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How do Dogs taste food?

With so many varieties and flavours of dog food on the market, it's widely assumed dogs can taste food - but why does your dog go mad for a certain flavour?!

On average humans have around 9000 taste buds on their tongue, whilst the average dog has 1700. It's estimated their taste is about one-sixth as powerful as outs. However, they can still taste sweet, sour, salty and bitter foods. They also have an additional taste geared for water due to special taste buds that react to water as they drink and become more sensitive as they become thirsty.


Smell and taste are closely related, with both playing a crucial role in how a dog experiences their food. The sense of a dogs nose is significantly stronger than humans, with approximately 125 million sensory glands, compared with humans at 5-10 million. As a result their sense of smell gives them a better taste of what is in the bowl, and plays a prominent role in gathering information about their environment - including their food.


From time to time, some dogs may become fussy or picky for several reasons - predominantly because of being fed table scraps or treats more frequently. Over time this can become a problem, but the behaviour can be managed by training to eat at set meal times, limiting the number of treats and table scraps and keeping food fresh by ensuring the packaging is sealed or closed properly.

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