Link #35: Your Sense of Taste Is Six Times Better than Your Dog’s

dog's taste bud

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Link #35: Your Sense of Taste Is Six Times Better than Your Dog’s

dog's taste bud
That Tasted Nice by Lil Shepherd cc2.0

People who treat their dogs like family often think that the dog shows human traits. In fact, in most cases, people tend to equate their dog’s sense of taste with their own. However, this can end up being dangerous for dogs, especially when owners tend to feed them chocolate thinking that they should share the joy.

While a dog getting poisoned by chocolate is the worst-case scenario, the confusion with the sense of taste can cause many smaller problems too. It’s better to understand that a dog’s sense of taste is much different than yours. For example, did you know that you have almost six times more taste buds than your dog?

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Do Dogs Have Fewer Taste Buds Than Humans?

dogs feeding
Dogs feeding. Image credit: Rebecca Siegel cc2.0

Seeing dogs attack their food with the kind of gusto that they’re known for probably makes you think that they are as great foodies as you. Unfortunately, that’s not true. As a matter of fact, part of the reason why dogs gulp down their food is that they can’t taste it as well as you.

The other reason is that the instinct to eat quickly is ingrained in them from the time dogs used to roam the wild. Coming back to the point, a dog has fewer taste buds than you. Dogs have approximately 1,700 taste buds while you have 9,000. Do you see the big difference there? It’s almost six times.

What Kind of Sense of Taste Do Dogs Have?

dog feeding on meat
Dachshund eating a raw turkey neck. Image credit: Ellie Attebery cc2.0

Dogs can taste almost everything that you can except for the fact that their sense of taste is not as refined as yours. In simple terms, you can divide your dog’s sense of taste into four categories which are sour, bitter, salty and sweet.

If you try to go deeper into this then you’ll find that dogs have a tendency to favour non vegetarian foods over vegetarian foods. However, this doesn’t mean that they don’t eat vegetarian foods because dogs have been known to eat grass too.

It just means that about 80 percent of the time, they like meat. Within meats, dogs seem to have pretty defined preferences. In the ascending order of preference, dogs like horse meat, chicken, lamb, pork and beef. This also is probably a result of their pre-tamed days.

Dogs Are Omnivores

Max the dog
Max the dog by Gabriela Pinto cc2.0

Depending on the specific personality of your dog, you may even find that your dog likes milk just like cats. Dogs have a tendency to eat virtually everything and fairly repeatedly. This is probably why you can feed them the same dog food day in and day out.

Even so, they like variety too. For instance, you will find that your dog sometimes gets bored of its diet just like you do. However, your dog won’t need his food to be varied to the extent that you do.

Sometimes, just warming the food can make a world of difference to a dog. Similarly, you can add a little bit of carrot to his usual fare and he will love the variety.

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