Our Science

We’re AnimalBiome—a team of veterinarians, scientists, and pet parents, committed to using science to improve patient health. As the world’s leading microbiome research company, we’ve developed award-winning innovative solutions, including the first-ever gut microbiome test for cats and dogs. Health and wellbeing for your patient—backed by science.

The Microbiome

Your patient’s gastrointestinal (GI) tract hosts a unique community of over a 100 trillion microbiota, referred to collectively as the gut microbiome (pronounced: mī-krō-ˈbī-ˌōm). A healthy, well-balanced gut microbiome is essential for digestion and nutrient absorption. Each bacterial group in the gut plays an important role in your patient’s wellness, so a diverse gut microbiome is also crucial for overall and long-term health.

When key beneficial bacteria are missing from the microbiome, or the different bacterial groups aren’t present in the right amounts, the resulting imbalance can disrupt normal physiological functions, and trigger inflammation. Extensive published literature links dysbiosis with dozens of chronic illnesses in all organ systems, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), atopic dermatitis, hyperactive immune function, diabetes, depression,among others.1–7

Our Process

AnimalBiome’s scientists have studied the gut microbiomes of more than 60,000 cats and dogs and have found statistical evidence of dysbiosis for clinical cases that are typically seen at the practice. Clinical symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, regurgitation, and atopy are strongly associated with a microbiome imbalance. For example, our State of the Gut Report reveals that one in seven cats and one in three dogs have too much E.coli.

The microbiome is a dynamic landscape that can be targeted to relieve symptoms at their source. Our microbiome testing and supplement products provide a scientific and comprehensive roadmap to achieving a healthy gut microbiome through our 3-Step Process: Test, Relieve, Restore.

Test your patient’s gut health to understand the underlying cause of microbiome-associated symptoms and customized recommendations for how to resolve it.

Relieve your patient’s symptoms while waiting for the test results from the test (results take 10-15 days).

Restore: Create a treatment plan specific to your patients results, using microbiome restorative therapies.


A one gram stool sample can reveal a lot about your patient’s health. Using genetic sequencing, we identify the fecal microbiome that is indicative of the gut microbiome. Then we compare the results to our healthy pet reference set to identify any areas of concern with your patient’s gut microbiome.8 Finally, we provide a comprehensive report that includes customized dietary and supplement recommendations (if necessary). Our recommendations are backed by evidence-based research to improve the balance and diversity of your patient’s gut microbiome.

How Microbiome Testing Works

Our Gut Health Test kits for cats and dogs contain everything you need to collect a small sample of your patient’s stool and send it to our laboratory.

When we receive your patient’s sample, we first extract DNA from the bacteria in the stool. A fecal sample about the size of a pea contains roughly one billion bacterial cells. Using next-generation DNA sequencing technology and powerful analytic software, we identify the types of bacteria living in your patient’s gut.

Then, we compare the patient’s results to our proprietary database of healthy pet microbiomes to determine how closely the types and amounts of bacteria in your patient’s gut match that healthy reference set. Our analysis can detect the three types of dysbiosis: bacterial imbalances, the key groups of bacteria that are missing, and overgrowths in pathogenic bacteria that may be causing your patient’s clinical signs.

Our Healthy Reference Set

AnimalBiome has built the world’s largest database of gut microbiome samples from companion animals. So far, we have collected and analyzed more than 60,000 fecal samples from domestic cats and dogs. Using an extensive screening process, we’ve curated a group of samples that meet our rigorous criteria for healthy pets that serves as our reference set.

By studying those healthy samples, we generate a profile of the specific bacterial taxa (groups) we expect to find in the gut microbiome of a healthy cat or dog. We have identified a “healthy reference set” consisting of 22 taxa that make up the core microbiome of cats and 17 taxa that make up the core microbiome of dogs.8 Our data set continues to grow through new data sets and AI technology.

What's in the Test Report?

In addition to a detailed explanation of your patient’s microbiome test results, the report you receive also includes personalized recommendations—such as dietary adjustments, supplements, and lifestyle changes—to improve your patient’s health and relieve symptoms. If you have diagnosed your patient with a chronic digestive or skin issue, the test report provides actionable information to help you treat the root cause of your patient’s condition.


