So Can Dogs Eat Shiitake Mushrooms?
Shiitake mushrooms are safe for dogs, plus, they are awesome for dogs. Shiitake mushrooms are not found in the wild. So, you don’t need to worry about getting toxic side effects from these mushrooms out in nature.
You can even grow them, if you put in a little work. But they are easier to get in a supermarket. And shiitake mushrooms are not only safe, they may even help boost the health of your dogs.
One of the worlds most popular mushrooms for cooking, it is also got a millennia-old reputation for its medicinal benefits. Plus, they are easy to find, easy to prepare, and easy to feed to dogs. So why wouldn’t you start including this in your dogs diet today. If you haven’t already given your dog a lot of benefits from the magic mushrooms, shiitake, now is a great time to start.
You can find our favorite supplements containing Shiitake Mushrooms on the following page of our website to learn more.
Best Reasons To Feed Your Dog Shiitake Mushrooms
1. Helps Improve Immune Function Support
Shiitakes also contain lentinan, a type of beta-glucan found only in shiitakes. It enhances your immune system by increasing production of killer T-cells and NK-cells. Subjects in a study consumed 2 grams of dried Shiitake mushrooms per day for one month. The results showed their immune levels increased and inflammation decreased. It is a veterinarian-formulated mix of 7 organic whole mushrooms chosen to support the immune system of dogs.
2. May Help Your Dog’s Cancer Fighting Properties
The Lentinan found in Shiitake mushrooms may also be cancer-fighting. It increases production of the alpha interferon, which is anti-cancer. In one study, injected lentinan suppressed leukemia cell growth. Another study showed mycochemicals in Shiitake mushrooms induce apoptosis otherwise known as death to tumor cells. Other studies showed shiitake mushrooms suppressed and treated gastric cancer cells in humans.
And they may enhance the results of traditional chemotherapy. Shiitake mushrooms may also help to keep inflammation at bay inside the body of your dog. This is important, as chronic inflammation may cause cancer and other long-term health problems in your dog.
3. Promotes Healthy Weight Control
Have you heard about the green bean diet. It is something that is recommended by a lot of dog owners when you want to get your dog off of some pounds.
Instead, include Shiitake mushrooms in your dogs meals. Shiitake mushrooms boost satiety, a sense of fullness, making them excellent at losing weight. This is because shiitake mushrooms contain soluble dietary fiber.
One of the components is the beta-glucan. It increases fullness, decreases food consumption, and delays nutrient absorption. Shiitake also contains phytonutrients that support heart health and immune function.
Researchers found rats fed a diet high in shiitake mushrooms had 35% less weight gain. This was better than rats on low- to moderate-mushroom diets. Rats on high-dose Shiitake also had lower overall body weight and lower fat depots. Adding the powdered mushrooms to the higher-fat diet still led to a reduction in body fat.
4. Antioxidant Properties
Shiitake mushrooms contain high amounts of mycochemicals, which are compounds that are peculiar to mushrooms. This includes essential antioxidants, which protect against and treat chronic diseases. Shiitake also contains ergothioneine (an amino acid) and selenium, both of which are antioxidative.
These powerful antioxidants keep harmful free radicals at bay, preserving cell health. They catch the free radicals in your dogs body and neutralize them. Free radicals are the ones that are damaging the cells. Left unchecked, they continue to harm other cells. Antioxidants protect against the damage that causes premature ageing, cancer, and inflammatory diseases.
5. Cardiovascular Support for Your Dogs
Shiitake mushrooms are an excellent heart-healthy food. They are low in sodium and contain no saturated fat. And they are high in linoleic acid.
This is the essential omega-6 fatty acid that is needed for heart health. Lentinan is also helpful for your heart. Cholesterol is also a risk to the hearts of your dogs, particularly because so many dogs are eating diets that are very high in fat.
Fortunately, shiitake mushrooms provide a number of compounds that combat cholesterol. They contain eritadenine, which inhibits the enzyme that produces cholesterol. The beta-glucans in Shiitake mushrooms also lower cholesterol. And shiitake has sterols, which block cholesterol absorption in the dogs intestines.
