Many pet owners turn to natural supplements — e.g., mushrooms, CBD oils, probiotics, and more — for an extra boost to their dogs’ nutrition.
Truth is, you want to do everything possible to ensure your furry friend is happy and healthy. Because while traditional pet foods are great, they don’t always provide the nutrients your dog needs to thrive.
Mushrooms are known for their numerous health benefits. For instance, it’s a great source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
If you want to reap the full benefits of feeding your dog mushrooms, keep reading this blog post. Here, you’ll learn how to incorporate it into your furry friend’s diet.
Why You Should Feed Your Dogs Mushrooms
Mushrooms have long been considered a delicacy in many cultures and are renowned for their vast nutrients.
But did you know these delicious fungi can also benefit your dog tremendously? That’s right! Mushrooms are healthy food options for your four-legged companions.
These are some benefits of medicinal mushroom supplements for dogs:
Mushrooms contain beta-glucans, which stimulate the immune system. Thus, consuming mushrooms can help your dog fight infections and diseases.
They have anti-inflammatory properties for reducing inflammation in the body. This feature is particularly beneficial for dogs with arthritis or other inflammatory conditions.
Supports Digestive Health
Mushrooms contain prebiotics, which supports the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut. Hence, it can improve digestion and overall gut health in dogs.
Moreover, they are rich in antioxidants. Since antioxidants protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, mushrooms prevent cancer and other age-related diseases in dogs.
Low in Fat and Calories
Another benefit is that mushrooms are low in fat and calories. This makes them an excellent treatment option for overweight or obese dogs.
However, mushrooms, like Amanita and Galerina, are toxic to dogs and can cause serious health issues. Always consult your veterinarian before introducing new foods to your dog’s diet.
Health Considerations When Using Mushrooms for Dogs
So, you must deal with some health-related considerations when your dogs eat mushrooms. Some of them are:
Some mushrooms can be toxic to dogs, causing symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and even death.
To avoid this, ensure you only give your dog mushrooms that are safe to eat.
Raw mushrooms are difficult for dogs to digest, so cook them before feeding them to your dog. The cooking process breaks down the chitin in mushrooms, making it easier for dogs to digest and absorb the nutrients.
Although mushrooms are healthy, too much of anything can be harmful. As with any new food, introduce mushrooms slowly and in small amounts to avoid upsetting your dog’s digestive system.
The mushrooms you’ll feed your dog depend on their weight and size.
If your dog is on any medication, you may have to speak with your veterinarian before adding mushrooms to their diet. In addition, some medicines may interact with the compounds in mushrooms, so it’s best to be cautious.
Like humans, dogs can also be allergic to certain foods, including mushrooms. If you notice signs of an allergic reaction like itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing, stop giving your dog mushrooms. And consult your veterinarian immediately.
How to Incorporate Mushrooms Into Your Dog’s Diet
How do you incorporate mushrooms into your dog’s diet? Here are some tips to help you get started.
When introducing mushrooms to your dog’s diet, start with a small amount and gradually increase the amount over time.
So, your dog’s digestive system will adjust to the new food and minimize the risk of adverse reactions.
Choose the Right Mushrooms
Not all mushrooms are safe for dogs. Some varieties, like Amanita and Galerina, are toxic and potentially cause serious health issues. The safest options are White Button mushrooms, Shiitake, and Portobello mushrooms.
Mix With Other Foods
Mixing mushrooms with other foods makes it easy for your dog to accept them as part of their diet. For example, add cooked mushrooms to your dog’s food or mix them with eggs, chicken, or other proteins.
Monitor Your Dog’s Reaction
Keep a close eye on your dog’s response to the new food. If you notice any signs of an allergic reaction or digestive upset, stop feeding them the mushrooms immediately.
Serve in Moderation
While mushrooms can be a healthy addition to your dog’s diet, they should be served in moderation. Too much of any food can be harmful, so don’t overfeed your dog with mushrooms.
How to Prepare the Best Mushroom Supplements for Dogs
When preparing mushrooms for your dog, ensure you cook them thoroughly. Raw mushrooms can be difficult for dogs to digest and may cause gastrointestinal upset.
Additionally, some mushrooms contain toxins that can be destroyed by cooking.
