Photo Credit: Petsolino
Dogs really are a human’s best friend, so we know that you want only the best for your furry friends. We’re often asked about whether dogs can take our products, by owners searching for a natural way to support their four-legged friends’ overall health and well-being. While some mushrooms are safe for dogs to take, our products are made for our two-legged friends. However, we can tell you more about the best functional mushrooms for dogs. As with your own healthy habits, it’s best to consult with your dog’s veterinarian before adding anything new to their diet.
The Best Functional Mushrooms for Dogs
As with humans, dogs should not consume raw mushrooms. Most of the “good stuff” (aka the active constituents) is locked up inside their cell walls, so you need to extract mushrooms to max out their nutritional and herbal value. You should look for products made specifically for dogs, to ensure that the extraction method is safe for them.
While dogs might lead us to believe that they can eat “anything,” many foods that are healthy for us are harmful for them — including garlic, onions, grapes and raisins, and chocolate. That said, here’s a look at some of the best functional mushrooms for dogs.
Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus)
Known as “the king of mushrooms,” Chaga is an adaptogen, so it helps the body naturally adapt to occasional stress.* (Yes, dogs can have occasional stress, too!) This mushroom is traditionally used to support the skin, immune system, healthy digestion, and the body's natural cleansing processes.*
Cordyceps mushroom (Cordyceps militaris)
Cordyceps is another adaptogen that supports a healthy response to occasional stress, as well as energy and stamina.* Traditional uses for Cordyceps include support for healthy stamina and energy levels, including cellular, lung health, sexual health, and kidney health.* This mushroom is popular with athletes, so it might be among the best functional mushrooms for dogs who live to chase sticks or run “zoomies.”
Did you know? We are the largest Cordyceps mushroom farm in the Western Hemisphere — and the only one that’s Certified Organic! (Check out our Organic Cordyceps tincture made with USA-grown mushrooms… for humans.)
Lion’s Mane mushroom (Hericium erinaceus)
Lion’s Mane is traditionally used to support memory and cognitive function (for pups that can’t remember where they buried that bone).* It also has been traditionally used to support the digestive system.* This mushroom gets its name from its shaggy appearance that resembles a lion’s mane… but maybe it could also be called “sheepdog mushroom”?
Maitake mushroom (Grifola frondosa)
Maitake is also known as Hen of the Woods. It is traditionally used to supportnervous system health, healthy digestive function, immune health, and cardiovascular health.* This is a mushroom easily found in grocery stores. If you’re cooking some for dinner, you might make some for your pup, too. But, anytime you serve mushrooms to dogs, leave out all salt, oils, and seasonings. Steam them and then let cool!
Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum)
Reishi is another adaptogenic mushroom.* Known as the “queen” of mushrooms, it is traditionally used to support the immune, cardiovascular, and nervous systems; liver and kidney health; and a natural transition sleep and relaxation.* Also known as the “10,000-year mushroom,” and it has been traditionally used for longevity.* It is one of the best functional mushrooms for dogs who are in their senior years.
Shiitake mushroom (Lentinula edodes)
Shiitake mushrooms are another one of the best functional mushrooms for dogs — they are full of nutrition, including some B vitamins and vitamin D. Their traditional uses include support for immune, liver, and cardiovascular health.*
Turkey Tail mushroom (Trametes versicolor)
Turkey Tail is a mushroom that has long been used to support the immune system and liver health.* In addition, Turkey Tail mushroom also offers support for the gut.* Like all mushrooms, it contains prebiotic fiber, which helps feed healthy gut flora.
So there you have it — a list of some of the best functional mushrooms for dogs. Did any of your favorites make the list?
Why aren’t our tinctures canine-approved? Our mushroom extracts undergo a dual extraction of water, known as decoction, and alcohol, known as tincture. The active compounds in mushrooms are both alcohol-soluble (triterpenes) and water-soluble (beta-glucans). To get full-spectrum support from mushrooms, we extract our mushrooms with organic cane alcohol and hot water, then carefully combine the two. While this is optimal for humans, dogs should not consume alcohol, even in small amounts. That’s actually good news for you, since you won’t have to share!
Do these mushrooms all sound familiar to you? That’s likely because they are included in our best-selling Daily 10. It comes in a convenient organic tincture made with 100% organic mushroom fruiting bodies — no fillers, grains or fluff!