Aim: The objective of this study was to characterize the early effects of high fructose diets (with and without high fat) on both the composition of the gut microbiota and lipid metabolism in Syrian hamsters, a reproducible preclinical model of diet-induced dyslipidemia. Methods: Eight-week-old male hamsters were fed diets consisting of high-fat/high-fructose, low-fat/high-fructose or a standard chow diet for 14 days. Stool was collected at baseline (day 0), day 7 and day 14. Fasting levels of plasma triglycerides and cholesterol were monitored on day 0, day 7 and day 14, and nonfasting levels were also assayed on day 15. Then, 16S rRNA sequencing of stool samples was used to determine gut microbial composition, and predictive metagenomics was performed to evaluate dietary-induced shifts in deduced microbial functions. Results: Both high-fructose diets resulted in divergent gut microbiota composition. A high-fat/high-fructose diet induced the largest shift in overall gut microbial composition, with dramatic shifts in the Firmicute/Bacteroidetes ratio, and changes in beta diversity after just seven days of dietary intervention. Significant associations between genus level taxa and dietary intervention were identified, including an association with Ruminococceace NK4A214 group in high-fat/high-fructose fed animals and an association with Butryimonas with the low-fat/high-fructose diet. High-fat/high-fructose feeding induced dyslipidemia with increases in plasma triglycerides and cholesterol, and hepatomegaly. Dietary-induced changes in several genus level taxa significantly correlated with lipid levels over the two-week period. Differences in microbial metabolic pathways between high-fat/high-fructose and low-fat/high-fructose diet fed hamsters were identified, and several of these pathways also correlated with lipid profiles in hamsters. Conclusions: The high-fat/high-fructose diet caused shifts in the host gut microbiota. These dietary-induced alterations in gut microbial composition were linked to changes in the production of secondary metabolites, which contributed to the development of metabolic syndrome in the host.