Mushrooms for Dogs? More Benefits Than You Think...

Mushrooms For Dogs Benefits

Alex Seilis

When it comes to natural healing for your dog, incorporating mushrooms for dogs can be an exceptional choice.

We often recommend mushrooms for dogs due to their impressive benefits for overall well-being.

From supporting immune function to promoting overall health, mushrooms are powerful allies. We'll talk through why these phenomenal fungi can make a significant difference in your dog's wellness. But first, let's make sure they're safe for your pup.

Can Dogs Eat Mushrooms Safely?

When it comes to feeding your dog mushrooms, it's important to know which types are safe. Store-bought mushrooms that are commonly consumed by humans, such as button, cremini, and portobello mushrooms, are safe for dogs to eat in moderation. These mushrooms can provide some nutritional benefits and are generally considered non-toxic to dogs when prepared properly.

In addition to these edible mushrooms, functional mushroom supplements specifically formulated for dogs are also safe and beneficial. These supplements are made from mushrooms like reishi, shiitake, maitake, turkey tail, and cordyceps, which have been shown to support various aspects of canine health.

We're Talking About Functional Mushrooms, Not Wild Mushrooms ...

Before you let your dog eat a wild mushroom, let's get one more thing straight. We're talking about very specific functional mushrooms for dogs, not wild mushrooms. Letting your dog eat wild mushrooms puts him at risk for eating a poisonous mushroom and suffering from mushroom poisoning.

So you should not let your dog eat wild mushrooms. Stick to edible mushrooms you find in the grocery store, or if you're interested in functional mushrooms, you can consider feeding the specific mushroom species below by adding them to your or by simply using mushroom supplements.

Functional Mushroom Benefits For Dogs

Not all mushrooms are functional mushrooms, but even the more generic, edible varieties of mushrooms have notable health benefits.

Globally, mushrooms are valued not only as food but also for their functional health properties and are even integral to cultural practices.

Functions Of Mushrooms For Canine Health

It may sound strange to give a dog functional mushrooms or mushroom supplements. But mushrooms have a long track record of serving four major functions in natural health, including:

  • Supporting overall health and maintaining wellness
  • Supporting healthy cells and tissues
  • Offering protection against environmental stressors
  • Assisting in the support of existing conditions

Nutrition In Mushrooms

The health benefits of mushrooms stem from their rich nutritional content. They contain essential nutrients like:

  • Minerals: Potassium, selenium, sulfur, sodium, zinc, phosphorus
  • Sugars: Mannitol, xylose, glucose, galactose
  • Vitamins: B complex, folic acid, pro-vitamin D
  • Protein: Essential amino acids
  • Enzymes: Antibacterial and proteolytic enzymes
  • Lipids: Phospholipids, sterols, free fatty acids
  • Polysaccharides: Glycogen, beta-D-glucans, chitin
  • Essential Oils: Triterpenes

Here are the top functional mushrooms you should consider as natural remedies and immune support supplements for your dog.

1. Cordyceps Mushroom

Cordyceps mushrooms, known for their unique growth process and health-supporting properties, have been used in many cultures for centuries for their various health benefits. These mushrooms contain compounds that are believed to:

  • Support respiratory health
  • Support energy levels
  • Assist in maintaining kidney and liver health

Cordyceps mushrooms are commonly used to support overall health and vitality. They may help maintain respiratory function and support energy levels, making them a valuable addition to a health support regimen. Additionally, they are often recommended for their potential to support kidney and liver health, contributing to overall well-being.

2. Shiitake Mushroom

Shiitake mushrooms are prized for their rich nutritional profile and potential health benefits. They contain enzymes, amino acids, and minerals that may contribute to overall health. Shiitake mushrooms are thought to:

  • Support immune function
  • Promote healthy circulation
  • Support healthy cell growth

These mushrooms are commonly used to help maintain immune health, particularly during times when additional support may be needed, such as during recovery from illness. Additionally, they may help support respiratory health and maintain urinary health, making them a versatile option for supporting various aspects of your dog's well-being.

3. Maitake Mushroom

Maitake mushrooms, known as "dancing mushrooms" due to their appearance, are valued for their potential to support overall health. They contain bioactive compounds that may assist in various health functions. Maitake mushrooms are thought to:

  • Help support a healthy immune system
  • Support the body during recovery from illness
  • Assist in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels

These mushrooms are often recommended for their potential to provide support during illness recovery and to help maintain a healthy immune system.

