Why Do Dogs Dig Holes and Lay in Them?

Why Do Dogs Dig Holes and Lay in Them?

Sharing is caring!

Table of Contents

Help! My dog digs holes and lay in them!

There is nothing odd when you see your little pooch digging around.

Almost all dog owners will agree that this is merely behavioral, and there is no reason to be worried, especially if your dog belongs to the Hound group like Dachshund, Beagle, Bloodhound, Whippet, Saluki, etc.

One interesting thing to note, however, is why do dogs dig holes and lay in them?

This action can be mind-boggling because despite having a much more comfortable place to stay.

Why do dogs choose to flop on the site they dug? Do dogs have a poor taste? Or they want to annoy their masters by bringing extra dirt inside the house?

Why do dogs dig holes and lay in them?

Why do dogs dig holes and lay in them?

Here are the common reasons why dogs dog hole and lay in them.

To escape the hot weather

Dogs do not sweat as much as humans do. Their primary mechanism to release heat is through panting, but sometimes they want to find a way to lose even more.

Grass has excess moisture, but it still feels warm since it absorbed all the heat.

By instincts, dogs know that digging deeper into the dirt will provide the cooling effect they need.

To feel safe and secured

Imagine the dirt as a blanket; it gives warmth and protection.

During winter, dog’s bigger cousins – wolves, foxes, and wild dogs would want to bury themselves for shelter and protection.

Of course, we hope that by the time its winter, your dog is already inside your home.

But yes, due to instinct, this behavior can still be noticed even today. 

To hide their hidden treasure

Sometimes, dogs can also be very possessive. It can range from food, toys, and even their owner’s things.

That’s why it’s common why your socks or hair ties seem to disappear out of nowhere.

Next time you wonder why do dogs dig holes and lay in them, you know that they might be guarding their secret stash.

Recommended reading: Why is My Dog Digging Holes All of A Sudden?

Why Do Dogs Dig Holes and Lay in Them When They are Sick?

Why do Dogs Dig Holes and Lay in Them When They are Sick?

Some dog owners reported seeing their dogs digging holes when they are sick as if they are digging their graves.

With few, go even further by saying that their dog died shortly afterward.

While there’s no definite reason dogs dig, no substantial evidence exists either to back up this claim.

Digging is a typical dog behavior, and most of the time, it is not a sign of sickness.

At some point, it is a mixed blessing because it also makes owners too comfortable that they fail to notice behavioral changes in their dog.

Again, digging is ordinary, but once it becomes excessive, it can be a subtle sign that your dog isn’t feeling well.

Since dogs cannot speak and say if they’re sick, the best way to avoid reaching this stage is to be always observant of any sudden behavioral changes.

Put yourself on their shoes (or should I say paws?) When we are sick, our actions seem a bit “off.”

The same principle applies to dogs, whether the cause is health problems, old age, stress, etc.

Trust your gut, if you noticed something a little different from your dog, better act fast than to avoid the consequences.

How to Stop Dogs from Digging Holes

How to Stop Dogs from Digging Holes

Now that we understand the reasons why your dog digs holes and lay in them, its time to discuss the proven ways to stop your dog from digging holes.

Give your dog enough exercise

One reason dogs dig holes is that they’re bored and looking for entertainment.

For dogs, digging is fun, especially if they hear some critter crawling underneath.

But for owners, a destroyed lawn doesn’t bring any joy. To prevent this from happening, make sure to give your dog at least 30 minutes of exercise each day.

Create a dig-pit

Since digging is impossible to get rid of totally, then simply dedicate or create a space for your dog to excavate legally. 

Provide water and shade

As mentioned earlier, one reason why dogs dig holes is to cool off.

To prevent them from going toward this path, then provide a comfortable shelter or shade where they can rest.

Don’t forget a fresh bowl of water too. Extra ice cubes wouldn’t hurt, especially during the summer season. 

Remove excess food

If your dog enjoys hiding things to save for later, then steal it. You have to remove all the stuff your dog has buried in the yard.

The next move is to put away excess food you are giving. Once your doggy is full, remove his food bowl.

The same thing applies to his toys. You can also switch to bite-size treats instead of large ones.

Use Dog-digging Repellent

There are several options you can choose from. You can blast your dog with water using a motion-activated sprinkler, lay a plastic mesh in your yard, or cover the area with weird smells. 

Recommended reading: How To Stop A Dog From Digging?

What Can I Spray on My Yard to Keep Dogs from Digging?

There are tons of dog deterrent sprays you can buy from Amazon, but if you want to make a homemade deterrent spray for dogs, here are your best options:


Dogs hate the strong scent of vinegar. It is an effective dog deterrent, and cheap at the same time. However, make sure not to spray it directly to the plants since it is highly-toxic for them. 


Humans love the scent of oranges, grapefruits, and lemons, but it can be too much for dogs. You can spray a mix of citrus fruits and water around your yard to prevent your dog from digging.

Citronella Oil

Like mosquitoes, dogs do not like the scent of citronella oils as well. You can create your homemade dog repellant spray by mixing 1/2 cup of citronella oil with four cups of water. 

Coffee filters soaked in ammonia

Dogs have powerful olfactory senses, that’s why any strong scent (except food, I guess) would push them back.

Using ammonia would do the trick; unfortunately, it can sometimes be too much for your dogs, and it can also kill your plants.

So, you can soak coffee filters in ammonia and place them around your yard instead. 

We hope that you enjoyed reading our article, and learned what to do the next time you see your dog digging holes like crazy. Don’t forget to share this article to help fellow pooch owners solve their problems with digging dogs.