Mushrooms are the fruiting bodies of fungi. There are currently over 10,000 known species of mushrooms, and many are likely yet to be discovered. Edible mushrooms are widely eaten and enjoyed around the world. Some species are also prized for their powerful medicinal properties.
In this article, we'll explain why mushrooms can be a great compliment to your pet's diet. We'll also take a look at a few of the most beneficial mushrooms for dogs and cats.
Why Give Your Pet Mushrooms?
Edible mushrooms are packed full of vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients, including antioxidants and digestive enzymes. Some species of mushrooms also assist the immune system and support healthy cellular activity.
It's important to note that only certain types of mushrooms support the physical and mental wellbeing of an animal. In fact, some mushrooms are highly toxic and can cause poisoning in pets. Wondering which types of mushrooms are safe and healthy for pets? In the next section of this article we'll highlight a few of our favorites.
Safe and Healthy Mushrooms for Pets
Shiitake, Reishi, Cordyceps, Maitake, Lion's Mane, Turkey Tail, and Chaga mushrooms are seven of the most beneficial mushrooms for pets. Let's take a look at a few of the key benefits of each of these safe and healthy mushrooms.
Shiitake mushrooms (Lentinula edodes) are the best-studied of the mushroom supplements. They are native to East Asia and are known as the "Elixir of Life" in Japan. Shiitake mushrooms are rich in protein. They also provide a spectrum of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and fatty acids, which complements your pet's normal diet.
These powerful medicinal mushrooms also contain glucomannan, a fiber that support blood sugar levels within normal ranges.
Reishi mushrooms (Ganoderma lucidum) are known as the "Mushroom of Immortality". They are a mainstay of traditional Chinese medicine for pets and have been used for millennia by shamans and healers around the world.
These mushrooms help support the immune system and help maintain a normal inflammatory response. They also support energy, normal circulation, and help support normal respiratory function and health.
The amazing health benefits of Reishi mushrooms are backed by clinical studies.
Cordyceps (Cordyceps militaris) mushrooms are also known as Caterpillar Mushrooms. Why? Because they grow on caterpillars!
This traditional mushroom helps maintain normal liver and kidney function, supports normal blood values, and assists the immune system. Cordyceps mushrooms are known to support healthy endurance.
Maitake (Grifola frondosa) means "Dancing Mushroom" in Japanese. These potent mushrooms support healthy cellular activity. They also support the immune system, maintain healthy liver function, and help support blood sugar levels within normal ranges.
Maitake mushrooms can be used to help maintain the general health of all ages and breeds. They man also help support the health of pets with diabetes and liver trouble.
Lion's Mane (Hericium erinaceus) mushrooms are named after their unique appearance. Other common names include sheep's head mushroom, monkey head mushroom, bearded tooth mushroom, and pom pom mushroom.
These healthy mushrooms support digestive tract health. Lion's Mane mushrooms can be especially beneficial for senior pets, as they are known to help support cognitive function.
The Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor) mushroom is named after its multicolored patterns which resemble the rings on a wild turkey's tail. The mushroom can support the immune system and healthy cellular activity.
A recent study by the Veterinary School at the University of Penn State demonstrated that Turkey Tail mushrooms can support pets with hemangiosarcoma (a common form of cancer in dogs). Turkey Tail mushrooms also contain ingredients to support a health urinary tract and support healthy digestion.
Chaga (Inonotus obliquus) mushrooms are known as the "Gift from God". These beneficial mushrooms are high in antioxidants, B vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. They also support healthy cellular activity and immune system function. Chaga mushrooms may be especially beneficial for pets with allergies and autoimmune diseases. They can also be used to support the normal healthy function of pets with diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease.
How to Feed Your Pet Mushrooms
Feeding your pet mushroom supplements can be a great way to help maintain the general health of all ages and breeds. Please take care to feed safe and healthy mushrooms for dogs and cats. It's important never to feed raw mushrooms as they are difficult to digest and may be toxic to pets.
The safest and easiest way to introduce your pet to mushrooms is by supplementing their diet with a high-quality mushroom supplement. Organic, holistically formulated mushroom supplement blends with Lion’s Mane, Shiitake, Reishi, Cordyceps, and Maitake mushrooms can help supply essential minerals and nutrients.
Information in this article is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure your pet and is not a substitute for veterinary care provided by a licensed veterinarian. For any medical or health-related advice concerning the care and treatment of your pet, contact your veterinarian.