National Cat & Dog Gut Health Day on September 21 is an initiative of AnimalBiome — the world’s leader in cat and dog gut microbiome health testing and restoration. National Cat & Dog Gut Health Day was created to raise awareness of the gut microbiome and the impact it can have on our pets’ lives. 

Like humans, animals have a complex microbiome in their gut that is made up of trillions of microorganisms. This microbiome is essential for supporting digestion and aids the overall health of our cats and dogs. However, changes in age, diet, lifestyle, and medications can cause a gut microbiome imbalance. In turn this can lead to the disruption of body functions and potentially cause irregular symptoms such as itchy skin, constipation, obesity, diarrhea, and even behavioral issues.

History of National Cat & Dog Gut Health Day

Since the discovery of bacteria by Antonie van Leeuwenhoek in the late 17th century, scientists have striven to understand the relationship between microorganisms and our overall health. 

In 1842 Edinburgh surgeon John Goodsir made one of the first descriptions of gastrointestinal bacteria. However, the relationship between gut bacteria with health and disease consolidated until the late 1880s. The German pediatrician Theodor Escherich published a monograph on the relationship of intestinal bacteria to the psychology of digestion, in which he exposed the common colon bacillus, now known as Escherichia coli (E. coli). He also theorized that microorganisms living in the intestine were crucial to comprehending the physiological and pathophysiological processes of the gut. 

Years later, Carl Woese and George Fox revealed the deep evolutionary history shared by all living organisms in 1970. Biologists could recognize microorganisms’ true diversity and functional capacity thanks to the application of molecular sequencing techniques. This has led to a new understanding of animal biology, reflecting the strong interdependencies between the complex multicellular organisms and their associated microbes and their impact on our pet’s gut.

Thanks to the discovery of the gut’s microbiome full impact, we now know that it plays a significant role in a pet’s overall health and well-being. However, as the cases of gut imbalance increase, so does the need to educate people about the impact of our pet’s gastrointestinal (GI) tract on their health. AnimalBiome’s 2022 State of the Gut™ Report showed that 58{7b6cc35713332e03d34197859d8d439e4802eb556451407ffda280a51e3c41ac} of pets are experiencing a symptom that could be related to an unbalanced gut every month.

AnimalBiome was founded in 2016 to solve the mysteries of the pet gut microbiome to help cats and dogs feel better and have healthier life. The company incentivizes you to beware of your pet’s symptoms and understand how bacterial groups in the gut play a vital role in your pet’s body. Hence, a healthy gut microbiome is crucial for overall well-being and longevity. Using molecular sequencing techniques, AnimalBiome has become the world’s leading pet microbiome research company. They have tested over 30,000 cats and dogs and boast the world’s most extensive collection of dog microbiome samples with products and testing kits recommended by more than 1,000 veterinarians. 

National Cat & Dog Gut Health Day timeline


Discovery of Microorganisms

Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, becomes the first in the world to discover bacteria.


Proposal of Germ Theory of Disease

Louis Pasteur puts forth the Germ Theory of Disease postulating that microorganisms known as pathogens or “germs” can lead to disease.


Discovery of Vagus Nerve

Physiologist Otto Loewi is the first to document a direct neural connection between the brain and gut opening up research on how the gut can impact our overall health.


AnimalBiome is founded

The company, AnimalBiome, was founded with the goal of improving the health of cats and dogs by unlocking the mysteries of the pet gut microbiome.


A Worthy Investment

Food corporation Cargill invests in AnimalBiome to progress the research and development of pet well-being through improved gut health.


First Observance of National Cat & Dog Health Day

AnimalBiome observes the first National Cat & Dog Gut Health Day to create awareness of the importance of pet gut microbiomes and issues the first State of the Gut™ Report.

National Cat & Dog Gut Health Day FAQs

What is the gut microbiome?

The gut microbiome is the community of bacteria, fungi, and other microbes that live in your pet’s digestive tract and play a key role in overall health.

Why is the gut microbiome important?

A healthy microbiome is crucial for your pet’s health, as it plays a large role in overall health, from nutrient absorption to mental health. When bacteria are out of balance in your pet’s gut, disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), digestive issues, immune system reactions, and diabetes, can result.

What are the symptoms of a gut microbiome imbalance?

Many pet parents are surprised to find that the symptoms their pets are experiencing are often caused by an imbalance in the gut microbiome. Health issues like diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, itchy skin, and even bad breath can be a sign of trouble in your pet’s gut microbiome. 

