We tend to feed our pets on the foods that we like – yes we are all guilty of it! I feel far less guilty now that I am vegan and have chosen to feed Ruff only on healthy vegan nutritious options rather than on the pizza crusts, sausages and ham that as a family we all used to treat him with!
The gut microbiome (the new term for our intestinal flora genetic material) has a big influence on the physical and mental health of all of us – our pets included. There are several complex factors that can alter an animal’s microbiome, for instance diet, stress and who they live with (a bit like us humans!)
Luis Pedro Coelho and his colleagues at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, in collaboration with Nestlé Research, studied the gut microbiome of beagles and retrievers. They found not only many similarities with other dog breeds but also with the human gut microbiome. Furthermore, he found out that our gut microbiome is more similar to the dog gut microbiome than those of pigs or mice – two organisms used frequently in model studies.
Speaking of the discovery, Luis Pedro Coelho says: “The results of this comparison suggest that we are more similar to man’s best friend than we originally thought.”
Dogs were the first animals to be domesticated by humans, and we have frequently shared food resources and living quarters with our ‘best friends’ throughout history – in fact for the 25 000 years or more.
There are important implications and applications that extend from the discoveries of Dr Coelho and his colleagues. One of which is using the dog as a model for human gut microbiome studies and vice versa, as Dr Coelho explains: “These findings suggest that dogs could be a better model for nutrition studies than pigs or mice and we could potentially use data from dogs to study the impact of diet on gut microbiome in humans, and humans could be a good model to study the nutrition of dogs.”
Amazing isn’t it that we can be used as models to help our dogs rather than animals being used to benefit us!! There are research models underway where humans and dogs are treated for certain diseases with ‘donor samples of faeces’ from healthy individuals as shown in this article Stool Substitute Transplant Therapy.
It is well known that high fibre natural unprocessed foods carry far more of these healthy ‘good’ gut bacteria, so yet again, more proof that a vegetable-based diet is healthier for our pets….and for us!
Pets at Home own brand Wainwrights launch a plant-based tinned and dry dog food in their stores
We all need a Dora in our lives – her optimism and love of life and her vegan dog food fills us all with such hope!
Since starting on a homecooked wholefood vegan dog food diet, Drake’s life changes dramatically for the better!
Moss shows no interest in his brother’s food, whereas his brother is very keen to get Moss’ vegan food!
Troy was fed a raw food diet all his life but at the age of 12, he transitioned to vegan dog food and the changes seen are astounding!
The Guardian features Dr Arielle Griffiths, vegan dog Ruff and other wonderful vegan dog owners
Molly the Shi Tzu’s life changed when she transitioned to Solo Vegetal to sort out the pain of her IBD
Teddy the rescue Jack Russell had a dramatic behaviour change on a homemade plant-based diet
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The vet was so concerned that they thought he would eventually have to be put down, he was 1.5 at the time, he’s now 2.5 and thriving
Pru the pretty Cockapoo was originally on a raw food diet. In her Mum’s words – “I really didn’t like the raw bloody meat in the fridge – I just found it all revolting”
Frank the Golden Retriever’s Mum is a medical student full of wonderful advice with all her intense research