Do dogs eat apples? Do dogs eat oranges, bananas or other fruit, because some dog owners say they do.
Dogs, like people, get their food and water from a three-tiered system. The first is the prey, or nutritional source, that a dog eats. The second is the favorite or “lifestyle” food (i.e., food a dog enjoys eating) that he does not have to consume much of.
For example, an apple contains no nutrients for a dog, so it does not make sense to feed him one. Likewise, it is difficult to make an apple taste good for a dog, so he would not have much of a choice except to eat it. In reality, many dogs prefer fruits over vegetables.
But what about apples, oranges and bananas? Dogs love apples because they are sweet and delicious. In fact, they also contain high levels of pectin, a form of sugar that dogs find irresistible.
Another interesting thing about fruits is that dogs can distinguish between good and bad fruits. When a dog eats an apple that tastes rotten, he is just being honest. The dog can taste the difference between pectin and sugar, and that makes him want more.
Dogs can learn to associate certain tastes with a certain sensory input, such as a biscuit or a piece of meat. This is the reason why a dog that has been trained to use a human toilet will associate the taste of human waste with using the bathroom.
A dog that has been exposed to a sweet taste from eating apples, for example, can also learn to associate the taste with his meal. That is what is going on when you buy a book on how to train your dog or a box of treats for your pooch. If you have always fed your dog what you know is a treat, he probably gets confused when you give him a “contaminated” treat.
Dogs also get into the habit of training by associating a given task with the reward of a treat. When a dog eats an apple, he associates the taste with having a tasty treat. He can then associate his next command with that “reward.”
Dogs do not need to have a preference for the taste of something before he learns to associate it with a reward. However, what he does need is the need to be in a place where he can use his sense of smell and touch to help him find a treat. Those senses work just as well when used to find food as they do when they are used to find his owner.
Dogs that have been successfully trained to use a “find the treat and bring me my bone” command can live in your home and enjoy your company just as much as you can enjoy theirs. In the event that your dog is bored or refuses to use the bathroom, you can get him into the habit of using his sense of smell and touch to find his way out of trouble.
To do this, simply place a paper towel roll or piece of newspaper in a location where your dog’s nose will be. You can do this at a number of locations around your home, in the house, a nearby tree or even outside.
As long as the dog is outside, you can have a stand near your door or on your balcony or back porch where you can have the dog sniff the items and bring them back to you, so that you can reward his good behavior. Over time, your dog will gain the ability to use both his sense of smell and touch to locate the goodies.