Effect of dietary fat to starch content on fecal microbiota composition and activity in dogs

S Schauf, G de la Fuente, CJ Newbold, A Salas-Mani, C Torre, L Abecia, C Castrillo

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27 Citations (Scopus)


Dietary fat is known to modulate the hindgut microbiota in rodents; however, there is no clear evidence on the impact of high-fat diets on canine gut microbiota. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of feeding of diets differing in the amount of ME provided by fat and starch on the composition and activity of canine fecal microbiota. Twelve adult (3 to 7 yr of age) spayed Beagle dogs received a low-fat–high-starch diet (LF–HS; approximately 23%, 42%, and 25% ME provided by fat, starch, and CP, respectively) and a high-fat–lowstarch diet (HF–LS; approximately 43%, 22%, and 25% ME provided by fat, starch, and CP, respectively) following a 2-period crossover arrangement. The higher amount of fat in the HF–LS diet was provided by lard, whereas the higher amount of starch in the LF–HS diet was provided primarily by maize and broken rice. Each period lasted 7 wk and included 4 wk for diet adaptation. Dogs were fed to meet their daily energy requirements (set at 480 kJ ME/kg BW0.75). Fecal samples were collected on weeks 5 and 6 of each period for the analysis of bacterial richness, diversity, and composition [by Ion-Torrent next-generation sequencing], bile acids, ammonia, and VFA. Additional fecal samples were collected from four dogs per diet and period to use as inocula for in vitro fermentation using xylan and pectin as substrates. Gas production was measured at 2, 4, 6, 9, 12, and 24 h of incubation. On week 7, blood samples were collected at 0- and 180-min postfeeding for the analysis of bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Feeding the HF–LS diet led to a greater (P < 0.05) fecal bile acid concentration compared with the LF–HS diet. Bacterial richness and diversity did not differ between diets (P > 0.10). However, dogs showed a lower relative abundance of Prevotella (P < 0.01), Solobacterium (P < 0.05), and Coprobacillus (P ˂ 0.05) when fed of the HF–LS diet. Fecal ammonia and VFA contents were not affected by diet (P > 0.10). Relative to the LF–HS diet, in vitro fermentation of xylan using feces of dogs fed the HF–LS diet produced less gas at 6 h (P < 0.01) and 9 h (P < 0.05). Blood LPS did not increase at 180-min postfeeding with either diet (P < 0.10). These findings indicate that feeding a HF–LS diet to dogs does not affect bacterial diversity or fermentative end products in feces, but may have a negative impact on Prevotella and xylan fermentation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3684 - 3698
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Issue number9
Early online date27 Jul 2018
Publication statusPrint publication - 7 Sept 2018


  • Bile acids
  • Dog
  • Fat
  • Prevotella
  • Starch
  • Xylan fermentation


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