5 min read


Can Dogs Taste Doughy Food?



5 min read


Can Dogs Taste Doughy Food?


Baking for your dog can yield some healthy and tasty treats for you both! There are recipes for pretzels made with ingredients such as applesauce or sweet potatoes that are both healthy and yummy for your dog. You may find that you are both lip-smacking when you consider doughy textures for your dog. Just watch the waistlines! 

Too many carbohydrates can make your pet have a stomach that pooches. Any doughy foods that have a bit of sweetness or meatiness to them will be an especially pleasurable experience for them. Just never, ever let them eat raw dough. Appreciating your dog's tastes and learning what is safe for your pet to eat is part of being a resourceful master.


Signs Your Dog Likes Doughy Food

Dogs would be happy to eat the same food every day. We expose our dogs to different flavors and textures and introduce variety to their diet. It may be that we enjoy watching our dogs with a treat more than the dog benefits from the experience. 

Part of the human-dog bond is one of sharing. Your dog may enjoy doughy treats as long as the ingredients are safe for them and the dough is cooked. 

You can watch for signs that your dog is enjoying the treat by anticipatory behaviors, such as begging or salivation. Your dog may devour the food quickly and completely as another signal of pleasure. If the food is disagreeable to your dog, you will need to watch for signs of illness to take quick action to keep your dog healthy and safe.

Begging dogs are so cute. They will lift a paw, tilt to one side, look at you with those big eyes, and maybe give you a whimper. Your dog may even blink and lick to express submission. 

Do you remember Pavlov's dogs? The sound of a bell was associated with food and the dogs would drool when they heard the bell. You may see your dog drooling at the sight of the cookie jar as you prepare to offer food or a treat. Depending on your dog's disposition, you may find your dog sitting patiently, staring at you with alert ears.

If your dog were to get hold of raw dough, it could be toxic and even deadly. Also, breads, pretzels, or doughy foods that are flavored with raisins, onions, or some varieties of nuts can also cause toxic reactions in the dog. It is your responsibility to learn about toxic substances and to ensure your dog is not endangered. 

There are signs you can watch for if your dog has gotten into raw dough or toxic ingredients. Watch for digestive issues such as vomiting or diarrhea. The dog may retch or drool. Your dog may also have a temperature. The ill dog may appear weak and even collapse. If the condition is serious and unattended, the dog may slip into a coma or die.

Body Language

If your pooch is really into doughy foods, watch for the following:

  • Head Tilting
  • Lip Licking
  • Drooling
  • Whimpering
  • Paw Raised
  • Blinking

Other Signs

If your dog has eaten doughy food with an ingredient that is not good for them, be sure to monitor for:

  • Vomiting Or Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Fever
  • Collapse

The History of a Dog's Taste


All mammals have surprisingly similar capacities when it comes to taste. When we think about evolution, taste has helped mammals to survive. The evolution of unpleasant taste sensation protects from exposure to dangerous or deadly substances. Sweet and attractive flavors are an evolutionary signal that the item is safe to eat. 

Humans and dogs share in the ability to taste sweet, sour, bitter and salt. In the case of the dog, meat has been dominant in their diet. Meat is naturally salty. The dog has a special sensitivity to water in the tip of the tongue, where the dog laps water. 

Humans have a more refined ability to taste, with 9000 taste receptors in the tongue. The dog has only 1700 receptors, hence, the dog is more willing to eat anything with less discriminate taste than people. 

Smell plays an important role in taste. The scent of foods probably plays a larger role in the dog's taste experience than the taste buds.

The Science of Dogs Tasting


In the wild, dogs primarily eat meats but they will also forage for food. They will eat fruits and vegetables. Dogs will prefer flavors that are meaty or sweet. They do not like to taste sour, bitter or salty substances. Doughy foods tend to be sweet. 

Carbohydrates have sugars that are attractive to humans and dogs. Dogs must only eat doughy foods that are cooked. Even then, it is important to watch for ingredients that are toxic, such as raisins. Be aware of any allergies to wheat, as well. 

If a dog were to eat uncooked dough, the risk is that the dough will ferment inside the dog's stomach. When the unbaked bread dough expands in the warm, moist environment of the stomach, this can result in a bloated stomach (called “bloat”), which can then progress to a gastric-dilatation volvulus (GDV), which is a twisted stomach. 

Your dog can also get alcohol poisoning from uncooked dough. The fermentation of the uncooked dough creates carbon dioxide, that leads to bloat and alcohol. The alcohol is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream causing alcohol poisoning. The consequences of the alcohol poisoning include dangerous drops in blood sugar, blood pressure and body temperature. Intoxicated dogs and cats can experience seizures and respiratory failure.

Training Your Dog to Eat Slowly


It is perfectly safe to feed your dog bread and non-salty pretzels. They can even enjoy some pizza or pigs in the blanket. But only offer these treats in moderation, if the dough is cooked, and there are no non-toxic items included in them. 

Some dogs are so food motivated that they eat their food too quickly. When dogs eat too quickly, they can experience indigestion and they also can be demonstrating annoying feeding manners. There are a number of things you can do to teach your dog to eat more slowly. 

  • Try a puzzle feeder
  • Spread the food around on a cookie sheet which will cause the dog to do more licking and less gulping
  • Feed your dog with a muffin tin
  • Play hide and seek at meal time. Place small bits of food about the house and hard and the dog is being fed while playing the game. 
  • Purchase or create a slow feeder bowl. Place a large object in the center of the dog's bowl and spread the food around it. This will force the dog to have to work at getting the food and slow down.
  • Serve smaller portions of food more often
  • Hand feed your dog

By now, you may be noticing that all of these suggestions are more about what you, the master, must do differently to structure the amount of food and feeding environment to make the dog successful. That's exactly what good training involves - teaching us to be better humans for our beloved best friends. 

Bone Appetit!

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Safety Tips When Feeding Dogs Doughy Food:

  1. Do not offer unbaked bread or dough to your dog!
  2. Avoid baked goods with raisins, currants, or grapes.
  3. Skip out on savory treats with onions and garlic.
  4. Make sure the baked good does NOT contain xylitol.

By a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel lover Pat Drake

Published: 04/23/2018, edited: 04/06/2020

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