January 21, 2022

Meet your dog’s gut bacteria: Fusobacteria

Fusobacteria are a relic of your dog’s carnivorous ancestry.


Fusobacteria are a relic of your dog’s carnivorous ancestry. Bacteria in this phyla prosper with diets rich in raw meat, and are also common in the guts of wolves and other meat eating animals such as cats and jackals. The name of this phylum refers to the slender spindle-shape (“fusus” in Latin) of the bacteria. Even though individual members of this group have been identified over 100 years ago, they have been classified together only thanks to the use of DNA sequencing in the past three decades.

Fusobacteria are common in the mouths of dogs and humans, where they are considered benign. In humans Fusobacteria are also associated with gut disease. In dogs the picture is different and more complex. Research shows that Fusobacteria have important roles in dogs’ gut, yet high levels of this group might prevent other beneficial bacteria from growing and filling their roles in keeping dogs healthy.

Fast Facts:

  • Fusobacteria is associated with healthy dogs and its population tends to decline in dogs suffering from gut disease.
  • At least one member of this phylum, Fusobacterium varium, breaks down proteins in the food and produces molecules important for the body.
  • Other members of this phylum, especially the species Fusobacterium mortiferum and Fusobacterium perfoetens, were found to be common in overweight dogs.

Fusobacteria feed on meat. Dietary fiber encourages growth of other beneficial bacteria and guarantees that gut balance is kept and this phylum doesn’t expand too much at the expense of other bacteria contributing to your dog’s health.

Stay’s unique recipes are rich in a variety of digestible proteins, dietary fibers, and other nutrients specially designed to feed the different beneficial bacteria in your dog’s gut and sustain a healthy balance between the five common phyla.

Our biofeedback process and seasonal microbiome checks allow us to understand how nutrition is impacting this delicate balance, as well as specific important bacteria in each phylum, and make sure your dog’s food is meeting the needs of the beneficial bacteria in their gut.

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