In honor of Earth Day week, I thought we would talk a little about the Earth! Specifically about the dirt beneath your feet and why dogs like to disrupt it by digging so much.

Luna has always been a digger, but she doesn’t always dig. Certain things set her off and then she goes crazy. A while ago we were visiting a pet friendly winery and she decided to excavate under our picnic table (sending dirt everywhere). Why is that? What exactly was she looking for?

I was a little tired of getting covered in dirt all the time, so I set out to find out what is up with this whole digging thing.

Luna loves to dig!

Why Do Dogs Dig?

1. Dogs dig out of boredom.
This is similar to when dogs chew or become destructive out of boredom. How can this be avoided? Keep your dog well exercised – both physically and mentally. Provide some toys and chews that will entertain her when she needs to be at home alone. Jen from Puppy Leaks also recently wrote about her experience with her dog, Laika, hiding her toys out of boredom.

2. Dogs dig to escape.
If your dog feels constricted or experiences separation anxiety, she may try to dig her way out of an uncomfortable situation. When I first adopted Luna, I tried to crate her while I was away from home. The containment of the crate and her separation anxiety didn’t play well together, so eventually Luna learned how to break out of the crate. She then proceeded to try to dig her way out of the room she was in and destroyed my bedroom door and carpet. How can this be avoided? Learn what upsets your dog and work with it. After experiencing this, I learned that containment was not ideal for Luna when she was alone and we adjusted.

Luna after digging at a pet friendly winery.

3. Dogs dig to cool off.
Deeper layers of soil and sand are a bit cooler, so your dog may be trying to escape the heat. On our last beach trip, Luna dug herself a hole in the sand to keep herself cool. I didn’t find this to be a problem because everyone loves to dig in the sand at the beach! If this happens in your backyard, it might not be as fun. How can this be avoided? Provide cool and shady places for your dog to rest when she is outside. Limit time outside especially during hot, summer months and provide easy access to water.

4. Dogs dig to save.
Your dog may like to save things for later and burying bones or other treats for another day. Luna doesn’t do this since her impulse control is out of whack. How can this be avoided? Provide a special place for your dog to hide her goodies without being destructive.

5. Dogs dig to follow their noses.
Something might just smell really good. Maybe someone dropped a crumb or another dog (see #4) buried a treat. How can this be avoided? Try designating an area where your dog can dig like this great one from It’s Dog or Nothing. Maybe even hide a few treats for your dog to find.

Luna will dig a hole anytime anywhere.

If you dog is digging in your backyard, be aware that many bulbs are poisonous if consumed. Avoid these plants if you have a big digger on your hands!

Does your dog like to dig?

This week’s 52 Snapshot of Life theme is EARTH and this is my submission, along with my A to Z Challenge post for the letter ‘U’. If you’d like to see more photos from our 52 Snapshots of Life Photo Challenge, you can view them all over in my Flickr 52 Snapshots of Life photo album.

Don’t forget to visit last week’s post to learn what makes Luna feel QUIZZICAL and come back next week to see what is BELOW.

< T is for Teddy the Dog || V is for Virginia – 5 Pet Friendly Places to Visit >

You can also check out other snapshots from this week’s 52 Snapshots of Life Photo Challenge theme by clicking below!

Jessica Shipman
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