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I nostri cani hanno gusto e sanno distinguere i sapori?

Do our dogs have taste and can distinguish flavors?

Is there such a thing as quality dog ​​food? Why does my dog ​​explore food with his snout instead of his tongue? Do you enjoy tasting a special stew? Do dogs have taste? Can dogs distinguish flavors?

Despite having a huge tongue, which hangs out when he exercises or is hot, he doesn't seem very interested in licking his food before gobbling it.

What are the differences in the sense of taste between dogs and humans?

Of the five senses, taste is the least developed in dogs. A dog's tongue has fewer than 2,000 taste buds, compared to a human's 9,000. The dog's tongue is smoother, narrower and flatter than ours and does not have the typical roughness that characterizes this appendage in humans. This makes it less sensitive to flavors than us.

Can dogs distinguish flavors?

Despite their lesser ability to distinguish the flavors of food, and contrary to what many people think, dogs do distinguish flavors. There are different opinions, but they all seem to agree that sweet, bitter and sour are flavors that dogs are able to distinguish, but salty is difficult for them to assimilate. This seems logical, as dogs evolved as carnivores by instinct, meaning they consumed a sufficient amount of salt in their meat-based diet and did not need to develop the taste buds responsible for detecting this flavor.

Therefore, dogs have taste, but they do not taste food like we humans; and since their sense of taste is poorly developed, it will not be necessary to vary their menu frequently. But it will be their experience during early childhood that will have a great influence. It has been observed that those who have tasted different tastes and textures since childhood tend to be more accepting of variety in food as adults. Some even go so far as to accept strong flavors, such as vegetables and greens, while others refuse to vary their daily diet.

How do dogs enjoy food?

What drives them to appreciate and be attracted to food is their extremely developed sense of smell. That's why the dog food industry emphasizes strong odors in the production of its products. If we want our dog to be attracted to the diet we prepare for him, we will have to pay particular attention to the aromas of the foods and find out which ones are his favourites. This becomes evident as the dog ages and his sense of smell weakens, causing him to lose his appetite because he is no longer able to smell food as well as before.

This limitation of taste, compared to the strength of smell, can hide a high risk, since the attractive smell of an inedible object can attract them enough to ingest it, without worrying about the taste of the object. Through ingesting attractive-smelling objects or small animals, our pets can become infected with hidden parasites, such as Toxocara canis, and develop serious diseases. Furthermore, people (particularly children) can become infected with some of these parasites and give rise to clinical signs, sometimes even serious ones.

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