Odor is a key driver in food selection in dogs. Dogs’ flavor preferences are generally assessed through paired comparison tests based on food intake. In this study, Diana Pet Food experts in palatability modified the paired comparison test by replacing standard bowls with false-bottom bowls.
Made of two compartments separated by a drilled, stainless-steel plate, false-bottom bowls enable odorant compounds to be placed under the food that is presented to the dogs. Several paired comparison trials were conducted on a trained canine panel with false-bottom bowls containing various odorant substances under the kibbles. Results showed that the dogs were able to perceive the hidden substances and to distinguish between the bowls accordingly. They demonstrate that the false-bottom bowl paired comparison method could be helpful in assessing the odor potential of a new ingredient or evaluating the role of odor in dogs’ food preferences.