owner holding bowl of food in front of dog

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

You pour your dog his favorite kibble and walk away, expecting to hear the familiar sound of him munching away. But instead, you notice something odd. He’s busy with his blanket, trying to hide his food underneath it. You pause and think, “Why on Earth is he doing that?”

Believe it or not, this dog behavior has some fascinating roots. From ancient habits to simple doggy thoughts, there’s a lot more to this action than meets the eye. Join us as we dive deep into the reasons behind this curious canine behavior. Ready for an adventure into your dog’s mind? Let’s jump in!

Key Takeaways

  • A dog may try to cover its food with a blanket due to anxiety, nausea, over-feeding, possessiveness, attention-seeking, or environmental factors.
  • If your dog covers his food due to anxiety or nausea, it’s important to address any underlying medical conditions by consulting with a veterinarian.
  • Feeding your dog less frequently and using a heavier bowl can help reduce the tendency for them to cover their food with a blanket.
  • Taking your dog for a walk before mealtime can provide exercise and mental stimulation that reduces the need for food-covering behavior.

Reasons Your Dog Covers His Food Bowl


Dogs may hide their food due to anxiety. Fear can make them feel like they must place their food in a safe spot. They use a blanket or other item to cover the food. This way, dogs feel that no other animal can take it away from them.


Your dog might try covering food because he feels sick. Nausea can make dogs lose their want to eat. Illness or belly pain while eating may cause this. Look for signs like laziness, throwing up, and loose stools. These hint that your dog’s need to hide food might be about health.

It helps to take your dog to the vet if you see these signs often. The vet will check for health problems that could make your dog feel sick. This way, you know if nausea is why your dog tries to cover his food with a blanket or nose.


Too much food can lead your dog to cover his food with a blanket. This act is common in dogs that get more food than they can eat at once. Your dog may feel there is extra food left after eating. When there are leftovers, some dogs bury food for later use.

If you notice this behavior, it’s best to give your dog smaller amounts of food at mealtimes. Doing so keeps the dog from hoarding or hiding its leftover meal under blankets or other places around your home.


Some dogs can be possessive of their food and may display aggressive behavior towards other dogs or even their owners during meal times. This possessive aggression can be dangerous, especially in multi-pet households.

These dogs may ignore commands and growl while protecting their food. They might also hide their treats instead of eating them, showing possessiveness over the items. They may choose to hide or cover their food in various places, such as beds, toys, or even burying it in the ground.

It’s important for pet owners to address this behavior and seek professional help if needed to ensure a safe and harmonious feeding environment for all pets involved.


Some dogs cover their food with a blanket as a way to seek attention. They may feel that hiding their food will make you notice them and give them more attention. This behavior can be risky because they might swallow something they shouldn’t, like the blanket or other objects.

It’s important to address this attention-seeking behavior by providing your dog with plenty of love and engagement throughout the day so they don’t feel the need to hide their food for attention.

Environmental factors

Environmental factors can play a role in why dogs cover their food with a blanket or other items. Sometimes, dogs may feel uncomfortable or anxious in their eating environment, and covering their food gives them a sense of security and privacy.

It could also be an instinctual behavior for dogs who are used to living outside or in less stable environments. Additionally, resource guarding can cause dogs to cover their food as a way to protect it from other animals.

Understanding these environmental factors can help pet owners address their dog’s behavior and provide them with the comfort they need during mealtime.

yawning dog wrapped in blanket

How to Address Food-Covering Behavior in Dogs

To address food-covering behavior in dogs, there are a few strategies you can try. First, check for any underlying medical conditions that may be causing discomfort or nausea during meals.

Next, consider feeding your dog less frequently to prevent over-feeding and anxiety. Using a heavier bowl can also deter them from pushing the food around. Additionally, taking your dog for a walk before mealtime can help release excess energy and reduce possessiveness over their food.

Remember to always consult with a veterinarian for professional guidance on addressing this behavior.

Check for any underlying medical conditions

If your dog is covering his food with a blanket, it could be a sign of an underlying medical condition. It’s important to take your dog to the veterinarian and get them checked out.

Nausea, lethargy, vomiting, and diarrhea can be signs that their food-covering behavior is health-related. So make sure to address any potential medical issues before attempting other solutions.

Feed them less frequently

Feeding your dog less frequently can be helpful in addressing their food-covering behavior. Dogs may try to cover their food when they are not hungry, so reducing the frequency of meals can prevent them from feeling the need to hide or bury their food.

It’s important to provide your dog with the appropriate amount of food for their size and activity level, but overfeeding can contribute to this behavior. By feeding them less often, you can help regulate their appetite and discourage them from hoarding or hiding excess food.

Remember, it’s always a good idea to consult with a veterinarian about your dog’s specific dietary needs before making any changes to their meal schedule.

Use a heavier bowl

Using a heavier bowl can help address the behavior of dogs covering their food with a blanket. When dogs have a lightweight bowl, they can easily push it around, making it easier for them to hide or cover their food.

By using a heavier bowl, you can make it more difficult for your dog to manipulate or bury their food bowl. This reduces their ability to hide or cover the food and encourages them to eat without trying to bury it.

Take them for a walk before mealtime

Walking your dog before mealtime is a helpful way to address their food-covering behavior. Here’s why:

  • Walking provides physical exercise and mental stimulation for dogs, reducing anxiety and discomfort while eating.
  • The exercise and mental stimulation from a walk can decrease the need for dogs to bury or cover their food as a way to establish territory.
  • Walking before mealtime helps regulate appetite and prevents overeating, reducing the need for food – covering behavior.
  • A walk distracts dogs from their instinctual need to cover their food, redirecting their focus and reducing the behavior.
  • Incorporating a walk before mealtime creates a routine that signals it’s time to eat, eliminating the need for food-covering behavior.
dog laying next to bowl of food


Dogs may cover their food with a blanket for various reasons. It could be due to anxiety, possessiveness, attention-seeking, or simply trying to create a safe eating environment. Understanding and addressing these behaviors is important to ensure our furry friends are comfortable and secure during mealtime.

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Written by Tom Cashman

I have grown up with pets for almost fifty years. My family has strong ties to the animal shelter community in Chicago. Currently I have two cats: an orange tabby named Zelda, and a gray mixed named Zander. Like all of my pets, they were adopted from a local animal shelter. Pet Zone represents my passion for sharing with the pet community.

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Why Does My Dog Cover His Food With His Blanket?

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  1. My dogs have never used a blanket to cover their food. However, when we lived in a condo, when we were at work, my rescue pup would sit in her food bowl. I guessed it was stress from shared walls with neighbors. Thankfully when we moved into our home – she stopped that and relaxed.

  2. Found this fascinating, didn’t know that dogs do this at times but it makes sense after reading your post. I’ll keep an eye out for my pup.