One study even showed 25% less cholesterol in rats who had eaten shiitake mushrooms for one week. Finally, potassium in shiitake mushrooms can help lower blood pressure. This is important in dogs who suffer from kidney disease or from Cushings, who can experience elevated blood pressure.
6. Includes Antimicrobial Properties
Shiitake mushrooms are being tested for their ability to resist bacteria. One study found that extracts from shiitake mushrooms were effective against 85% of bacterial organisms tested. Shiitake has also been shown to be effective in controlling yeasts and molds. There is one study of Shiitake mushroom extract for gum disease.
It showed that mushroom extract reduced the pathogenic organisms. And, it did so without harming organisms essential to good health.
7. B Vitamins For Energy And Brain Function
Shiitake mushrooms may help elderly dogs with cognitive problems.
That is because they provide high amounts of B vitamins. And B vitamins turn into energy and enhance cognitive function. B vitamins also balance hormones and support adrenal function. Your dogs adrenal glands produce steroids, which are essential for the regulation of its organs and body systems.
8. High Vitamin D Content
When left to grow outdoors, Shiitake mushrooms contain the highest amount of vitamin D of all plant foods. In sunlight, they produce ergosterol, or vitamin D2.
You will find vitamin D highest only in fish, fowl, meat, and eggs. So, you can incorporate more vitamin D into a dogs diet without having to resort to synthetic vitamins. Your dog needs this essential vitamin to absorb calcium and phosphorus. Your dog also needs vitamin D for bone health and immune system support. And he needs it to avoid heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and certain types of cancer.
Feeding vitamin D as a food source is the best way to provide nutrients for dogs. And whole mushrooms contain cofactors and other nutrients that increase absorption.
9. Selenium For Your Dog’s Coat & Skin Health
Shiitake mushrooms provide a trace mineral, selenium. It promotes your dogs skin and coat health. And because of its zinc content, Shiitake mushrooms may even enhance the healing process of skin. Selenium also helps in hormonal balance and immune function. And it may lower the incidence of cancer, decrease DNA damage, and promote joint health.
10. Improves your Dogs Digestion And Gut Health
Shiitake mushrooms provide fiber, which supports digestive health and intestinal health. These fibers also suppress inflammation in your intestines. And this helps to keep your microbiome healthy.
They also have up to 30 different enzymes to aid in digestion. One of those enzymes is the enzyme amylase.
It helps to break down the starch. This is useful for dogs who are eating kibble with a lot of starch.
How To Feed Shiitake Mushrooms to Your Dog
Like most vegetables, mushrooms are high in fiber.
Dogs do not have the enzymes to break down the fiber, so either you prepare mushrooms in the cooker, or you rehydrate and reheat dried mushrooms. The powdered versions need to be double-distilled for full nutritional and medical benefits for dogs. This is good, as some dogs, just like kids, are uncomfortable with mushroom textures. In fact, the powdered mushrooms makes them easier to stir into their food. Buy dried Shiitake mushrooms, or dry them yourself, and crush them with your spice mill or blender.
Then, you can toss the daily dosage into the dogs lunch. A tablespoon or 2 will be equivalent to 3-4 smaller mushrooms. You can also get the supplements as a powder or capsule. Just be sure that they are made with the full mushrooms, not just the mycelium. A whole mushroom has high levels of beta-glucan.
And this provides many of the medicinal effects. The mycelium is just like a root, it does not contain a lot of beta-glucan. Mycelium is typically grown on grains. This increases starch and reduces beta-glucan. Your dog will lose anti-cancer and immune-supporting properties.
Follow the directions on the package for giving this to your dog. If it is intended for humans, figure for a 150-pound human, and then adjust it for the weight of your dog.
Add Shiitake mushrooms to the food your dog eats. You will be giving him a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals, which have a laundry list of benefits that keep his health and happiness.