You may have heard about the benefits of Chaga mushrooms. But should you give your dog Chaga? In this post, we'll look at the evidence behind Chaga mushrooms for dogs and answer that question for you.
Chaga mushrooms contain polysaccharides, glycoproteins, and proteins which are active ingredients in many dog supplements. This suggests Chaga mushrooms may be an excellent addition to your dog's diet.
However, how do you use Chaga mushrooms for dogs health? Also, what are the benefits of Chaga for dogs?
Read on to find the answers to these questions.
Do Dogs Love Functional Mushrooms?
Mushrooms are in high demand for their delicious taste and high nutritional value. While humans continue to enjoy the benefits of mushrooms, our pets also eat them.
Read More: Learn about Chaga mushroom taste.
Dogs love mushrooms much, and you may have spotted them sniffing around in your grocery bags and backyard. However, you may still not know the best mushrooms for dogs.
Below, we will help you figure out the mushrooms you can give to your dogs to ensure they have high immunity, better gut health, improved heart health, reduced depression and anxiety, and a reduced risk of suffering from a tumor or cancer.
Read More: Learn how Chaga fights cancer.
In addition, we will show you the mushrooms owners use to ensure their dogs get maximum vitamins and minerals without suffering a negative response to the mushrooms.
Which Medicinal Mushrooms Can You Give To Dogs?
Many cultivated mushrooms are safe to feed your dogs, albeit in moderation. Wild mushrooms, however, can be toxic.
One thing that makes the wild mushrooms toxic is that it's hard to tell whether what you have at hand is genuine Chaga. You may assume that what you are giving your dog is genuine wild Chaga, but in reality, it is a Chaga look-alike that could harm your dog's health.
Wild-cultivated Chaga, however, eliminates the need to worry about poisonous look-alikes. Therefore, it may be safe for your dog if you are not foraging for Chaga and instead are going for cultivated wild Chaga.
Read More: Learn how to identify Chaga mushrooms.
Dogs can eat and digest mushrooms. Mushrooms for dog contain many beneficial nutrients that support your dog's immune health.
Mushrooms contain vitamins A and B, amino acids, folate, iron, manganese, and zinc. They are also high in proteins and fiber. Adding mushroom products to your dog's food may be ideal to ensure your pet gets maximum health benefits.
If you are wondering what mushroom is suitable for dogs, we can feed Button mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, Portobello mushrooms, and Cremini mushrooms to our pets. Many dog treats and supplements contain mushrooms or extracts. But what about giving your dog medicinal mushrooms?
A medicinal mushroom for dogs can be tricky, and more so when it's for someone who has never used them as a source of nutrients for their pet. Some of us may still be apprehensive about giving mushrooms to our pets.
Read More: See the benefits of using Lion's mane for dogs.
While medicinal mushrooms like Chaga are sweeping the human superfood market, you may still wonder: Is Chaga mushroom safe for dogs? Will the properties of the mushroom that grows on birch trees impact my dog's health negatively?
The following section will give you a more detailed answer to these questions.
Are Mushroom Supplements Safe For Dogs?
Research studies show that mushroom extract can help support your pet's optimal health, but some can be toxic to dogs and humans.
Medicinal mushrooms like Reishi, Cordyceps, Turkey tail, Maitake, Shiitake, Chaga and Lion's mane are edible and safe for your pets, including cats and dogs. Using the proper dosage, these mushrooms won't harm your furry friends.
What Are The Benefits Of Chaga Mushrooms To Dogs?
Now that we have answered the question "are mushrooms good for dogs?" we will go ahead and look at the benefits of Chaga mushrooms for dogs. The Chaga mushroom health benefits for dogs are numerous and include the following:
1. Chaga Mushrooms Are Rich In Antioxidants
Chaga stands out as a powerhouse of antioxidants(1) thanks to the presence of superoxide dismutase. It can slow down the aging process (learn more below) by combating free radicals, the toxic compounds that contribute to oxidative stress.
Read More: Learn how antioxidants in Chaga improve skin health and prevent premature aging in humans.