They are also considered beneficial for dogs with specific health support needs, such as maintaining balanced blood sugar levels, making them a valuable addition to a health regimen.

4. Turkey Tail Mushroom

Turkey tail mushrooms are renowned for their distinctive shape and potential health benefits. These mushrooms contain bioactive compounds that are thought to:

  • Support immune function
  • Assist in fighting infections
  • Help manage oxidative stress

Turkey tail mushrooms are often recommended for their potential to support the immune system and overall health. They may help maintain health during times of stress and support recovery from various health challenges. These mushrooms are also noted for their potential to assist in managing oxidative stress, contributing to overall wellness.

5. Reishi Mushroom

Reishi mushrooms, often called the mushroom of immortality, have a long history of use in traditional medicine. They are believed to support various aspects of overall health and vitality. These mushrooms contain compounds that are thought to:

  • Support heart health
  • Promote immune function (via beta-glucans)
  • Support liver health
  • Assist in maintaining a healthy response to allergens

Reishi mushrooms can be beneficial for dogs with various health support needs, including those requiring additional immune system support, heart health maintenance, or liver health support. They are often recommended for their potential to contribute to overall well-being. Plus, the rich beta-glucan content means they may help assist your dog's immune system.

How To Feed Mushrooms To Your Dog

You can prepare mushrooms for your dog by making a tea or broth with dried mushrooms or giving a mushroom powder. Always cook whole mushrooms thoroughly to ensure they are safe and digestible for your dog. If using powdered mushrooms, follow the product's dosage instructions and adjust according to your dog's weight.

Cooked Mushrooms Vs. Raw Mushrooms For Dogs

You don't have to worry about cooked vs raw mushrooms if you opt to give your dog supplements, which is the most common way to get the benefits of the mushrooms above. But if you do decide to feed the mushrooms themselves, should you go cooked or raw?

Cooking mushrooms is generally the best way to prepare them for your dog. Cooking helps to break down the tough cell walls of the mushrooms, making the nutrients more accessible and easier to digest. It also reduces the risk of any potential contaminants or toxins that could be present in raw mushrooms. Always cook the mushrooms without any added oils, butter, or seasonings, which can be harmful to dogs.

Raw mushrooms, on the other hand, can be harder for dogs to digest and may carry a risk of harboring harmful bacteria or toxins. While some dogs might tolerate small amounts of raw mushrooms, it’s safer and more beneficial to stick with cooked mushrooms or high-quality mushroom supplements designed for dogs. This way, you can ensure your dog gets the full range of health benefits without any unnecessary risks.

In short: it's generally better to let dogs eat cooked mushrooms rather than raw ones. Just make sure you're preparing plain mushrooms without butter or seasoning so you can safely feed mushrooms to your dog.

Mushroom Mix For Liver Support

If your dog needs support for normal liver function, this mushroom mix can be helpful:

  • Ingredients: 2 Tbsp each of dried or powdered reishi, maitake, shiitake, and turkey tail mushrooms.
  • Preparation: Mix with 4 oz hot water and store in the fridge.
  • Dosage: Give ½ ml per 5 lbs of body weight twice daily.

Always source organic non-toxic mushrooms from reputable suppliers to ensure their safety and efficacy. With the right mushrooms, you can significantly enhance your dog's health and well-being.

FAQ

Are mushrooms safe for dogs to eat? Mushrooms are safe for dogs to eat when they are store-bought, edible varieties and properly cooked. Avoid wild mushrooms due to the risk of mushroom toxicity and potential exposure to toxic mushroom species like death cap and fly agaric, which can cause wild mushroom poisoning.

What type of mushrooms are good for dogs? Certain mushroom species such as reishi, shiitake, maitake, turkey tail, and cordyceps are considered functional mushrooms for dogs and offer numerous health-promoting properties. These safe mushrooms can be used as nutritional supplements to support overall animal health. Some people even refer to them as "medicinal mushrooms."

How to cook mushrooms for dogs? To cook mushrooms for dogs, wash mushrooms thoroughly and cook them without any added oils, butter, or seasonings to avoid harmful chemicals. Cooking helps to enhance the nutritional value and makes the mushrooms easier to digest, reducing health risks associated with raw mushrooms.

What does turkey tail mushroom do for dogs? Turkey tail mushroom is known for its immune support properties and can help support your dog’s immune system. This mushroom extract contains health-promoting components like beta-glucans that can contribute to your dog’s overall wellness.