Have you seen the Coriolus Versicolor? Its name means that it displays several colors, an uncommon trait for mushrooms as we know them in the supermarket.
Turkey tail mushrooms have nothing to do with actual turkeys but instead have a long history in natural healing.
The turkey tail mushroom is one of the most famous medicinal mushrooms, and turkey tail mushroom extract is often used for dogs with cancer.
What is Turkey Tail Mushroom?
Turkey tail mushrooms are beautiful, but that's not why they became famous. They grow on stumps and the decomposing wood of trees worldwide, including in the United States.
They have a disc shape and an overall appearance that resembles a turkey's tail, hence their name.
These medicinal mushrooms contain two medicinal components:
- polysaccharide peptide (PSP)
- polysaccharide krestin (PSK)
Both PSP and PSK are called Beta-D-Glucans and support various benefits that we will cover below.
Turkey tail mushrooms have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years and can be traced back to the Han Dynasty in China. Many studies report that turkey tail is used to support healthy immune and digestive systems.
The FDA approved turkey tail mushrooms to be part of human cancer patient trials in 2012 to find natural alternatives to drugs that carry strong side effects in cancer treatments.
You can read more about our Organic Turkey Tail blend here.
5 Turkey Tail Mushroom Benefits for Dogs
Turkey tail mushrooms bring few but substantial benefits to dogs. However, as always with natural supplements, it can be hard to know whether they are working or not since they are invisible forces.
Nonetheless, studies suggest the benefits are real. One study, in particular, was conducted on dogs who suffered from cancer, which we will cover below.
1. Boosts the immune system
Boosting the immune system is the main benefit of turkey tail mushroom for dogs. Turkey tail extract is rich in beta-glucans.
Beta-glucans bind directly to receptors in immune cells and trigger positive changes such as a healthy immune response.
Immune cells are responsible for destroying bacteria, viruses, and invaders like cancer cells. In general, your dog's immune system includes the following activities:
- Up-regulate immune function when stressed with illness, stress, or cancer—in other words, increasing the immune response when it is needed.
- Restore immune function in dogs with an autoimmune disease.
- Down-regulate when the system is over-reacting.
Beca-glucans are incredibly beneficial to the immune system as they activate immune cells, increase antibody production, reduce pro-inflammatory cytokines and slow down the spread of cancer cells (metastasis).
Immunity turkey tail mushrooms are called this way because, after all, it is their main benefit for dogs.
Our Immune Support blend has Turkey Tail and other immune-boosting mushrooms. You can read more about it here.
2. Provides allergy support
Allergies are a common plague in dogs and cause excessive licking, itching, and scratching. Unfortunately, these behaviors can lead to secondary yeast and bacterial infections, hot spots, and hair loss.
There are many potential causes of allergies in dogs, such as:
- food allergies
- seasonal or environmental allergies
- parasite allergies, such as allergy to flea saliva
- ear mites and ear infections in general
However, an often underestimated cause for allergies in dogs is none of the above. Instead, a weakened immune system is an indirect cause of allergies since your dog's body is not as strong to fight off the allergy and trigger a strong-enough immune response to the attack.
Turkey tail mushrooms for dogs boost the immune system and may help your dogs with allergies.
A dog's daily supplements may include fish oil and turkey tail mushroom, as both are great for boosting the immune system and supporting allergies.
Petsmont Immune Support is known to help dogs who suffer from allergies and a weakened immune system.
3. May help fight cancer
Research on turkey tail health benefits for dogs is still limited. However, research suggests that PSK and PSP could benefit human patients undergoing radiation or chemotherapy. In addition, PSK and PSP have been shown to increase survival rates.
There is one 2012 study that focused on dogs with canine hemangiosarcoma, aggressive vascular cancer that affects middle-aged and older dogs. Researchers found that the group who had been administered a high dose of PSP experienced delayed disease progression and increased survival time.
This study was small, but the results are very encouraging, as you can see below:
- Survival time with no treatment: 86 days
- Survival time with 50 mg-kg/day turkey tail: 117 days
- Survival time with 100 mg-kg/day turkey tail: 199 days
As you can see, the survival time was significantly increased with turkey tail supplements.
Helping your dog fight cancer may be as easy as ordering the Petsmont Immune Support, which is rich in Turkey Tail.
4. Rich in antioxidants
Have you heard of free radicals? Free radicals come from aging or external sources such as X-rays, ozone, cigarette smoke, pollutants in the air, industrial chemicals, stress, processed food, and medication.
Antioxidants help us and dogs fight these free radicals and prevent oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is linked to different health conditions and can accelerate aging.
One of the benefits of turkey tail mushroom supplements is bringing antioxidants into your dog's diet and neutralizing or removing free radicals altogether.
Turkey tail mushrooms for dogs are high in antioxidants such as phenols and flavonoids. Studies revealed that turkey tail mushrooms contain over 35 distinct phenolic components.
5. Supports gut health and digestion
Turkey tail mushroom supplements help decrease inflammation in dogs' bodies, particularly in the digestive, urinary, and respiratory tracts. By reducing inflammation in these areas, it supports digestion.
Turkey tails also contain prebiotics which helps support the probiotics and the multiplication of friendly bacteria in your pup's intestines. After all, turkey tail mushrooms are known for restoring gut health.
