The Canine Gut Health: The Impact of a New Feed Supplement on Microbiota Composition

Animals (Basel). 2024 Apr 15;14(8):1189. doi: 10.3390/ani14081189.


This study aimed to determine the impact of a novel formulation of a supplement composed of the natural ingredients, bromelain, quercetin, and Lentinula edodes, on the gut microbiota of healthy adult dogs. Adult healthy female dogs were administered either a placebo (CTR, n = 15) or the supplement (TRT, n = 15) over 28 days. Stool samples were collected for 16S rRNA sequencing before supplement administration (T0), at completion of supplement administration (T28), and one week after the end of supplement administration (T35) to characterize changes in the gut microbial communities. QIIME was used to determine both alpha- and beta-diversity, and ANCOM-BC was used to identify differences in taxonomic abundances before and after supplementation. We found a significant decrease in overall diversity in the CTR group but no significant differences in overall diversity in the TRT group over time. Furthermore, we found differences in the abundance of several taxa in both the CTR and TRT groups, but differences in the abundance of beneficial bacteria were more pronounced in the TRT group. Specifically, we found increases in the abundance of sequences belonging to the genera Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus at T28 in the TRT group with significant increases in Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus persisting at T35 when compared to T0. Importantly, members of these genera are considered important for their anti-inflammatory properties, vital for fostering a balanced and robust gut microbiota in dogs. The results of our study show the potential of our supplement to selectively enhance specific beneficial bacterial taxa, offering a targeted approach to modulating the gut microbiome without causing disruptions to the overall equilibrium.

Keywords: Lentinula edodes; bromelain; dogs; gut microbiota; healthy; quercetin.

Grants and funding

This research was funded by the Dept. of Veterinary Sciences, University of Turin (Italy). The APC was funded by the Dept. of Veterinary Sciences, University of Turin (Italy). I.Z.C. was supported by the University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA) Department of Bacteriology Roland and Nina Girolami Predoctoral Fellowship.