Why Does My Dog Hide Her Treats? Uncovering 7 Surprising Reasons

Why Does My Dog Hide Her Treats? Uncovering 7 Surprising Reasons

6 minute read

Gabe Garcia

If your dog is hiding her treats, don't be worried. This behavior is quite common among dogs and typically not a cause for concern.

There are various reasons why your dog might be hiding treats, ranging from being given too many treats to seeking attention. It's essential to determine the specific cause to rule out any underlying issues.

This guide will walk you through the seven most prevalent reasons for this behavior and provide guidance on how to address each one. Let's dive right in.

7 Reasons Why Your Dog Hides Her Treats

Here are the seven most common reasons why your dog hides her treats, as well as the best course of action in each case.

1. They are Full

The most common reason many dogs hide their treats is because they're full but don't want to miss the opportunity to have one of their favorite treats later on, so they'll hide their treats somewhere and save them for later.

If your dog is enjoying its treats and then abruptly hides them away, it's a strong indication that it is probably full but doesn't want to miss out on the possibility of more treats in the future.

In these cases, make sure you're feeding your dog the right amount of dog treats, which should equal 10% or less of its total daily calories.

If you notice that they're not eating the treats anymore, then stop offering them. Remember that dog treats are not nutritionally complete and your dog should get most of its calories from its regular food.

2. Natural Instinct

One common reason why dogs hide their treats is linked to their instinct to store food for future consumption. This instinct has its origins in their historical role as hunters, where securing and preserving food was essential for survival.

While modern domestic dogs don't face the same challenges, this behavior still lingers. It's more prevalent in dogs with a hunting background and less likely to be seen in companion breeds such as pugs.

3. For Fun

Some dogs, particularly those higher than average in intelligence, love to hide their treats to get a reaction from their owners.

Many owners reinforce this behavior by acting excited or fussing their dogs when they find the treats that they've hidden, but the best way to address this behavior is not to react at all.

When your dog learns they don't get the desired outcome, they'll stop the behavior.

4. Avoiding Competition

In households with multiple dogs, it's common for dogs to hide their treats to prevent competition. This often occurs when one dog is highly food-motivated or larger than the others. In such cases, the smaller or less confident dogs may hide their treats elsewhere to ensure they get a chance to enjoy them. To address this situation, it's essential to tackle the dominant behavior of the larger or more confident dog. Ensure that all dogs understand that they have an equal right to treats. While some people choose to separate their dogs during treat time, this approach merely avoids the issue rather than addressing it directly.

5. They are Anxious

If your dog is particularly anxious around food for whatever reason, they might be stashing treats away for later out of fear of not being fed later.

This is quite common behavior for dog breeds that are prone to anxiety, like the Border Collie, as well as those who come from dog rescue centers or shelters.

6. Attention Seeking

Understanding why your dog hides treats, whether it's for enjoyment or to seek your attention, can be challenging. The crucial elements are exercise and mental stimulation. If your dog isn't very active and lacks engaging activities that challenge its mind, it might hide treats not because it enjoys it, but to get your attention. If you suspect your dog hides treats for attention, ensure it gets enough exercise and engages in activities that make it think. This will keep it happy and mentally fulfilled.

7. Underlying Health Problem

In rare cases, your dog might be hiding its treats due to an underlying health issue, and in these cases, it's important to speak to your veterinarian as soon as possible.

How To Stop Your Dog Hiding Her Treats

It's usually quite easy to figure out why your dog is hiding her treats, and here are a couple of steps you can follow to figure out why and stop them from doing it in the future.

Set Up A Regular Feeding Schedule

Feeding your dog at the same time every morning and evening is a great way to help food-anxious dogs understand when to expect food, which is very beneficial if it likes to hide its treats.

Make Sure You're Not Overfeeding

As mentioned before, overfeeding is a major cause of dogs hiding their treats, so make sure you aren't offering them too many treats at a time.

The instructions on a lot of dog treats offer recommended feeding sizes for the size of your dog, but always double-check the recommended calories for your specific breed and make sure the treats are no more than 10% of this amount, as this is much more accurate.

Offering higher quality dog treats like our sweet potato treats will also be beneficial as they tend to be lower in calories, and they contain fewer filler ingredients, so you can feed your dog more.

Provide Enough Mental & Physical Stimulation

Another important consideration is ensuring your dog receives sufficient mental and physical stimulation. This means meeting their daily exercise needs and providing additional mental stimulation through obedience training, interactive games, and other activities.

Is It Bad If Your Dog Hides Her Treats?

Your dog hiding treats isn't necessarily a negative behavior, but it's crucial to ensure there's no underlying issue causing it. As long as you avoid overfeeding your dog with excessive treats and they're not dealing with health problems, anxiety, boredom, or competition from other dogs, it's likely they're just hiding treats for enjoyment. If you ever have doubts, consult your veterinarian to rule out any underlying problems that may require attention.

« Back to Blog