Six-Month Study Reveals Neutral Digestibility Effects of Grain-Inclusive and Grain-Free Canine Diets

Animal nutritionists and veterinarians associated with BSM Partners, the leading consultancy firm in pet care research, along with researchers from the University of Illinois, have revealed the outcomes of a comprehensive six-month study. The study concluded that both grain-inclusive and grain-free diets for dogs had no detrimental impact on digestibility. The researchers elaborated, “Despite speculations that diets rich in pulse ingredients might contribute to nutrition-related dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs by potentially impairing digestibility, our findings indicated that all diets were notably digestible.” This was affirmed in trials conducted with both Beagles and mixed-breed hounds. The outcomes of this study have been documented in a peer-reviewed article within the Journal of Animal Science.

Dr. Stephanie Clark, PhD, CVT, PAS, CFS, Dpl. ACAS, VTS (Nutrition), a board-certified companion animal nutritionist and co-author of the article from BSM Partners, remarked, “This extensive and controlled prospective study offers valuable insights that will contribute to the ongoing efforts of the scientific community in comprehending and enhancing canine health.”

In the course of the study, researchers formulated four distinct diets for canines. Two diets were grain-free and contained pulse ingredients and potatoes, with varying levels of animal protein. The other two diets were grain-inclusive and lacked pulse ingredients and potatoes, also offering diverse levels of animal protein. The objective was to assess the digestibility of macronutrients, fecal characteristics, fecal metabolites, and fecal microbiota in Beagles and mixed-breed hounds when fed extruded diets incorporating different proportions of animal protein and plant-based components.

Dr. Maria R. C. de Godoy, an Associate Professor of Companion Animal and Comparative Nutrition at the University of Illinois and co-author of the article, highlighted, “Employing pulses as the primary sources of carbohydrate and protein in extruded diets for adult dogs with higher inclusion rates led to significant shifts in fecal microbiota and metabolites, particularly an increase in the concentration of short-chain fatty acids known for their gut health benefits.”

Clare Hsu, a doctoral student in Dr. Godoy’s lab and a co-author of the article, stated, “The elevated inclusion of pulses also correlated with heightened levels of primary bile acids in feces. This finding aligns with previous research on the effects of pulses and grain-free diets on fecal metabolites and microbiota.”

BSM Partners stands as the preeminent full-service consultancy in pet care research, strategy-to-shelf product innovation, and consulting. Its team of research experts collaborates with a wide range of clients, spanning from major corporations to emerging startups, to develop, review, and advise on the creation of numerous new products annually. This includes diverse offerings such as grain-free and grain-inclusive dog foods, treats, and supplements.

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Adrienn Sarkany
Adrienn Sarkany
Hello there! I'm a 21-year-old university student majoring in Finnish and Korean Language and Literature. I have a deep passion for art and a profound connection to the natural world. My journey through life has been a colorful one, driven by my love for creativity, music, and the wonders of the great outdoors. As a dedicated student, I've already earned a degree in Classic Cantos, a testament to my appreciation for the timeless beauty of classical music. Beyond the classroom, my artistic spirit thrives through my love for painting and drawing. These creative outlets allow me to express my thoughts and emotions, transforming blank canvases into vibrant stories. My interests go far beyond music and art. Singing, playing the piano, and exploring new melodies are integral parts of my life, providing me with both solace and exhilaration. When I'm not immersed in the world of art and music, I find solace in nature's embrace. My heart is drawn to animals and the serene beauty of the natural world, fueling my desire to protect and preserve our precious environment.