Our pets encounter harmful compounds every day, no matter how careful we are. If we ignore these toxic compounds, they can affect the dog's health negatively. However, leveraging dried Chaga powders or liquid extract as a potent antioxidant allows dog owners to protect their dogs.
Adding Chaga to your dog's diet can help fight off free radicals, thus shielding them from cell and tissue damage. This can also protect your dog from old age diseases like arthritis. The rich antioxidant content of Chaga can also help your dog regain its shiny and lustrous coat, particularly after infections.
It is worth noting that Chaga mushrooms have a higher antioxidant capacity than any other functional mushrooms. Chaga has 1,104 ORAC units of antioxidants per gram. Organic Chaga is close to 10 times more potent than other foods known to provide antioxidants.
2. Chaga Can Keep Your Dog Young
One of the things that cause premature aging is free radicals. Free radicals often put oxidative stress on the body, resulting in accelerated aging.
Luckily, as noted above, Chaga is a top-rated antioxidant-rich food and helps fight oxidative stress. Adding Chaga mushrooms to your pet's daily supplement regimen will help your dog develop an efficient immune system and also help the dog battle free radicals, which should keep the dog young.
Chaga's ability to fight free radicals will also help the dog maintain healthy skin covered with healthy hair. The same results people get when using Chaga for hair and skin will be visible on your furry friend.
3. Chaga Helps With Cancer Treatment And Prevention
This is one of the superfood fungus's most important benefits(2). Our dogs are particularly prone to cancers of the blood vessels, bladder, breast, and liver.
Chaga mushroom promotes cell death for cancerous cells(3), inhibition of mutation, and cell proliferation.
It is worth noting that Chaga does not just help dogs after a cancer diagnosis. The medicinal properties of the mushroom work against the processes that often result in cancer development.
The several anticancer abilities offered by the mushroom also protect against the disease and can keep your dog from developing cancer.
4. Chaga Regulates The Immune Systems Of Dogs
The natural bioactive ingredients present in Chaga products regulate the immune system(4). They can boost the body's immune system and down-regulate it when required.
This benefits dogs as a malfunctioning immune system can lead to various diseases like diabetes, infections, allergies, osteoarthritis, and cancer. Keeping your dog's immune system balanced is essential for its overall well-being.
5. Chaga Has Anti-Inflammatory Benefits
One of the best pet mushrooms, Chaga extract plays a vital role in controlling inflammation(5). The mushroom's ability to reduce inflammation can help prevent or slow liver problems that are very common in dogs.
Chaga's anti-inflammatory properties (6) help your dog fight off bacteria and viruses, keeping it strong and healthy.
6. Chaga Increases Energy
The Chaga mushroom extract can stimulate the production of proteins like AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK)(7). These molecules are a critical component of the biological energy pathways.
Including a Chaga mushroom in your dog treats can help increase your dogs' energy, making them responsive, lively, and active.
7. Chaga Mushroom Improves Digestion
An essential benefit of Chaga to dogs is that it fixes digestion problems. Stomach and intestine issues can frequently plague your dogs. A Chaga tincture can help ease digestive symptoms(8) in your canine buddy, just like in people.
In addition to easing digestive issues, the alcohol-soluble compounds in Chaga improve gut health. Your dog will be happier and healthier with improved gut health and reduced inflammation when you feed it Chaga.
8. Chaga Promotes Healthy Sugar Levels
The mushroom supports healthy blood sugar levels, which can improve your dog's pancreas functions. This benefit can help expand your dog's lifespan.
In addition to improving your dog's immune system, Chaga can keep your dog from developing diabetes. In dogs, Chaga mushrooms operate the same way they do when helping people who are at risk of developing diabetes.
The vital nutrition Chaga mushrooms reduce insulin resistance. What's more, the edible mushrooms help the dog store glucose as glycogen instead of having it circulating in the body.
9. Chaga Improves Blood Pressure
Just like human beings, dogs can suffer from high blood pressure. High blood pressure occurs in up to 10% of dogs. The good news, however, is that Chaga balances blood pressure.
If you give Chaga mushroom supplements to your dog, you won't have to worry so much about the dog having issues with blood pressure. The biological compounds called polysaccharides present in Chaga—and other bioactive compounds—work closely to ensure blood pressure stays within the healthy range.
