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The Top 4 Benefits Of Lion's Mane For Dogs
Aug 29, 22
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Author: Sony Sherpa

The Top 4 Benefits Of Lion's Mane For Dogs

Millions of people who own a dog know that finding the right food to feed your pup can be difficult. Just like us, our furry friends also need to eat nutritious food to support healthy bones, joints, and brains. Mushrooms are chock-full of nutrients and adding them to your dog’s diet can give them wholesome benefits.

It can be quite tricky to identify safe, edible varieties of medicinal mushrooms for ourselves, and it is the same for our canine companions too! And if you are thinking of incorporating mushrooms into your pet’s diet, you may be scratching your head on where to start. Luckily, this is where lions Mane for dogs comes in—the beautiful white, “toothed” mushrooms that look like the Mane of a lion may be a good place to start.

But you may be concerned, is Lion’s mane mushroom safe for dogs? Or what does the research information say about using lion mane on dog?

Here we will explore Lion’s mane benefits for dogs—this should give you a good reason to include Lion’s mane mushrooms in your dog’s diet. We will also discuss ways to give Lion’s mane mushroom for dogs. In addition to showing you why you might want to use lions mane dog benefits, we will also show you how much lions mane to give to dog. 

Keep reading to know more about the many amazing Lions mane dog benefits!

Can Dogs Eat Lion’s Mane Mushroom?

Can Dogs Eat Lion’s Mane Mushroom?

While humans can take Lion’s Mane before bed or any time throughout the day, can dogs do the same thing? The question of can dogs eat Lion’s mane mushrooms is quite common, and it is extremely easy to see why—dog owners want their dogs to experience the best health benefits from the food and supplements they consume. For this reason, they want to ensure only non-toxic foods get in their dog’s bodies. 

The answer to whether you can help your dogs with lion mane is a big yes. 

Hericium erinaceus, or Lion’s mane mushroom, is a medicinal fungus that grows on the trunks of dead hardwood trees like oak. Not only are they visually stunning, but the mushroom is also useful for its many health-boosting properties.

If you are looking for a supplement to support your dog’s brain and nervous system, Lion’s mane mushroom can be an excellent choice. As long as you use an ideal Lion’s mane dosage for dogs, you will not have to worry about the mushroom causing any negative effects on your furry friend. 

What’s more, with high-quality Lion’s mane organic mushroom powder, using lions mane for dog is extremely easy—you can mix the mushroom powder with your dog’s favorite meal. This will give your young and senior dogs access to the functional fungus without using Lion’s mane mushroom recipes to turn raw fruiting bodies into food for your dogs. 

However, it is important to remember that different dogs tend to react differently to organic Lion’s mane mushroom. For this reason, before giving your dog Lion’s Mane mushrooms, talk to your holistic or homeopathic vet. 

This should give you a good idea of whether giving your dog monkey head mushroom is good. And if it is a good idea to provide lion mane to your older or younger dog, the vet will also help you determine the perfect dosage that will not harm your furry friend. 

6 Lion’s Mane Mushroom Benefits For Dogs

One of the first questions pet parents ask us is can dogs eat Lion’s mane mushrooms? Or what are Lion’s mane benefits for dogs?

Lion’s mane mushroom has been used as a medicinal mushroom in Eastern medicine for centuries. It is believed that those who consumed Lion’s Mane would have the nerves of steel and the memory of a lion. 

Today, with more discoveries about how Lion’s mane products improve our lives and the lives of our pets—including dogs and cats—Lion’s mane mushroom benefits for dogs are becoming more apparent. One thing that may surprise you as a pet parent is that using lions Mane for a dog gives almost similar benefits to the ones humans get from the functional mushroom. 

As our dog ages, dementia and cognitive dysfunction set in, and other issues like heart problems, obesity, and gastrointestinal problems also arise. Lion’s Mane for dogs would be a good choice given that the mushroom is also known as nature’s nutrient for the neuron.

Using lions mane for a dog offers protection against most health problems that often affect our dogs in the long run. This means you’ll find many more reasons to give your dog this medicinal mushroom with exceptional healing properties.

