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How Restoring Rave’s Gut Health Helped Her Love Mealtime


Border Collies Rave and Wasabi with mixed-breed dog Bishop standing outside in grass.

Most dogs love their food. So when puppy Rave refused to eat, Liz Burke was worried.

Liz has three dogs: Rave, a three-year-old Border Collie; Wasabi, a two-year-old Border Collie; and Bishop, a nine-year-old mixed-breed dog. Liz’s family includes three domestic shorthair cats: Cyril Figgis, Archer, and Owen.

After years of trying new diets—none of which Rave liked—Liz tried the Gut Health Test, which revealed an imbalance in Rave’s gut microbiome. Restoring the beneficial bacteria in Rave’s gut completely changed her attitude about mealtime. Since then, science-backed gut health support has become invaluable for Liz and all her canine family members.

More than just picky eating

Ever since puppyhood, Rave has been choosy about her food. 

“I tried everything,” Liz says. “I’m a dog trainer, so I tried to train Rave to eat as a behavior. That didn’t work. Her breeder suggested raw food, so I tried that. She ate about half of it and then stopped. I switched her diet to everything except the cheapest dog food out there, but she refused to eat any of it.”

Although Rave seemed otherwise healthy, something didn’t seem right about her eating habits. After two years of this pattern, Liz didn’t know what else to do.

Testing Rave’s microbiome revealed an imbalance

“I heard about gut health testing from a friend,” Liz says. She purchased the Gut Health Test from AnimalBiome, a leader in canine microbiome research. Embark Veterinary partners with AnimalBiome and now offers the Gut Health Test.

The Gut Health Test involved sending in a small sample of Rave’s stool to be analyzed by the lab. 

“We all have to pick up after our dogs anyway, so we’re used to handling their poop,” Liz says about the sample collection process. “It just takes one extra step to stick the swab in.”

Rave’s results revealed that the population of bacteria in her gut—called the gut microbiome—had a moderate imbalance. That means some bacteria were present at higher-than-normal levels, some were lower than normal, and some were missing.

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Restoring Rave’s gut microbiome

To help return Rave’s bacteria levels to normal, Liz gave her the Gut Restore supplement. 

“Within a week, she was eating without a problem. She was excited to eat. She even gained weight!” Liz exclaims.

She continued the supplement for the recommended 30 days and, so far, has not needed to give Rave another dose.

The Gut Restore supplement provides the benefits of a fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) procedure in capsule form. It contains healthy dog-specific bacteria and can help resolve chronic digestive issues.

“I didn’t know you could get an FMT without going to the vet and having an expensive procedure,” Liz says. “The Gut Restore supplement was an affordable alternative.”

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One year after taking the Gut Restore supplement, Rave, now three and a half years old, loves to eat. She enjoys mealtimes so much that Liz had to calculate the correct number of calories for her diet to make sure she wasn’t overeating. 

“The Gut Restore supplement has had huge benefits for both of us. Knowing that she’s healthy and eating well alleviates so much stress for me.”

Liz Burke

Because the Gut Restore supplement was so helpful for Rave, Liz purchased a Gut Health Test and the Gut Restore supplement for Wasabi as well.

Liz Burke kneels next to two of her dogs outside a decorative Halloween display.

Gut supplements give Liz peace of mind while traveling

After Gut Restore changed Rave’s outlook on mealtime, Liz trusted the supplements powered by AnimalBiome for her dogs’ gut health needs. They have become part of her regular preventive care routine for all her dogs. 

Liz teaches canine agility and fitness lessons, which often require traveling to events with her dogs. She recommends the Gut Maintenance Plus (GMP) supplement to her clients whose dogs have sensitive stomachs. GMP contains a blend of prebiotics and probiotics to resolve short-term and occasional diarrhea in dogs.

“I shared the Gut Maintenance Plus supplement with someone at a training event because her dog was experiencing bad diarrhea. The next day she said, ‘This product is amazing! It worked.’ Another client had a dog with really bad halitosis. GMP made their breath smell much better.”

Liz Burke

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Liz keeps a bottle of GMP in her first aid kit for emergencies. “It has been really helpful for me when traveling with the dogs, especially for long events,” she says.

Learn more about the different types of gut health supplements for dogs and the many factors that affect dog gut health with veterinarian Dr. Kari Cueva.

Mimi Padmabandu Contributor

Mimi Padmabandu is a scientific writer and Content Strategy Lead at Embark Veterinary. She has over a decade of experience writing about science and genomics for leading biotechnology companies. She holds a bachelor's degree in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology from UCLA and a master’s degree in Early Modern English Literature from King’s College London.

Read more about Mimi Padmabandu

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