Why Do Dogs Save Their Food?

Why Do Dogs Save Their Food? The Surprising Way Dogs Save Their Food

Have you ever seen your dog saving his food for later? While this adaptation may seem strange to us, it is actually completely normal behavior in the canine world.

Dogs are scavengers by nature and will naturally save food they cannot finish eating at once in order to prevent any waste. But why do dogs feel so compelled to hide and hoard their snacks?

It’s all part of an evolutionary instinct that dates back centuries – one which has remained fairly constant throughout our furry friends’ development as domestic animals.

In this blog post, we’ll explore why dogs have such a natural inclination towards saving food, the different types of behaviors associated with it, and how you can help your pup make healthy snack choices!

See more: Why Do Dogs Like Soapy Water?

why do dogs save their food
why do dogs save their food?

Why Do Dogs Save Their Food?

Dogs are naturally resourceful, and saving their food is a way for them to ensure they have something to eat in the future.


One of the main reasons dogs save their food is due to their instinctive resourcefulness. Dogs have evolved over time to be able to store up food and use it later when they might not have access to a regular source of food. This ability has allowed the species to survive in tough environments, and this behavior is still seen in dogs today.


Dogs also save their food for security reasons. If a dog saves some of its food and stores it away, it will have something to rely on if their regular food supply is interrupted. This can give the dog a sense of security and help them feel more in control of their environment and food sources.

Social Status

Dogs may also save their food in order to show off or demonstrate their social status. Dogs are naturally social creatures and will often hoard food to display their dominance over other dogs in the area. This can be a way for them to establish themselves as an alpha or leader among the pack, which can give them an increased sense of security and safety.

Stress Relief

Finally, some dogs save their food as a way to cope with stressful situations. Hoarding can be a calming activity for dogs, and it is often seen as an instinctual behavior during times of stress or anxiety. By saving their food, dogs are able to engage in a soothing behavior that helps keep them relaxed and content.

Overall, dogs save their food for many reasons, it’s Resourcefulness, Security, Social Status, and Stress Relief. Understanding why your dog is saving its food can help you better cater to the needs of your pet and ensure that it is getting all the resources and support it needs.

How Do Dogs Save Their Food?

The Value of Storing Food

When it comes to the most basic needs for survival, food is at the top of the list. Dogs are no exception to this rule, and like their wild ancestors, they have instinctive behaviors that help them store up food when it’s available.

This behavior has been honed over thousands of years through generations of domestic dogs. Storing up food for later is a valuable skill that helps ensure their survival in times when food may be scarce.

Denning and Hoarding

Dogs have an instinctive need to find a safe place to hide their food, known as denning. This could be done by digging a hole in the ground, or finding an area of thick foliage. Dogs will often hoard their food and hide it away, usually in multiple different locations.

This behavior comes from wild ancestors who had to compete with other animals for food and needed to protect it until they were able to eat it.

Guarding Food

Dogs may also become very defensive of their food, barking and growling at anyone who comes close to it. This is a natural behavior due to the instinctive need to protect their resources, and it has been passed down through generations of domestic dogs. It’s important to respect this behavior as it can be dangerous if not properly handled.

Is There a Downside of Dogs to Saving Food?

While saving and hoarding food is normal behavior for dogs, it can be problematic if not monitored. Dogs may become overly possessive of their food and aggressive when anyone comes close to it. Additionally, some dogs may overeat or become overweight due to their hoarding habits.

It’s important to keep an eye on the amount of food that your dog is consuming and how much it is hoarding. If you notice any changes in behavior or eating habits, consult a veterinarian for advice on how to best manage the situation.

How to Stop This Behavior of Your Dogs

If you are concerned about your dog’s hoarding behavior, there are steps you can take to help prevent it. Start by making sure that your dog is getting enough exercise and mental stimulation. This will help keep them from feeling the need to store up food for later.

Additionally, make sure that your pet has consistent access to meals throughout the day. Regular mealtimes can help curb overeating and hoarding behaviors, as your dog will be less likely to feel the need to store up food if they know that meals are coming regularly.

You can also try engaging in activities like nose work or puzzle-solving games with your pet. This will give them an outlet to express their instinctive need to search and hoard, while still controlling the amount of food they are consuming.

Finally, keep an eye on your pet’s behavior when it comes to storing food. If you notice any aggressive or possessive behaviors, take steps to correct them before they become a problem.

Understanding why dogs save their food is key to helping you better care for your pet. By providing them with consistent access to meals and engaging in activities that allow them to express their instinctive behaviors, you can ensure that your dog is getting all the resources it needs.


Is there a difference between small breeds and large breeds when it comes to saving food?

Yes, the size of a dog’s mouth and jaw can affect how much food they are able to eat in one sitting. Smaller dogs tend to have smaller mouths and jaws, so they may not be able to consume as much food as larger breeds.

However, when it comes to storing food for later use, all dogs should be provided with enough food to last them until their next meal. This can help prevent overeating and ensure that your pup is getting the nutrition they need.

Additionally, some owners may find it more beneficial to portion out small meals throughout the day for smaller breeds as opposed to large breeds who may be able to consume larger quantities of food in one sitting. By doing this, owners can ensure that their pup is getting an adequate amount of food needed to remain healthy and energized.

Do puppies save their food?

The short answer is yes, puppies do save their food. In the wild, animals of all kinds will often store extra food for times when it’s not readily available. 

This instinct carries over to domesticated dogs as well. In a home environment, puppies may hide treats or pieces of food they have been given in order to save them for later. 

They may also bury them outdoors in the yard or even carry them in their mouths from one location to another. This behavior is quite natural and serves as a way for puppies to ensure they have enough food when necessary. 

In some cases, if a puppy isn’t provided with regular meals, they may become desperate and resort to seeking out hidden caches of food. In this way, puppies can be quite resourceful and are often able to get by with relatively little in terms of sustenance. 


In conclusion, it is clear that dogs save their food for a variety of reasons. They may be naturally inclined to do so, due to their wild ancestors’ need to survive by hoarding anything edible.

It could also be a learned behavior from watching humans and other animals in the environment who store food for later use.

Additionally, saving food can bring comfort and security to a dog, especially when they have experienced hunger in the past.

We hope this post is helpful, thanks for reading! Visit Vet Ranch for more information


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To provide you with the expert assistance you need, Vet Ranch with licensed veterinarians can answer your health-related pet issues. For the purpose of sharing knowledge with each other, we have jointly created this website, where you can get useful information from us and also where we expand our knowledge through your comments from you.