How To Observe National Cat & Dog Gut Health Day

  1. Learn the Impact of the Gut Microbiome on your Pet’s Health

    On National Cat & Dog Gut Health Day, it is crucial to understand the impact of your pet’s gut microbiome on their health. As a pet parent, caring for your pet includes routine checkups, vaccinations, and a proper diet. Many people don’t know that you are also becoming a caretaker of the trillion tiny organisms in your pet’s gastrointestinal tracts. Which can do all sorts of amazing, important things for them like helping digest their food, protecting against disease, and maintaining a beautiful coat. According to AnimalBiome’s 2022 State of the Gut™ Report, only 3{7b6cc35713332e03d34197859d8d439e4802eb556451407ffda280a51e3c41ac} of pet parents understand the gut microbiome and its impact on their pets’ overall health. Visit AnimalBiome’s website for more information about the gut microbiome and how it affects your pet’s overall health.

  2. Learn to recognize the symptoms of an imbalanced gut microbiome

    When significant kinds of bacteria are missing (Imbalanced gut microbiome), the gut can’t function properly, and your pet may develop uncomfortable symptoms like diarrhea or itchy skin.
    Your pet may develop symptoms like diarrhea, soft stool, constipation, or vomiting. Other symptoms may include weight and appetite change, eating non-food items, and behavioral issues. This is why learning to recognize the signs of an imbalanced gut microbiome is one of the most critical aspects of National Cat & Dog Gut Health Day and is crucial for the proper functioning of your pet’s body.

  3. Assess the Well-Being of your Pet’s Gut Microbiome

    One of the best ways to determine if there is an imbalance in the gut microbiome is by testing. Gut microbiome testing means examining the bacteria and other microbes found in an individual stool sample. The bacteria in your pet’s stool sample offers a snapshot of their gut microbiome, the complex community of bacteria and other microorganisms living in the gastrointestinal tract. Testing can detect bacterial imbalances, identify problematic or missing bacterial groups, and provide actionable insights for personalized diet, supplement, or lifestyle changes to improve your pet’s health.

5 Surprising Facts About Your Pet’s Gut Microbiome

  1. Our Pet’s Gut Contains Trillions of Microorganisms

    Our pets’ gut are home to hundreds of different species of bacteria, holistically they comprise our pet’s gut microbiome.

  2. Nutrition is Key to a Healthy Gut Microbiome

    Your pet’s diet has a profound impact on their gut microbial community because it directly feeds the bacteria in their gut. What you feed your cat or dog helps determine which kinds of bacteria thrive and multiply in their gut. Therefore, managing your pet’s diet is the best and most important way to affect a pet’s gut microbiome.

  3. Your Pet’s Microbiome Health Tends to Decline with Age

    The bacteria composition of your pet’s gut microbiome can drastically vary over their lifespan. As our pets age, they experience a general decline in gut microbial diversity, contributing to various illnesses that are common in older age.

  4. Your Pet’s Feces Contain Live Bacteria

    Your pet’s feces contain a sample of the microbes contained within their gut. By using microbiome science, companies like Animal Biome’s can help identify imbalances in the gut microbiome and provide personalized recommendations for how pet parents can restore their pet’s gut health and overall health.

  5. Antibiotic Use Can Lead to Ongoing Gut Health Issues

    Oral antibiotics cannot differentiate between the harmful bacteria that may be causing a bacterial infection and the beneficial bacteria that support your pet’s health. The loss of this beneficial bacteria may cause diarrhea or other health symptoms. For some cats and dogs, this may cause an ongoing imbalance in their gut that could contribute to health conditions like chronic diarrhea, vomiting, or constipation.

Why is National Cat & Dog Gut Health Day Important?

  1. Poor Gut Health is a Core Driver of Increasing Vet Visits

    The two most common symptoms of an imbalanced gut are digestive and skin issues. With digestive and skin issues accounting for more than 50{7b6cc35713332e03d34197859d8d439e4802eb556451407ffda280a51e3c41ac} of all veterinary visits, gut microbiome testing has the potential to reduce the number of vet visits in the U.S. significantly.

  2. Almost 30{7b6cc35713332e03d34197859d8d439e4802eb556451407ffda280a51e3c41ac} of Digestive and Skin Issues are Not Resolved With a Vet Visit

    When a pet develops symptoms, pet parents often bring them to the vet. However, a significant proportion of pet parents may not follow the vet’s full treatment recommendations, resulting in an ineffective attempt to resolve the symptoms successfully.

  3. Over 37M Cats and Dogs have Elevated Levels of E. coli

    AnimalBiome’s research found that 1 in 3 dogs and 1 in 7 cats have elevated and unhealthy levels of E. coli, making it one of the most common causes of an imbalance in the gut microbiome. Elevated levels of E. coli crowd beneficial bacteria in the gut and reduce your pet’s ability to fight off other infections, which can lead to severe illnesses, including stomach cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea.

National Cat & Dog Gut Health Day dates

Year Date Day
2022 September 21 Wednesday
2023 September 21 Thursday
2024 September 21 Saturday
2025 September 21 Sunday
2026 September 21 Monday

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