Use of Legumes and Yeast as Novel Dietary Protein Sources in Extruded Canine Diets

Lauren M. Reilly, Fei He, Sandra L. Rodriguez-Zas, Bruce R. Southey, Jolene M. Hoke, Gary M. Davenport, Maria R.C. de Godoy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The popularity of plant-based protein sources has increased as consumer demand for grain-free and novel protein sources increase. Minimal research has been conducted as regards to use of legumes and yeast and their effects on acceptability and digestibility in canine diets. The objective of this study was to evaluate macronutrient apparent total tract digestibility (ATTD), gastrointestinal tolerance, and fermentative end-products in extruded, canine diets. Five diets were formulated to be isocaloric and isonitrogenous with either garbanzo beans (GBD), green lentils (GLD), peanut flour (PFD), dried yeast (DYD), or poultry by-product meal (CON) as the primary protein sources. Ten adult, intact, female beagles (mean age: 4.2 ± 1.1 yr, mean weight: 11.9 ± 1.3 kg) were used in a replicated, 5 × 5 Latin square design with 14 d periods. Each experimental period consisted of 10 d of diet adaptation, followed by 4 d of total fecal and urine collection. A fasted, 5 ml blood sample was collected at the end of each period and analyzed for serum metabolites and complete blood count. Serum metabolites were within normal ranges and all dogs remained healthy throughout the study. Fecal quality, evaluated on a 5-point scale, was considered ideal. Macronutrient ATTD was similar among dietary treatments, with diets highly digestible (>80%). Total fecal branched-chain fatty acid concentrations were highest (P < 0.05) for DYD (23.4 μmol/g) than GLD (16.1 μmol/g) and PFD (16.0 μmol/g) but not different (P > 0.05) than other treatments. The plant-based protein treatments had greater (P < 0.05) total fecal short chain fatty acid (SCFA) concentrations (average 627.6 μmol/g) compared with CON (381.1 μmol/g). Fecal butyrate concentration was highest (P < 0.05) for DYD than all other dietary treatments (103.9 μmol/g vs. average 46.2 μmol/g). Fecal microbial communities showed Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Fusobacteria, and Proteobacteria as abundant phyla. There was greater β-diversity for dogs fed DYD which differed from all other diets in both weighted and unweighted UNIFRAC analyses. Inclusion of these novel, plant-based, protein sources showed no detrimental effects on nutrient digestibility or fecal characteristics and represent viable protein sources in canine diets that can produce beneficial shifts in fecal metabolites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number667642
JournalFrontiers in Veterinary Science
StatePublished - Jun 4 2021


  • digestibility
  • dog
  • legume
  • microbiota
  • pulse
  • yeast

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Veterinary


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