For us, mushrooms can reduce cancer risks, enhance the immune system, promote digestive health, and even protect the brain, demonstrating that these tiny fungi are tremendous health powerhouses. But did you know mushrooms can also help your dog?
Certain mushrooms improve the immune system of dogs while also reducing inflammation. They also make an excellent snack! And what dog doesn't like a tasty treat?
So, the question is, are maitake mushrooms safe for dogs?
Yes, Maitake mushrooms are beneficial to dogs. Their anti-inflammatory properties can help inhibit tumor growth and enhance the immune system. However, due to the therapeutic value of Maitake mushrooms, they should be given to dogs in moderation.
Furthermore, Maitake mushrooms are a multifaceted supply of energy and nutrients for the body. Every serving is high in minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants.
Let’s explore Maitake mushroom for dogs and their benefits.
Introduction To Maitake Mushrooms
Maitake mushrooms are one of nature's most potent and health-boosting plants. Because of this polypore fungi's global reach and affinity for old oak trees, Maitake mushroom has been called by various names over the years.
The mushroom Maitake, scientifically known as Grifola frondosa, is also known as the sheep head mushroom, king of the mushrooms, signorina or "the unmarried woman," and hen-of-the-woods. The adorable nickname hen-of-the-woods arose from the Maitake's layered and mounded growth, which resembles a chicken with fluffy feathers sleeping at the base of a tree.
In the fall, Maitake mushrooms grow at the base of elm, maple, and oak trees in China, Japan, and North America. These lovely mushrooms are so famous in Asia that they have been used as medicine for thousands of years
According to legend, Buddhist nuns and woodcutters laboring far out in Japan's forested wilderness discovered petaled mounds of Maitake growing wild and thick at the foot of old trees. The nuns and woodcutters began to dance as they saw the abundance of Maitake scattered across the forest floor. With all of Maitake's nutritional and therapeutic benefits, it's no surprise they danced for delight upon discovering this wild gem. The species got its name from their celebration, as Maitake means "dancing mushroom" in Japanese.
Significance Of Maitake Mushrooms For Dog Health
Dried maitake mushrooms are frequently used to treat the following conditions:
- Immune function
- Blood pressure problems
- Blood sugar
- Cold and flu viruses
- Side effects of chemotherapy
- High cholesterol
Maitake mushrooms can help treat cancer because they contain polysaccharides and -1,6-glucan. In human research, polysaccharides have been shown to modulate the immune system and enhance health.
Animal studies(1) support the use of this particular mushroom for cancer treatment because one component of polysaccharides, beta-glucans, is known to have immunomodulatory effects.
Researchers discovered that Maitake mushroom could boost natural killer cells, macrophages, and cytotoxic T-cells. The study found that Maitake reduced tumor growth by 86% compared to untreated rats.
Another study(2) demonstrated the mushroom's immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory capabilities, specifically its ability to promote tumor-fighting capacities against syngeneic and allogeneic cancers.
One study(3) found that Maitake can decrease tumor growth and restore impaired immunological responses when combined with Vitamin C. According to the study, Maitake mushrooms contain D-fraction. This polysaccharide has been shown to assist human patients with renal cell carcinoma and bladder and breast cancer, among other conditions.
But can you give Maitake mushrooms for dogs?
Yes, dogs can eat some species of mushrooms, including Maitake, but only if they come from a grocery store or another reputable source. Many varieties of wild mushrooms are toxic and can cause severe illness or even death in both canines and people. Vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, and convulsions are symptoms of mushroom toxicity in dogs.
Many mushroom species have a lookalike; if your dog accidentally consumes a dangerous specimen, it will become extremely ill. Unless you're an adept forager, give your dog mushrooms from the grocery store or other reputable sources.
Nutritional Properties And Active Compounds
You’re probably wondering, what’s the reason behind these Maitake mushroom benefits for dogs?
Maitake mushrooms are low in calories, carbs, and fat, making them more than just a tasty and flavorful snack for your dog. Furthermore, Maitake mushrooms are high in essential nutrients such as:
- Amino acids
- Vitamins B, C, and D
One cup of raw diced Maitake mushroom has 98% of the recommended daily dose of Vitamin D, which aids the body's calcium absorption for healthy bones. The same cup of Maitake has 23% of the recommended allowance for niacin or B13, a vitamin essential for turning food into energy. When you eat that cup of mushrooms, you'll also consume 20% of your daily copper need. Consider how many healthy red blood cells copper will assist your body in producing!
That's a lot of good nutrients in a small amount of mushroom!
Maitake Mushroom Dosage For Dogs
Soak dried Maitake mushrooms in warm or cold water for 30 minutes before thoroughly washing them. Cut the mushrooms into bite-size chunks. Maitake mushrooms must be served unseasoned, whether grilled, sautéed, or roasted.
Dogs must ingest them in moderation: 0.5g per day for small dogs, 1g for medium dogs, and 2g for large dogs. Also, when cooking mushrooms for your dog, avoid ingredients like garlic, onion, chives, salt, pepper, and paprika because they are toxic to dogs. Because of the medicinal characteristics of Maitake mushrooms, if your dog is on any medication or is breastfeeding, please consult a vet before introducing this fungus to your dog's diet.
FAQs About Maitake Mushroom For Dogs
How Long Does It Take To See Potential Benefits From Feeding Maitake Mushrooms To Dogs?
Unlike medications, mushrooms like Maitake take a while to see potential benefits. It may take up to 2 weeks for the effects to show up when the mushrooms are consumed regularly.
Are There Any Side Effects Or Risks Associated With Giving Maitake Mushrooms To Dogs?
Maitake mushrooms may cause mild adverse effects such as reduced blood sugar and blood pressure. Dried Maitake, mushrooms from a store, are recommended since they are generally safe to eat. Avoid hunting for wild mushrooms to prevent poisoning.
Can I Give My Dog Maitake Supplements Instead Of Incorporating Fresh Mushrooms Into Their Diet?
While you could learn how to add Fresh Maitake mushroom into your dog's food, we believe providing them with an easy chew supplement is a better option. A supplement containing other beneficial mushrooms, such as Reishi and Turkey tail, would be most beneficial to your dog.
Maitake mushrooms contain essential nutrients such as vitamins B, C, and D, amino acids, copper, potassium, and fiber. It is a good idea to give Maitake mushroom for dogs as they have anti-inflammatory properties and help prevent the growth of cancer cells. In addition, they enhance the immune system and help fight against tumors.
- Immunomodulating activities of cultivated maitake medicinal mushroom Grifola frondosa (Dicks.: Fr.) S.F. Gray (higher Basidiomycetes) on peripheral blood mononuclear cells, (1)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23510175/
- Oral administration of soluble β-glucans extracted from Grifola frondosa induces systemic antitumor immune response and decreases immunosuppression in tumor-bearing mice, (2)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23280601/
- Induction of cell death in renal cell carcinoma with combination of D-fraction and vitamin C, (3)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23341484/