Do you know that cats only have about 400 taste buds and that dogs have about 1,700–as opposed to the 9,000 or so taste buds found on human tongues?! Like us, dogs and cats can taste sour, salty and bitter, and they even have taste buds specifically for water (found on the tip of their tongue) and taste buds for meat! In addition, dogs can taste sweets whereas cats cannot.
Although we may reign supreme in the number of taste buds we have, cats and dogs’ sense of smell is vastly superior to that of a human. Dogs can smell a million times more than us and a cat can smell up to twenty times more! Canines and felines have a smell organ on their palate called the Jacobson’s organ or vomeronasal organ, and it detects chemicals in the environment through ducts in the mouth and nose. This is actually how dogs and cats “taste” their food, which is why the smell of your pet’s food is more important than the taste. The more aromatic the food or supplement, the likelier your pet will find it palatable!