Raw diets are better for the Digestion – Science Behind Raw 1

The Science of feeding real meat to dogs
Study roundups, Caroline Griffith.

Feeding raw food meals is better for dogs.
(If you believe that a more balanced microbiome and healthier gut function is good)

Published article:
Raw meat based diet influences faecal microbiome and end products of fermentation in healthy dogs.

Where and When:
Food and animal science, University of Udine
Published Feb 2017 BMC Veterinary Research Journal
4 week Dietary Intervention Study
Authors: Misa Sandri, Simeone Dal Monego, Giuseppe Conte, Sandy Sgorlon, Bruno Stefanon

Question in research: How do the microbiota compare after an abrupt change in diet – between a diet of extruded dry food and a diet of raw meat with plant matter.

Study Participants: 8 Healthy Adult Boxer dogs, aged around 4yrs, 5 Female and 3 male.
All previously always fed commercial extruded food
Housed in the same un-variable conditions. Raw meats were kept at temps of -20c.

What they did:
Participants were split into two groups and fed once a day at 8am.
Group 1 ate only extruded commercial dry for the initial two weeks
Group 2 ate only the raw meat meals for the initial two weeks

Group 1 then straight switched to eating the raw meal for the next two weeks
Group 2 then straight switched to eating the extruded dry for the next two weeks

The raw meal consisted of: 70% raw human grade* beef mince plus rice flour, chickpea flour, oat flakes, carrots, algae omegas & a vitamin, mineral complex.

(*no bone content in the meal)

What was measured:
Stools measured at the end of week 2 and the end of week 4.
Faecel output, Lactate, Microbiota and SCFA’s (Short chain fatty acids)

Smaller, less, stool observed. Faecal scores considered ‘’improved’’.
Body weights did not change

Butyrate levels increased on the Raw meat diet ‘’better Butyrate readings’’.
Butyrate is essential for intestinal mucosa, improved brain health and that of the endocrine system1.

‘’The raw meat diet dramatically modified the abundance of the families LactobacillaceaeFusobacteriaceaeCoriobacteriaceaeClostridiaceae 1, Enterobacteriaceae, Streptococcaceae and Enterococcaceae.’’


“Previous moderate variation studies (adding additions to an extruded diet) did not find changes in the families Streptococcaceae, Enterococcaceae and Fusobacteriaceae. The comparison of the present results with previously published data suggests that a relevant shift of faecal microbiota in healthy dogs can be observed only as a consequence of profound dietary variations.”

“The raw meal diet promoted a more balanced growth of bacterial compounds and a positive change in the readouts of healthy gut function in comparison to the extruded diet.”

1 – Bourassa MW, Alim I, Bultman SJ, Ratan RR. Butyrate, neuroepigenetics and the gut microbiome: Can a high fiber diet improve brain health? Neurosci Lett. 2016;625:56–63

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