The Dog Food Aromas Our Pets Love


Most people don’t have to worry that their dog won’t eat the food put in front of them. But there are some finicky canine eaters out there, and besides, we all want our pets to enjoy the flavor of the food we feed. To that end, researchers reporting in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry fed the same food with different volatile (aroma) compounds to a small group of beagles to see if they had any preferences.

The upshot: the dogs preferred food spiked with any of three different molecules: one that gives off what we humans would consider an unpleasant fatty odor; one that smells sulfury, roasted, and smoky; and a third that could best be described as “meaty” (no surprise on that one).

The researchers say that while their results are preliminary, studies such as theirs can help dog food manufacturers make kibble that dogs will find even more palatable. These investigations can also help the small contingent of dogs who turn up their noses at mealtime.


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