Digging in Dogs

Is your dog making your yard look like a construction site? Does Fido have a habit of mining for buried treasure in your garden or flower bed? Digging is a fairly common behavior in our canine friends, and one that can be quite frustrating for pet owners. Here, a Pleasanton, CA vet discusses digging in dogs.

Why Dogs Dig

Dogs dig for a variety of reasons. As you may know, Fido sometimes likes to bury toys or treats. This habit serves our furry pals well in the wild, as it’s one way they can preserve food for later. Your pup may dig out of boredom, or to relieve stress or anxiety. Some pooches dig to try to escape. If your canine companion hasn’t been fixed yet, he may be trying to get out, so he can go looking for love. Dogs also dig to try and reach small animals that are burrowing under the yard. (Note: this is particularly common in terriers.) Your pet may also just be trying to get relief from heat, cold, or parasites.

Fido’s Handiwork

Before you can address your canine buddy’s landscaping hobby, you’ll need to determine why he’s digging. Observe your pup’s handiwork, and see if you can figure it out. If your furry little miner is digging in straight lines, he’s likely trying to reach an underground critter. However, if Fido likes to bury toys or treats, well, you may have a four-legged pirate on your hands! If you can’t tell why your pet is digging, ask your vet or a professional dog behaviorist for advice.


There are some basic steps you can take that may help. First, make sure that your furry buddy is getting enough exercise. Fido should also have lots of toys to play with. Bored dogs have a tendency to get into mischief! If your pup is digging for treasure, try putting a sandbox in your yard, and burying some toys in it. If your canine pal knows where the goodies are, he may leave the rest of the yard alone! We also strongly recommend spaying or neutering. Last but not least, make sure your pet always has shelter and fresh water outside, and don’t leave him out longer than he likes.

Please reach out to us, your Pleasanton, CA pet clinic, for all your dog’s veterinary care needs. We are here to help!

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