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Metabolomics study: 

examined how physiological and diet-related factors drive variance in the metabolism of healthy pet dogs

Sample size: 2068 dogs from 22 breeds


Measurement: analysis of serum samples (collected from a previous cohort study) using a canine nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy-based metabolomics platform.


Diets:  compared dogs fed (1) raw food, (2) dry food, (3) raw + dry food and (4)  several food types  



  • age, breed, sex, sterilization, diet type and fasting time significantly affected the canine metabolite profiles.


  • Diet can have a profound influence on metabolism


  • Dogs eating solely raw food had the highest measurand concentrations in

    • amino acids isoleucine, leucine, valine, total branched chain amino acids and the branched chain amino acid tyrosine,

    • the relative fatty acid measurands palmitic acid (PalA%), saturated fatty acids (SFA%) and stearic acid (SteA%)

    • Omega-6/Omega-3 fatty acid ratio.


Dietary essential branched chain amino acid (BCAA) isoleucine, leucine and valine concentrations are highly dependent on diet in dogs. These BCAAs are found in protein-rich foods, such as meat, as are the saturated fatty acids PalA and SteA. Thus, it is not surprising that dogs consuming a meat-based raw food diet had higher levels of these measurands.


  • However, a discrepancy between the results of absolute and relative units of PalA, SteA and SFA must be acknowledged as dogs eating raw food had the highest levels of relative unit measurands PalA%, SteA% and SFA% but lowest levels of absolute unit measurands PalA, SteA and SFA.


  • Cholesterol - dogs eating raw food had lower levels than dogs eating dry food


  • Triglycerides - Dogs eating raw food had lower triglyceride levels than dogs consuming other diet types


  • Lipoproteins -  dogs eating dry food had the highest HDL and VLDL measurands and dogs eating raw food the lowest levels.


  • Inflammation

    • Dogs eating dry food had significantly higher glycoprotein acetyls (GlycA) concentrations than dogs consuming other diet types.

      • GlycA is a composite inflammatory marker that consists of signals of different acute-phase proteins and is positively associated with systemic inflammation in humans

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