Some brands of dog food are promoted as human-grade making you wonder what such dog food would taste like. Some dog owners have gone as far as tasting their dog food just to be sure how it tastes. Such people think that what tastes good for their dogs must also be tasty to them. Is this the reality? What does dog food taste like?
First, let us understand something about dog digestive system. Dogs are both carnivorous and omnivorous because they can digest a certain amount of plant material and flesh. Dogs have a longer digestive system compared to true carnivores such as wolves and this is what makes it possible for them to digest plant material in addition to animal materials.
What does dog food taste like?
The Taste of Dog Food Varies
Foods meant for dogs generally fall into two categories; dry and canned dog food. Depending on the specific brand, dry dog food may have some good aroma and taste.
This is according to informal reports of those who have had the chance to taste the food. Certain brands of canned dog foods are extremely tasty, have a good aroma and in some cases very palatable.
Manufacturers of premium dog foods definitely have human taste-tasters. However, it is not clear whether they release the results. One thing for sure is that such manufacturers formulate the dog food to appeal to the human owners of pets and so it has to have some taste.
Dogs Have Unique Taste Sensation
Research indicates that dogs have approximately 1700 taste buds compared to human’s 9000 taste buds. This means humans can discriminate taste stimuli more efficiently than dogs. The taste buds have receptors for sweet, salty, sour and bitter sensations. However, their salt sensation is quite primitive.
Historically dogs were carnivores and their main diet was meat. Meat contains high sodium concentrations so dogs do not need supplementation in the form of salt.
Since dogs are not strict omnivores or herbivores, their taste buds have, in addition, specific receptors that are tuned for meats, fats, and meat related chemicals.
This explains why dogs will tend to seek out, and prefer the taste of things that contain meats or flavors derived from meat. Dogs dislike the bitter taste and therefore they will not enjoy foods containing bitter ingredients in their formulation.
It appears dog depend more on smell than taste in choosing what to eat. Most people who have tried to taste dog food are usually put off by the seemingly repugnant smell.
However, it may be this smell that attracts the dog to the food in the first place. As long as it is a high-calorie dog food containing the right mix of ingredients, has some meat flavor or has meat and smells right for dogs; your dog will enjoy the foods. It should not matter to you how it tastes.
The Bottom Line
The taste of dog food may not be as good as the human food. Dogs taste differently and the best dog food to gain muscle contain an appreciable amount of meat or flavors derived from meat. Dogs will definitely love this kind of food because their taste buds are optimized for this particular taste.