February 8, 2022

Meet your dog’s gut bacteria: Fusobacterium

Learn more about the role of Fusobacterium in your dog's gut health.


If you’ve read any of our other articles, you know how important fiber is to maintaining and strengthening your dog’s gut health. But there are other keys to keeping your dog healthy, including animal proteins. The genus Fusobacterium, which is part of the phylum Fusobacteria, loves diets rich in meat.

Fusobacterium is a great example that what is good for us isn’t always good for dogs. In humans, some of this group of bacteria is associated with colon cancer. For our best friends, however, it is prevalent in the guts of healthy dogs who typically get a lot of time outside. This may be related to the fact that the Fusobacterium genus is actually a relic of our dogs’ roots in the wild, and it is still commonly found in the guts of wolves.  

At least one species in this group, Fusobacterium varium, was shown to produce butyrate, which helps regulate the immune system. Butyrate is an important short chain fatty acid that is the preferred energy source for the cells that line the surface of the gut.

Maintaining a healthy level of Fusobacterium is really important for us at Stay. Low levels of Fusobacterium is associated both with chronic gut disease and aggressive behavior. We’d be aggressive and irritable, too, if we kept having gut issues!

To keep things really interesting, high levels of this are also associated with dogs that are considered overweight. You can read more about dog obesity here. Clearly there’s a Goldilocks level for optimal levels of Fusobacterium!

Our friends in the Bacteroidetes phylum are the main competitors with Fusobacterium for space in your dog’s gut. Keeping all of them at levels that keep your dog healthy and happy is just as important as making sure the recipes are tasty. This is why our expert nutritionists work so hard to include the right amounts of the ingredients that support the right amount of growth of these bacteria.

Get started with Stay  

Subscribe to our newsletter

Keep me updated about dog nutrition and wellness