Relief kits were designed to relieve clinical patients presenting with gastrointestinal or dermatological issues. They contain a 15-day course of our Gut Restore FMT capsules and GI Relief or Skin and Coat Relief Supplements. Our relief kits begin the gut microbiome restorative process and reduce symptoms within 24-48 hours. Relief kits can be used after collecting a test sample and during the 10-15 day period while waiting for the results of the Gut Microbiome Health Test.


Your patients with clinical symptoms like acute HGE, chronic enteropathies, vomiting, regurgitation, atopy, skin allergies, or pruritus may be related to an imbalance of their gut microbiome. Our evidence-based approach to balance, support, and strengthen the gut microbiome of patients include dietary interventions, prebiotics, probiotics, postbiotics, and fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT).

Our goal is to improve your patients health by introducing a complete and balanced community of native bacteria while reducing inflammation and pathogenic bacteria. Your patient’s Gut Health Test report indicates the correct course of action to restore gut microbiome health. This includes adding key bacteria that are missing, removing pathogens, or rebalancing the existing populations to start the journey towards achieving a form of gut homeostasis.

Adding Key Microbes

Antibiotic usage shows a reduction or elimination of key healthy beneficial bacteria resulting in digestive and atopy illness in dogs and cats. In these cases, adding missing bacteria to the microbiome can support the proliferation of these groups resulting in the return of normal physiological functions. While bacteria based probiotics claim to repopulate beneficial microbes, even the leading probiotics brands can’t restore an imbalanced gut microbiome.9

Fortunately, there’s a better solution: Fecal Microbiota Transplants (FMTs).

What Exactly Is a Fecal Microbiota Transplant (FMT)?

A fecal transplant is the process by which stool from a healthy donor is transferred to the intestinal tract of an ill recipient. The stool from the donor contains a healthy community of microbes and their metabolites, or products of fermentation that can start normal functions in the recipient’s gut. In human medicine, for example, FMT is used to treat C. difficile (aka C. diff) infections. 10,11

In veterinary medicine, FMT has helped support a wide range of chronic enteropathy cases, atopy cases, and more. See our research library to learn more about peer-reviewed work in this field.

AnimalBiome’s Gut Restore FMT Supplement (a fecal transplant in an enteric coated oral capsule) provides a whole community of healthy cat- or dog-specific bacteria, sourced directly from highly screened donor animals. By seeding your patient’s microbiome with all the right microbes in the right proportions, our supplement can help reestablish balance, begin normal physiological functions, and resolve symptoms.

FMT therapy has shown to be beneficial in patients with chronic disease conditions. In an AnimalBiome conducted study focused on pets with chronic conditions, 72 cats and 40 dogs with diagnosed inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) were administered a 25-day course of Gut Restore FMT Supplement. At the end of the trial, 83% of the cats and 80% of the dogs had improved symptoms. Appetite also increased for a quarter of the cats and half of the dogs. Researchers continue to learn about the therapeutic benefits of FMT for many different health issues, including pets with chronic conditions like IBD.

Reducing Pathogenic Microbes

If your patient’s gut health report shows an overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria, restoring balance may require reducing or removing those pathogenic microbes without removing beneficial groups.

One way to alter bacteria groups in the gut is through competitive exclusion. When beneficial microbes compete successfully and multiply, they take resources away from pathogenic microbes, reducing their colony size. Competitive exclusion is thought to be the primary mechanism at work in the successful use of FMT for recurrent C. diff infections in humans.12 FMT therapy is a simple, and effective way to utilize competitive exclusion through the addition of beneficial microbes.

In some cases, competitive exclusion alone is insufficient to reduce levels of pathogenic bacteria. In these cases, bacteriophage therapy may be required prior to or in conjunction with FMT treatment. Bacteriophages are viruses that attack specific types of bacteria, leaving mammalian and other bacteria cells unaltered.

