Why do dogs dig?

We’ve come across many people in our lives who would love to own a dog, but who don’t want to risk the sanctity of their backyard to do so. Many are hesitant to add a furry friend into their life because they are worried it will lead to trench-like holes in their grass or a complete backyard re-landscape. But, is a dog’s digging just natural instinct or something else altogether? 

To get to the bottom of it, we’ve broken down some key reasons why dogs dig below: 


Dogs dig when they are bored 

Dogs need company, love and plenty of attention. Like humans, they are social animals, and without enough socialisation, they can get bored quickly. To relieve boredom, many dogs will turn to digging, using it to work off their unspent energy so they can enjoy another nap in the sun.

If your dog is digging during long periods when they are alone, you may need to consider providing them with more exercise, more time at the dog park or more enriching toys, such as puzzle feeders.


Dogs dig when they feel trapped 

Imagine being stuck in the same room or space for more than 24 hours. You would get bored, right?

Now, imagine you were stuck in that space with nobody to speak to or play with, even more boring if you ask us.

Anxious and bored dogs that feel trapped may be seeking a way to escape so they can enjoy your company again. When they can’t get over fences or out of doors, their next instinct is to dig… And quickly. If you can’t be with them constantly, try solutions such as doggy daycare or a puppy sitter to see if the digging lets up. This can help you plan a way forward to ensure your pet doesn’t try to escape again in a hurry. 


Dogs dig when they are interested 

It’s important to remember that dogs are hunters and that many dogs have been bred to look for items underground, such as truffles. So, if your dog smells something that takes their fancy, they will want to search for it. This could be anything from food to the poo of another animal or even large insects. 

If these hunting instincts are taking over your yard, try to purchase them toys or engage in activities that allow them to hunt without digging. One of our favourite games is hide and seek, where you challenge them to use their nose to sniff out treats you hid around the house; instead of goodies that have been long-buried underground. 


The PetNest team is here to help

We understand that even though digging can be a natural instinct, it is not always a favourable one for pet owners. Whether you have a dog that loves to dig or you’re worried about what a dog could do to your yard in future, we have a range of products in our collection that can help you ensure the damage is kept to a minimum. Explore our collection today, and don’t forget that you can always ask us for support.