Do dogs actualy taste their food?

I had a discussion with someone who totaly swears dogs only smell food and not taste it. I have never heard of this?

sandy t sandy t Message sandy t
Feb '11


Dogs possess about 1,700 papillae (sensory cells) on their tongue, as opposed to a human who has around 9,000. Although dogs' sense of taste is not close to that of a human, it is believed that dogs can differentiate between salty, sour, sweet and bitter tastes.

The Role of Smell
The papillae are mainly located near the tip of the tongue. As dogs taste food, the sense of smell plays a big role. The senses of taste and smell are so closely related on dogs that it is very probable that the dogs receive more information about their food by smelling than by tasting.


Don't Be Fooled
Dogs will often trick their owners into providing them with a new brand of canned food every day by pretending to not like their food or lose their appetite. They are using the food as a way to manipulate their masters. This behavior is not a product of their sense of taste, but is a result of their desire to control their master.

google is great

Shannon P. Shannon P. Message Shannon P.
Feb '11

That's interesting, I've never heard this. So let's say a food could have only scent and no taste at all, they would be just as excited to have it?

I wish I could be satisfied with just smelling food lol!

Oh yeah my dog used to play those games with me about not liking her food (for the first 2 years of her life!) Funny, she stopped doing it when the second dog came into the picture because she knew if she didn't eat it he would!!

JRT JRT Message JRT
Feb '11

Thanks for the info! That settles the debate! And yep, ours totaly manipulates us when it comes to food and many other assorted stuff! It is alll about her! ha ha ... love her more every day and funny, she seems to get smarter as she ages, 16 now ...
We had a dog years ago who would not eat dog food until you threw it outside and said "Guess the birds will eat it!" He would fly out of the house and wolf all of it down!

sandy t sandy t Message sandy t
Feb '11

I recommend that you read the book Inside of A Dog: What Dogs See, Smell and Know by Alexandra Horowitz. I picked it up at the Mansfield Walmart a few weeks ago and so far it has been very interesting! If you're a dog-lover like I am, you'll surely appreciate it.

jellybean jellybean Message jellybean
Feb '11

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