The Gut Microbiome of Dogs and Cats, and the Influence of Diet


The gut microbiome is a functional organ, and responds metabolically to the nutrient composition within the diet. Fiber, starch, and protein content have strong effects on the microbiome composition, and changes in these nutrient profiles can induce rapid shifts. Due to functional redundancy of bacteria within microbial communities, important metabolites for health can be produced by different bacteria. Microbiome alterations associated with disease are of greater magnitude than those seen in healthy dogs on different diets. Dietary changes, addition of prebiotics, and probiotics, can be beneficial to improve microbial diversity and to normalize metabolite production in diseased dogs.

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