Dogs have around 1,700 taste buds compared to our 9,000. This is a pretty big difference, which helps explain why your dog is often drawn to foods you couldn't be paid to touch! They also rely on their sense of smell in order to taste foods. In addition to smell, texture is an important component to understanding what they like. Mushy foods, for example, are appealing because they are easy to eat and digest, and often carry a very attractive scent.
Signs Your Dog Likes Mushy Food
More pet owners are playing around with their dog's diet, looking for a combination that will fulfill their dietary needs and please their taste buds. Although your dog only has about a sixth of the taste buds you do, they still deserve taste to be a consideration. Many foods that are mushy and moist carry a strong aroma, which may make you turn your nose up, but for Fido, it's the smell of heaven. By understanding how important smell and texture are to your dog, you will be better prepared to feed them a diet they will never get sick of.
So, how do you know if your dog is loving the mushy food you are feeding them, or if they are not a huge fan? It will probably be pretty obvious to you, as most dogs can't contain their excitement when they are given something they love. Look for an overactive tail, lip-licking, drooling, begging, and maybe even jumping up and down or in circles. These are all signs your dog is excited and wants more from where that came from!
- Wag tail
- Tail up
- Licking their bowl clean
- Following you around
- Begging for more food
History Behind Dogs Tasting Mushy Foods
Now, it's safe to say your dog's wild ancestors weren't too concerned with texture, but over time, this has become an important factor. Dogs are often drawn to moist, mushy foods because of how they feel in their mouth - as well as the super yummy aroma they give off.
Science Behind Dogs Tasting Mushy Food
In order to understand how dogs taste mushy food, in particular, we must look at their sense of smell. Unlike humans, dogs rely mainly on their nose when it comes to what foods they will eat and which they could care less about.
It is no secret that dogs have an incredible sense of smell, in fact, it is considered the greatest trait. A dog's sense of smell is anywhere from 10-100,000 times more powerful than the human nose - impressive, don't you think?! Because of this, they are able to pick up on even the tiniest smells. Given their amazing sense of smell, it is no wonder many dogs prefer foods that are moist and mushy. This is because these foods often carry a very pungent, appealing smell to dogs.
This leads us to texture. Dogs usually prefer flavors that have an extra aroma, such as mushy (aka smelly) foods. Sure, dogs will eat foods that are odorless and dry, but they don't prefer it. Dogs like a variety of textures in their diet, which is something we dog owners don't always thing about. We assume dogs have a pretty basic taste of sense, and while this isn't too far off, this way of thinking can prevent our canine friends from getting the well-balanced diet they deserve.
Training Your Dog to Taste Mushy Food
If you are considering trying to introduce this type of food to your pawsome partner's diet, always consult your vet beforehand. Your vet will know what diet is best and whether or not this is the right direction for Fido. Once they give you the green light, you can start experimenting with different mushy foods and see how they like it.
Veggies are often a safe way to get your dog used to foods of this texture - and it doesn't hurt they are full of awesome nutrients! Steam up some carrots, acorn squash, or beets and then mash them up (use a little elbow grease!) and place the mixture in your pup's bowl. Start with a small amount and see how it goes. You can either feed the mushy treat to your pup on its own or mix it up with their current food, dealer's choice.
How to React if Your Dog Likes Mushy Food:
Give them a high five!
Talk to your vet about integrating wet or mushy foods into their diet more regularly.
Observe them and make sure they are able to digest it okay.
Check their stool.