. It can be a fun game for them to hide and then search for their treats later on. Playing with their treats allows dogs to engage in natural instincts and exercise their brains as well.

So, if your dog is hiding treats because they’re feeling playful, it’s likely just another way for them to have some fun!


Dogs may hide their treats because of hunger. It is a natural instinct for them to save some food for later when they might not have access to it. Even if they are already full, dogs still have that urge to hide and protect their treats.

This behavior goes back to their wild ancestors who had to store food for survival. So, if you notice your dog hiding treats, it could be because they want to make sure they have enough food in case they get hungry later on.


Feeding our dogs is an important part of taking care of them, but sometimes we can give them too much food. When dogs are overfed, they might hide their treats because they simply have too much to eat.

Even though they’re full, their instinct tells them to save the extra food for later. It’s like when we have leftovers and put them in the fridge for another day. Dogs are smart like that! So if you notice your dog hiding treats even though they’ve already eaten, it could be a sign that you need to adjust their portion sizes.

It’s important to make sure our furry friends get the right amount of food so they stay healthy and happy.

Stress or anxiety

Dogs may hide their treats due to stress or anxiety. Just like humans, dogs can experience these emotions too. When a dog is stressed or anxious, they may try to find comfort and security by hiding their treats.

This behavior helps them feel in control of their environment and can provide a sense of safety. It’s important for dog owners to recognize signs of stress or anxiety in their pets and address the underlying causes.

Providing a calm and reassuring environment, engaging in regular exercise, and seeking professional help if needed are some ways to support dogs experiencing stress or anxiety.

why do dogs hide their treats

Understanding and Addressing the Hiding Behavior

To understand and address the hiding behavior, it is important to normalize the behavior, provide a designated hiding spot, ensure a balanced diet, address stress and anxiety, and monitor feeding habits.

Normalizing the behavior

It is important to understand that hiding treats is a natural behavior for dogs. It goes back to their instinctual drive to store food for later, just like their wild ancestors did.

So, if your dog hides treats, it’s completely normal and nothing for you to worry about. It’s simply their way of saving them up and protecting them. And even if your dog is already full, they may still hide treats because it’s an instinctive behavior they can’t help.

So don’t be surprised or alarmed if you find hidden treasures around your home!

Providing a designated hiding spot

Dogs have a natural instinct to hide their treats, and providing them with a designated hiding spot can help satisfy this behavior. Creating a safe place for your dog to stash their treats can give them a sense of security and allow them to indulge in their natural instincts without causing any inconvenience or mess in your home.

This can be as simple as giving them a special box or container where they can “bury” their treats. By offering them this space, you are acknowledging and normalizing their behavior while also keeping things organized and tidy.

Ensuring a balanced diet

To ensure that your dog has a balanced diet, it’s important to provide them with the right amount of food and nutrients. Dogs hiding treats could be a sign that they’re not getting enough food or are being overfed.

It’s crucial to follow their feeding guidelines and consult with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate portion size for your dog’s age, breed, and activity level. By offering them a well-balanced diet with quality dog food, you can help satisfy their nutritional needs and reduce the urge to hide treats.

Remember, dogs rely on us to provide them with proper nourishment for their overall health and well-being.

Addressing stress and anxiety

Dogs may hide their treats as a result of stress or anxiety. Just like humans, dogs can experience feelings of worry and tension. If your dog is displaying excessive hiding behavior, it could be a sign that they are feeling stressed or anxious.

It’s important to address these underlying emotions to help your dog feel more secure and comfortable. Spend quality time with your dog, provide them with mental stimulation through interactive toys or puzzles, and create a calm and soothing environment for them.

If the behavior persists, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian or professional trainer who can offer specialized advice tailored to your dog’s needs.

Monitoring feeding habits

To ensure your dog’s hiding behavior is not related to overfeeding or hunger, it’s important to monitor their feeding habits. Here are some ways you can do that:

  1. Measure portions: Use a measuring cup to accurately measure your dog’s food. This helps prevent overfeeding and ensures they are getting the right amount of nutrition.
  2. Stick to a schedule: Establish regular mealtimes for your dog and stick to them. This helps create a routine and prevents them from feeling hungry or anxious.
  3. Avoid free-feeding: Instead of leaving food out all day, serve meals at specific times. This helps regulate their eating habits and prevents them from hoarding or hiding food.
  4. Watch for signs of stress or anxiety: If your dog shows signs of stress or anxiety around mealtime, such as pacing, whining, or refusing to eat, it may be helpful to consult with a veterinarian or animal behaviorist.
  5. Provide mental stimulation: Engaging your dog’s mind during mealtimes can help prevent boredom and decrease the likelihood of hiding behavior. You can use puzzle toys or slow feeders to make mealtime more enjoyable and mentally stimulating.
why do dogs hide their treats

Where Dogs Hide Their Treats

Dogs have a variety of hiding spots for their treats, including behind furniture or in corners, as well as outdoor locations.

Common hiding spots

Dogs have their favorite spots to hide treats. Here are some common hiding spots you may find your furry friend stashing their goodies:

  • Under the couch cushions
  • Behind furniture, like the bookshelf or TV stand
  • In corners or crevices of the room
  • Buried in the backyard
  • Inside their bed or blanket
  • In their crate or kennel
  • Tucked away in their favorite hiding spot outside

Outdoor hiding

Dogs may also hide their treats outdoors, using nature as their hiding spot. They might bury them in the backyard or hide them in bushes or flower beds. This behavior stems from their instinctual drive to hoard and protect resources.

Dogs see the outdoor environment as a safe place to store their treasures for later enjoyment. So, if you notice your dog heading outside with a treat in its mouth, don’t be surprised—it’s just following its natural instincts!

Behind furniture or in corners

Dogs often hide their treats behind furniture or in corners. This behavior can be traced back to their instinctual nature. In the wild, dogs needed to protect and store their food for later.

So, hiding treats in hidden spots is a way for them to guard and keep their prized possessions safe. It’s like a natural storage system that they’ve inherited from their ancestors.

Even if they are already full, dogs may still hide treats because it’s something deeply embedded in their instincts. So, if you find your furry friend stashing away treats behind the couch or in corners of your home, it’s just their natural behavior at work!

why do dogs hide their treats


In conclusion, the habit of dogs hiding their treats is a natural instinct. It stems from their ancestors who had to bury excess food for later. Dogs hide treats to protect them and may do so out of playfulness, hunger, or even stress.

As dog owners, it’s important to understand and address this behavior by providing designated hiding spots and monitoring their diet. By recognizing and respecting our furry friends’ instincts, we can promote their overall well-being and happiness.


1. Why do dogs hide their treats?

Dogs hide their treats because of their instinctive nature. This is a type of resource guarding, and it comes from their survival instincts.

2. What are some reasons for dogs hiding toys or bones?

Dogs often bury bones or hide toys as a form of food storage. It’s part of their canine behavior, rooted in animal instincts.

3. Can you explain dog hoarding behavior?

Dog hoarding behavior is when dogs hide more food or toys than they can use. It shows the natural behavior of dogs to store treats and find them later.

4. Is there something wrong if my dog hides too much food?

Excessive hiding might mean your dog feels unsure about its treats’ safety. If your pet does this a lot, check with your vet to make sure it’s okay.

5. How can I understand my dog’s hiding habits better?

One way to understand why your pet hides things is by learning about the psychology behind dogs hiding food and canine instincts.

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