Functional foods in pet nutrition: Focus on dogs and cats

Res Vet Sci. 2017 Jun;112:161-166. doi: 10.1016/j.rvsc.2017.03.020. Epub 2017 Apr 7.


Functional foods provide health benefits if they are consumed on a regular basis as part of a varied diet. In this review, we discuss the availability and role of functional foods in pet nutrition with a focus on dogs and cats. Indeed, functional foods modify gastrointestinal physiology, promote changes in biochemical parameters, improve brain functions and may reduce or minimize the risk of developing specific pathologies. This evidence derives largely from clinical studies while only limited evidence is available from studies in dogs and cats. Therefore, functional food consumption should be further investigated in pet nutrition to understand how dietary interventions can be used for disease prevention and treatment.

Keywords: Cat; Diet; Dog; Functional food; Nutraceutical; Pet.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed / analysis*
  • Animals
  • Cats / physiology*
  • Diet / veterinary*
  • Dogs / physiology*
  • Functional Food*