Do Dogs Actually Like Dog Food?

Just like how humans have specific likes and dislikes when it comes to food, a dogs’ palate is not solely dictated by what is manufactured for them. There are many varieties of dog foods, ranging from dry to wet. However, those are not the only foods dogs eat, as dogs are omnivores. They pretty much eat anything, even the foods humans eat. Even so, it is common for dog owners to purchase dog food.

If dogs eat almost anything, then do dogs actually like dog food? There are many reasons your dog might like dog food, but there is no single answer. Their preferences on dog food lie upon their breed and taste buds. Some breeds like to eat a lot and might eat a lot of dog food, while some do not. Some dogs prefer dry dog food over wet dog food, and some dogs do not want either. 

Contrariwise, there are also reasons why your dog averts his mouth from dog food. They might just need variety because dogs can get too used to dog food and end up not liking it anymore. The dog food might have caused them stomach aches and other bodily ailments before; thus, they do not want to relive the experience again. They can also be going through something emotionally and psychologically and might need you to be around when eating.

Whatever your dog’s taste is and their reasons for it, they will always eat as it is in their nature to eat. They eat for food, not only for flavor, although the latter can be a factor in some cases. Whether they like dog food or not, as long as they have something to eat, that is more than enough for them. However, there might be cases you need to look deeply into. To help you, listed below are reasons why your dog may or may not like dog food:

Why Dogs Might Actually Like Dog Food 

why your dog might like dog food

A dog’s preference for dog food depends upon a plethora of reasons. There is not a single answer to whether dogs like dog food. Investigating the nature of your dog and its food will help you understand your pet’s food preferences. 


Dogs exist in many kinds. Thus, the number of dogs is proportionate to palate, appetite, and diet differences. Some dogs eat everything they see, especially larger dogs who will gobble up whatever you put in their dog bowls. The smaller dogs only eat a sufficient amount of food, enough for them to live through the day. Such dogs can be picky when it comes to the food you give them. They take too long with their food and might end up not finishing up the whole bowl. 

On the other hand, larger breeds will eat more dog food than the smaller ones. It is not to say that they like the taste, but they want to eat. For them, dog food is food—they will lap the bowl up until the last piece. 

Taste Bud Choices 

Similar to humans, dogs also have food preferences concerning flavor and texture. However, they do not have as many taste buds as humans, so they are less discriminating when it comes to food. In fact, our furry friends have only 1,700 taste buds, while we humans have 9,000! While they cannot taste as much as we do, the texture might matter for them! Some dogs tend to favor wet dog food over dry, and vice versa. Fortunately, two types of dog food exist. Wet dog food has 60% to 84% moisture content, unlike dry dog food with only 3% to 12% moisture. 

When it comes to flavors, dogs also enjoy a variety. Some dogs prefer their food strong and bold, and others prefer their food slightly milder. If you hand your dog a particular brand of dog food that aligns with their taste buds, it’s best to take note for future purposes! A reminder, though, that no matter how much your dog loves dog food, you must also pace the amount of their food. For young dogs, they can eat meals three times a day. However, it might be different for adults since they would only need to eat two times a day. You can overfeed your dogs, and it might lead to adverse effects that can harm your pet. 

Generally, there is not much that surrounds the way dogs prefer their food. It boils down to only two aspects: their breed and their taste buds. Even so, those factors still play a huge part in their food preferences because a dog’s body type is responsible for digesting their food and a dog’s tongue is responsible for satisfying their stomach’s desires. 

Why Your Dog Might Not Actually Like Dog Food 

why your dog might not like dog food

It might also help to observe your dog’s attitude towards dog food, as there are a lot of reasons why dogs might not actually like dog food. Keep a close look at these things, as their behavior towards dog food lies upon many factors that you can change. 


Even though dogs have fewer taste buds than humans, it does not mean that they do not like variety. Although dogs are chiefly raised on a simplistic diet that they might find new foods suspicious, it is still in their nature to seek new foods with new nutrients. Lacking nutrients due to staying on one type of food can lead to harmful psychological and digestive effects on dogs. 

Additionally, most dog foods, especially dry ones, leave a bland taste on a dog’s mouth. If fed to dogs daily, unfavorable outcomes like your dog not eating their food and shoving it away would happen. In this case, you might want to offer your dog some variety. You can mix in real ‘human’ food to their diet – pork, chicken, fruit, and vegetables, except those that are inherently toxic to your beloved canines. Always keep in mind that there are foods dogs have to stay away from for their health! 

In between feedings of dry dog food, you can sneak in other kinds of food to even out their palate’s flavors for a better mouth experience. That is not to say dry dog food is not something dogs do not enjoy. Remember, it depends on your dog’s taste buds. Dry dog food is also healthy, especially with its added vitamins, so it is also recommended for dogs. However, it is not as palatable as wet dog food or real ‘human’ food. 

Bad experience

Sometimes, dogs avoid food that makes their stomach ache. Typically, they would steer away from foods that give them bad memories. If you do not know any better, they will shove the food away. It can be the same with dog food. Certain brands might give them an upset stomach, like how some dry dog food can cause such effects to the dog. For such reasons, dogs may refuse to eat dog food.


Like humans, anxiety can affect a dog’s appetite to the point that they do not find themselves eating. There can be various reasons for their anxiety. They might be feeling lonely and bored. They might also be scared by the storms and fireworks that are happening while they are eating. If you notice they refuse to eat when you leave for work, they might feel anxious being separated from you. Companionship and spending more time with your dog while they are eating might counter this. 

Lack of appetite 

A lack of appetite is another good reason your dog refuses to eat the dog food offered to him. While they may not like the food or suffer a stomachache from his dog chow, it can also be because they have eaten a lot of treats and are quite full already. Another likely reason can be because they are not feeling well, and in such cases, they must be brought to your family vet. 

Not their preference

Once again, on the topic of dog’s taste buds, they might prefer specific tastes. When they do not like the food’s taste, they might choose not to eat it. However, no matter how changing diets sound tempting at that moment, you must consult your vet first before giving your pet new food. Introducing them to entirely new kinds of food for the sake of variety might cause some disruption in their digestive system. Yes, variety can be important to dogs, but make sure that the food you give them is palatable to their taste buds and stomach. 


Like us, dogs also have preferred flavors and textures. Their digestive systems also dictate the kind of food they want to eat. Aside from that, their psychological and emotional well-being also sneaks into their attitudes towards food. Dogs’ food habits are not at all different from humans, despite some differences in the number of taste buds. Sometimes, dogs do not like dog food. Sometimes, they do; it all depends on what type of dog food you are talking about!