Choosing Turkey Tail Mushroom Supplement for Dogs
When it comes to choosing the best turkey tail supplement or medicinal mushroom for your dog, you should consider the following criteria:
- Varieties of mushrooms included in the blend
- Source and quality
- Other ingredients
Varieties of mushrooms included in the blend
Many mushroom supplements for dogs don't only include Turkey Tail but also other varieties that bring additional benefits. For instance, our Organic Mushroom Blend contains the following healthy mushrooms:
- Organic Turkey Tail Mushroom
- Organic Agaricus Blazei Mushroom: fights stress and supports the immune system
- Organic Shiitake Mushroom: protects against cell damage and boosts white cell production
- Organic Reishi Mushroom: improves sleep and reduces fatigue
- Organic Chaga Sclerotium Mushroom: may slow cancer growth and lower blood pressure
- Organic Lion's Mane Mushroom: helps repair nerve damage and helps with anxiety
- Organic Maitake Mushroom: supports gut flora
- Organic Cordyceps Mushroom: may help shrink cancer tumor size
When shopping for a blend that includes turkey tail mushrooms, consider the other varieties that are beneficial for dogs.
It is excellent only to add turkey tails to your dog's diet as it's very beneficial. However, you can further boost your dog's immune system with other varieties of medicinal mushrooms.
Source and quality
The second thing to consider when shopping for medicinal mushrooms is their source and quality:
- Is it globally sourced? Was it made in the USA? Mushrooms are typically from various countries and not just the United States. However, if that's the case, pick a product made in the USA.
- Does it contain organic mushrooms? I prefer USDA Certified Organic products like our mushroom blend over other blends that are not certified.
Finally, you want to make sure the blend is specifically made for dogs. This will ensure it does not contain anything harmful to dogs and that the product's dosage is adequate for pets.
Medicinal mushrooms supplements should not include other ingredients unless they are part of a larger multivitamin product.
Pet parents should always look at the full of ingredients to check for unnecessary and potentially harmful fillers and ingredients.
Usually, high-quality supplements and foods will contain a limited number of inactive ingredients.
Can dogs eat turkey tail mushrooms?
Yes and no. Dogs should not eat actual turkey tail mushrooms but instead turkey tail supplements for dogs. However, raw turkey tails are not edible and need to undergo a lengthy cooking process, so many people opt to get a powder-form supplement instead.
Your holistic or homeopathic vet may recommend turkey tail mushrooms for your dog and, in general, dog cancer patients.
Turkey tail mushroom side effects in dogs
Turkey tail mushrooms are safe for dogs. However, you should always follow the recommended dosage, and you can even start with a half-dosage to see how your dog reacts first. Likewise, you can begin with half-dosage and work your way to the total dosage.
Common side effects may include diarrhea and vomiting.
Turkey Tail Dosage for Dogs
Turkey tail has excellent anti-cancer properties, and dosage will vary on your intended use. For example, the dosage can be higher for dogs with cancer than for other dogs.
A study performed on dogs with cancer found that 100 mg/kg was beneficial. Therefore, 100 mg/kg means 100 mg of turkey tail supplement for every kilogram of body weight.
Here is a conversion table for some common weights in pounds:
- 10-lb dog (4.5kg): 450 mg a day.
- 30-lb dog (13.6kg): 1,360 mg a day.
- 60-lb dog (27.2kg): 2,720 mg a day.
A dosage of 25-50 mg/kg is considered enough for dogs without cancer. Here is the conversion table for 50 mg/kg:
- 10-lb dog (4.5kg): 225 mg a day.
- 30-lb dog (13.6kg): 680 mg a day.
- 60-lb dog (27.2kg): 1,360 mg a day.
Our medicinal mushroom blend is perfectly dosed at 50 mg/kg a day, which means that it suits most dogs. However, dog cancer patients may double the dosage on our bottle for enhanced results.
Turkey Tail And Chemotherapy
In some human studies, turkey tails have been shown to enhance the effectiveness of chemotherapy.
Turkey Tail And Cancer
Turkey tail has been linked to various cancer treatment benefits, such as longer survival time in humans and dogs.
Is turkey tail mushroom safe for dogs?
Turkey tail is safe for dogs if you follow the recommended dosage and purchase a blend specifically made for dogs.
Does turkey tail mushroom cure cancer in dogs?
Turkey tail does not cure cancer. However, studies report that it may help slow down cancer and increase cancer patient survival time. Turkey tail mushrooms include many health benefits, of which the biggest one is to support the immune system and action against foreign cells such as cancer cells. This article does not replace veterinary advice, and you should consult your veterinarian for any health advice.
How long does it take for turkey tail mushrooms to work?
Turkey tail mushrooms can take time to bring their benefits to your dog's body. In general, it is recommended to double the dosage during the first two to three weeks to experience the benefits of turkey tail mushrooms faster.
What other mushroom blends support my dog's health?
Aside from turkey tail mushroom for dogs, it would help if you also considered the following varieties:
- Agaricus Blazei Mushroom: fights stress and supports the immune system
- Shiitake Mushroom: protects against cell damage and boosts white cell production
- Reishi Mushroom: improves sleep and reduces fatigue
- Chaga Sclerotium Mushroom: may slow cancer growth and lower blood pressure
- Lion's Mane Mushroom: helps repair nerve damage and helps with anxiety
- Maitake Mushroom: supports gut flora
- Cordyceps Mushroom: may help shrink cancer tumor size
These mushrooms may help keep your dog healthy, support beneficial bacteria, help with boosting immunity and bring other health benefits.