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Bacteria may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of your pet’s health, but they play a HUGE role in everything from digestion to mood! AnimalBiome has created an easy way for you to learn about the microbes living in your dog’s gut and how to keep everything balanced for optimal health.
This is a company where a love for animals and science collides. AnimalBiome is working to not only help your dog or cat achieve a healthy, balanced gut, they are also working to learn more about how our pet’s gut biome works so that better treatments are available in the future.
By collecting the samples from all types of cats and dogs, AnimalBiome is constantly learning about new bacterium and how it can affect your pet. This forward thinking means that new information is always coming to light about different chronic illnesses and how to treat them, which is great for you and your pet!
How It Works:
The way this kit works is by collecting a fecal sample from your pet and sending it in for analysis. It comes with two vials (one is a backup in case you mess up the first), gloves, and a swab. Once your pet does his business, you break apart the sample, swab some fresh poo, and swish it into the solution in the tubes.
The sample gets sent in a prepaid label and then in a few weeks you will have your results! AnimalBiome will electronically send you a report of how your pet’s gut bacteria compares to that of the average healthy cat or dog.
While it may not be glamorous, it works well and you will get a really detailed account of what is happening inside that tummy.
What We Like:
The results came back within a few weeks and I loved how detailed the report is. At first glance you will not recognize really any of the bacteria listed, but AnimalBiome does a really good job of explaining what the results mean, how your pet compares, and what to do if the numbers need to change.
The online portal has a neat and tidy page that gives the healthy range for each bacteria and where your dog sits and has lots of informative articles on biome health.
Plus, you can download a more detailed report to learn about things like:
- Overall diversity of bacteria.
- Tips on diet changes to correct for imbalance.
- Lifestyle changes that will keep your dog healthy.
What We Would Change:
The hardest part for me was transferring the stool sample into the tiny vial that the kit came with. I mean this was hard, and rather messy, work! I kept dropping little bits on the way to the vial (eww!) and if your dog’s poop is on the drier side like mine it can be crumbly and difficult.
It would be great to have a slightly larger vial to work with or something better than the swab because that was just hard for me to manipulate.
Also, though the analysis gives an in-depth snapshot of your pet’s gut biome, it is just that, a snapshot. The gut can change and so the results may not always be the best indicator of your dog’s overall gut health. I think it would be best to test several times over a longer period to get a more accurate picture.
AnimalBiome does give the best time to swab for the most accurate results, though. For example, don’t swab right after a probiotic supplement or if your dog just had antibiotics.
I think this info is really cool and does make me realize that there are some areas in my dog’s diet that could use some work. If there are no outward symptoms it is easy to assume your dog is healthy, but if anything these results have made me think more critically and recognize that I should spend more time making sure my dog is getting everything he needs.
While I think AnimalBiome pushes their own products, like the Gut Microbiome Restoration Supplement, I loved getting to learn all about what is happening behind the scenes and take my dog’s diet and health more seriously.
I’m a good ol’ Midwestern transplant that moved to Colorado for mountains and adventure. I love rock climbing, writing, and eating cookies. When I’m not on the side of a cliff you can find me walking my dog, Peanut, playing piano, and blogging about my climbing adventures on The Gobi Gazette.