Are Dogs “Sweeter” than Cats
March 19, 2010
Last fall I was asked to review some dog treats by a premium dog food site. (My thoughts at the time are listed in archived entries from Oct and Nov.) Wow! What an opportunity!! Well, I’ve tried many now and want to share some of my findings. (I have nothing to gain by sharing these thoughts – other than I got to try the treats.)
Mom and I considered a lot of factors in rating the treats: if it was made in the USA, from “whole” foods, with organic ingredients, nothing artificial – sweeteners, colors, preservatives. Then we considered factors like, if it was easy for Mom to break it up and give it to me in small bites (which she likes to do as training rewards). Then she would lay two or three out for me to try. I got to vote by which ones I would choose to eat first (Mom knows that I usually got to my right first, so she tried to mix things up). I also voted by either gobbling the treat right down or picking it up then dropping it and thinking before I ate it.
One thing that surprised Mom at first was how much I liked the blueberry treat (Bite O’ Blue Wild Blueberry). I would pick one up and then combine it with another treat and eat them together. We gave this treat the second highest ranking. Blueberries are supposed to be really good for people – and dogs, too. Mom then realized that she shouldn’t have been surprised. She had taken her collie Hope with her one time when she was picking wild berries, only to discover that Hope was eating then out of the pail when Mom’s back was turned. I guess Hope didn’t get to go along picking berries after after that. (Remember that not all people foods are good for us dogs. Always check the list before you feed us something.)
Yesterday, Mom read some information about what dogs taste. I guess they’ve done studies at places like Cornell and Tufts and have determined that dogs have only 1706 taste buds, while humans have 9000 and cats have 473. Dogs have “type D” taste buds that respond to fruity-sweet compounds, while cats don’t. That explains why I like both meaty and sweet treats while Fluffy and Reilly aren’t so excited by sweet foods. Fluffy proved that last night. He gets to lick Dad’s plate after dinner. (Not fair! I get in BIG trouble for doing that!) Anyway, he licked the part where the hamburger had been but wasn’t interested at all in the fruit ambrosia. Cats are more truly carnivores than dogs. I wonder – do they eat meat because that’s what they can taste or do they not have sweet taste buds because they aren’t going to use them anyway. In either case, I’m glad I can taste sweet.That makes me “sweeter” than the cats. Right?!
Signed, Tucker (owner of this Dog Diary)
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PS More reviews in the days to follow.