To help you better understand why use lions mane dogs, we will look at the numerous reasons many pet lovers are adopting the use of Lion’s mane mushroom for dogs. Here are some of the benefits of Lion’s mane supplements for dogs:

1. Enhances Nerve And Brain Function

While Lion’s mane mushroom dogs health benefits are numerous, among the top benefits of Lion’s Mane mushrooms for dogs is their ability to boost brain and nerve health. In addition, the Lion’s Mane offers neurogenesis benefits. What’s more, Lion’s Mane fights neuropathy and boosts health nerve function—Lion’s mane supplement for dogs plays a similar role. 

When our dogs enter their senior years, they begin showing mental changes. If you notice your senior dogs disoriented or lost around the house, chances are that canine cognitive dysfunction or doggie dementia has kicked in. Other signs include forgetting to go outdoors to pee or sticking in a corner or behind furniture

Not only does Lion’s mane mushroom give brain and neurological support to senior pups, but when given to younger ones can also help prevent these problems in the future.

There is a substantial amount of research on Lion’s mane neuroprotective properties. Let’s see what they say!

Maintains Nerve Health

Lion’s mane mushrooms contain hericenones and erinacines, two important neurotrophic factors that can stimulate the growth of nervous system tissues, including neurons, which are the brain cells. In addition, these compounds can cross the protective blood-brain barrier to help stimulate the production of Nerve growth factor (NGF)(1), which is essential for the proper growth, development, and maintenance of neurons.

In dogs with nerve problems, the active ingredients in lion mane can help restore normal nerve function. After restoring healthy nerve function, the organic mushroom extract will work hard to keep your dog from losing normal nerve function again in the future. 

Aids In Nerve Regeneration

Middle-aged and older dogs frequently suffer from nerve damage, and Hericium erinaceus mushroom has been found to regenerate such nerves potentially. In addition, research studies conducted on both animals and human beings have shown Lion’s Mane has the potential to increase the rate at which the body generates new nerve cells to replace dead and damaged cells. 

One research study was conducted in 2012 to determine the mushroom’s effectiveness in its ability to stimulate nerve growth factor and help with repairing nerve injuries. In addition, the neuro-regenerative potential of Lion’s mane mushroom in treating peripheral nerve injury was reviewed in the 2012 research study(2)

The aqueous extract of Hericium erinaceus fresh fruit bodies were given to adult female rats with a crush injury. The activities of the mushroom were compared to vitamin B12 or mecobalamin, a widely used treatment for nerve disorders.

Results showed that the return of hind limb function and normal toe spreading occurred earlier in the groups receiving the mushroom than in those who did not. Regeneration of nerve cells in the lower leg muscles was also seen. Researchers concluded that daily oral administration of Lion’s mane mushroom could promote the regeneration of nerves in the early stage of recovery.

May Protect Against Neurodegenerative Diseases

Degenerative myelopathy (DM) is a progressive disease that causes your dogs to lose mobility and become paralyzed. This is similar to multiple sclerosis in humans.

Your dog’s immune system attacks and damages the protective outer myelin sheath. This leads to progressive nerve tissue damage and motor control loss.  And Lion’s Mane may help with myelination.

Extracts from the mushroom’s fruiting body have shown promise in degenerative diseases like multiple sclerosis. For example, in this 2003 study(3), an extract of H. erinaceus promoted the myelination process in vitro.

Lion’s Mane Fights Mental Health Diseases

As dogs age, their brain function tends to reduce. As noted earlier, you can easily see the signs of decline in cognitive function in your dog if you have had the pup for an extended period. 

One thing that some pet owners may not understand is that dogs may also be affected by depression. According to a research study conducted in 2022(4), more than 75% of dogs experience depression and anxiety. However, only 36% of dog owners recognize their dogs’ signs of depression and anxiety. 

Just like humans get affected by Alzheimer’s disease, dogs can also suffer from Alzheimer’s and dementia. In addition, a research study conducted in 2019(5) confirmed that dogs often suffer from Canine Cognitive Dysfunction, the canine analog of human Alzheimer’s disease. 

One of the best mushrooms for brain health, Lion’s Mane has been shown to offer benefits that aid in treating all these mental health issues. For example, Lion’s Mane is key in treating depression and anxiety. 

