March 12, 2022

Want a better life for your dog? Feed their gut bacteria

We are living in a bacterial world.


We are living in a bacterial world. Bacteria has been on earth billions of years before us and our dogs. “We learned to live in their world and they learned to live on and in us. Otherwise we’d all be dead,” says Dr. Joe Bielitzki, Stay’s Chief Scientific Advisor, a veterinarian and scientist with over 40 years of experience working for top universities, major companies, and NASA.

Today we know that these bacteria are responsible for maintaining your dog’s gut health, and we have the scientific tools to understand how the beneficial bacteria are affected by different ingredients in the food. This knowledge opens the way to formulating the healthiest dog food — nutrition that fits the specific needs of each dog and their gut bacteria.


Dr. Shirley Furmanski, DVM, Stay’s leading veterinarian

Stay assembled a unique team of experts from highly diverse fields with one goal: to harness the power of science and data to find the right nutrition for our most loyal family members — our dogs. Together, they study how fresh dog food interacts with the bacteria and microorganisms in their gut, collectively called the microbiome. 

A healthy gut microbiome can improve your dog’s digestion, leading to better poops. It’s safe to say we all want that for our dogs and for ourselves! It also helps strengthen their immune system, and can even impact their moods. We can finally start to understand which foods are right for your dog at every stage of their life, and help them be healthier and happier.

Each dog has a microbiome as unique as their DNA. That’s why the first step in Stay’s journey to personalized nutrition for our best friends is a personalized meal plan with ingredients picked for their quality, high levels of important nutrients like fiber, and for their contribution to a healthy and diverse ecosystem of beneficial bacteria living in the gut


This journey evolves as we learn more about the dogs from the stories our human members tell us and as we analyze their dogs’ seasonal microbiome tests. This unique biofeedback process is what sets Stay apart from the rest. This biofeedback loop allows Stay’s scientists — and the pet parents — to understand how different foods impact dogs’ wellbeing. The pet parents who join the Stay family will get to be a part of this new scientific approach to pet nutrition — and be empowered to make informed decisions about their dog’s food throughout their (longer and better) lives.

Before Stay offers any microbiome-based personalized diet recommendations, our baseline recipes work to support a healthy and diverse microbiome, and set the stage for more customized meal plans that will be continuously developed as we get to know more dogs and their individual requirements. We aim to find the healthiest dog food, just for them.


This unique process of recipe development is led by Dr. Bielitzki, Dr. Sara Fernandez, DVM, Stay’s nutrition and formulation lead, and Stay’s co-founder and CTO Liran Haller. When creating our recipes, we focus on feeding our dogs’ microbiome. Stay’s fresh food provides the needed fiber for dogs by using ingredients such as psyllium seed husks, selected for their high fiber content and positive effect on the digestive system, and sprouted lentils, a great source fiber for dogs that also have many health promoting effects.

The eggs in our food provide different amino acids (the building blocks of proteins), together with much required fat. Another ingredient is anchovy oil, an excellent natural source for Omega-3 fatty acids, which supports heart function, and promotes a silky coat and healthy skin. These are just some of the ingredients we proudly use, and you can learn more about some other key ingredients on our website.

Just a few of the amazing ingredients in our recipes.


In our Brooklyn kitchen, Chef Jared Hargreaves and his team gently cook the food to get rid of any potentially harmful pathogens, and then freeze the fresh food to keep the nutrients in all the ingredients. Our recipes are designed to utilize the maximum natural potential of each ingredient in contributing to dogs’ health. And of course, Stay’s recipes passed AAFCO standards with flying colors.

The benefits of Stay’s novel approach to dog nutrition are larger than the sum of the ingredients. The knowledge that Stay’s experts gain from your surveys and dog’s gut health tests will allow us to make sure your dog is always getting the best nutrition possible to foster a thriving gut microbiome.

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