Does your husky hide or bury his food? Well, you’re not alone, hiding food is commonly seen with huskies and this article will explain why that is, and whether or not you need to do something about it.
1) Why Your Husky Hides or Buries Food
2) Instinctual Behaviors
3) Should Your Stop Your Husky Hiding Food?
4) How to Stop Your Husky Hiding Food
5) One Important Thing to Remember
Why Your Husky Hides or Buries Food
Your husky is hiding or burying food for one simple reason, that’s to save it for later. It’s normal for huskies to display strong instinctual behavior and hiding food is commonly seen in the wild as a way to ensure a future meal.
But could there be any other reasons? In some cases, yes.
Another possible reason could be down to anxiety. It has been seen before that an anxious dog may remove his food from the bowl, hide it somewhere else, or even take it somewhere else to then eat it straight away. This could be down to not feeling safe or comfortable eating where the food bowl is located.
One other reason, although rarer, could be down to possessiveness. A good indication would be if your husky displays possessive behavior at other times, with toys, treats, or even you!
One common misconception…
You may be inclined to think your husky hides his food because he doesn’t like it or want to eat it. While this makes sense to us, our canine friends are not that intelligent. Ironically enough, hiding food for later indicates that he does actually want to eat it. If your husky doesn’t like his food, he’ll just leave it.
Instinctual Behaviors are Strong
Of course, we know that your husky is going to receive another meal, at the same time you feed him every day! So this probably leaves you wondering why he does it in the first place?
Well, instinctual behavior is ingrained into dogs, even more so huskies. It goes all the way back to life in the wild where survival was the main priority. Food would have been scarce, and hiding food for later would ensure a future meal.
You may see other common instinctual behaviors from your husky on a daily basis, this includes, howling in response to sirens or witnessing his urge to chase a bird or your neighbor’s cat.
It’s all about survival, and from one of the world’s oldest dog breeds, the Siberian husky has strong instincts. One thing to know about instinctual behaviors is that they are very difficult to stop or train against.
Is It a Problem If Your Husky Hides Food?
It’s not always an issue, so long as your husky does shortly eat his food afterward and this behavior isn’t coupled with any aggression.
But it’s also understandable if you want to stop the food-hiding altogether. After all, it can get quite frustrating when every mealtime creates such a mess.
One of the most important things to ensure is that your husky is eating his full meals and receiving the correct amount of calories. If hiding food disrupts his diet, you must intervene.
Reasons you may want to stop your husky hiding food:
- Your husky doesn’t end up eating his food
- The behavior is coupled with possessiveness/aggression
- It’s creating a lot of mess in your house
In the next section, I’ll cover how you can encourage your husky to eat his meals when he’s supposed to.
How To Stop Your Husky Hiding Food
Instincts are difficult to stop, so it’s wiser to approach the issue from a different angle.
You’ll notice the following tips aren’t about training him to not bury food… I’m not sure what that training would look like anyway!
It’s about making eating the food a priority over burying it. And making your husky want to eat his food when you give it to him.
1. Time-restricted eating
After putting down the food bowl, give your husky about 5-10 minutes and then remove the bowl altogether (eaten or not). After a few times of doing this, your husky will soon learn the importance of eating his full meal as soon as you put the food down. Hiding it will no longer be the priority, eating it will.
This of course won’t work too well if your husky immediately begins hiding his food. So a different approach will be needed.
2. Limit treats or any excess food
If you’re currently giving your husky treats throughout the day or excess scraps, try stopping that. These extra treats and scraps, even though small, could still disrupt his appetite. Huskies do not have a great appetite anyway due to their extremely efficient metabolism. Cutting these extra calories out may help your husky feel hungry enough to eat his food when he’s given it.
3. Increase his excess
Yep, this wouldn’t be a true husky article if I didn’t mention exercise. Huskies are athletes and need to be worked physically and mentally much more than other breeds. If your current exercise routine isn’t enough, your husky may not have a big enough appetite to want to eat his food when given to him, which will resort to him burying it for later.
4. Adjust his mealtimes
While it’s very important to stick to the same meal times every day, have a think about your current times. Maybe the time in the morning or evening that you are currently sticking to, isn’t the most appropriate. This will be different for every household depending on your routine so it’s hard for me to say. But you could try changing his mealtimes. Just do this with caution and remember to not always change his mealtimes. Make an adjustment, and then stick to it for a while to see if your situation improves.
5. Use wet food in with his kibble
This is starting to sound more and more like a diet article! But never the less if you aren’t already doing this I strongly recommend making 20% of the majority of his mealtimes wet food. This is actually what veterinarians recommend across the board, 80% of the bowl dry kibble, 20% wet dog food.
You get a range of nutritional benefits from doing this, but what we are interested in here is how much more appealing it makes the food. Having some juicy, tasty wet food with gravy mixed in with the kibble, will encourage your husky to just eat it, instead of saving it for later. He won’t be able to resist the incredibly tasty wet food.
One Important Thing to Remember
Most of the time hiding food will be down to just plain instincts and isn’t particularly anything to worry about, but it’s important not to ignore other possibilities.
If you notice that your husky has just started hiding food, and this is mixed with some other unusual behavior that you haven’t seen before, it may indicate something is wrong.
What that is specifically is hard to tell, but it could be down to anxiety, possessiveness, or perhaps some underlying health issues.
If you realize the food-hiding has suddenly come out of nowhere and it’s coupled with other unusual behaviors, it wouldn’t hurt to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian just to be on the safe side.
So there you have it, you now have a better understanding of why your husky hides his food, and what you can do about it, even if you don’t want to do anything about it!
If you have experienced this with your husky drop a comment below on how you dealt with it. It may just help out another husky owner!
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The advice given in this article is for educational purposes only and does not constitute pet medical advice. Before making any decisions that may affect the health and/or safety of your dog, you should always consult a trained veterinarian in your local area.