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- Can Dogs Taste Crispy Food?
Can Dogs Taste Crispy Food?
Most people relish the satisfying crunch that accompanies biting into crispy food. Fried chicken, potato chips, and even vegetables wouldn’t be the same without that glorious sound letting you know that they are as fresh as they are tasty.
But, when it comes to dogs, do they get the same satisfaction from crispy food? Do they rejoice in the sound and texture as much as we do? Or does it have no impact on whether they enjoy their meal?
Many dog foods and treats are crispy, so it’s worth learning if that is something your dog actually appreciates or merely tolerates as part of the eating experience.
Signs Your Dog Likes Crispy Food
Typically, dogs are pretty good at letting you know what they do and don’t enjoy, even if they can’t tell you in words. Their actions and facial expressions speak volumes, as long as you pay attention to the signals that they are sending out.
When it comes to food, your dog’s mannerisms at meal times provide you with clues about their preferences. For example, if they dive into a dish full of one dog food but walk away from another, it usually means one of two things. First, it could give you an idea of their preferences. Otherwise, you could simply be learning that they aren’t hungry at that moment.
However, how they act when you eat is also a valuable source of information. If your dog stares at you while you enjoy a crispy food, but looks away when you attempt to make eye contact, that could be a sign that they weren’t actually looking at you, but at your tasty treat instead. Similarly, if they begin to salivate, that is a clear sign that they find what you are eating to be appealing.
Another indication that your dog may hold crispy foods close to their heart is if, once you take a satisfying bite and that crunch sound resonates, they come running in from another room. This shows that the sound itself caught their interest, possibly letting you know that they enjoy it when crispy foods make their way to their plate (or dish!) as well.
Begging is also a sign that they desire crispy food. If they approach you with their ears forward and then shift their ears backward, they are trying to determine if you are willing to share a tasty morsel with them. Similarly, if they bounce around or seem to be performing in exchange for a tidbit, that also shows they consider that food to be a potential treat.
Even a little whimpering could be a signal that your dog wants what you are eating, hoping that their faint cries will convince you to share with them.
History of a Dog’s Sense of Taste
Taste is an important part of almost every mammal’s experience. Flavors provide animals with valuable information, including whether a food has nutritional value or if it could potentially be poisonous. Ultimately, the ability to taste helps a species survive, ensuring that they eat the proper items and discard those that could pose a threat.
Like people, dogs have developed a sense of taste that provides them with the same sort of feedback. However, their perception of taste varies from that of people, predominately because our nutritional needs differ. For example, people tend to like salty foods, partially because our natural diets didn’t always provide enough sodium, leading us to seek it out. However, since your dog’s ancestors didn’t have issues getting enough salt (thanks to a diet mainly comprised of meat), they don’t crave salty foods as people do.
This means that, over time, dogs have evolved a sense of taste that is designed to help them meet their own nutritional needs. Since salt was plentiful in their diets, finding foods with salt isn’t as appealing. However, since meat and fat played a significant role in keeping them healthy, they developed specialized taste buds that could help them survive more effectively in the wild.
Science of a Dog’s Sense of Taste
The sense of taste is largely centered on the presence of taste buds on the tongue, assisted by the sense of smell. Taste buds act as receptors, allowing us to gather information about a food simply by placing it in our mouths.
Dogs don’t have the same number of taste receptors as people do. Typically, they only have around 1,700, while people possess around 9,000. Generally, dogs can taste the same flavors as people: salty, sweet, bitter, and sour. However, some of theirs are specifically attuned to seek out meats and fats, while those on human tongues are not.
Many crispy foods include fat. After all, deep frying involves a lot of fat to achieve a crispy texture. Since your dog is designed to seek out fat, crispy foods may be especially appealing.
Training Your Dog to Eat Properly
If you own a dog, you have a big responsibility on your hands. It’s your job to teach your dog how to eat healthily as well as to have good manners when it comes to their own and your food. Allowing your pet to intrusively beg when people are eating isn’t going to be well received. Similarly, allowing them to skip their dog food in favor of snacks that aren’t healthy for them isn’t ideal, as it could lead them to become obese.
When you need to teach your dog to eat properly, you need to be regimented with your approach. Present food on a specific schedule and make sure only to provide them what they need to live a healthy and nutritionally rich life. Always measure out their dog food based on their weight and actual caloric needs, adjusting things up or down slightly if their weight falls out of the normal range.
Similarly, make sure to correct them if they begin begging and it interrupts people who are trying to eat. First and foremost, you need to make sure that you don’t give in to their begging. Ignore your pet while they are participating in the behavior, and resist the urge to feel sorry for them if they are otherwise well fed. Don’t allow them to put a paw on you or encroach on your space. And, above all, make sure you are consistent, giving them time to understand the rules.
You also need to be aware that foods that people eat aren’t always ideal for dogs. While your pet needs fat in their diet, many fried foods aren’t the best choice from a health perspective. High-fat foods can lead your dog to put on excess weight, which may increase their risks of developing certain conditions, like heart disease.
Instead, if your dog likes crispy food, find a suitable dog treat that provides a satisfying crunch and respects their nutritional needs.
By Catherine Reed
Published: 06/14/2018, edited: 04/06/2020