Food is usually aged to improve its flavor, so we seem to like it. Aged food is also often among the healthier items on a menu. From meat to cheese, there are many examples of aged food we like to have every now and then.
What about dogs? Dogs seem to eat a wide variety of things; they aren’t exactly known for being picky about what they put in their mouths. But can they taste aged food? Do they like it? Read on to learn more about aged food and dogs.
Signs of Dogs Tasting Aged Food
Dogs aren’t picky eaters. However, there are some things they don’t like. Usually, dogs will easily eat things that they were given when they were pups. If you are thinking of giving aged food to your dog, it may actually be a healthy option as well. Generally, aged food develops a stronger flavor, even becoming sour if it's fermented.
Your dog will let you know whether they like the taste of aged food or not. For instance, sniffing and pushing the food around with their nose is a sign they don’t like the aged food in front of them. In some cases, your dog may even look a bit scared when facing aged food they don’t like. You can see your dog tucking their tail or withdrawing from the food.Dogs also use their sense of smell to judge food items. The aroma gives the dogs information about their meal’s freshness and a sense of the taste. You can notice the breathing pattern of your pooch as they approach the food. They will take fewer and deeper breathes to judge the food.
History of Aged Food and Dogs
Humans have been aging foods since forever. How long have we been feeding our dogs aged food? Probably for a long time as well. In addition to improving the flavor of the food, aging is done for several reasons. These include drying, allowing for fermentation, culturing, and extraction (usually for alcoholic drinks).
While dogs have fewer taste receptors than humans, they do have the same taste range. So they can taste sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. Some dogs may like certain tastes more than others. You would know the “personal history” of your dog’s eating habits, which is crucial in maintaining a healthy diet with minimal hassle.A lot of food tastes better when aged such as cheese, meat, and fruitcake. This may have a positive or negative effect on the dog. For instance, a previously bland piece of food will have a stronger taste after being aged and your dog may realize for the first time that they don’t like it. Aged food, especially that has been fermented, can also be healthier. So if they seem to like it, you’re being a good dog owner by letting them have more of it!
Science of Dogs Eating Aged Food
Instead of the 9,000 taste buds you have, your dog only has around 1,700. So that kind of explains why dogs are not too finicky about what they eat. When it comes to aged food, your dog may be more likely to have it if they have been exposed to it as pups.
Food elements such as carbohydrates, fats, and proteins are all elemental for living things. But they don’t really have a lot of flavor in their natural state, which is why we cook them. Aging is a process that makes the (fundamentally bland) food itself tastier. Aging creates better conditions for enzymes already present in the food, improving its inherent taste.Since dogs have a sharper sense of smell, they may react more strongly to the smell of aged food. This can make them like or dislike it, so pay attention to your dog’s preference.
Training Your Dog to Eat Aged Food
If your dog hasn’t had aged food before, start them off with small quantities. You can also consider making some simple aged food recipes or create combos with normal food. Mostly, dogs will readily eat whatever they were given to eat when they were young. So if you have a pup, it’s a great time to develop their taste for aged food. Of course, you shouldn’t force your dog to eat something they don’t like. So be mindful of your dog’s reaction when you introduce them to aged food.
Sometimes a dog is simply not hungry. So if they are not touching the aged food in their bowl, offer them something you know they like. If they go for it, you’ll know they don’t like aged food.Also, see if there are any changes in your dog’s urination or stool. Dogs can’t speak but their behavior and droppings can tell you a lot. A dog’s metabolism is a lot higher than ours, so any good or bad outcomes of eating a certain food will usually show quickly. Ensuring your pooch’s health eating habits is a big part of being a responsible down owner. If you are confused about anything related to your dog eating aged food, contact your vet.
By Fatima Mansoor
Published: 06/22/2018, edited: 04/06/2020