Pop Quiz: Are mushrooms fruits or vegetables? If you guessed neither, you would be correct! Even though we see them every day in the produce section, mushrooms aren’t even technically plants, but a unique kind of fungus. And, after learning about the rich history behind its culinary uses, mushrooms quickly became our favorite fungus here at Homescape Pets.
We were especially excited to learn about the benefits of mushrooms for pets and knew we had to share them with you, too! When you have your furry companion’s holistic health in mind, it’s a real joy to find natural foods that both you and your pet can share.
Today, we’ll be talking about the pet-safe mushrooms only - the ones you can buy at most any supermarket. But remember: always consult your veterinarian before adding something new to your pet’s diet—including mushrooms!
Here are some of the benefits of mushrooms for pets, and of course, how to add them to your pets’ diets:
Mushrooms are a Vitamin and Nutrient Boost
Although mushrooms are neither fruits nor vegetables, they’re still considered a Superfood—nutritionally dense and chock full of health benefits:
- Vitamins: Complex B’s, C, pro-vitamin D, and folic acid
- Minerals: Potassium, phosphorus, selenium, zinc, and more.
- Increases metabolism and lowers cholesterol (which supports weight loss!)
- Reduces blood pressure
- Improves blood sugar levels and intestinal health
- Provides dietary fiber
- Some mushrooms, like Reishi, contain anti-inflammatory properties
- Provides antioxidants, which not only supports the liver and kidney functions, but protects your pet from cells that play a role in heart diseases and cancer!
It’s important to remember, however, that not all mushrooms are safe for pets. When walking or hiking with your dog, keep wild mushrooms completely off-limits, as many are toxic for pets. Instead, stick to these popular store-bought mushrooms only:
How to Add Mushrooms to Your Pet’s Diet
A good rule of thumb for most things in life is that too much of a good thing can be bad. Introducing mushrooms to your pup should be done in small quantities, and as a supplement to his already existing diet. And, while mushrooms are an incredible source of all the “good stuff” your pet needs, it’s not a magical fix—they won’t necessarily help your pet overnight, but if you stay consistent, you’ll be happy to see results over time.
Additionally, the best way to feed your pet mushrooms is to use cooked or dried mushrooms—not raw. Raw mushrooms can be difficult for your pup to digest, but cooking will ensure his safety. That said, there seems to be an endless amount of ways you can feed mushrooms to your pet! Here are just a few:
- Make a tea or extract by using dried mushrooms or adding mushroom powder
- Add mushroom powder to his water bowl, or sprinkling them over his food
- Broths and soups, using other veggies that are safe for pups
- If your dog is adventurous with food, simply give him little bits of dried or cooked mushrooms as a small treat
- Combine different types of mushrooms: each of the mushrooms we listed above have their own unique benefits, and in combination, can work wondrously together!
- Pro-tip for DIY chefs: You can dry the mushrooms on your own and find different creative ways of incorporating them into your pup’s meal.
At Homescape Pets, we are strong believers in feeding the furry friends we love the most natural, organic products. We know that feeding them organic foods means that we’re providing them with the maximum health benefits that each food provides. That’s why all of our products have 3 ingredients or less, are organically grown, and made only with whole herb botanicals—no preservatives or artificial flavors!
We’ve seen numerous improvements in our own pets’ happiness and wellbeing when we’ve followed this path, and want to see the same for your pets, too. Our Mussel Mobility works great with Reishi mushroom extracts to help support joint movement and the aches and pains that come with aging. Give them a try, and tag us @homescapepets! We love to hear stories about how your pets get the most out of our products!