Understanding Mushroom Supplements for Dogs: Mushroom Species to Know

You can use mushroom supplements for dogs, but only if you choose the right mushrooms and supplements that utilize whole fruiting bodies and not mycelium 

We know that humans love mushroom supplements, but what about your canine companion?

Today we are looking at mushroom supplements for dogs, including if it is appropriate to give mushrooms to dogs, and the best ways of doing so. 

Considering mushrooms as part of a dog’s diet, including mushroom supplements for dogs

Various pet-focused websites discuss the reality that dogs can in fact eat mushrooms. However, it’s important to prepare them accordingly if you are feeding your canine friend some mushrooms. First, make sure they are edible, gourmet mushrooms. Most recommend feeding them the mushrooms raw, although I would consider cooking the mushrooms first by simply putting them over heat. Cooking the mushrooms and in turn breaking down the chitin found in the mushroom walls will help with digestion. Don’t season the mushrooms or use any other ingredients. Avoid using cooking oils as well. 

As PurePetFood points out, “Mushrooms are low calorie, with no fat or cholesterol, and have little salt content. This is great news for dogs, as it makes them a healthy snack option. Mushrooms are also packed with antioxidants, paw-fect for controlling free radicals and giving their immune system a boost.”

When using mushroom supplements for dogs, you can make tea with the mushrooms and mix that into your dog’s food. Or you can mix mushroom supplement powder directly into their food as well. 

Mushroom supplements for dogs: Lion’s mane mushroom

Lion’s mane is the favorite mushroom to eat for many humans I know, and I’d imagine many dogs would love it too for its taste and texture. 

According to Dogs Naturally Magazine, “Oligosaccharides in Lion’s Mane mean it’s a prebiotic that helps feed the good bacteria in your dog’s gut. Prebiotics make probiotics more effective … and that’s a good thing.”

The article continues, “More than 80% of your dog’s immune system lives in his gut, so gut health is the foundation of all health for your dog. Lion’s Mane research has shown immune system benefits in mice.”

This source even discusses lion’s mane use for supporting older dogs who may become forgetful. 

Dogs Naturally Magazine also seems to agree with our recommendation on using mushroom supplements that are made from fruiting bodies and not mycelium grown on grain because the fillers could be bad for dogs. The website states, “Many mushroom supplements are just mycelium. Mycelium is higher in starch and lower in the beta glucans that make medicinal mushrooms so healthy! Much of the research cited above was done with extracts from whole fruiting mushrooms.”

Mushroom supplements for dogs: Reishi

According to Animal Wellness Magazine, reishi “is known to help relieve the symptoms of allergies. Reishi is rich in polysaccharides, polypeptides, 16 types of amino acid, coumarin, triterpene, organic acids and microelements.”

The article continues by discussing the support that reishi can provide, saying, “it may help reduce side effects such as fatigue, loss of appetite, bone marrow suppression, and risk of infection.”

One good way of giving reishi to your dog is to make a reishi tea and to mix some of that tea in with your dog’s food. You can also mix reishi powder into your food as well. 

Mushroom supplements for dogs: King trumpet (also known as king oyster)

“Predatory Activity of the Fungus Pleurotus eryngii on Ancylostoma caninum Infective Larvae” and was conducted in South America. The test results were the first to show P. eryngi, the king trumpet mushroom, to have predatory activity towards the nematode. This test, and ones like it, have been conducted to determine more ways of safeguarding against harmful parasites. As the study states, “Biological control using nematophagous fungi has the potential to become an important strategy to control gastrointestinal helminths in domestic animals.”

Here’s an excerpt from this study’s analysis, which discusses the reduction in hookworm by nearly 50% due to the predatory behavior of the king trumpet mushroom:

"Here, the predatory activity of the fungus P. eryngii on A. caninum larvae was demonstrated, verifying that the fungal isolate was able to interact and prey on the larvae during the experiment. The average number of L3 recovered from the control group was significantly higher than the average from the treated group. The P. eryngii fungal isolate reduced the average number of A. caninum L3 compared to control (p < 0.01) and presented a reduction percentage of 47.56%."

According to the study, over one billion people worldwide are affected by intestinal parasites like the ones discussed in the report. Pets are also significantly impacted by these parasites, and many have considered the close ties between humans and pets and the passing of parasites between the two. New discoveries on ways to protect against and fight parasitic intruders is important to the overall state of public health. These types of research studies, like the one excerpted above, are necessary to the evolution of understanding associated with fungi.

Does your canine companion like mushrooms?

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