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the Dog Blog

6 Tips for a Great Meal Time for Your Dog

Dog holding his food bowl in his mouth

1. Dogs Instinct for Taste

Do our best friends have the ability to pick their favorite "bowl" and treats like we do? You might be surprised. The definition of "good tasting" dates back to our family pets' heritage of dogs in the wild. Dogs are much more instinctive about the selection of their favorite bowl.

2. Partners at Dinnertime

Your best friend's senses of taste and smell are closely related. In fact, it's possible for dogs to gain more information about food from smell ... than from taste. Why? A dog's sense of taste is actually thought to be relatively poor. However, most experts believe that it's the sense of smell combined with their sense of taste that allows them to pick out their favorite food.

3. A Taste Budding Experience

A dog's sense of taste depends heavily upon the number and type of taste buds they have - which isn't much! For instance, humans have around 9,000 taste buds, compared with only 1,700 for a dog. On the other hand, a dog's sense of smell is approximately 10,000-100,000 times stronger than yours and mine! That's a lot of smelling power. (It's a good thing they use both taste and smell to pick their favorite bowl every time).

4. The Nose Knows

It is believed that our dogs are hard-wired to detect certain smells as a survival instinct. For instance, most experts agree that our best friends can detect bitter, sweet, salty, and sour tastes - which allows them to stay away from potentially harmful food. So selecting a “good” bowl of food is thought to be much more primal.

5. Who Wins the Taste Challenges?

In the wild, more than 80 percent of a canine's diet is meat. Today, our best friends still crave that meat, such as fresh chicken. For this reason, dogs have some specific taste receptors that are "tuned in" for meat and meat-related fats. As a result, your best friend will likely tend to seek out and crave that great fresh taste. That also means they can taste and smell a good bowl, too.

6. Selecting the Best Bowl

Helping your dog select the bowl that is best for him is, by and large, related to his age. Puppy food is blended with higher calcium and protein content to meet their young nutritional needs. But as his bones, muscles and energy develop, so does his nutritional need. After about a year, he's likely ready for an adult bowl, filled with a super premium food. At about eight years his needs will change once again. At this point in his life, he should be ready to move from adult dog food to a senior formula ... with lowered protein and energy requirements, as well as a lower caloric content.

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