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Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086 is a commercially available spore-forming non-toxigenic microorganism approved for use in dog foods with high resiliency to stresses associated with commercial manufacturing. The objectives of this research were to examine the effect of B. coagulans on stool quality, nutrient digestibility, and intestinal health markers in healthy adult dogs. Extruded diets containing graded levels of B. coagulans applied either to the base ration before extrusion or to the exterior of the kibble as a topical coating after extrusion were randomly assigned to 10 individually housed adult beagle dogs (7 castrated males and 3 spayed females) of similar age (5.75 ± 0.23 yr) and body weight (12.3 ± 1.5 kg). The study was designed as a 5 × 5 replicated Latin square with 16-d adaptation followed by 5-d total fecal collection for each period. Five dietary treatments were formulated to deliver a dose of 0-, 6-, 7-, 8-, and 9-log10 colony-forming units (CFU) per dog per day for the control (CON), extruded B. coagulans (PEX), and low, moderate, and high B. coagulans coating levels (PCL, PCM, and PCH), respectively. Food-grade TiO2 was added to all diets at a level of 0.4% to serve as an indigestible dietary marker for digestibility calculations. Data were analyzed using a mixed model through SAS (version 9.4, SAS Institute, Inc., Cary, NC) with treatment as a fixed effect and room (i.e., replicate), period, and dog(room) as random effects. Apparent total tract digestibility of organic matter, crude protein, crude fat, and gross energy calculated by the marker method were numerically greatest for dogs fed the 9-log10 dose treatment with increases (P < 0.05) observed in gross energy and organic matter digestibility compared with the negative control. No significant differences were observed in food intake, stool quality, fecal pH, fecal ammonia, fecal short-chain fatty acids, or branched-chain fatty acids for the extruded B. coagulans treatment (PEX) or the coated B. coagulans treatments (PCL, PCM, and PCH) compared with CON. These results suggest that B. coagulans has a favorable impact on nutrient digestibility and no apparent adverse effects when added to extruded diets at a daily intake level of up to 9-log10 CFU in healthy adult dogs.

Keywords: canine; direct-fed microbials; gastrointestinal health.

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
Bacillus coagulansImproved Nutrient DigestibilityBeneficial
Bacillus coagulansImproved Stool QualityNeutral
Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086Improved Nutrient DigestibilityBeneficial
Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086Improved Stool QualityNeutral

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