More and more, I’ve seen debates among pet owners about their animals’ lifestyles matching their own.
Specifically, searches have risen for whether vegetarian or vegan diets are safe for animals like dogs and cats. Even though I respect people who make the choice and commitment to a veggie diet, research shows that unless you have specific circumstances, a lot of money, and a dietician for your animal, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to safely provide a vegan pet diet that gets your dog or cat all the nutrients it needs.
Let’s say you do have those resources, though. What’s your dog really tasting? How does the pup experience its fancy new diet?
In this video, the dog’s owner makes a big to-do of the fact that the dog is “savoring” the vegan food instead of gobbling it down just because the pooch is eating more slowly. In reality, that’s just a matter of projecting human behavior onto an animal.
Humans have about 9,000 taste buds, but dogs only have 1,700. That doesn’t mean they don’t taste things, but our sense of taste is way more powerful.
Dogs can identify sweet, sour, salty and bitter, but some of their taste buds are specifically geared for water after eating salty or sugary food.
Dogs’ taste buds have developed to like sweet food, including fruits and vegetables since they’re omnivores.
For our furry friends, though, it’s all about the nose. Humans have a poor sense of smell compared to that of man’s best friend, which is up to a million times stronger.
Also like humans, the sense of smell helps dogs taste, but since it’s so much more powerful, even garbage can smell and taste good to dogs.
That doesn’t mean our pups should be eating garbage, but it does mean more aromatic foods are more exciting.
Vegetables are not as aromatic as meat or kibble, which may be why the dog in the video isn’t “gobbling” the vegan food down.