Formulating a Food to Help Puppies’ Immune Systems

three sleeping Canine Companions puppiesAn important research priority at Canine Companions is to improve the health and longevity of our dogs to produce future generations of happy, healthy working dogs. In 2022, Canine Companions launched a study in collaboration with Royal Canin and Waltham Petcare Science Institute to evaluate the efficacy of an enriched diet to support immunity and gut health during puppyhood. The hypothesis is that feeding puppies a diet enriched in specific nutrients will improve immune response and the gut microbiome.

Sixty-three puppies were enrolled and weaned onto either a control or test diet and are fed this diet exclusively until they are 30 weeks of age. Throughout this time, fecal, urine, and blood samples from the puppies are collected at seven time points to be analyzed by Waltham Petcare Science Institute. The puppies’ activity levels are also monitored throughout the study via a Whistle Fit actigraphy monitor. Data collection for this study will be complete in 2023.

We are incredibly grateful to our volunteer breeder caretakers and puppy raisers who made this study possible by feeding the study diet and collecting and shipping the biological samples.