Background Dietary content and environmental factors can shape the gut microbiota, and consequently, the way the gut microbiota metabolises fats, carbohydrates and proteins, affecting overall health of the host. We evaluated the impact of 3 diets (high protein, high fibre and hypoallergenic [hydrolysed protein]) diets on the gut microbiota of healthy dogs in a cross-over sequential study.
Results We showed that diet can have a large effect on the gut microbiome in dogs, regardless of the order of feeding. High-protein (all meat) diets were characterised by an increase in bacteria belonging to the Fusobacteria and Bacteroidetes phyla, whereas a high-fibre commercial diet correlated with increases in Firmicutes and Actinobacteria phyla. However, the individual dog’s baseline microbiota had the most impact on the magnitude and nature of the changes in response to dietary intervention.
Conclusion Our results suggest that the dog faecal microbiome is driven by protein and fibre composition, and targeted modification of these patterns could be useful in the modulation of the gut microbiota in different diseases.