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Why Does My Dog Cover His Food With His Blanket?

  • 6 min read

Have you ever found your dog's food under its blanket? You're not alone. This common dog behavior can leave pet parents confused and curious.

In this article, we will decipher this behavior by discussing the seven most common reasons a dog might cover his food with his blanket. We’ll also share some insights and practical solutions on how to deal with this behavior.

Let’s dive right in.

Why Do Dogs Cover Their Food With Blanket?

Below, we have listed seven common reasons why a dog might cover their food with a blanket:

Reason 1: It’s His Natural Instinct

The act of hiding food with a blanket can be part of a dog's instincts. Their wild ancestors used this survival strategy to protect the food from other potential scavengers and to save it for the future.

Our domestic dogs don’t have problems where they need to save or protect their food, yet their instincts remain the same.

How to Deal:

If your dog is hiding food with a blanket out of instinct, you should support this behavior, as your dog is simply expressing itself. You can give your dog a quiet and secure space to enjoy its food, even if it wants to do it by hiding it with a blanket.

Reason 2: They Aren’t Hungry

If a dog isn’t hungry, they might cover the food with a blanket to save it for later. It is also related to their instincts, as their ancestors used to stash food away for future use.

In modern times, this simple act can be a personal preference, as some dogs prefer to eat a little at a time throughout the day—commonly referred to as grazing. If your dog isn’t typically a grazer, it could indicate other problems. If your dog shows a lack of hunger, it may be a symptom of an underlying health condition.

How to Deal:

If your dog’s appetite is reduced, it is recommended that you visit a veterinarian. They will examine your dog to determine if there is any underlying health problem.

photo dog playing in the yard

Reason 3: They’re Playing a Game

Another reason your dog might be covering their food with a blanket could be because they’re playful. It might be a fun hide-n-seek game for them where they want to hide their food.

They can do this if they’re bored or lack sufficient physical and mental stimulation. This behavior allows them to use excess energy while playing a fun game.

How to Deal:

Ensure you add enough activities to your dog’s routine to keep it physically and mentally busy. These can include regular walks, interactive play sessions, puzzle toys, training exercises, and new toys to prevent boredom.

Reason 4: They’re Being Possessive

Dogs can become possessive, which leads them to protect their resources. This is common in households with multiple pets.

If your dog perceives a threat to their food, they might try to hide it with a blanket. It isn’t particularly harmful behavior, as they are just trying to assert control and safeguard valuables.

How to Deal:

Understanding and managing a dog’s possessive behavior can prevent potential conflicts. To encourage sharing and cooperation among your pets, you can implement positive reinforcement training and create designated feeding areas for each pet.

However, if the problem worsens,  consider consulting an animal behaviorist.

photo of a dog being anxious

Reason 5: They’re Anxious

Anxiety is another emotion that can make your dog hide food with a blanket. Your dog may exhibit this behavior to cope with its feelings. The simple act of hiding food or finding a secure space to enjoy its meal can give it a sense of control and security.

If your dog recently had a traumatic experience, like moving to a new place or meeting new people, it could be causing the anxious behavior. Other signs could include excessive barking, whining, changes in appetite, trembling, and digestive distress.

How to Deal:

When dealing with a dog’s anxious behavior, it is recommended that you create a safe and supportive environment. Try to maintain a consistent routine, use positive reinforcement techniques, create a designated mealtime space, and keep the dog engaged in various physical and mental activities.

If the problem continues, you can consult a veterinarian or an animal behaviorist.

Reason 6: They Have Dental Problems

Dental problems are quite common in dogs, and they usually lead to discomfort or pain when chewing. As a result, a dog might seek alternative ways to deal with their food, like covering it with a blanket. This will allow them to save the food for later when they feel more comfortable eating. It can also mean your dog is looking for a softer surface to consume the food.

In such cases, your dog will likely exhibit other signs of dental problems, including bad breath, lack of appetite, swollen gums, and excessive drooling.

