It may come as a slight surprise to some dog owners that certain varieties of mushrooms can actually be very beneficial to your dog’s health when added to their diet.
This isn’t a transition you should make without first talking to your dog’s vet and seeing whether they feel that supplementing your dog's diet with mushrooms would be beneficial to them and their specific health needs.
Some of the types of mushrooms that have been found to benefit a dog's overall health include reishi, shiitake, turkey tail, and Chaga. Each kind of mushroom holds its own unique benefits for your dog's health.
These benefits include reducing inflammation in diseases such as arthritis, supports good cardiovascular and digestive health, as well as supplying some cancer-fighting properties.
Turkey Tail Mushrooms
The name of this mushroom is pretty accurate for its appearance. These wild mushrooms are commonly found growing on logs in the shape of a fanned-out tail of a turkey. Researchers and vets have found that turkey tail mushrooms for dogs bring many health benefits to the table. Especially when it comes to dogs that have been diagnosed with cancer.
Turkey tail mushrooms help to boost your dog's immune system, which can be beneficial in other diseases they are fighting beyond cancer. This special mushroom has such a profound effect on the immune system and will push it in any direction that it needs to go, according to researchers who have looked closely into its effects.
Turkey tail mushrooms have the power to boost immunity in dogs who need reinforcements. It can also down-regulate your dog's immune system when it becomes overactive, causing inflammation and other complications.
Of all medicinal mushrooms that can be given to dogs, the Reishi mushroom is the one with the most interesting story and nickname: “The mushroom of immortality”. The claim is that by adding this magical mushroom to your dog’s diet you can feasibly lengthen their lifespan. This mushroom was especially favored in early Chinese medicine that was practiced thousands of years ago.
In today's medical practices for dogs reishi benefits are seen as producing anti-inflammatory effects, blood sugar, and blood pressure control, and last but not least, increased overall longevity. These benefits are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to reishi mushrooms for dogs.
The Chaga mushroom also goes by the name of “birch conk”, as they tend to pop up on birch trees in colder climates. Chaga mushrooms have been being utilized in medicinal practice since the 16th century and are continually being studied for their health benefits. The main health benefit that has been discovered for dogs through Chaga mushrooms is for their immune system.
Chaga mushrooms have a special ability to not only boost the immune system but also to slow it down when necessary. An overactive immune system would be present in conditions such as cancer as well as other disease processes that involve inflammatory processes.
Shiitake mushrooms are one variety of mushroom that is loved by and beneficial for both humans and dogs. Shiitake mushrooms are packed with tons of vitamins and nutrients that are vital to optimum health. Copper, fiber, and vitamin B5 are just a few of these vital vitamins and nutrients that shiitake mushrooms have packed in them. Shiitake mushrooms are especially beneficial for a dog's digestive health, just like probiotic for dogs.
There are some side effects that dog owners should be aware of before adding shiitake mushrooms or any type of mushroom to their dog’s diet. These possible side effects include dermatitis, digestive upset from adding this new ingredient, and of course, there is always the possibility of your dog having an allergy to mushrooms.
What are the Risks?
Any dog owner would be concerned about potential risks that may occur from adding any type of mushroom or supplements to your dog’s diet. There isn’t too much research to support any significant risks that come from adding mushrooms to your dog’s diet.
The most concerning risk is that your dog could be allergic to mushrooms. It is advised that you do not feed any of these mushrooms to a dog who has bleeding tendencies or known low blood pressure.
Mushrooms aren’t every human’s favorite food, but dogs aren’t usually too picky on what they will eat. This means, as a dog owner, it's important for you to provide your dog with all the best foods full of all of the most important vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Mushrooms are known to fulfill many of these nutritional needs for dogs, even if your dog is not sick or dealing with a difficult health condition.
Turkey tail, shiitake, Chaga, and reiki mushrooms are among the most popular and beneficial types of mushrooms that dog owners incorporate into their canine’s diet. Although the benefits of these mushrooms sound wonderful, it is crucial to speak with your dog’s vet before changing their diet.
Your dog’s vet may have some good insight or suggestions on what food to give your dog and how to safely add mushrooms into your dog’s diet.