One of the ingredients in our GI Relief Supplement (cat and dog) is a prebiotic bacteriophage cocktail called PreforPro, which specifically targets certain strains of E. coli known to commonly overgrow in the GI tract of cats and dogs. The use of phage therapy is another evolutionary tool for veterinary professionals to utilize in patients to re-establish a normal functioning gut microbiome.

Improving Diversity

If a patient’s Gut Health Test report shows the microbiome contains all the key beneficial microbes but not in the right proportions, rebalancing those bacterial groups can improve your patient’s symptoms and overall health.

Simple changes to your patient’s diet may be enough to restore balance. The customized recommendations in the Gut Health Test report will explain what specific nutritional changes can do for your patient. Adding more protein to the diet, for example, can support the growth of the important Fusobacteria group.

If dietary changes and prebiotic supplements aren’t enough to correct the proportions among your patient’s gut bacteria, a course of Gut Restore FMT Supplement can help re-establish a healthy balanced microbiome.


  1. Zheng J, Sun Q, Zhang J, Ng SC. The role of gut microbiome in inflammatory bowel disease diagnosis and prognosis. United European Gastroenterol J. Published online December 3, 2022. doi: 10.1002/ueg2.12338
  2. Craig JM, Mark Craig J. Atopic dermatitis and the intestinal microbiota in humans and dogs. Veterinary Medicine and Science. 2016;2(2):95-105. doi 10.1002/vms3.24
  3. Amoroso C, Perillo F, Strati F, Fantini MC, Caprioli F, Facciotti F. The Role of Gut Microbiota Biomodulators on Mucosal Immunity and Intestinal Inflammation. Cells. 2020;9(5). doi: 10.3390/cells9051234
  4. Dedrick S, Sundaresh B, Huang Q, Brady C, Yoo T, Cronin C, et al. The Role of Gut Microbiota and Environmental Factors in Type 1 Diabetes Pathogenesis. Front Endocrinol. 2020;11:78. doi:10.3389/fendo.2020.00078
  5. Sikalidis AK, Maykish A. The Gut Microbiome and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: Discussing a Complex Relationship. Biomedicines. 2020;8(1). doi: 10.3390/biomedicines8010008
  6. Zheng P, Zeng B, Zhou C, Liu M, Fang Z, Xu X, et al. Gut microbiome remodeling induces depressive-like behaviors through a pathway mediated by the host’s metabolism. Mol Psychiatry. 2016;21(6):786-796. doi: 10.1038/mp.2016.44
  7. Foster JA, McVey Neufeld KA. Gut-brain axis: how the microbiome influences anxiety and depression. Trends Neurosci. 2013;36(5):305-312. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2013.01.005
  8. Ganz HH, Jospin G, Rojas CA, Martin AL, Dahlhausen K, Kingsbury DD, et al. The Kitty Microbiome Project: Defining the Healthy Fecal “Core Microbiome” in Pet Domestic Cats. Vet Sci China. 2022;9(11). doi: 10.3390/vetsci9110635
  9. Suez J, Zmora N, Zilberman-Schapira G, Mor U, Dori-Bachash M, Bashiardes S, et al. Post-Antibiotic Gut Mucosal Microbiome Reconstitution Is Impaired by Probiotics and Improved by Autologous FMT. Cell. 2018;174(6):1406-1423.e16. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2018.08.047
  10. Kao D, Roach B, Silva M, Beck P, Rioux K, Kaplan GG, et al. Effect of Oral Capsule- vs Colonoscopy-Delivered Fecal Microbiota Transplantation on Recurrent Clostridium difficile Infection: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2017;318(20):1985-1993. doi: 10.1001/jama.2017.17077
  11. Hvas CL, Dahl Jørgensen SM, Jørgensen SP, Storgaard M, Lemming L, Hansen MM, et al. Fecal Microbiota Transplantation Is Superior to Fidaxomicin for Treatment of Recurrent Clostridium difficile Infection. Gastroenterology. 2019;156(5):1324-1332.e3. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2018.12.019
  12. Khoruts A, Sadowsky MJ. Understanding the mechanisms of faecal microbiota transplantation. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2016;13(9):508-516. doi: 10.1038/nrgastro.2016.98