Dog guardians are often quite concerned about the type of diet their pets follow. In addition, many of them are interested in selecting types of foods that they like best, but what are the flavors that dogs prefer? Lookig for best collar for large dog that pulls?
As it happens with human beings and other animals, dogs are able to detect many flavors, as well as feel weakness for certain textures.
Therefore, they can develop a taste for the type of food they are used to and reject others. Today you will discover which foods dogs prefer, how they detect flavors and which foods they usually reject.
The sense of taste in the dog
The chemical senses, such as taste and smell, are the most primitive sensory modalities. The various taste sensations are produced from four different types of receptors. Each of them is capable of perceiving a flavor, but when mixed and combined they give rise to many nuances.
On the other hand, the sense of smell also contributes to the perception of taste, which is extremely developed in dogs. When chewing, volatile substances are released into the nasal passages.
The morphology of the teeth, the way dogs eat and other characteristics of their digestive tracts indicate that they are facultative carnivorous animals. Their dentition is underdeveloped, as is their sense of taste, although this does not mean they lack it.
Strict carnivorous animals like cats do not need a sense of taste for sweet foods and therefore have no receptors for them.
Dogs, on the contrary, do detect sweet taste, since they can include certain fruits and vegetables in their diet, even if it is sporadic and in small amounts.
Even so, it is necessary to note that in the language of human beings we find about 9000 receptors for flavors. In dogs, there are only about 1700 receptors.
Also, although dogs taste more or less like humans, the sense of taste in dogs is less pronounced. In addition, they hardly have receptors for salty tastes and avoid bitter tastes completely.
Dogs are animals whose main sense is smell, they understand the world through smell and it was not going to be different with food. Dogs select their food mainly according to their smell, just as people usually choose their meals through sight and experience.
What are the flavors that dogs prefer?
Most studies conducted to discover and understand what foods dogs prefer are done under laboratory conditions and with animals bred for this purpose. This means that these dogs can hardly be compared with those living in homes.
Laboratory dogs usually have a fixed diet throughout their lives. After weaning, puppies begin to eat a particular type of food and changes are rare. Also, due to this fact, dogs do not live enough experiences nor are they exposed to different flavors to develop their palate and taste.
However, most of the feeds we find in the market are tested on laboratory dogs. The purpose is to fix the palatability (how much the dog likes) and to avoid possible adverse effects to its consumption.
Thus, a study conducted in the 1980s determined that dogs prefer beef, pork or lamb meat to chicken or horse. Of course, they also prefer meat to cereals. In feed, cereals only serve to lower costs and add a certain amount of nutrients.
Dogs, contrary to what many people think, also seemed to prefer canned meat or wet food to fresh, pâté to diced meat and cooked meat to raw.
When dogs live in homes, these conclusions drawn by such research may be contradicted. The flavors preferred by dogs living within a family will depend largely on their experience.
If the dog is offered different types of food throughout its life, from feed to fresh produce, its palate will be much more developed and it will accept more types of food.
In the same way, it is very normal that the dog will have the same preferences as the guardian, as well as in its first months of life it will prefer to eat the same foods as its mother.
Dogs can taste water
By definition, water is a tasteless, colorless and odorless product from the human point of view. For dogs, however, water can have different tastes and odors.
On the tip of the tongue of dogs there are specific taste buds that detect the taste of water. Scientists suggest that their purpose is related to the water balance of the dog’s body.
Dogs also have specific taste buds to detect very different nuances in meat and fat, something that people lack.
In short, dogs can detect food flavors to a greater or lesser extent. In addition, they will develop their sense of taste depending on how many different types of food they taste, just as people do.