Lion’s Mane Mushroom Benefits for Dogs & Cats

Lion’s Mane Mushroom…The Nootropic Mushroom

A lion’s mane mushroom. Functional mushroom supplements for dogs can promote nerve growth factors.

The Lion’s Mane mushroom (Hericium erinaceus) is large, white, and shaggy and is widely used for both culinary and medicinal reasons in Asian countries. Lion’s Mane can be eaten raw, cooked, dried, or steeped as tea. Most describe its flavor to be similar to sea-food. Widely used in traditional Chinese medicine, Lion’s Mane mushrooms are an adaptogenic mushroom that contains antioxidants, beta-glucans, and other bioactive compounds providing a variety of pet health benefits.

Often consumed fresh, dried, in tea or supplement form; Lion’s Mane mushrooms for dogs and cats are best offered in a powdered supplement and/or liquid tincture form. When seeking out Lion’s Mane mushrooms for dogs and cats, it is best to find a pet supplement that uses the full spectrum of bioactive compounds in both fruiting body and mycelium. Both fruiting body and mycelium will have a variety of immunologically active compounds that can support pet health and wellness.

Lion’s Mane mushroom benefits for dogs are primarily attributed to supporting overall cognitive health, but at Earth Buddy we believe the benefits extend beyond cognition into helping with stress and mood. There have also been studies showing the neuroprotective benefits of Lion’s mane often related to oxidative stress. Functional Mushrooms for dogs and cats, in general, may help fight free radicals that cause oxidative stress, but of all the mushrooms Lion’s Mane has shown to have a higher amount of antioxidants than most.

Beyond Beta Glucans: Lion’s Mane Mushroom

Try functional mushrooms. A lion's mane mushroom for dogs and cats with cognitive decline.
Lion’s Mane mushrooms are also known for their ability to stimulate NGF (nerve growth factor), a protein that plays a critical role in activating neurons in the brain. As dogs and cats age they tend to experience all of the age related ailments we do as humans, so supplementing Lion’s Mane for senior dogs and cats is a great natural remedy to incorporate into your pet’s holistic tool box. 

Numerous studies have looked into the potential benefits of Lion’s Mane mushrooms and its ability to stimulate the growth of neurons. Cognitive decline in pets is often overlooked and downplayed, but this decline can be mitigated through holistic measures like Lion’s Mane supplements. Sundowners is a common trait of older pets, where older dogs and cats begin to lose track of wake and sleep cycles. This can be quite a confusing and frustrating experience for both pet owners and the pet, as they will often wander in the middle of the night not realizing it is a time for rest.

The studies mentioned and linked throughout this page detail Lion’s Mane mushroom’s ability to activate and/or stimulate the growth of neurons in the brain. Since our pets age much more rapidly, Lion’s mane supplements show a great potential to defend against the cognitive decline some pets may experience. Chemical compounds that were isolated from Lion’s Mane mushrooms, like hericenones and erinacines, showed activation and growth of neurons or NGF. The nootropic potential of just two different compounds found in Lion’s mane medicinal mushrooms provide pet owners with a natural supplement for aging.

These primary compounds found to have the strongest effect on NGF and enhance brain function are found in both fruit body and mycelium. Hericenones found mostly in the fruiting body of Lion’s mane mushrooms and Erinacines found predominantly in the mycelium. Although both compounds have shown to enhance cognitive function in aging subjects, clinical research shows that Hericenones show little to no NGF stimulation. Alternatively, erinacines found mostly in the mycelium show strong activation of NGF in mice.

Terpenoids in Lion’s Mane Mushroom Mycelium: Erinacines

Erinacines have been the focus of Lion’s Mane benefits for dogs, cats, and other species due to its potential cognitive enhancing and protective effect on the brain. Both humans and pets regularly experience neurodegeneration as we age, often causing a lot of trauma and stress within the family. For this reason, erinacines, a group of terpenoids found in Lion’s mane mushrooms are becoming a highly desired functional mushroom supplement among pets and people.

To date, these terpenoids have only been found in the mycelium of Lion’s Mane. That does not discredit the value that the fruiting body has on our pets’ health. Ultimately, the approach of Earth Buddy is to look beyond traditional measurements of one category of compounds and rely on the entire fungal network of Lion’s mane. Both mycelium and fruiting body of Lion’s Mane have amazing potential therapeutic benefits and combining them in extract form provides the same synergistic effect we promote with full spectrum hemp extracts. Entourage Effects are not limited to cannabis and should be desired and sought out with all botanical extracts, even functional mushrooms!

How to Shop & Use Lion’s Mane Mushroom Supplements for Dogs & Cats

There is much debate on what makes a good functional mushroom supplement once you decide to incorporate these amazing fungi into your pet’s holistic diet. Whether the product is safe for our pets to consume, whether it is from mycelium or fruit body, or whether it is sourced from a reputable company. To help clear up any confusion, we will outline some basic tips to look for when deciding to incorporate a quality Lion’s Mane Mushroom supplement.

Look for “Full Spectrum” or Mycelium & Fruit Body Mushroom Supplements

Earth Buddy functional mushroom supplements containing Lion's mane medicinal mushrooms for dogs and cats.
The data shows that both the fruiting body and mycelium (which is the living organism before and after the life cycle of the fruit body) have beneficial compounds that can promote well-being in our pets. These products can come in a variety of forms like tinctures, powders, and mushroom capsules. It is important to note that many functional mushroom supplements for dogs and cats are merely spray dried powders with very small amounts of immunological and bioactive compounds.

Functional mushrooms, like Lion’s Mane, contain what is called “chitin” and can be a great source of dietary fiber. However, chitin is not easily digested by dogs and cats and doesn’t allow for the immunomodulating and bioactive compounds to really have an effect. This is why Earth Buddy only uses triple extracted mushrooms in our products, which will break down the chitin and allow us to concentrate these beneficial compounds.

Functional Mushrooms contain a pharmacological treasure trove of antioxidants, polysaccharides, beta glucans, and terpenoids. By using a series of extraction methods involving hot water and alcohol, we are able to concentrate and make these chemical compounds more bioavailable to pets. This also speaks to the synergistic aspect that many cultures have experienced by using these functional mushrooms for thousands of years.

Lastly, Lion’s Mane Mushroom supplements by themself are a great addition for any pet experiencing emotional distress or cognitive decline due to aging. At Earth Buddy, we include Lion’s Mane Mushrooms in all four of our mushroom supplements to provide an entourage effect promoting an overall healthy immune system and emotional balance. By including our unique five blend of mushrooms, we promote a myriad of health benefits our pets commonly display as they age. From “senioritis” to daily stress, Lion’s Mane mushrooms were a pivotal mushroom extract to add in all four of our mushroom supplements.

*make sure your mushroom supplements for dogs, cats, and your own use provide active levels of the bioactive compounds listed above and a 3rd party COA is always good too!

More Health Benefits of Lion’s Mane Mushroom for Dogs & Cats:

  • Promotes healthy cognitive function
  • Helps reduce symptoms of mild stress
  • Curtails symptoms of memory loss
  • Stimulates growth and repair of nerve cells
  • May reduce free radical damage
  • Provides antioxidants
  • Promotes a sense of relaxation and mental alertness without drowsiness
  • Supports the immune system
  • Enhances senior dog and cat brain function
    Lion's mane mushroom used in Earth Buddy pet supplements. Read about lion's mane benefits here.

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