Can Dogs Eat Mushrooms?
When it comes to medicinal mushrooms, the health benefits they provide to humans can be applied to our furry friends, as well. Functional mushrooms are rich in antioxidants, beta-glucans, terpenoids, and other bioactive constituents that may provide anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, even anti-tumor effects. In fact, medicinal mushrooms are considered biological response modifiers (BRMs), also known as immunomodulators.
As pet owners, the fears of our pets developing chronic diseases or infections alongside expensive trips to the vet are constantly at the back of our minds. Much like preventative medicine is used in humans, we can employ daily practices in our pets’ lives that will improve their own longevity and vitality. Adding mushroom supplements to your pets’ daily diet can help to strengthen their immune and digestive systems, promote cell health, enhance joint and respiratory health, and protect them from environmental stressors.
Is it Safe for Dogs to Eat Mushrooms?
It is important to remember that much like with humans, not all functional mushrooms work for every pet. It is also not recommended to give your pets fresh mushrooms or to allow them to eat any mushrooms you may stumble upon together on a nature walk. Before introducing any functional mushrooms into your pet’s diet, it is important to consult with a holistic veterinarian.
Benefits of Mushrooms for Dogs
Cordyceps Mushrooms for Dogs
Cordyceps has illustrated a multitude of benefits, such as protecting liver and kidney functions, increasing energy, and strengthening the immune system. For example, when used in the treatment of Diabetes, Cordyceps was found to lessen the damage found on the liver, kidneys, and pancreas from prolonged insulin resistance . It was also found to have inhibitory effects on several markers of kidney function, further illustrating its ability to protect against kidney damage .
Tremella Mushrooms for Dogs
Tremella has been found to support brain health, protect against diabetes, and improve skin health and appearance due to its hydrating and antioxidant abilities. In one study, extracts from the fruiting bodies of Tremella were found to result in behavioural and structural changes in the treatment group when compared to the placebo . Not only did Tremella show significant improvement in learning and memory, but it also alleviated the loss of ChAT in the hippocampus of the brain, which is an important indicator for the functional state of certain neurons in the central and peripheral nervous systems [3,4].
Turkey Tail Mushrooms for Dogs
While most research is done on animals before being completed on humans in order to obtain safety profiles, one study from completed at Penn State University completed a study on animals to benefit animals. The results demonstrated significant effects of a medicinal mushroom extract of Turkey Tail on dogs with hemangiosarcoma, a type of cancer, and found that the treatment group had the longest survival times ever reported for dogs with this disease.
Reishi Mushrooms for Dogs
Reishi mushroom extracts are powerful adaptogens and can benefit our furry friends from developing stress or anxiety from common environmental stressors, including loud noises, new places, separation, meeting new people, or unfamiliar scents.
Chaga Mushrooms for Dogs
Chaga is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory mushroom that can aid in preventing premature aging by fighting against oxidative stress.
You can find more information about the specific benefits of each of the mushroom extracts found in Eversio Wellness’ products here.
How to Prepare Medicinal Mushrooms for Dogs?
There are many ways you can prepare medicinal mushrooms for your dog. You can serve mushroom extract powders sprinkled onto or stirred into their food or offer them mushroom extract capsules if they are willing to take them. For dry pet food, add water to ensure the mushroom extract is incorporated into the food properly.
What Are the Safe Dosages of Mushrooms for Dogs?
Holistic veterinarians recommend sprinkling mushroom extract powders onto your pet’s food up to two times a day according to their weight in the following serving sizes:
- Small (1-30 lbs) = 1/8 tsp (250 mg)
- Medium (31-75 lbs) = ¼ tsp (500 mg)
- Large (76+ lbs) = ½ tsp (1000 mg)
However, it is best to start small and make careful observations of your pet as you introduce medicinal mushrooms to them. Much like with humans, the potential for side effects from any supplements or medications is there. It is important to consult your veterinarian if you have any concerns.
What’s in a Mushroom Extract for Dogs?
The same ingredients are present in preparations of a mushroom extract for both humans and dogs. There may be different products present on the market if you have been looking to buy mushrooms online for your pet, but it is important to ensure that the quality is high and that there are no grains or fillers present that may be harmful for your pet.
Where to Buy Quality Mushroom Extracts for Dogs?
Eversio Wellness carries 100% fruiting body only mushroom extracts, and they consistently practice transparency to their consumers by sharing the COAs (Certificate of Analysis) of each product. The COAs reassure consumers that the percentage of compounds that are claimed to be in the products is scientifically confirmed through lab testing. Not only does the COA confirm the percentages of the beneficial constituents, but it also tests the heavy metal and microbial contents so you can be sure that you’re getting the best mushroom supplements possible.
We hope you have found this article informative. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them in the comment section below!
By Silvana Jakupovic — BSc and 4th Year Student of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM-Boucher)
 Huajie Zhao, Qiangqiang Lai, Jianjun Zhang, Chunyan Huang, Le Jia, "Antioxidant and Hypoglycemic Effects of Acidic-Extractable Polysaccharides from Cordyceps militarison Type 2 Diabetes Mice", Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, vol. 2018, Article ID 9150807, 15 pages, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/9150807
 Dong Y, Jing T, Meng Q, Liu C, Hu S, Ma Y, Liu Y, Lu J, Cheng Y, Wang D, Teng L. Studies on the antidiabetic activities of Cordyceps militaris extract in diet-streptozotocin-induced diabetic Sprague-Dawley rats. Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:160980. doi: 10.1155/2014/160980. Epub 2014 Mar 11. PMID: 24738047; PMCID: PMC3967809.
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Tremella fuciformis enhances the neurite outgrowth of PC12 cells and restores trimethyltin-induced impairment of memory in rats via activation of CREB transcription and cholinergic systems, Behavioural Brain Research, Volume 229, Issue 1, 2012, Pages 82-90, ISSN 0166-4328,
 Oda Y. Choline acetyltransferase: the structure, distribution and pathologic changes in the central nervous system. Pathol Int. 1999 Nov;49(11):921-37. doi: 10.1046/j.1440-1827.1999.00977.x. PMID: 10594838.