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.
The health benefits of Lion's Mane are numerous. And while Hericium Erinaceus may look like an excellent addition to the dog's diet, many homeowners often worry about its safety for their furry friends. So, what does the research information say about using lion mane on dog?
Here we will explore Lion's mane benefits for dogs. We will also discuss ways to give Lion's mane mushroom for dogs. Finally, we will also show you how much lions mane to give to dog.
Let's get started!
Can Dogs Eat Lion's Mane Mushrooms?
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 straightforward 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 into 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 mushrooms are also helpful for their 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 adverse effects on your furry friend.
With high-quality supplements, using lions mane for dog is extremely easy—you can mix the mushroom powder with your dog's favorite meal.
Read More: Wondering how to get high-quality Lion's mane supplements for your dog? Learn what to look for when buying Lion's Mane.
It is essential to remember that different dogs tend to react differently to organic Lion's mane mushrooms. 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. 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.
Read More: Learn how Lion's Mane fights memory loss.
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.
Read More: Learn how Lion's mane weight loss benefits fight obesity in humans and dogs.
Below, 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
Among the top benefits of Lion's mane mushrooms for dogs is their ability to boost brain and nerve health.
When our dogs enter their senior years, they begin showing mental changes. If you notice your old 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 the 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 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.
Read More: See how Lion's mane neurogenesis promotes NGF production.
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 regenerates 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(2) to determine the mushroom's effectiveness in stimulating nerve growth factors and helping with repairing nerve injuries. In addition, the study reviewed the neuro-regenerative potential of Lion's mane mushroom in treating peripheral nerve injury.
Learn More: See how Lion's Mane prevents neuropathy and nerve damage.
The aqueous extract of Hericium Erinaceus fresh fruit bodies was 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.
Read More: See how Lion's Mane fights multiple sclerosis.
Your dog's immune system can attack and damage the protective outer myelin sheath. This leads to progressive nerve tissue damage and motor control loss. However, the good news is that Lion's Mane may help with myelination.
For this reason, extracts from the mushroom's fruiting body have shown promise in degenerative diseases like multiple sclerosis. For example, in this 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.
Learn More: See how Lion's Mane fights depression.
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.
Lion's mane aids in treating all these mental health issues. For example, Lion's Mane treats anxiety and Alzheimer's disease. The mushroom, therefore, can restore healthy brain function in dogs.
2. Builds Gut And Immune Health
Most dogs are affected by gut health issues occasionally. 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 it is dealing with gut health problems.
Lion's mane can 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 considerable protection against gastric mucosal injury by preventing the depletion of antioxidant enzymes.
It is speculated that the bioactive compounds in mushroom supplements may play a significant role in the gastroprotective activity.
Colitis is a common disease in dogs most 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.
For instance, studies(9) have linked the mushroom with tumor weight and size reduction. It can also prevent the spread of cancerous cells.
Read More: See how Lion's mane aids cancer treatment.
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 are caused by 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. As an added benefit, Lion's mane fights high blood pressure, a leading precursor for heart disease.
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.
One research study(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.
Lion's Mane Dosage For Dogs
You may ask us, "how much Lion's Mane should I give my dog now?".
You can give your dogs Lion's mane mushroom by mouth once daily. 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.
Read More: Learn the best Lion's mane dosage for different conditions that affect human beings.
The veterinarian will help you use an ideal dosage of the functional mushroom, which will be tailored to ensure your dog gets maximum medicinal benefits. Consider feeding your pooch lion's mane from an early age for maximum benefits.
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 essential to cook Lion's Mane mushrooms before giving them to your pet because they can be challenging to digest in raw form. An easier way would be to use aLion's mane organic mushroom powder extract.
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 its 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 fantastic health improvements!
Have you given Lion's mane to your dog before? Or have you used the functional mushroom yourself? Please let us know your experience with the mushroom in the comments.
- Neurotrophic properties of the Lion's mane medicinal mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) from Malaysia, (1)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24266378/
- 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/
- The influence of Hericium erinaceus extract on myelination process in vitro, (3)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12675022/
- Study: Pet owners struggle to spot depression, anxiety in dogs, (4)https://www.cbsnews.com/boston/news/pet-owners-dogs-depression-anxiety-study/
- Canine Cognitive Dysfunction: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, and Treatment, (5)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30846383/
- 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/
- 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/
- Antioxidant and hepatoprotective potential of endo-polysaccharides from Hericium erinaceus grown on tofu whey, (8)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22982810/
- Hericium erinaceus: an edible mushroom with medicinal values, (9)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23735479/
- A new cerebroside from the fruiting bodies of Hericium erinaceus and its applicability to cancer treatment, (10)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26547693/
- Yamabushitake mushroom (Hericium erinaceus) improved lipid metabolism in mice fed a high-fat diet, (11)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20622452/
- 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/
- National and State Diabetes Trends, (13)https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/library/reports/reportcard/national-state-diabetes-trends.html
- Obesity as a Precursor of Diabetes, (14)https://academic.oup.com/jn/article-abstract/1/4/339/4726058?redirectedFrom=fulltext
- 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/