Also the mushroom Lion’s Mane has Alzheimer’s disease benefits. The mushroom is known to restore healthy brain function. Helping the dog naturally stimulate nerve growth factor, the mushroom’s fruiting body and supplements keep the dog’s brain functioning optimally. 

2. Builds Gut And Immune Health

Builds Gut And Immune Health

Most dogs are affected by gut health issues every once in a while. These health issues could result from bacteria, inflammation, and other problems. Your dog being hypoallergenic or responding to each allergen could be a sign that your dog is dealing with gut health problems. 

Luckily, however, most hard working holistic vets will tell you that Lion’s Mane can be one of the solutions that help you improve your dog’s gut health. This traditional Chinese medicine has been used for thousands of years to improve gut flora and eliminate some of the most common gastrointestinal problems. 

As science advanced and there was a need to determine whether the mushroom works, some scientists have invested some time into investigating the mushroom’s gut health benefits. Clinical studies have shown that Lion’s Mane can be highly beneficial concerning gastrointestinal issues like ulcers and inflammatory bowel disease.

Lion’s mane mushroom supplement has exhibited gastroprotective effects against ulcers in rats. In this 2013 study(6), the mushroom extract promoted ulcer protection which was ascertained by a significant reduction of the ulcer area. Additionally, it exhibited a significant protection activity against gastric mucosal injury by preventing the depletion of antioxidant enzymes.

It is speculated that the bioactive compounds in the mushroom supplements may play a significant role in gastroprotective activity.

Colitis is a common disease in dogs most commonly characterized by chronic diarrhea. In a study published in 2021(7), the effect of Hericium erinaceum on the prevention of chemically induced experimental colitis in animals was evaluated. The mushroom positively affected colitis by reducing oxidative damage in blood and tissue.

The mushroom also plays a role in protecting the liver. The mycelium of Lion’s Mane showed(8)strong antioxidant activity in vitro and a potent hepatoprotective effect in vivo. This could be exploited as an antioxidant product and a supplement in preventing hepatic diseases, even in dogs.

3. Anti-Cancer Benefits

Our canine companions can be frequently plagued by cancer, and evidence shows that Lion’s mane mushroom has anti-cancer benefits. While it is easy to assume that Lion’s mane cancer benefits are only effective in humans, this is not the case—the mushroom also benefits dogs with its cancer benefits. 

For instance, studies(9) have linked the mushroom with tumor weight and size reduction. It can also prevent the spread of cancerous cells.

Likewise, a new chemical(10) isolated from the fruiting bodies of Hericium erinaceus called cerebroside exhibited a significant inhibitory effect on the proliferation of blood vessels that supply tumor cells.

4. Improves Heart Health

Most cardiovascular health issues dogs deal with result from high cholesterol levels. However, Lion’s Mane can support heart health by lowering cholesterol levels(11) and improving your dog’s metabolism. This results in a reduced risk of heart disease. 

Likewise, it can also prevent fat oxidation(12) and inhibit the formation of blood clots. Both these conditions are implicated in heart attacks that your pooches may get.

5. Lions Mane Mushrooms Fight Diabetes in Dogs

In the United States, diabetes is becoming a menace. The figures show that in 2019(13), 1.4 million new cases were recorded in just one year. 

However, while most available figures focus on humans, we mustn’t forget that diabetes also affects dogs. So while the number of diabetic dogs may not be as high as the number of diabetic people, taking the necessary precautions to ensure your furry friend never suffers from diabetes is a good idea. 

Lion’s Mane offers diabetes benefits. The functional mushroom helps dogs maintain healthy blood sugar levels. What’s more, by improving the dog’s gut health, lowering the number of calories the dog consumes daily, and speeding up the dog’s metabolism, the mushroom controls the dog’s weight, keeping it at an ideal level. 

A research study published for the first time in 1929(14) showed that obesity is a precursor for diabetes. In addition, a research study conducted in 2011(15) determined that obesity is connected to type 2 diabetes. Therefore, by helping your dog with body weight management, Lion’s Mane further reduces the dog’s risk of diabetes. 

