If you’re used to seeing dog food commercials, you probably believe that a dog’s sense of taste is highly refined. Cats also have heightened senses. But did you know that both cats and dogs have special tastebuds?
Dogs and cats have taste buds that are specifically designed for water. A dog’s sense of taste is far less discriminating than ours. While humans have approximately 9,000 taste buds, dogs only have about 1,700. This means their sense of taste is roughly one-sixth as strong as ours.
Do Dogs and Cats Have a Sense of Taste?
The simplest answer to the question is yes. Although a dog’s sense of taste is only a fraction of a human’s, its sense of smell is up to a million times stronger.
A cat’s sense of smell is also twenty times stronger than a human’s. Smell and taste are intertwined; dogs can taste foods using their sense of smell and a particular organ along their palate. Dogs, for example, can distinguish between meat-based and non-meat-based foods without smell but not between different types of meat like chicken, beef, fish, or pork.
According to studies, dogs have the same four taste classifications as humans, which means they can identify sweet, sour, salty, and bitter flavors. On the other hand, dogs and cats have unique taste buds that allow them to remember water. They can be found at the tip of your pet’s tongue, where it curls as they drink from their bowl. These taste buds are always sensitive to water and become more so after eating salty or sugary foods. (Source: I and Love and You)
What is the Best Food for Dogs and Cats?
While the adage goes that cats like fish and dogs like steak, our four-legged friends are far less discriminating eaters. Because dogs and cats rely so heavily on smell to help them taste foods, the more aromatic, the better; canned or wet food has a more robust flavor than dry food and may appeal to your pet.
Dogs enjoy sweet foods but dislike foods that are overly salty. This explains why their tails wag for blueberries but ignore the salt and vinegar potato chips on the counter. Before sharing your snacks, ensure you know which human foods are safe and which are harmful to your dog.
Your pet is exposed early in life, just like human children, which may influence what they like later in life. If they were exposed to various foods, including dry and canned foods as a child, they would likely try new foods as adults. If they believe that variety is the spice of life, they will adore these food toppers, which spice things up and make mealtime enjoyable!
Another consideration is the food’s freshness. Foods lose aroma and flavor as they age. The fats in the product begin to oxidize and form peroxides. The peroxides oxidize, producing foul odors and flavors. Always check the label on your food to see how long it will last.
If your pet is a picky eater, there may be nothing wrong with the food itself. Your dog or cat may be a smart cookie who knows that if they wait long enough on their everyday food, you’ll reward them with something better from the kitchen table. (Source: I and Love and You)
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