When used regularly, the beneficial medicinal mushrooms should ensure your dog is at an optimal level regarding overall health.
10. Chaga Mushroom Helps With Weight Loss
Humans do use Chaga tea for weight loss. While you may not be able to give your dog the same Chaga tea you would use to lose weight, using other dog treats with Chaga mushrooms can help your dog maintain a healthy body weight.
One of the most vital medicinal benefits of Chaga for dogs is weight loss—it reduces the risk of numerous health problems. A dog with a healthy body weight boasts a boosted immune response—this keeps the dog safe from diseases.
In addition to improving the functionality of immune cells, reducing your dog's weight protects it from many chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. With all the medicinal benefits Chaga offers, weight loss can support organ health for dogs and cats.
How Much Chaga Is Good For Dogs?
If you are wondering how to use Chaga mushroom powder for your dog, you are not alone. Many pet owners are not well-versed in using functional mushrooms to improve the health of their furry friends.
The dosage of Chaga mushroom powder for dogs is about 1/8 teaspoon per 10 kilos of body weight. It is better to start with a small amount and gradually increase the dose.
How To Feed Chaga To Your Dog?
You can directly add Chaga mushroom powder supplements, tinctures, and liquid extracts to your dog's diet. You can also make Chaga juice or tea and give your holistic hound something to look forward to.
Ensure the powder is prepared using the right Chaga mushrooms. Many Chaga powders are safe for dogs.
However, if the powder is prepared using wild foraged Chaga mushrooms, you could compromise your dog's health factor and invite chronic liver problems into its life. As we noted earlier, foraging for Chaga puts you at the risk of feeding your dog harmful look-alikes.
You can prepare Chaga tea by bringing 1 quart (or 32 ounces) of clean and filtered water to a boil in a pan. Reduce the heat and add 10 grams of Chaga to it. Cover the pan and let it simmer.
Remove it from heat and let it stand for 15 minutes. Strain the liquid through a wire mesh or strainer and store it in a glass container. You can give ¼ of the Chaga tea to your dog weighing up to 50 lbs and ½ cup if over 50 lbs.
Can dogs eat Chaga mushrooms? Yes absolutely! For centuries, humans have been using Chaga for themselves but didn't quite realize the benefits of the mushroom for our pets.
Then how is Chaga good for animals? Taking advantage of Chaga mushroom for dogs can help you eliminate their dependence on medicine for various health problems. The mushroom can fight cancer, ease inflammation, promote healing and maintain healthy sugar levels. Adding Chaga to your dog's diet can also improve digestion and energy.
Like everything in life, mushroom powder also requires moderation. Start with small amounts of Chaga for one or more of your dogs and slowly increase the dose. In no time, your pup will love this great mushroom, just like the rest of us.
Have you used Chaga for your pets before? Let us know your experience in the comments.
- Medicinal Plants of the Russian Pharmacopoeia; their history and applications, (1)https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378874114002827
- Potential anticancer properties of the water extract of Inontus obliquus by induction of apoptosis in melanoma B16-F10 cells, (2)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19041933/
- Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) induces G0/G1 arrest and apoptosis in human hepatoma HepG2 cells, (3)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18203281/
- Inotodiol From Inonotus obliquus Chaga Mushroom Induces Atypical Maturation in Dendritic Cells, (4)https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fimmu.2021.650841/full
- Orally administered aqueous extract of Inonotus obliquus ameliorates acute inflammation in dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis in mice, (5)https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0378874112004771
- Inonotus obliquus – from folk medicine to clinical use, (6)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8240111/
- AMP-Activated Protein Kinase Plays an Important Evolutionary Conserved Role in the Regulation of Glucose Metabolism in Fish Skeletal Muscle Cells, (7)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22359576/
- A Critical Review on Health Promoting Benefits of Edible Mushrooms through Gut Microbiota, (8)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5618583/
- Anti-diabetic effects of Inonotus obliquus polysaccharides in streptozotocin-induced type 2 diabetic mice and potential mechanism via PI3K-Akt signal pathway, (9)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28954386/