How to Deal:

If your dog has dental problems, consult a veterinarian. They can diagnose the specific issues and recommend an appropriate course of action.

Proper oral hygiene is suggested as a preventative measure for your dog. This includes regular tooth brushing, chews, water additives, and dental check-ups.

Reason 7: They’re Seeking Your Attention

If you’re busy with chores, your dog might try to get your attention with quirky behaviors like covering their food with a blanket. Your dog is just trying to say, "Look at me; I'm here, and I could use some of your attention!"

How to Deal:

Dogs often pick up on our reactions, and if they notice that a certain behavior gets them attention or interaction, they might continue doing it. That’s why the best course of action is not to make a fuss about it, especially if it’s harmless and doesn't interfere with their well-being.

Should I Stop My Dog From Covering His Food With His Blanket?

It is recommended to first understand the reason behind your dog's behavior to decide whether or not to intervene. If you can determine that your dog is covering their food out of natural instinct and it’s not interfering with its health, then there isn’t any significant harm is allowing your dog to continue this behavior.

However, if you suspect your dog is acting this way due to an underlying issue, such as dental problems or anxiety, you should address the root cause. You can look for some accompanying signs or symptoms or consult a veterinarian for help.

How to Stop a Dog From Covering His Food With His Blanket?

If you have established that your dog is healthy but still covers his food, you can explore additional strategies to manage or redirect this behavior. Below are some tips you can consider:

  • Provide a safe and clean designated feeding area. 
  • Use positive reinforcement to encourage appropriate behavior. 
  • Train them to respond to cues like “give” or “leave it.” 
  • Ensure they have sufficient physical and mental stimulation. 
  • Establish a proper oral hygiene routine, including regular brushing, chew toys, and water additives.

If, even after doing everything, your dog continues to cover and hide his food with his blanket, you can consult with an animal behaviorist to better understand and train your dog.

photo of a dog covered in a blanket with food in front of him

Summing Up

The act of covering the food with a blanket can have several implications. It could happen because your dog’s wild ancestors used a similar survival strategy of concealing their food to protect it from other potential scavengers. Or it could be a sign of an underlying issue such as dental problems, anxiety, overfeeding, or a desire for attention.

Ultimately, you want to consider the specific reason behind this behavior to determine the appropriate action. If this appears instinctual, you can let it be; otherwise, you need to address the root cause of this behavior.

Also, consider consulting a veterinarian or animal behaviorist if you’re worried about your dog covering his food with his blanket.

FAQs

Let’s answer some frequently asked questions about a dog’s behavior:

Why does a dog cover their food with his blanket?

A dog might cover their food with a blanket for various reasons, ranging from instinctual behaviors inherited from their wild ancestors to simple, playful behavior meant to seek your attention. However, in some cases, it can also be a sign of an underlying health condition, such as dental problems, anxiety, or overfeeding.

Ultimately, you should understand the specific reason behind this behavior to determine the appropriate action.

Why does my dog cover her food with a towel?

Your dog covering their food with a towel could be similar to covering their food with a blanket. It could be an instinctual behavior or a sign of an underlying health condition, such as dental problems, anxiety, or overfeeding.

It can also be their way of getting your attention so you can play with them.

Should I stop my dog from covering his food with his blanket?

It depends on why your dog is covering its food with a blanket. If it’s because of its instincts and is not interfering with its health, then it is fine to allow it to continue this behavior.

However, if you suspect this behavior is linked to an underlying issue, such as dental problems or anxiety, you should seek professional guidance to address the root cause.

When should I worry about my dog covering his food with his blanket?

You should start to worry about your dog’s behavior when other concerning signs, such as a change in appetite, distress, excessive whining, lethargy, digestive upset, etc., accompany it. You also should to be careful when the covering behavior becomes extreme, as that might interfere with the dog's appetite and overall well-being.

Consulting a veterinarian or animal behaviorist will help identify and address potential issues.


Source: https://worldofdogz.com/why-does-my-dog-cover-his-food/

 

 

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