5 min read


Can Dogs Taste Creamy Food?



5 min read


Can Dogs Taste Creamy Food?


I Scream! You Scream! We all scream for Ice Cream! Your dog might bark for it, too! As much fun as it is to share a treat with your best friend, first, stop to consider if the treat is actually good for your dog. 

Most dogs are lactose intolerant. Those creamy foods that are so scrumptious to us may cause your dog to have digestion issues. It is OK to share a taste with your dog. Otherwise, enjoy your creamy food and respect your pet's need to have a diet that will support good health and digestion.


Signs Creamy Food Doesn't Agree with Your Dog

Dogs will eat just about anything. Most tend to be food-driven and will lap up whatever you offer as well as whatever they find when they scavenge. Just because they will lap up the food quickly does not mean that the food they are eating will have a good reaction later. You can watch for those signs of indigestion in the hours that follow. 

When it comes to understanding your dog, it is important to be an observer of the context and your dog's reactions. Your awareness of your dog's signals will help you to be responsive to your dog's needs.

When you are eating something your dog would like to taste, you will notice that they have an intense focus on your food. Your dog will stare and stare and stare. This is your dog's way of saying, "I want it". 

When presenting food to your dog, you will see a general state of awareness and alertness. The dog will stand with a forward stance. The tail will be confident and high. The ears and nose will be forward. Their eyes will be alert and focused on the food that you are holding. With your good training, your dog will know to sit and wait for the food to be shared or placed into the food dish.

Dogs tend to be lactose intolerant. This means that your dog may lap up creamy food and seem to enjoy it but later, you may see signs of indigestion. Lactose intolerance means the dog will have digestion problems. The most common of these are flatulence and diarrhea. The dog may even vomit. 

Of additional concern are the possible additives to the creamy food that can be toxic and cause additional reactions. Your dog may become ill, experiencing a loss of appetite, lethargy and fever. By being a good observer of signs of illness in your dog, you can seek medical assistance and learn strategies to keep your dog healthy in the future.

Body Language

Some signs your dog may give you if they are interested in your creamy food include:

  • Staring
  • Alert
  • Tail Up
  • Ears Up

Other Signs

Signs that the creamy food is causing your dog grief are:

  • Diarrhea
  • Flatulence
  • Vomiting
  • Loss Of Appetite And Weight Loss

The History of a Dog's Taste


Taste plays an important role in evolution. Typically, food that tastes good is safe to eat. Taste buds have evolved to help us to survive in our environment and to support our nutritional needs. For example, catfish have 100,000 taste buds because they thrive in murky river bottoms with poor visibility. 

Taste buds are proteins on the tongue that bind to incoming substances and send signals to the brain that, in turn, interprets the information. Like humans, dogs can taste bitter, sweet, sour, and salt. While their diet is predominantly one of meat, dogs are omnivores. They will forage for fruit and they like sweet flavors. 

They have special receptors for water on the tip of the tongue as they need water to digest the meat proteins and high salt content of meats. When it comes to taste and dogs, they are more driven by scent than flavor. or food texture.

The Science of Creamy Foods Affects on Your Dog


While pups nurse their mother's milk, they do not have the digestive system for cow's milk. Milk and creamy foods are not good for your dog to eat. The milk can cause bloating, diarrhea and vomiting. Most creamy foods are loaded with sugars that can make your dog fat. 

Going for the diet creamy food is a dangerous option as the ingredients may include Xylitol, which is deadly, toxic substance for dogs. Even when considering milk alternatives, such as soy or almond milk,  be aware that some dogs have allergies to nuts. Be aware of flavors in creamy foods. For example, chocolate is toxic to dogs. 

There are things you can do to offer creamy foods to your dog. Fermented foods are healthful because the process pre-digests the food. A small amount of yogurt can be safe for your dog so long as it does not have Xylitol or chocolate. 

There are even ice cream products specially developed for dogs. You can take a safe fruit like bananas and make your own version of a creamy treat. Dogs can also eat creamy vegetables like mashed potatoes or mashed turnips. When giving your dog food supplements, remember that they only need a very small amount on an occasional basis. 

Teaching Your Dog Eating Manners


Your creamy food may both look and smell tempting. If you have shared your food with your dog in the past, there is an increased likelihood that your dog will be begging for more. A dog at the table can be a real pest. There are things you can do to teach your dog to have good table manners. The 2 main things that you can do are to first, prevent begging by limiting your dog's access to the table. Second, you can teach your dog to go do something else instead when it is mealtime.

Prevention solves many problems before they start. One way to prevent begging at the table is to not allow your dog in the area when you are eating. You may choose to crate the dog during your mealtime. Another option is to place your dog on a tether with a play toy while you eat. Just do not leave the dog there for long or forget to release your pet after you eat.

Your other option is to teach your dog what to do while you are eating. An outstanding choice is to teach your dog to go lay down on a mat when you are at the table. This will take a lot of patience and repetition but if you are persistent, you can be successful in teaching your dog to go lay down. When your dog comes to the table, stop, gently lead your dog to the mat, and say, "Stay". At first, your dog will follow you back to the table. Your food might get cold the first few times you do this,  but over time, your dog will get the idea to go lay down.

Remember - dogs are perfectly happy to eat their own food every day. Don't make behavior problems or risk giving your dog an upset stomach by sharing your food with your beloved pooch. 

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By a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel lover Pat Drake

Published: 05/03/2018, edited: 04/06/2020

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