Can Dogs Taste Roasted Food?

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Introduction

We've all seen it - our pooches will eat just about anything, from leftovers from dinner, scraps in the trashcan, or even a Thanksgiving turkey on the table! One may ponder a dog's ability to taste, and whether it resembles human taste at all.  

Sadly, a dog’s sense of taste is much less intense than that of a human. We, humans, have roughly 9,000 taste buds, while our furry friends have only around 1,700. This means their sense of taste is about 1/6 as powerful as ours. However, this doesn’t mean that our pups don’t taste anything at all. 

So is it worth bringing home those leftovers to give to your furry friend? Read on to find out!

Signs Your Dog Can Taste Roasted Food

If you are wondering whether or not your dog can taste roasted food, all you have to do is readily observe your pup to find out. Dogs that taste, and further enjoy, roasted food will be sure to let you know. Dogs rely on their sense of smell, more than their taste buds when it comes to eating and enjoying food. Roasted food often carries a certain smell, whether it be spices, oil, or even grease, that will make your pup's nose and ears perk up.

Some of the signs to watch for that will let you know your dog is lovin' their roasted food can include excited behavior, tail wagging, following your every move, and even scarfing everything down without a second to breathe! Make sure to take your time to find a diet that works best for your furry friend, as dogs can have sensitive stomachs. If they seem to like their roasted meals, feel free to keep providing it!

Dogs tend to not be very picky eaters. If your dog is resisting, remember that smell matters more to your pup and consider what you are providing for meals. Animal behaviorists believe that most problems with picky eaters are simply a smart dog in defiance. Your pup may know that if they leave their meal, you will probably offer something else. Just remember that dogs will have their own preferences when it comes to favorite food, snacks, and treats.

Body Language

Here are some signs you may notice if your dog tastes, and enjoys roasted food:
  • Alert
  • Barking
  • Whining
  • Jumping up
  • Pacing
  • Raise ears
  • Drooling
  • Tail up
  • Paw raised

Other Signs

Some other signs that your pup can taste roasted food may include:
  • Begging
  • Excited behavior
  • Not leaving one bit of food behind
  • Pawing at your leg or plate

The History Behind Dogs Tasting Roasted Food

Dogs descended from wolves more than 20,000 years ago! As descendants from wolves, we know that dogs were primarily carnivores as they roamed in the wild.

However, dogs don't taste the tiny, little nuances of food like humans do, as it simply wasn't needed! When hunting in the wild, smell mattered much more. Roasted food is likely appealing because of the multitude of smells that come with roasting food, whether it be meat or even veggies. Dogs are now omnivores, and enjoy both meat and plant foods.

The Science Behind Dogs Tasting Roasted Food

While we have about 9,000 taste buds, our furry friends only have about 1,700 taste buds. This means that our furry friends have a palate six times inferior to ours. Our dogs have taste buds on the very tips of their tongues, giving them the same taste classifications that humans have:  bitter, sweet, sour and salty flavors.

Smell is likely the most important factor when trying to better understand how your dog responds to certain foods. Roasted foods, for example, are often attractive because of their unique smells - smokiness, spices, oils, and other things like these. 

Dogs have about 25 times more smell receptors in their noses than humans do. That means that our pups can smell about 100,000 times better than we can (so while we may win the taste battle, they've got us in the smelling department). Dogs have a membrane inside of their noses, a membrane that captures molecules and sends impulses to their brain. This, combined with a special organ on the dog’s palate, gives dogs the ability to taste certain smells. So, regardless of how something tastes, if it smells good to a dog, your pup will be into it.

What does your pup prefer?

Training Your Dog Not to be a Picky Eater

When it comes to feeding our dogs new food, it is important to start slow and observe their responses. Dogs tend to have sensitive stomachs, which is why you should take it a step at a time. It is also better to be safe than sorry, so speak with your vet before introducing any new foods to your pup's system.  

Additionally, eating habits are learned. As your pup's owner and light of their life, it is your responsibility to teach your pup how to behave properly and to have good manners, Therefore, teaching good eating habits from the moment your pup comes home is imperative. 

Some trainers believe that humans should eat their meals before the dog to demonstrate leadership. Make sure you teach your dog to stay away from the table while you are eating your food and do not share your food with your dog while you're at the table. Unfortunately, this just reinforces bad behaviors and bad manners. 

If your dog already has bad feeding behaviors, you can take the time to correct them Teach your dog to understand that no other options exist, except for what you originally provide. Set out your dog’s food for 30 minutes, and take it away if it hasn't been eaten. When it’s time for your dog’s next meal, set out the food again and take it away in 30 minutes, whether it is eaten or not.  Remember, if your dog is truly hungry, your dog will eat!

Safety Tips When Feeding Your Dog:

  • Feed your pup fresh food.
  • Store foods where your dog will not be able to get into it (including a lid on your trash can).
  • Keep your pup away from toxic human foods, like onions.