Announcing Nom Nom:INSIGHTS - A window into your pet’s gut health
When we started Nom Nom, our goal was to enable pet parents to improve the health and wellness of their pets by equipping them with excellent nutrition, acting as partners in the care of their pets, and providing a range of resources and services to make every aspect of being a pet parent as easy, convenient, and positively impactful as possible. That’s why we’re excited to officially launch Nom Nom:INSIGHTS, an easy to use, at-home microbiome testing kit for dogs and cats that will give their parents an in-depth look at the health of their dog’s or cat’s gut bacteria.
Nom Nom:INSIGHTS provides a method to help you better understand the microbiome of your pet. Our scientists will analyze a sample collected from your pet to evaluate the types of bacteria that reside in your pet’s gut, then send you a report describing their overall structure and how your pet compares to others.
What is the microbiome?
The microbiome, in humans and in our pets, is a unique population of microorganisms that live within and on us. The diversity and types of microorganisms help to keep our pets healthy. Similarly though, these microbes can contribute to pet illnesses if there are disruptions to a healthy balance in the microbiome. So clearly the microbiome is an important part of maintaining our pets’ health!
Why test the gut?
The microbiome of the gut is the largest and most studied microbiome, and has been demonstrated to impact a wide variety of different health-related systems including things like food digestion, immune system function, weight management and even mood and behavior.
The Nom Nom:INSIGHTS kit is an at-home assessment that characterizes the composition of a pet’s gut bacteria through bacterial DNA sequencing. Pet parents will first complete a brief pet health survey to provide information that, later on, will aid in understanding and interpreting the test results.
How do I obtain my pet’s sample for the kit?
The gut microbiome resides in an organ that can be difficult to directly sample. However, observing which microbes live in your pet’s gut can be done in a noninvasive manner by evaluating their stool. Using the tools provided in your kit, collect a fresh stool sample to preserve as much bacterial DNA as possible and mail it back using the included materials. Only the bacteria that are found in stool will be analyzed. This means that types inhabiting other parts of the digestive system, such as the stomach, may not be reported as some bacteria cannot survive outside that environment.
How do I understand and read the results?
You will receive a report of your pet’s microbiome after it has been sequenced. Included in the report are measures of the microbiome’s diversity, its composition, and a comparison with other healthy dogs and cats.
Diversity: Evaluating the diversity of your pet’s microbiome provides a snapshot of how abundant bacterial species are compared to others as well as how many different species are identified. These two measures are combined in an Overall Gut Score to give you an idea of the diversity found in your pet’s gut. Microbiome diversity has been reported to impact health, this can be a useful tool.
Composition: Bacteria fulfill different roles within the gut, and tend to be present in varying amounts. Your Nom Nom:INSIGHTS report breaks down the bacteria found in your pet’s sample into smaller groups to help you understand their functions and prevalence.
Comparisons: Each individual has a different microbiome. As scientists learn more about which bacteria tend to be associated with health and disease, we can compare individuals to make associations and contribute to this knowledge. As a pet parent, you can use comparisons to understand how your pet’s health relates to others.