Can Dogs Taste Sweet? Here’s What You Need to Know About Dogs and Their Taste Buds

Can Dogs Taste Sweet? Here’s What You Need to Know About Dogs and Their Taste Buds

If you have a sweet tooth that craves muffins, cakes, and fruits, we’re sure you can never say no to anything sweet. Like you, dogs can also be fond of sweet treats. Although humans have a much better sense of taste than dogs; dogs have a good sense of taste too. You may sometimes feed your dog with cookies and see them enjoy their treat. But, are they enjoying their treats and snacks because it tastes sweet? Wait for a sec, Can dogs taste sweet?

Yes, Dogs can taste sweet. In fact, many pooches and puppies prefer the taste of sweet over any other profile of taste. This is the main reason why your dog loves sugary treats, ripped fruits, and freshly baked sweet cookies. Want to learn more about your dog’s taste? Read on to know more!

How Do Dogs Use Their Sense of Taste?

Dogs have taste buds that are used to sample foods and convey information to the brain. Dogs learn what tastes good or bad to them through this sampling and information-passing process. They enjoy the same flavor inputs as people do. Some of the preferences for taste are inherent, such as a dog’s avoidance of things that are bitter or rotten, while others are learned. Dogs have the same four taste classifications that humans do; meaning they can identify sweet, sour, salty, and bitter flavors in their food.

Nevertheless, dogs also possess taste buds geared specifically to water. Dogs consume food for satisfying their heart as well as stomach, but their senses of smell and taste still remain as a means of preventing bad food.

Can Dogs Taste Like Humans?

A Human’s ability to taste is far ahead of a dog’s ability to taste. While dogs have about 1,700 taste buds, humans have about 9,000 taste buds in their mouth and tongue. However, dogs can taste food better than cats and the reason is that cats have only a few hundred taste buds.

How to Know If Your Dog Likes Sweets?

If your dog likes sweet foods, they’ll give definite signs right away. One of the easiest ways to tell if your dog likes sweet food is by letting them choose between sweet, savory, sour, and bitter food items. Whichever your canine picks first, they are most likely to prefer food with such a taste profile. For example, if your dog chooses an apple slice over cheese, the chances are that your furry friend has a sweet tooth. However, if your dog chooses cheese over a slice of apple, your dog prefers savory foods.

The other way to find out if your dog loves sweets is from their key signs and behaviors. Your dog may get excited about sweet foods and start drooling, jumping, and staring at you while wagging their tail with uncontrollable joy. Their body language makes obvious moves when they like the taste of something. However, if your dog doesn’t like sweets then they might face the other way or even ignore it.

Here are some key signs you may notice in your dog if they like sweet foods:

  • Staring at the food
  • Becomes alert and attentive
  • Wagging tail
  • Lip licking
  • Drooling
  • Raising their tail up
  • Raiding and sneaking out sweets
  • Choose sweets over any other food

How Can Dogs Taste Sweet?

In wild, dogs survived primarily on a carnivorous diet that had high sodium content. Because of this, the ancestors of modern dogs already had a sufficient amount of salt level in their bodies. So, the development of salt receptors was not necessary. After domestication and living along with humans for a long time, dogs have developed highly tuned sweet taste bud that reacts to the sweetness-inducing chemical, Furaneol. Most fruits including tomatoes consist of this chemical.

Do All Dogs Like Sweet?

Dog’s taste for sweet foods likely evolved as we began to treat our dogs and puppies with sweet delicacies. Also not all dogs like sweets. Just like humans, different dogs have different taste preferences.  Some dogs may like sweet foods while others may prefer savory. It all depends upon the diet that owners provide their dogs daily.

Are Sweet Foods Safe for Your Dog?

Sweet foods like cakes, muffins, and cookies consist of additional preservatives: even a small amount of these substances can negatively affect your dog’s body by provoking canine diabetes. If you neglect these medical conditions, prepare for the nervous system breakdown of your dog. Sweet delicacies also contain high fat and calorie which can lead to canine obesity.

Occasional titbits won’t do any harm to your furry friend, but if sweets are accumulated without moderation, sugars can overstimulate the circulatory system. This over-stimulation can cause subsequent repercussions on a dog’s heart, tooth decay, gum problems, and bad breath. To prevent canine obesity and diabetes, make sure you serve sugary foods to your dog only as a treat. Want to know more about canine diabetes? Read our article on Can Dogs Get Diabetes? to know everything about diabetes in dogs.

What Type of Sugar Is Healthy for Dogs?

There are altogether two types of carbohydrates: Simple and Complex. A simple carb is just sugar in refined and plain form. Cakes, candies, and cookies consist of plain sugar. Simple carbs are known to spike blood glucose levels in your pooch’s body.

Vegetables and fruits consist of complex carbs. Complex carb consists of starch and fiber. Complex carbs eliminate the blood sugar spikes by slowly increasing the body’s sugar level over a prolonged period. So, sugars in fruits are safer than in cakes and bakery treats.

Also make sure you avoid xylitol, an artificial sugar. Xylitol is lethal in the sense that it causes a sudden decrease in blood sugar in dogs. This blood sugar drop can induce liver failure. So, it is best to avoid xylitol. Sugar-free gums, peanut butter, and most kinds of toothpaste consist of xylitol. If you are interested in feeding your dog peanut butter, check out one of our articles covering this topic here.


Can dogs taste sweet? Yes, dogs can taste sweet. After all, sweet taste receptors are the most abundant in a dog’s mouth. Like most dogs, your dog may be fond of sweet treats. But, make sure you treat your dog sweet treats strictly in moderation.

Thank you for reading the article.

To explore more, check out other articles that we have covered on dog taste.

How often do you give sweet treats to your dog? Do they like sweet delicacies? Or do they prefer more spiced food? We would love to hear from you. Please share with our community by leaving a comment below!

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