Do dogs actually enjoy their food?


Ask your dog! He or she will almost certainly respond with an enthusiastic tail wag. Flavour is the combined effect of taste in the mouth and smell in the nose. Dogs can detect savoury, sweet and bitter tastes, and although they have fewer taste buds than us, this is more than made up for by their surfeit of olfactory receptors, which outnumber our own by more than 20 to 1.

If it looks, however, like your dog is bolting its dinner without tasting it, then it’s probably a Labrador. Scientists have identified a genetic mutation, common in Labradors, that is associated with both obesity and being obsessed with food.

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Asked by: Emma Brandon, Anglesey

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