How Good is a Dog’s Sense of Taste?

By August 21 | See Comments

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When we see commercials for dog food, we always wonder if our canines have a good sense of taste. Contrary to popular beliefs, our sense of taste is much stronger than our canine counterparts. While we have around 9,000 taste buds, our canine buddies have approximately 1,700, which means that their taste buds are only one-sixth the strength of ours. However, the taste buds of canines have unique features, not found in humans.

Canine taste buds

There are studies which show that dogs have the same classifications as us, which means that they are capable of identifying bitter, salty, sour and sweet. At the same time, canines also have taste buds that are designed only for water. Carnivores are the only animals that have these special taste buds. These taste buds located on the tip of their tongues, that is the place where they lap water. Even though these taste buds react to water all the time, their sensitivity increases after canines eat sugary and salty food.The reason why carnivores have these taste buds is so that they drink more water after eating food which can cause dehydration. Also, the way canines respond to the taste sensations is different when you compare them to humans. Scientists believe that nature had a role to play in the development of their tastes. Unlike other animals and humans, canines don’t have a fondness for salt because they used to eat meat most of the time, which is salty. Nature prevents canines from consuming large amounts of salt by making it less appetizing. Nature has also done this for sour and bitter foods as they are because of poison or rancidity. As canines are omnivores, they also like sweet flavors as they may have eaten vegetables and fruits in the past.

Why do canines eat everything?

You might be wondering why canines will eat everything from garbage to prime ribs if they can taste food? Well, canines have special organs that allow them to taste their food through smell. The canines sense of smell is stronger than ours by a million times. For example, canines have the ability to differentiate between meat and non-meat food without smelling. However, they won’t be able to find the difference between pork, fish, beef, and chicken without smelling. If something smells good to canines, then it will also taste good.Most of the time canines are not picky eaters when it comes to eating food. However, if your canine is a picky eater, you can increase the chances of it liking certain dishes by making it more aromatic. Sometimes, canines tend to be picky because they know they will get something better. Even though canines don’t have a strong sense of taste, they do have their preferences when it comes to food!

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