Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Healthy Dogs

Select An Article

Why Dogs Dig and What You Can Do

Font Size

ASPCA logoSome wild dog relatives, like foxes and wolves, dig dens to raise their young. Sleeping in a den protects the young pups from extreme temperatures (both hot and cold) and from predators. Our pet dogs share the desire to sleep in and under things that resemble a den. They often dig at the ground and circle before lying down, as though they’re trying to make a softer resting place. (Many dogs do this on the carpet or furniture as well.) Dogs also dig when trying to get warm or stay cool, to entertain themselves, to bury valued items, and when hunting ground-dwelling animals.

Why Dogs Dig

Keeping Cool and Comfortable

Dogs often dig and circle to make a comfortable bed. If a dog is especially hot or cold, she may dig to find a warmer or cooler place to rest. Holes are often strategically located in cool or warm areas, such as in the shade, underneath bushes or outdoor furniture.


Many dogs love to dig. Some breeds, like terriers, are more likely to dig than others. But any dog can develop a digging habit. Dogs who dig for fun usually adopt a playful posture and alternate between digging and running around. Sandy surfaces often trigger bouts of digging. If your dog digs for entertainment, you’ll probably see holes located randomly around the area.

Burying Valued Items

Dogs bury food, chew bones, toys and prey. This behavior was once key to the survival of dogs’ wild ancestors because it allowed them to leave food safely concealed and then return to eat it later. It’s not surprising that our domesticated dogs still feel the urge to dig. If a dog wants to bury something, she digs a hole, places the item in the hole, and then uses her nose to cover the item with dirt. Often the dog will repeatedly bury an item, dig it up and bury it again in a new spot. Some dogs “bury” things indoors, on carpeting or furniture, or underneath dog beds or piles of laundry.

Hunting Ground-Dwelling Animals

Most dogs have the desire and ability to hunt small prey such as moles, groundhogs, etc. If a dog finds a hole with an animal inside, she may dig relentlessly in an attempt to get to the animal.

Next Article:

Today on WebMD

bulldog in party hat
Breeds with longevity
Doberman Pinscher Clipped Ears
The facts about ear cropping and tail docking.
dog with duck in mouth
Which are considered smartest?
boxer dog
What are their health issues?
Pit bull looking up
Pets: Is My Dog Normal
Dog scratching behind ear
dog catching frisbee
Dog Breed RMQ
Lady owner feeding dog
bulldog in party hat

Special Sections