Do dogs have a sense of taste? 11 things you need to know

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Do dogs have a sense of taste? How many taste buds do dogs have?

Yes, dogs have a sense of taste. In a recent study, it has been found that dogs have 1,700 taste buds, which is nearly 5.7 times less than humans. This means that they can taste like we do, but they can’t distinguish between as many different flavors as we can.

In this article, we will explore 11 things you need to know about a dog’s sense of taste.

Let’s find out.

Do Dogs Have a Sense of Taste?

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A simple answer to this question is yes; dogs do have a sense of taste. But it is much different than what it tastes like for humans. Where humans have approximately 10000 taste buds, dogs have only 1700. It means that the sense of taste for dogs is one-sixth of what humans can taste. A dog’s sense of taste may not be as refined as a human’s, but they do experience taste, however. 

Dogs have four different taste classifications, just like humans. They can taste sweet, sour, salty, and bitter. But what humans don’t and dogs do is a special taste bud that tastes water. 

Present at the tip of the tongue, it is found only in dogs and other carnivores and not in humans, and it gets activated on drinking water. 

How Does a Sense of Smell Help Dogs to Taste Food?

The two senses – sense of taste and smell – are closely related. A dog’s sense of taste may not be as refined as a human’s, but their sense of smell is far more refined than what humans can smell.

For dogs, the sense of smell plays a crucial role in taste. If something smells better, it will taste better. 

Dogs can identify the smell and decide if it tastes good or bad based on the smell. 

Hence, you would often see your dog taking a treat from the garbage can. That is because it noticed the strong smell and decided that if it smells better, it tastes better. 

Do Dogs Have Taste Preferences?

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Yes. Dogs do have food preferences. They prefer some foods over other foods. The actual foods that your dog loves to eat may differ from other dogs, but it certainly has some favorite foods to look for. 

If you serve food that your dog doesn’t like to eat, it can also develop food fatigue. Food fatigue is a condition in which your dog doesn’t want to eat what he is being served with. 

For example, if your dog eats halfheartedly, noses the food out of the bowl, eats half, and asks for something else, it may be that your dog has developed food fatigue. 

Try changing the food if your dog is suffering from this food fatigue. 

A balanced homemade dog food diet is the best option to support the optimum growth status in your dog. However, If you are fed up using dry dog food and cannot take out time or don’t trust yourself with your dog’s nutrition, I have found an excellent alternative for you.

Ollie dog food provides holistic, balanced, and all-natural dog food at your doorstep. Unlike commercially processed foods for the dog, these meals are free of any fillers and harmful preservatives.  

The most important benefit is that your dog is eating healthy with all the required nutrients included in the food. Experts prepare food at Ollie, and no essential nutrients are missed. 

Ollie will help you out by releasing the stress of cooking dog food with the delivery of ready-made, high-quality food at your doorstep.

What Foods Are Distasteful to Your Dog’s Taste Buds?

Dogs cannot tolerate the flavors of certain vegetables and seeds. Although dogs have taste buds to differentiate between sweet, savory, salty, and bitter. 

However, they wouldn’t want to activate certain taste buds as they are sensitive to these flavors. 

There is a list of foods that must not be served to the dogs. It is bad for their taste buds as well as their health. These foods include:

  • Onion can activate spicy sensation
  • Garlic and garlic chives can cause spiciness in the mouth and throat
  • Lime, grapefruit and lemon is too acidic for taste buds
  • Chocolate and cacao
  • Salty and fatty foods
  • Sugary Foods
  • Alcohol
  • and many others.

Frequently Asked Questions

My Dog Is a Picky Eater and Eats Half or None at All. What Should I Do?

If your dog eats half of the food or none at all, it might be suffering from food fatigue. It wants to be served something else because it doesn’t relish the food it is being given.

Remember that dogs have food preferences just like us humans. Maybe your dog has an issue with the smell or taste of the food. Changing to a different food will certainly help. 

A dog food brand like ollie can easily entice your dog to eat his food again with desire and pleasure.

Why Does My Dog Eat From The Garbage Can?

Dogs have a sense of smell that is a million times stronger than a human sense of smell. Dogs can get to know the food by its smell, for they believe what smells better should taste better.

Garbage can foods attract dogs as they might smell good, and your dog cannot control itself but to approach the can for a treat. 

Does My Dog Prefer Savory or Sweet?

Your dog has taste buds, and it certainly can differentiate between flavors. If you want to know your dog’s preference between sweet or savory, you need to run a little test. Put a slice of cheese and an apple slice before your dog. If it eats cheese first, it prefers savory. If it goes for the apple, it has a sweet tooth. 

What Does Water Taste Like to Dogs?

Dogs have a special taste bud at the tip of the tongue to taste the water. For humans, water is tasteless, but it might not be the same for dogs as they have special taste cells. Since we can’t taste water, the world of imagination is open for you to determine yourself what water might taste like to your dog. 

Can I Add Hot Peppers to Dog Food?

Never think of adding hot peppers to your dog food. Hot peppers cause spiciness to your dog’s mouth and throat. In addition, they cause intense pain and feelings of distress. That is because even a small amount of peppers causes great discomfort. The heat can also lead to gastrointestinal distress and disease. 

Can I Mix Wet and Dry Dog Food?

Yes. You can mix wet and dry dog food as long as both of these are coming from very high sources. The important thing is to look after the nutritional needs of your dog. As long as mixing wet and dry foods fulfill all the required nutritional needs, there is no harm in doing it. 

Can Dogs Eat Bread?

Bread is perfectly fine for your dog. Bread made of white flour or wheat flour is fine for your dog if your dog is not allergic to the flour. 


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Dogs have taste buds that work just the same as humans. Dogs have one-sixth of the human sense of taste, but they can taste all four flavor characteristics, including sweet, salty, savory, and bitter. 

Additionally, dogs can also taste the water. Your canine friend has food preferences based on taste and likes some flavors more than others. 

Determine what flavor he likes the most and offer him a treat.

I hope I have been helpful, and I wish you many moments of joy and satisfaction in the company of your beloved dog. If you still have any queries, do let me know. 

PS: If you think this is a well-informative article, please feel free to share it with your friends, and don’t forget to check Ollie’s website.

Until next time!

Good luck!

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Paws up for sharing this dog-related article!
Housam Ayouni
Housam Ayouni

I am a professional in the field of canine behavior and care with many years of experience. Through my dog blog, which has reached over one million dog owners, I offer practical tips and guidance to support dog owners in creating strong, positive relationships with their pets and promoting the well-being and happiness of all dogs. My goal is to help dog owners create a harmonious and fulfilling life with their furry companions.

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