As a dog parent, you can swear up and down that your little one has preferences when it comes to food and treats – preferences you happily indulge for your pup to live their best life. But can they really taste the difference? Depending on your approach, schools of thought remain divided on the subject.
As a human, we are exposed to a variety of tastes – salty, sweet, bitter, sour and umami. Dogs, believe it or not, are also able to taste a few varieties, but as with their eye-sight, a dog’s taste panel is limited to a 6th of that of humans – salty, sour, bitter and sweet. Yes, your pup could have a sweet tooth.
While dogs can still experience 5 out of 6 flavours, they are more affected by stimulation of their more dominant senses. Primarily, the scent of a food will more readily decide whether a dog will eat it or not. This is followed by the texture and then the taste.
This is not necessarily limited to meaty foods either. Conditioning your dog from puppy age, will decide his preferences – it’s completely possible to raise a vegetarian or vegan dog. Whether this is advisable or not, is still a matter of opinion.