How Many Taste Buds Do Puppies Have?

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A dog is born with nearly 1,700 taste buds. Like humans, dogs use their taste buds to sample food and analyze basic taste sensations. Dogs can taste sweet, salty, sour and bitter taste sensations, though their sensitivity to these tastes may differ from what people experience. Puppies are born deaf and blind, therefore their sense of taste, smell and touch are heightened at a young age. As dogs age, their sense of taste is often one of the first senses to decline.

From a young age, dogs learn to get gather information about what they are eating from their noses as much as they do from their tongues. Unlike humans who have nearly 9,000 taste buds, dogs rely mostly on their sense of smell to orient themselves and determine if what they are eating is palatable or unsatisfactory. Due to the fact that dogs don’t have a well-developed sense of taste, it is unlikely that they can discriminate between subtle flavors. However, dogs can discern differences between food types, and are known to prefer the salty, fatty taste of meat over other taste sensations.

Dogs are able to experience all four of the tastes that humans recognize, including sweet, salt, bitter and sour; however, dogs most likely experience these taste sensations to a lesser degree. While dogs are known to avoid bitter tasting foods, they seem to enjoy sweet, salty and sour foods. They also don’t seem to have a taste memory: if they eat something that they don’t like, they’ll most likely not remember doing so and attempt to eat the same food time and again.

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