Fungi for Fido: Medicinal Mushrooms for Dogs
We know what you’re thinking, and no—not those mushrooms. Pups already have an overactive imagination as it is (just ask your vacuum cleaner, doorbell, or literally any shadow), so there’s no need to source a supplement from Woodstock.
However, medicinal mushrooms are a completely safe and natural way to boost the well-being of your dog, inside and out. After being a superfood staple of human diets for millenniums, contemporary science has backed mushrooms’ benefits for pups, too.
Get familiar with a few of the fungi featured in Nectar of the Dogs, and see why it’s time to bring the mighty mushroom to the water bowl.
Reishi: the all-around fungi
If you’ve ever dabbled in Eastern medicine, you might already be familiar with the ever-popular Reishi, also known as the mushrooms of immortality (maybe bit of an oversell, but not by much.)
In lieu of promising unlimited dog years, it pretty much does the next best thing. Reishi features an effective combination of the antioxidants selenium, vitamin C and choline, which will be your dog’s best weapon against free radicals.
A little background here: free radicals are the unstable toxins that cause oxidative stress. This isn’t the “what a crap day, pour me a big class of red” kind of stress, it’s the “this could give my dog cancer or heart disease” kind.
Luckily, the antioxidants in Reishi are pros at neutralising free radicals, stopping oxidative stress in its tracks and bolstering your dog’s defence against a host of chronic health problems. The result is an all-around healthier immune system, a better-functioning liver, less allergic reactions, and fewer signs of aging. So…maybe Reishi is the real ‘magic’ mushroom here.
Cordyceps: the enduring MVP
Our second mushroom may not have a badass nickname like the Reishi, but they more than make up for it with their origin story: in the wild, these guys grow out of the heads of caterpillars. If you’re having trouble visualising, don’t worry—turns out there are many nature docs on this topic.
While they might be a pest for pests, Cordyceps are pretty incredible for both people and their pups. In fact, this mushroom is kind of having a moment right now, as sports scientists recommend it as a safe way to boost respiratory function in pro athletes.
In pups, it has a similar effect. Cordyceps can naturally support dog’s respiration, oxygenation, as well as the production of ATP (if it’s been a minute since your last biology class, those are the cell’s primary energy carriers.) This translates to a more pep in your pupper’s step, as they go dashing for that stick or tug the leash to go long way on their walk.
Cordyceps also have several beneficial amino acids and are anti-fungal, antibacterial…basically anti-anything that causes infections or allergies. So, if you hoping to give your dog’s immune system a boost, Cordyceps come in clutch.
Tremella: the skin and coat saver
Wild Tremella sort of look like a fluffy shower loofa. And much like their hygienic doppelgangers, these fungi really shine in the area of skin and coat care.
Tremella mushrooms are humectant, which means they attract and cling to water like a magnet. For other humectants, look in your own medicine cabinet—hyaluronic acid is a popular one. But, the benefit of Tremella is that it’s 100% natural and edible, and works from the inside out. So, instead of wrangling your dog to lather them with the some coat-protecting potion (we’re sure they’d just LOVE that), you can let them lap up Tremella extract from the water bowl and let it to all the work.
The mushroom will bring water to the skin cells and hair follicles over the body, keeping them hydrated around the clock. It can be a lifesaver for dogs suffering from dry and itchy skin, and great for maintaining a full and shiny coat.
The full package
If you’ve gotten this far, you might have noticed that all these mushrooms have been trusted by people well before they were even used on dogs. And that’s on purpose.
All varieties of Nectar of the Dog are human-grade, formulated from by vets and made with natural, health-supporting ingredients. In fact, we’d be healthier off if we added a scoop to our water bottles in the morning (Although the dog kiddos like the sausage flavour a little bit more than we do.)
Medicinal mushrooms feature in all five of our Nectars, so have a peruse and see which might be right for your pup.