If your dog often covers its food, this post will show you likely reasons why and what you can do about them.

So, why does my dog cover its food? Likely reasons why your dog covers its food are that it wants to hide the food for later or that it feels like it is not safe to eat yet.

There are actually a number of possible reasons why your dog covers its food and it could be due to a combination of them. However, there are things you can consider to help figure out the main cause and there are some things you can do about it.

Why does my dog cover its food?

Below are likely causes and what would make each of them more likely

It wants to hide the food for later

The most likely reason why your dog covers its food is that it wants to hide the food for later. This would be especially likely if it also tries to dig around its bowl.

It is being fed too much

It is also a sign that it is being fed too much. This is because it is likely that it feels like it has eaten enough allowing it to save the food for later. It might help to try feeding it slightly less than you have been or to only feed it once or twice per day.

Illness

It could also be the case that it has an illness that has been causing it to not be hungry. This would be more likely if your dog has started doing it suddenly and if it has been showing other signs of having an illness such as vomiting a lot or being fatigued when awake. If it does seem like illness is the cause, the safest option would be to take it to a vet.

It does not feel like it is safe to eat

The cause might also be that your dog does not feel like it is safe for it to eat so it is covering its food. However, this is less likely since in that case your dog would likely scoff the food down quickly. This would be more likely if it only eats when you are around watching over it.

Consider if your dog has always covered its food

If your dog has not always covered its food, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it. If it started doing it suddenly, it would be more likely to be due to things such as having been fed more than usual and not been hungry or illness.

Consider if your dog always covers its food

If your dog does not always cover its food, it would also help to consider what is different when your dog does not cover its food. For example, if it only covers its food when it has already been fed, it would be more likely that your dog is trying to save the food for later.

What to do about my dog covering its food?

Below are a number of options you have dealing with the behavior.

Feed it slightly less

Since it is likely that your dog has been doing it because it is not hungry and trying to save the food for later, one option would be to feed your dog slightly less than you are currently. It would also help to avoid letting your dog have access to food throughout the day and to only feed it once or twice a day, at set times, instead.

Give it exercise

It could also help to give it exercise before feeding it instead of after since it usually results in dogs being hungrier.

Get help

If it seems like your dog has been doing it due to illness or it has been behaving unusually in other ways, it would help to take it for a checkup. By doing so, you should be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular dog and to rule out medical causes.

Why does my dog cover its food with its nose?

The most likely reason why your dog covers its food with its nose is that it wants to save the food for later. It is also likely to be a sign that it is not very hungry and might be a sign that it does not like the food.

Why does my dog cover its food with dirt?

The most likely reason why your dog covers its food with dirt is that it wants to save the food for later.

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Author

I created and currently manage Pet Dog Owner, the website you can go to when you have questions about your dog's behavior. It is my hope that you find Pet Dog Owner to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your dog. You can read more about me and my website here.