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Fur Babies and Functional Fungi

When our daughter was three years old, she wished for a dog for her birthday.  The time wasn’t right for our family, so she got bubbles and a hula-hoop instead and nobody spoke of puppies on her special day.  It seemed she’d forgotten all about her wish while we played outside with her fun new toys. Win! When it was time for a wish list to be written as her fourth birthday approached the following year, “puppy” made the top spot on her list again, and we decided to up our distraction game with the big purchase of a trampoline in hopes of diverting the spotlight from her growing doggy dreams.  She was impressed! We felt victorious and happily lived another year in a pet-free home. This annual pattern of furry friend wishes, and clever decoys continued until the spring that her seventh birthday rolled around and, you guessed it – DOG was printed in SHOUTY CAPITALS at the top of her list for the fifth year in a row. This kid was persistent, and she wasn’t messing around when she blew out her candles to make a wish.  So, in May of 2018 we finally broke down and got our resident animal lover the sweetest little boxer puppy you’ve ever seen.  And, it was the best decision we ever could have made for our whole family.  Our pup gets us outside to connect with nature more often, makes each of us smile every single day, and provides us with a way to create connection amongst siblings, parents and grandparents on a regular basis. The unconditional love of a pet is a real thing that has to be experienced to be described; and somehow, I still struggle to put the feeling into words. It is a wonderful, magical thing and we are so glad our strong-minded little munchkin didn’t give up on her wishes.

If you have a fur baby of your own, I don’t need to explain that expensive trips to the vet are a pesky part of pet owner reality and are a constant reminder of how important it is to be as pro-active as possible with the health and wellness of four legged friends.  We are grateful that our beautiful boxer has only required a couple of minor surgeries and one trip to the emergency clinic after eating something she shouldn’t have. New puppies are a lot of work! However, some of our pet owner friends have had the misfortune of struggling with pricey and stressful vet visits to address animal allergies, anxiety related behaviour issues, and devastating cancers. Thus, we are very aware of the forthcoming future when we will have to say goodbye to our beloved pup long before we’re ready – because dogs and cats just don’t live as long as we’d like them to. So, the question that frequently presents itself in conversations around our family dinner table is: “What can we do to give our fur baby the longest, healthiest, happiest life possible?”  The answer from our vet is a pretty simple one: “Keep your animals active and ensure that they get the right amount of nutrients in a healthy diet – just like us!”

To stay active, we love to take our dog walks into the forest and incorporate our love of mushroom foraging into a whole family adventure whenever we can.  Getting into the mountains provides exercise and a connection to nature that leaves all of us feeling recharged and de-stressed, but nobody loves it as much as the dog! She is the ultimate mushroom hunter and loves to sniff out the hiding spots of forest creatures as she roams through the trees and trails finding fantastic fungi. At home, our pup eats a healthy diet consisting of her own grain free food, and treats of raw fruits, veggies and mushrooms if she manages to appear during meal prep times while we are at the cutting board. Many holistic veterinarians also recommend offering mushroom extracts to support the well-being of their furry patients. Organic Whole Fruiting Body Mushroom Extracts with no grains or fillers and high concentrations of immunomodulating beta-d-glucans are safe and easy to offer to pets as long as they are made from only pure organic mushrooms from a reputable source (like BALANCE 4 Mushroom Blend by Eversio Wellness). These extracts are especially beneficial to senior pets who often require additional antioxidants and immune support as they age, however, it’s never too soon to start preparing a pet for longevity. Medicinal mushrooms for cats and dogs are a natural way to add antioxidants that stimulate tissue repair, maintain heart health, and can even help with allergies, anxiety and treating cancer. Holistic vets recommend sprinkling mushroom extract powder onto a pet’s food daily according to their weight in the following serving sizes, but we always recommend starting small, making careful observations and consulting your own vet if you have any concerns:

  • Small: 1 – 25 lbs = ½ tsp
  • Medium: 26 – 50 lbs = ¾ tsp
  • Large: 51 – 75 lbs = 1 tsp
  • Extra Large: 76 – 100 lbs = 1.5 tsp
  • Giant: over 100 lbs = 2 tsp

Although there is an abundance of research demonstrating the natural health benefits of prolonged medicinal mushroom use for human beings, we often have animals to thank for being the original subjects of most of these scientific studies. Thank you, animals. For decades animals have been used as test subjects so that we can benefit from the findings of their trials. I was very happy to learn about this study completed at Penn State University that demonstrated significant effects of a medicinal mushroom extract on dogs with a cancer called hemangiosarcoma. You’ve got to love animal research on animals to benefit animals. Dogs with this cancer that were treated only with a compound derived from a mushroom had the longest survival times ever reported for dogs with the disease. That’s pretty exciting for researchers, vets and pups! 

It makes sense that including preventative supplements (like the ones we take ourselves) in mealtimes for our furry friends can help them live the longest, healthiest lives possible. And, if mushroom extracts can help your pets avoid the health problems that lead to expensive visits to the vet, both of you can enjoy the time you have together to its fullest. Fur babies and functional fungi – a match made in heaven. You can read more about the specific benefits of each of the mushroom extracts found in our products on our website HERE.

From our animal loving family to yours, wishing you and your pets a long, healthy, happy life!

SHOP HERE for BALANCE Organic 4 Mushroom Whole Fruiting Body Extract Blend with benefits of Reishi, Shiitake, Maitake and Lion’s Mane Mushrooms. Each jar contains sixty ½ tsp servings for you or your pets!

* Vitamins, herbal therapies, and supplements have the potential to interact with each other, as well as with prescription and over the counter medications. It is important to tell your veterinarian about any medications (including all vitamins, supplements, or herbal therapies) that your pet is taking.

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