How do Dogs Decide What Food They Like?
Title – dog being served by a waiter
Picking the right food for your dog is tough. Whilst some dogs will eat whatever is set in front of them without hesitation, others are incredibly picky. Why is this? How do dogs decide what they do and don’t like to eat? To find out we have to look a bit at your furry friend’s anatomy.
Dog turning head
Dogs have an incredible sense of smell. Some research suggests that their smell could be anywhere from 10-100,000 times as strong as a human’s. This means they are fantastic at distinguishing between smells over an impressive distance. Ever wondered why they are able to dig out the smelly sock you didn’t know you’d lost? Much like humans, a dog's sense of smell has a big impact on its sense of taste.
Dog nose sniffing
Dogs have tastebuds in their mouths just like humans, so just like us, smell can affect their taste but isn’t entirely what decides if they do or don’t like something. Dogs do have fewer tastebuds than us humans so they will rely more on their smell than we do. This is why most dog food has strong smells; it makes it appeal more to our canine friends.
Dog with wide open mouth
Dogs also have a strong dislike for bitter tastes, something which seems to have been developed as a survival skill to avoid dangerous food. Fatty or sweet tastes tend to also be more popular. Not all dogs are the same, however, and they will all develop their own tastes and preferences but generally, they are all based on this.
Bowl with sign saying bitter and another saying sweet, dog sitting beside ‘sweet’ bowl
Another factor to consider is how often something is eaten. A nutritious kibble is great but eating that same flavour day in and day out would get tiring. This is why when we developed our new Kilconway range we created a variety of flavours. With Salmon, Angus Beef, Chicken, Pork, and Turkey all available you can not only match your dog’s preferred tastes but offer a variety that keeps dinner time interesting.
Kilconway product image
It is important to remember as well that a dog refusing to eat may not always be about taste. Much like a child who would prefer sweets over their dinner your dog could be trying to get treats instead of theirs. You should also consider there could be a medical reason, if your dog goes two days without food it is recommended that you call a vet. Up to the two days it is generally recommended by trainers that you hold firm and don’t allow the dog to bend your arm into giving it the less nutritious food it would probably prefer!