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  • Kara Dyko

Medicinal Mushrooms for Boxers


Alright, Boxer loving friends, I'm about to drop a fact in your lap. Did you know that medicinal mushrooms help boost your dog's immunity??


Yup, that's right! Some of the same medicinal mushrooms that work wonders on your immune system, can also keep your pup's humming along too. Mind blown...right?!


Here's how these phenomenal fungi can help your dog.


Healing Function Of Mushrooms

Mushrooms are really versatile natural plants. And they serve four major functions:

  • Prevention (dis-ease)

  • Regeneration (cells)

  • Protection (cancer, radiation)

  • Intervention (treatment)

Nutrition In Mushrooms

Mushrooms' healing abilities come from their nutritional value. They contain:

  • Minerals: potassium, selenium, sulfur, sodium, geranium, zinc, phosphorus

  • Sugars: mannitol, xylose, glucose, galactose, mannose

  • Vitamins: B complex, folic acid, pro-vitamin D

  • Protein: essential amino acids

  • Enzymes: antibacterial, proteolytic

  • Lipids: phospholipids, sterols, sterol esters, free fatty acids, mono-, di- and triglycerides

  • Polysaccharides: glycogen, beta-D-glucans, chitin

  • Essential oils: triterpenes

And just as they’re great for us, they’re great for our dogs as well. I’ve put together a list of my top favorite healing mushrooms so that you could jump into your day knowing that while you fold laundry, cook a meal, balance your checkbook (do people still do that?), or give the dog’s nails a trim—you can also learn about something rad!


Ready to boost your mind (and your dog's health) a little bit more today? Let’s dive in!


Here are the top 5 healing mushrooms for dogs - Reishi, Shitake, Maitake, Turkey Tail, & Cordyceps.


Research and ancient healing practices have shown these medicinal mushrooms can improve immune system function and have a wide range of other important health benefits for your dog. And they’re complementary- meaning they work really well together.


1. Reishi Mushrooms

Reishi mushrooms, also known at Ling Zhi, is one of the most prevalent medicinal mushrooms for pet cancer treatment because of its ability to stimulate the immune system so “killer” cells are able to control the spread of cancer. It contains anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-viral, anti-fungal and antibacterial properties, meaning it’s a good remedy for a variety of illnesses, including colds and infections.


In dogs, reishi mushrooms can …

  • Help improve heart health

  • Improve immune system function

  • Improve liver function

  • Inhibit antihistamine release

  • Improve endurance

  • Help relieve pain

Reishi mushrooms are typically used to treat:

  • Cancer

  • Heart disease

  • Arthritis

  • Allergies

  • Viral upper respiratory tract infections

  • Compromised immune systems

2. Shiitake Mushrooms

Shiitake mushrooms have 30 different enzymes and 10 amino acids. They also have minerals like calcium, zinc, magnesium, iron and selenium. And that makes them really impressive when it comes to your dog’s health (and your own for that matter). They stimulate white blood cells and improve circulation. They can also inhibit tumor growth and lower cholesterol. Use shiitake mushrooms to:

  • Reduce the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation

  • Treat Cushing’s disease

  • Help soothe bronchial inflammation

  • Regulate urinary incontinence

  • Reduce allergy symptoms

Shiitake “Detox” Broth

Make this broth for your dog and feed it during or after a fast, or if your dog isn’t eating well. You’ll need …

  • 5 dried shiitake mushrooms

  • 1 beef bone

  • ¼ cup daikon or beet root

  • ¼ cup carrot

  • 1 tsp sea salt

  • ¼ cup celery

  • ½ tsp turmeric powder

To make the broth …

  • Soak dried mushrooms to rehydrate in 1 cup of cold water overnight

  • Put bone, veggies, salt and turmeric in soup pot with 4 cups of water

  • Bring to a boil them simmer covered for about an hour

  • Add the mushrooms and water you soaked them in, simmer another hour, then remove from the heat

Give your dog 1 tsp to a tablespoon every few hours when he’s not eating.


3. Maitake Mushrooms

Maitake’s high levels of beta-glucans enhance the immune system and provide powerful anti-tumor effects. It is one of the main mushrooms used to treat cancer in pets because of its known ability to stimulate t-cells, inhibit tumor growth and restore suppressed immune functions. In addition to cancer, Maitake is beneficial to brain and nerve function, helps lower cholesterol and is useful in treating diabetes because it can help stabilize blood sugar.


Maitake means “dancing mushroom” in Japanese. These mushrooms are known to . Maitake mushrooms are good for:

  • Preventing cancer

  • Supporting the body during chemotherapy and other cancer treatment

  • Helping manage diabetes

  • Supporting dogs with liver problems

4. Turkey Tail Mushrooms

Turkey tail mushrooms are full of beta-glucan polysaccharides. These are the essential sugars in the body that aid in activating the immune system. This can help protect the body from infection and fight off disease.

Turkey tail mushrooms can:

  • Help heal pulmonary disorders

  • Treat the inflammation of the urinary and digestive tracts

  • Decrease the effects of chemotherapy and radiation

5. Cordyceps Mushrooms

Cordyceps is a life-enhancing, vitality-improving mushroom that provides powerful immune support. Like Reishi, Cordyceps can be used to treat a wide range of illnesses. Cordyceps have antifungal and antibacterial properties. They also have three protein-bound polysaccharides and several amino acids.

Studies show that cordyceps mushrooms have impressive antitumor properties. They can protect against liver and heart disease as well. Cordyceps are also good for treating:

  • Leaky gut syndrome

  • Chronic liver disorders

  • Hyper-lipedema

  • Hypercholesterolemia

  • Kidney failure

  • Cardiac arrhythmias

  • Lung carcinoma

  • Asthma

  • Geriatric disorders

The reason I'm dropping these medicinal mushrooms options right here and now is because I want you to see that there are some very accessible products to support your dog’s wellbeing and they come straight from Mother Nature herself.


I don't know about you, but I'm always intrigued by natural options that will make my dog's time here on this earth not only longer, but more fun, and full of adventure.


If you’re hungry for more and sooo ready to up-level your ‘dog parent’ game, reach out to a veterinarian practicing Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM). They'll be able to better assess what medicinal mushroom combo or herbs will work best in supporting your Boxer's health.


Head on over to American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association to locate a holistic vet in your area!

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