Chaga, also known as Inonotus obliquus, is a mushroom that is commonly found on Birch trees in Northern climates, especially Northern and Eastern Europe, and in Canada, the United States, Russia, and South Korea. Instead of a typical mushroom shape, Chaga is more resembling a burnt charcoal lump. Chaga has been a well-known folk medicine for hundreds of years, but has gained international acceptance for its myriad benefits in recent years.
And it is not just humans that are being talked about.
Chaga mushrooms have a lot of benefits for dogs and cats, too.
But, and this is an important point, you have to make sure it is coming from the right source, and it is being extracted correctly. That is because chaga contains natural xylitol, and needs to be processed correctly to remove that, to the point where its nearly undetectable.
Where to Find Chaga Mushrooms for Dogs and Cats
Now, this is where things start to get a little bit more complicated in terms of finding the right Chaga mushrooms for dogs and cats. First, be sure you are paying attention (or at the very least, researching) the way the chaga that you have chosen is grown. Look for organic Chaga, harvested ethically and sustainably.
For a Chaga mushroom to fully develop, it needs a longer growing life. And, in order to be used for future purposes, it needs to be harvested in such a way as to not disturb the internal parts of the tree, digging through it. You want to ensure the harvesting process does not damage the trees Xylem or pith, so the chaga can keep growing for as long as the tree lives.
Most of the Chaga that is on the market has not been harvested ethically! In fact, a lot of Chaga buyers have found buckshot lodged into their Chaga by someone shooting it off the tree, or by machining the butter out of where they cut it out using a chain saw. These methods not only kill the tree, they also poison the Chaga. Many buyers buy in pounds, so the heavier the weight, the more the harvester makes.
Secondly, opt for a liquid extract over powder. You will find a lot of Chaga powders out there, but dried Chaga is not as easy to absorb into your system. To reap the full benefits of Chaga, it needs to be extracted with warm water or alcohol (or both). Compared to most powders, the two-liquid extract contains a whole spectrum of compounds, both of which are water-soluble (i.e. Chaga mushrooms for dogs and cats provide an impressive list of benefits, and adding it to a pets daily supplement routine is a great way to boost their health.
Our favorite provider of chaga for pets is Real Mushrooms. You can learn more about the chaga supplements for pets provided by Real Mushrooms on our chaga supplements page.