Have you ever wondered if your dog can taste what you can? How about CBD oil and dogs...do they taste it like you do? While curious to wonder about, the answer is not so straightforward.
We’re interested in great-tasting CBD dog treats because they are gaining popularity among owners and veterinarians for managing a variety of health issues from arthritis to anxiety. As ongoing studies and testimonials keep piling up, so are the number CBD products for dogs that are now available. CBD dog treats are by far the best way to administer CBD oil to your dog and knowing how they measure up to one another is important for choosing the best product.
Dog Taste Buds
Part of this analysis has to include how dogs perceive flavors, but more importantly, smells.
By comparison, a dog’s perception of taste is rather crude compared to humans. Dogs possess less than 20% of the number of taste buds we do.
As you can probably guess, the overwhelming difference between how humans and dogs perceive what to eat and what not to eat involves smell. Dogs can have up to 30 million olfactory receptors compared to our mere 6 million. The sensitivity of a dog’s nose is well-known and nature has provided them this gift for good reason.
Dogs are hardwired for survival and a complex detection system for what is okay to eat has developed over thousands of years. This allows dogs the ability to distinguish between foods that are nutritionally viable and those that are not. As remarkable scavengers, dogs can find a meal in just about any environment. That is not to say they do not have preferences--they do, and those preferences turn out be the freshest protein and nutrient-dense foods available.
Where they came from
Dogs now, as they did thousands of years ago, differentiate desirable from undesirable food by smell.
Reliance on olfactory information can be a matter of life or death in the wild since the closest food may be miles away. Likewise, food that is beginning to spoil emits unpleasant odors of rancidity and therefore may contain harmful bacteria. As one scientific analogy goes, a dog can detect the only rotten apple among two million barrels of fresh ones.
While not necessarily picky, dogs are well-informed diners. Just observing a dog eat will reveal their preferences—the fresher the better. Millennia of mostly raw-meat diets tailors most dog’s preferences to this day. If given the choice between a raw steak and dried kibble, we know which bowl they will choose.
Instinctively, dogs in the wild will also supplement their diet with grains, grasses, nuts, seeds, berries and medicinal plants. The preferential emphasis, again, is focused on fresh. Fresh foods are more nutritionally and enzymatically viable than food that is deteriorating. Amazingly, dogs are well-aware of this and will choose the former over the latter.
CBD Oil and Dogs
When it comes to medicinal plants such as hemp, it makes sense that dogs in the wild would occasionally nibble on the hemp plant’s leaves to extract some its benefits.
However, concentrated forms of medicinal plants usually do not taste very good. CBD oil on its own is an “acquired” taste for humans, which is a polite way of saying the flavor is both unusual and intense on an unconditioned palate. Bitter is normally the dominant flavor and dogs do perceive bitterness. Aromas are also concentrated and to a dog that level of concentration can be offensive.
CBD Dog Treats
The real challenge for manufacturers of CBD dog treats is masking the intensity of the CBD oil with enough flavor and aromas that your dog will find their CBD dog treats enjoyable.
Freshness is ultimately the key and choosing reputable manufacturers who use fresh ingredients and fresh CBD oil is crucial for palatability and effectiveness. Seek out suppliers who know their products well and their sources even better. Look for ingredients you can pronounce and for the most recent “born-on” (opposite of "expired") date.
Ancestors of today’s dogs ate mostly meat from animals they killed or scavenged in the wild. Squirrels, chickens, prairie dogs--all fair game. Could they taste the difference between a squirrel, a chicken and a prairie dog? Did they care? The short answer is no, but they can sure smell the difference, and the difference is fresh.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Information contained or made available through the ColoradoDog website is not intended to constitute or substitute for legal advice or veterinary advice.