You’d be forgiven for thinking that as dogs have a strong sense of smell, that their sense of taste is equally as impressive.
In fact, dogs have only around 1,700 taste buds, whereas humans have roughly 9,000 taste buds, meaning that their sense of taste is only about one-sixth as powerful as ours.
According to studies, dogs can identify sweet, sour, salty and bitter flavours. Most surprising, however, is that they have special taste buds geared specifically for water!
They are located on the tip of a dog’s tongue and react to water as they drink. And, as they become more thirsty, the more sensitive they become.
So, dogs can clearly taste the food, but it’s actually the smell that matters more to dogs than the way food tastes.
To them, if it smells good, it will likely taste good!
Smell and taste are very closely related. Dogs can actually taste food through their sense of smell. Interestingly, they can differentiate between meat-based and non-meat-based foods without smell – they cannot, however, differentiate between different meats without smell.
In short, taste matters far less to dogs than the smell.
Research says that 80% of flavour is down to the smell. If that’s the same for dogs, imagine how much they love their favourite food!