Though dogs' sense of smell is far superior to ours, their tasting abilities aren't so highly tuned. A dog has 1,700 taste buds – far fewer than our impressive 9,000. Dogs can detect sweet, salty, sour, and bitter tastes, but it is doubtful they can discern subtle taste differences as we can.
Humans don't have taste buds for water, but dog's do on the tip of their tongues. When they eat something salty or sugary, their sensitivity to the taste of water increases. This ability may have evolved as a way of encouraging a dog to drink and keep hydrated while eating meat with naturally high salt content.
Flavours like bitter apple or lemon are used as a deterrent to prevent dogs from chewing on things they shouldn't. Although these are often sprayed onto walls, furniture or indeed whatever it is the dog has taken a fancy to nibbling, it can sometimes have the opposite effect if a dog takes a liking to the taste!
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