6. Lion’s Mane Mushrooms Fight Chronic Inflammation

Dogs are often affected by inflammation. Chronic inflammation is known to affect the dog’s gut health. This inflammation often carries symptoms like weight loss, reduced appetite, diarrhea, and nutrient deficiencies. In addition, other forms of chronic inflammation lead to diseases like arthritis, diabetes, and cancer. 

Luckily, Lion’s Mane prevents and fights chronic inflammation. The mushroom’s ability to lower the risk of—and fight—chronic inflammation improves dog health. In addition, it protects your dog from health complications that can end its life sooner. 

Lion’s Mane Dosage For Dogs

You may ask us how much Lion’s Mane should I give my dog now.

Well, you can give your dogs Lion’s mane mushroom by mouth once a day. The dosage recommendations are as follows:

  • Under 30 lbs.: 0.5 to 1 ml
  • Over 30 lbs.: 1 to 2 ml

Remember that this dosage recommendation is not meant to replace veterinary advice. For the best results, whether you are giving your dog Lion’s Mane for fat metabolism or improving its cognitive functions, always talk to your veterinarian first. The veterinarian will help you use an ideal dosage of the functional mushroom—this will be tailored to ensure your dog gets maximum medicinal benefits. 

To keep a dog’s brain functioning at its best, it’s advised that you feed your pooch lion’s Mane from an early age.

FAQ

Can You Give Lion’s Mane To Dogs?

Lion’s Mane is safe for consumption by dogs, just like it is for us humans. However, it is important to cook Lion’s Mane mushrooms before giving them to your pet because they can be difficult to digest in raw form. An easier way would be to use a mushroom powder extract.

Final Thoughts

Giving Lion’s Mane for dogs has many beneficial effects. The mushroom improves brain and nerve health, even helping them heal. Lion’s Mane can also support your dog’s digestive health, which supports his immune system. Apart from that, it has the potential to fight cancer cells and keep their heart healthy.

Try incorporating Lion’s mane mushrooms into your pet’s diet to see some amazing improvements in their health!

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References

  1. Neurotrophic properties of the Lion’s mane medicinal mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) from Malaysia,  (1)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24266378/
  2. Neuroregenerative potential of Lion’s mane mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Bull.: Fr.) Pers. (higher Basidiomycetes), in the treatment of peripheral nerve injury (review), (2)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23510212/
  3. The influence of Hericium erinaceus extract on myelination process in vitro, (3)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12675022/
  4. Study: Pet owners struggle to spot depression, anxiety in dogs, (4)https://www.cbsnews.com/boston/news/pet-owners-dogs-depression-anxiety-study/
  5. Canine Cognitive Dysfunction: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, and Treatment, (5)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30846383/
  6. Gastroprotective Effects of Lion’s Mane Mushroom Hericium erinaceus (Bull.:Fr.) Pers. (Aphyllophoromycetideae) Extract against Ethanol-Induced Ulcer in Rats, (6) https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2013/492976/
  7. The effect of Hericium erinaceum on the prevention of chemically induced experimental colitis in rats, (7)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8009150/
  8. Antioxidant and hepatoprotective potential of endo-polysaccharides from Hericium erinaceus grown on tofu whey, (8)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22982810/
  9. Hericium erinaceus: an edible mushroom with medicinal values, (9)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23735479/
  10. A new cerebroside from the fruiting bodies of Hericium erinaceus and its applicability to cancer treatment, (10)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26547693/
  11. Yamabushitake mushroom (Hericium erinaceus) improved lipid metabolism in mice fed a high-fat diet, (11)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20622452/
  12. Inhibitory effect on in vitro LDL oxidation and HMG Co-A reductase activity of the liquid-liquid partitioned fractions of Hericium erinaceus (Bull.) Persoon (Lion’s mane mushroom), (12)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24959591/ 
  13. National and State Diabetes Trends, (13)https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/library/reports/reportcard/national-state-diabetes-trends.html 
  14. Obesity as a Precursor of Diabetes, (14)https://academic.oup.com/jn/article-abstract/1/4/339/4726058?redirectedFrom=fulltext 
  15. Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes: What Can Be Unified and What Needs to Be Individualized?, (15)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3206399/
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