Can Dogs Taste Stringy food?

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Introduction

Eat your fruits and veggies! This is likely something we all here when we are growing up. While dogs are thought of as meat eaters, they are actually omnivores. Dogs enjoy some fruits and vegetables as part of a balanced diet. 

While most fruits and vegetables are fine to feed to your dog in small amounts, it is also wise to have an understanding as to what foods are safe and unsafe for the dog's health. For example, some stringy foods tend to be salty, which is bad for dogs. 

It's not the texture that matters as much as the smell and substance to the food that your dog is eating. If you are looking to share something stringy with your dog, stop to consider if the food is really going to benefit the well-being of your best friend.

Signs a Food Does Not Agree with Your Dog

Dogs do not have words, as humans do, to communicate their thoughts and reactions to situations. They are amazingly sensitive creatures who live in the moment, reacting to their environment in ways that are self-protective. 

By being an astute observer if your dog, you can identify if your dog is responding in ways that are relaxed, submissive, aggressive, anxious, or playful. Watch the dog's body posture, stance, ears, eyes, mouth, and tail to read the moods of your dog. When it comes to situations involving food, you may discover an array of anticipatory, feeding, and post-feeding behavior. Learning your dog's reactions will support you to be a more responsible and responsive master.

"I want it. I want it. I want it." If you see your dog staring, they are giving you a strong signal that they want something. Your well-behaved dog will stare, and stare, and stare. If you see that kind of focus from your dog on something you are eating, it's a clear sign, they want it. Food is pleasurable and your dog will show you signs of happiness with a bouncy disposition. 

You may even see your dog smiling. Their mouth may be slightly open with the tongue hanging. You might get a friendly lick or hear a little begging cry when your dog is excited about food. There is always the inviting play bowing, which is your dog's way of welcoming you into a romp.

There are an array of emotions that your dog can show you. If your dog is interested and has curiosity, you will see your dog's head tilting. The dog may look confused, with ears up and neck craning to inspect the situation. If becoming aroused, you may see the dog'a body tense, with the tail high and slowly wagging. 

Has your dog ever stamped feet at your, alternating back and forth. This can be a sign your dog wants something and is making a demand. The posturing may even remind you of a child stamping the feet to get their way. It's always best to consider your dog's disposition and the entire situation when attempting to interpret your dog's body signals.

Body Language

The following are some signs your dog will give you if they are enjoying stringy food:
  • Staring
  • Whimpering
  • Licking
  • Play bowing

Other Signs

More signs that your pup likes food that is stringy include:
  • Tilting their head
  • Tense body language
  • Stamping their feet

The History of Your Dog's Taste Preference

Mammals share common capacities when it comes to taste. Scientists believe that taste has evolved to protect us from consuming substances that are dangerous and to drive us to the nutrients we need to be healthy.

Humans and dogs have taste receptors on the tongue for sweet, sour, bitter and salt. Dogs have less need for salt due to the high percentage of their diet that is meat based. Dogs even have a special receptor for water at the tip of the tongue, in the area where they cup and lap up water.

Smell matters more to dogs than taste. Compared to humans, the dog has a sense of smell that is 10,000 to 100,000 times more powerful. They are driven by scents. 

Comparatively, taste is much less powerful in the dog. Humans have about 9000 taste receptors while dogs have about 1700 taste buds. This may explain their indiscriminate taste and their ability to sniff out food and scavenge. Dogs actually like a variety of flavors. They most prefer foods that are fresh as they have the most flavor and scent.

The Science of Food Your Dog Can Eat

While about 90 percent of the dog diet is meat based, dogs will also eat fruits and vegetables. Some are particularly stringy. These include celery, string beans, broccoli ribs, squash, and onions. Of these foods, onions should never be given to your dog as they are highly toxic. Celery can be eaten by dogs but there are some things you need to know before giving your dog celery. 

First, celery is salty, which is not good for dogs. If you decide to give your dog celery, it should be in small amounts. It may be best to cut it into small bites. You can even cook the celery, making it less stringy. Celery has vitamins A, B, and C. It is known to support heart health and can make your dog's breath smell better. Your dog may find a few bites of celery refreshing. 

String beans can be safe to eat, in small amounts. Broccoli can be eaten but also has precautions. While broccoli has fiber and vitamins, broccoli florets contain isothiocyanates, which can cause mild-to-potentially-severe gastric irritation in some dogs.  Broccoli stems can get stuck in the throat and cause choking.

Training Your Dog to Eat Stringy Food

Taste is often a matter of what one is exposed to. It is best to teach your dog to be a good eater as a pup, introducing your pet to flavors and textures that will become part of the dog's balanced diet. 

A dog is actually happy to eat the same thing every day. You can adjust your dog's diet by gradually introducing new foods and mixing them in with familiar foods. Here are some strategies for teaching your dog to eat vegetables. 

1. Start with carrots. Grate a little carrot onto the dog's dinner. From there, you can offer carrots in more variations, such as cut into pieces or cooked. 

2. Add some pumpkin to the dog's dish. Pumpkin has lots of vitamins and fiber and is sweet.

3. Chop broccoli flowerets and sprinkle them atop the dog's food. 

4. Try mashed foods like turnips or sweet potatoes.

If you are introducing a stringy food, like celery, cut in small pieces and give small amounts. 

Getting your dog to eat veggies may not be that different than getting your children to eat their veggies, too. Be a role model, eating healthy foods and maintaining a balanced diet. Properly prepare the vegetables to prevent choking. Gradually introduce new flavors and textures. Be positive and patient, always. 

Safety Tips for Feeding Your Dog:

  • Learn what is and is not safe for your dog to eat.
  • Cut stringy foods into bites to prevent choking hazards.
  • Know that dogs can enjoy raw or cooked vegetables.
  • Only serve your dog fresh food.
  • Take out the trash to prevent scavenging when you are not looking.

We Want to Hear About Your Pooch's Preference for Stringy Food!