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:
POSITIVES: 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
POSITIVES: 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
POSITIVES: Easily digested
Does not meet all nutrient requirements
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:
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.