What Dogs Taste
Did you ever wonder what dogs actually taste when they eat? I do, and just assumed that everything tasted like chicken to them.
Amy Shojai wrote a piece that discusses this and shares several interesting facts. You can read the whole piece here:
Here are some highlights:
- the taste system of dogs is used as a model for people because the two are so similar.
- the majority of canine taste buds respond to sugar, most likely a reflection of their omnivorous evolution.
- like people, dogs are able to detect a kind of “fruity-sweet” flavor that attracts us — and them — to the calorie-rich ripeness of fruits and vegetables.
- the second greatest number of canine taste buds respond to acidic tastes, which correspond to sour and bitter in people.
- dogs don’t appear to have a specific taste response to salt.
- odors coupled with taste tend to impact what the dog will eat.
I would add a few to this list based on my own observations:
- dogs don’t care about the color or presentation of food. (so why do some dog food companies add artificial colorings?)
- dogs are sensitive to spicy foods and all else equal, prefer less spicy to more spicy.
- although omnivores, most dogs much prefer meat to other foods.
Our dogs have each had specific tastes. Our Labs tend to be less picky and SD Jack has eaten raw brussel sprouts, mushrooms, pretty much anything. Maggie has more discerning tastes and she’s not a fan of vegetables. Fruits she likes, but only carrots on the veggie side.
What about you? Does your dog have a quirky taste palate? Let us know some of the strangest things your dog likes to eat.