To prepare mushrooms for your dog, clean them thoroughly and remove any stems.
Slice the mushrooms into small pieces and cook in a small amount of oil or butter until finished. You can then add the mushrooms to your dog’s food or serve them as a healthy snack.
Top 5 Best Mushrooms for Dogs and Their Benefits
What mushrooms are healthy and safe to feed your pup?
Turkey Tail Mushroom
Turkey tail mushrooms are medicinal mushrooms used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine. They possess immune-boosting properties and are believed to have anti-cancer properties.
If you’re considering adding turkey tail mushrooms to your dog’s diet, cook them thoroughly and introduce them slowly in small amounts.
As always, it’s best to consult your veterinarian before changing your dog’s diet to ensure its safety and well-being.
White Button Mushrooms
White Button mushrooms are one of the most common and safe for dogs. They are low in calories and high in fiber. They also contain essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin B6, potassium, and copper.
Furthermore, White Button mushroom is a good source of antioxidants for preventing cell damage and reducing inflammation.
One of the benefits of feeding your dog White Button mushrooms is their ability to support your dog’s immune system.
They contain a polysaccharide called beta-glucan, which supports the immune system.
These mushrooms are a great source of protein, fiber, and antioxidants. They are also rich in vitamins B and D, essential for your dog’s overall health.
Possessing a compound called lentinan, Shiitake has anti-cancer properties and qualities that protect your dog’s immune system.
Shiitake mushrooms are also high in selenium, which is vital for healthy skin and coat. This mineral can eliminate dandruff, dry skin, and other skin conditions in dogs.
Portobello mushrooms are low in calories and fiber, making them an excellent option for dogs needing to lose weight.
They are a potent good potassium, copper, and vitamin B6 source. In addition, Portobello mushrooms contain antioxidants that protect your dog’s cells from damage caused by free radicals.
These mushrooms are rich in niacin, making them suitable for fostering a healthy nervous system. Niacin vitamin can also reduce anxiety and stress in dogs. Therefore, it’s an excellent option for dogs who suffer from separation anxiety or noise phobias.
Reishi mushrooms are famous for their immune-boosting properties. They are rich in polysaccharides, a nutrient that reduces inflammation and improves immune function.
These mushrooms also contain triterpenes, which have anti-cancer properties.
Reishi mushrooms will support your dog’s liver and kidneys. How? They contain compounds that detoxify the liver and bolster kidney function.
Maitake mushrooms are a good source of fiber, vitamins B and C. In addition, they contain minerals like potassium, calcium, and magnesium.
This mushroom has beta-glucans that support healthy immune function and limit irritation or swelling. In addition, Maitake contains ergothioneine, antioxidants for mending cell damage caused by free radicals and reducing the risk of chronic diseases.
This antioxidant has anti-aging properties that promote a healthy coat and skin.
Risks and Precautions When Feeding Mushrooms to Dogs
While mushrooms can be a great addition to your dog’s diet, there are some risks and precautions to remember.
Digestive upset: Even mushrooms that are safe for humans to eat can cause digestive upset in dogs, especially if they are not used to eating them. Symptoms of digestive upset include vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite.
Allergic reactions: Like humans, dogs develop allergies to certain foods, including mushrooms. Symptoms of an allergic reaction can include itching, hives, and difficulty breathing.
Other Supplements to Boost Your Dog’s Health
In addition to mushrooms, several organic mushroom extracts or other supplements can help boost your dog’s health. We’ve mentioned a few below:
Omega-3 fatty acids: Omega-3 fatty acids mend your dog’s skin. It also provides a luscious coat for the skin alongside a healthy immune system.
Probiotics: Probiotics can aid your dog’s gut health and boost their immune system.
Turmeric: Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties for reducing pain and inflammation in dogs with arthritis or other joint issues.
Mushroom blend: You’d find tons of mushroom powder or blend. Be careful while picking a product, but the right mushroom supplement could pack a punch in terms of nutrients.
Mushrooms are a great addition to your dog’s diet. They are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that boost your dog’s welfare. However, ensure you only feed your dog safe mushroom varieties.
Consult your veterinarian before incorporating mushrooms into your dog’s food. They can help you determine which mushrooms are safe for your dog and how to infuse them into your dog’s meal plan.