Like humans, cats and dogs need a balanced gut microbiome. So what is the microbiome? This ecosystem, located in the pet’s digestive tract, contains billions of microbes and other microorganisms — including both desirable and undesirable bacteria unique to each pet. By using nutrition to balance the pet’s gut microbiome, you can influence the transition between acute or chronic disease and health.

Helping pets’ health flourish throughthe power of the gut microbiome

So what is the microbiome, in the simplest of terms? Think of the pet’s microbiome as a mini-ecosystem that plays a significant role in balancing not only a pets’ digestive health, but their overall well-being. Just like a lawn or a garden, if you want it to flourish, you must ensure you pick plants that thrive within that unique environment.

With new insights into gut microbiome health and nutrition, we know that incorporating a dynamic blend of fiber rich ingredients, including prebiotics for dogs and cats, can both support and nourish this pre-existing gut “ecosystem” — the microbiome.

With more than a decade of research into microbiome health, Hill’s is among the pet food industry’s foremost leaders in the field of microbiome nutrition. 

Looking beyond the traditional

Traditionally, pets with digestive issues like diarrhea or constipation have been trated in a few common ways — therapeutic pet foods, probiotics for cats and dogs and homemade chicken & rice. Each comes with its own pros and cons:

Therapeutic Foods

Use high fiber or highly digestive formulas to address digestive issues such as diarrhea and constipation


  • May not address underlying disruptions to gut microbiome

Probiotics for Dogs & Cats

May help with diarrhea


  • May fail to address the root cause
  • Do not work to impact pet own unique gut microbiome
  • Not appropriate for pets with a weakened immune system

Positives and Challenges

Easily digested


  • Does not meet all nutrient requirements 
  • Preparation issues

A new approach to GI care the microbiome

Research has long shown that a dog's or cat’s gut microbiome can have significant effects on their digestive health. But groundbreaking new science highlights the critical role a dog or cat’s gut microbiome can play in not only their response to digestive issues, but also in determining their overall well-being. Nourishing and supporting the gut microbiome, therefore, opens the door to new opportunities for digestive and cumulative health.

After more than a decade of analyzing the microbiome, Hill’s Pet Nutrition — a global leader in biology-based pet nutrition — has become a pioneer in the study of pet microbiome health. Hill’s uses advanced technology to understand the GI microbiome, including new methods such as next-generation sequencing technologies. Using these insights, Hill’s has found that a pet’s gastrointestinal health can be positively impacted by nutrition — without adding in new, non-host specific bacteria.

With this technology, Hill’s is putting microbiome health at the forefront of GI care and working to naturally promote regular healthy stool while restoring the balance of pet’s own unique gut microbiomes.

For more information about the gut microbiome, check out some of these educational resources.

The resources in this section are intended for licensed veterinary professionals only.

Harnessing the Power of the Microbiome:

Scientific Proceedings

Author: Hill's Global Symposium 2019

At the 2019 Hill's Global Symposium, veterinary experts in digestive health convened to share learnings regarding the power of the microbiome for feline and canine digestive health and well-being. Here, we’ve compiled the learnings from that conference. 

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Welcome to the World of the Gut Microbiome

Author: Iveta Becvarova, DVM, MS, DACVN

The research is clear that a healthy gut microbiome offers many health benefits. What do we know about the gut microbiome, what are its benefits and why does it matter to our dogs and cats?

Read more

Dietary Influences on the GI Microbiome

Author: Dr. Jennifer Radosevich, PhD

In this video, you’ll get an introduction to gastrointestinal microbiome concepts, terminology and how various dietary ingredients and foods impact microbial biosystems and pet health.

Watch video

Food Is Love… for the GI Microbiome

Author: Dr. Jen MacLeay, DVM, PhD, Diplomate ACVIM

Learn about practical applications for veterinarians and veterinary healthcare teams regarding how foods and feeding practices influence the gut microbiome in pets.

Watch video


Take a guided tour of the rich universe of the human microbiome.

Watch video

Find out what happens when microbes talk to your brain.

Watch video

Explore the hidden world of microbial communities inside of us and in our surroundings.

Watch video

Discover how resistant starch moves through the intestine, feeds the gut microbiome and helps prevent cancer.

Watch video

Now AvailableNew breakthrough innovation that puts microbiome health at the forefront of gastrointestinal care

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Please consult your veterinarian for further information and guidance on what is best for your dog’s or cat’s gut microbiome health