The sense of smell and taste

Dog Sense of Smell.
Dog Taste Bud

Dogs have a seriously developed sense of smell. In fact, we can say that it is over one million times better than ours. Humans can't even imagine the amount of information a dog is able to get through its sense of smell. This miraculous ability has made possible for the man to train the dog with dog toys in order to detect all kinds of stuff, from buried truffles to certain type of tumors hidden in the body.

HOW DOES IT WORK?: There are few things as cold and wet as the dog's nose or truffle. This humidity is very useful to catch the smelling molecules suspended on the air and put them in contact with the olphative membrane, located in the inner part of the snout. This membrane sends electrical impulses to the brain's olfative central , which is forty times bigger than the human's.

The nasal membranes of the dog are obscure and it is said that there is some kind of relation between this fact and the fact that the snout is usually intensively pigmented since it is suspected that this pigmentation improves the smell in certain way. dog car harnesses

There is a special organ located in the dog's palate, able to taste certain smells. It is called the vomeronasal organ and the dog uses it specially to catch the fragrances with a social meaning and even more, the ones with sexual meaning. This organ transmits the information directly to the limbic system, the part of the brain responsible for the emotional answer. When a dog house seems to find an irresistible fragrance, it is probably using this organ.


Normally, the dog's teeth will softly crash with each other and it is also possible that a line of spittle may fall from its mouth, if the dog if smelling and tasting the aroma at the same time.

SNOUT SHAPES: The enormous amount of receptive cells present on the dog's olfative membrane need some lodging space, that is why different canine breeds have developed different shapes and sizes of snout. We calculate that the snout of a Dachshund lodges 125 millions of receptive cells, while a German Shepherd can lodge up to 220 millions. It is convenient to remember that the humans possess only 5 millions of receptive cells in total. In order to locate such a big olfative system the first dogs used to have an elongated snout as the one of the wolfs. However, in some modern breeds, a lot more artificial, it is evident that this space has enormously narrowed due to the canine's snout shortening.

Dog TASTE Buds: It is obvious, that we can not ask the dogs what is the taste of the food they are eating. However, and even when there is no doubt about the dog's capacity to taste the bitter, sweet, sour and salty flavors, maybe these distinctions are not the most important for them, but the fact that they like the taste of what they are eating. The experience of the first period of their lives has an enormous influence on this. It seems to be, that the dogs that had tasted different flavors and weaves from their early years have a tendency to accept the variety a lot better as adults. Some dogs really enjoy strong flavors such as the ones of onions and raw garlic for example, while others only accept a determined flavor and totally deny to try any other kind of food.

HOW DOES IT WORK?: The dogs have a number of tasting buds six times inferior to us. They are mainly located near the tip of the tongue; however, the senses of taste and smell are so closely related on a dog that it is very probable that the dogs receive more information about their food by smelling than by tasting.

As the dog's sense of taste is not very developed, it is not necessary to vary the dog's menu as we do in the human's case. If a dog denies to each certain type of food it is not because the dog doesn't find its taste particularly delicious, but because it is not attractive enough for the dog. The dog that force their owners to provide them with a new brand of canned food everyday in a outdoor dog kennel, don't loose their appetite because of the monotony of the menu, but because they're using the food as a way to manipulate their masters.

What the dogs do share with us, is the capacity to associate the flavors with health problems. If a dog gets sick after eating some type of food, it will probably deny eating this specific food for a certain time. This is an instinctive defense mechanism, aimed to keep the dog away from eating toxic substances in a frequent way.

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