There are many reasons why dogs like human food. I do not think I have ever met a dog that would not eat human food. The question should be though, should they eat human food? Will they get the right nutrients from eating human food?
As a general rule dogs like human food because it smells and tastes good, just like it does to us, humans. They tend to eat the same dog food each day. It is nice to have something different! It also does not help that they see all this human food being eaten and they can never have any of it. So of course, they do!
Why Do Dogs Like Human Food?
Human food Tastes Better
Let us start with the obvious reason, human food tastes better. Their chicken and rice flavored dog food are definitely not as good as real chicken and rice. We know that and so do our dogs. The problem is their dog food comes with everything else they will need to be healthy and live longer. You could not just feed your dog chicken and rice for the rest of their life. It does not have the correct nutrients and vitamins in it for them.
They Have An Amazing Sense Of Smell
Dogs can smell 100,000 better than humans can, and they use this to not just smell but taste as well. They may not have as many taste buds as humans, but their sense of smell and taste are very closely connected.
They can taste foods through their sense of smell because of a special organ they have a long their dogs palate. So whatever smells good to you, probably smells just as good to your dog, if not more. This can be a reason why dogs prefer canned food over dry kibble because canned food is usually a lot stronger in smell.
A dog’s sense of smell is its most powerful sense,” he says. “It is so sensitive that [dogs can] detect the equivalent of a 1/2 a teaspoon of sugar in an Olympic-sized swimming pool.
Dr. Michael T. Nappier, DVM, DABVP – Read the original article on PetMD
A Dogs Taste Buds Are Different From Humans
Dogs do not have as many tastebuds as humans, we have around 9,000 and dogs have around 1,700 taste buds. However, dogs have taste buds that are focused on water, they have senses on the tip of their tongue and enjoy drinking the water. They also have the same four taste bud distributions humans have, so they can taste things that are bitter, salty, sour, and sweet.
Because You Eat Human Food
Simply put, they see you eating human food all the time and they notice that smells really good! They see you as the Alpha and they think well if it is good enough for him, then it is good enough for me. In theory, every time you eat your dinner they are probably thinking, why can’t I have that human food instead of the same food I eat each day.
Can You Feed Your Dog Human Food Instead Of Dog Food?
Let me start by saying dogs should not be eating human food unless you truly know what they are eating. Some people will say dogs should eat human food because it is healthier than the bag of dog food they eat. These people are experts and know which foods have too many salts or carbohydrates.
These people know exactly what to give their dogs. They know what is deadly and allergic to their dog and they know what human foods are healthy for their dog.
It would not be as simple as; well I am cooking hamburgers tonight for the family. So I am going to give my dog a bit of cooked beef and some cheese. That is not how it works; dogs need to have a balanced nutritional diet. There are six basic nutrients all dogs need to keep them healthy. Water, vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.
If you truly care about your dog’s well-being and you want them to eat healthier, you can always buy them the best dog food for their breed and size. Along with making sure they get the correct treats. Changing a dog’s food diet can be a whole different problem though.
Some dogs are set in stone with what they like to eat for their breakfast and dinner. Some might have an upset stomach because of the change. It is recommended that you slowly bring in the new dog food, with the old. Talking to your dog’s vet is always the best option when thinking of changing their diet.
Why Does My Dog Keep Begging For Human Food?
Not all dogs will beg for human food, this usually comes down to training and how many treats you give them.
Firstly dogs see treats as an amazing thing that comes from you. If you have been giving them loads of treats just because you wanted to spoil them. (There is nothing wrong with spoiling your dog every now and then.)
Then sometimes your dog may come over to you trying to get your attention and will start begging in till you give up. You need to stop this from happening straight away before it becomes a pattern. You do not want your dog trying to get your attention all the time because they want some human food.
Secondly, some people like to give a bit of human food with their dog’s dinner. For example, you have been cooking a meal and you have some steak leftover, some people like to put it in their dog’s bowl as a treat.
This is not a habit you should get into doing, as they will start to expect it all the time. To the point where they will not touch their dog food in the bowl unless there is some human food in there as well. Which can lead to an even worse problem, with them just eating the human food and not the dog food. Because they have effectively got what they wanted.