Dog Bodybuilding

No more kibble, Fido! Look what you did to the rug!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

It’s YOUR dinner time, but your dog keeps begging for treats! And he’s already a biiiiit round. Maybe it’s doggie diet time? But does dieting ACTUALLY help our furry pals?

Enter Ploy Phungviwatnikul and team from University of Illinois Urbana Champagne and Texas A&M. They fed twelve dogs a high-protein, high-fiber diet for over twenty weeks. Although overweight, the dogs were otherwise healthy. Researchers collected these furry friends’ poop every four weeks during this diet. They also measured how their gut bacteria changed with weight loss.

Results? They saw an increase in bacteria named Allobaculum in the first twelve weeks. This bacteria came with chemicals essential to digestive health! Our furry friends got healthier after dieting. Their blood sugar level decreased, and they had less inflammation!

Looks like dogs and humans could both benefit from a healthy diet!

Sorry my friend, I can’t treat you anymore! Stop fixing your big brown eyes on my double-stuffed pizza!

Reference: Phungviwatnikul, T., Lee, A. H., Belchik, S. E., Suchodolski, J. S., & Swanson, K. S. (2021). Weight Loss and High-Protein, High-Fiber Diet Consumption Impact Blood Metabolite Profiles, Body Composition, Voluntary Physical Activity, Fecal Microbiota, and Fecal Metabolites of Adult Dogs. Journal of Animal Science.