Can I Use Mushrooms for Pet Allergies?
A few specific types of functional mushrooms have many beneficial properties that can help your pet with allergies.
Pet allergies are complicated. There isn’t always a simple solution to manage them and reduce symptoms. But some medicinal mushrooms can help to alleviate allergy symptoms in dogs and cats.
What Causes Allergy Symptoms?
Mast cells are the immune system cells that are active with allergies. Allergies trigger mast cells to release histamines, which cause the typical symptoms. This is why people with allergies commonly take antihistamines. But most human antihistamines aren’t effective for dogs and cats, and they can have side effects like drowsiness and changes in behavior.
The Best Functional Mushrooms for Pet Allergies
There’s good evidence that two mushrooms in particular can help with allergies. One of these mushrooms is Reishi. People call it the Mushroom of Immortality due to its overall beneficial properties. The other mushroom is Chaga. What’s really cool about these mushrooms is they have molecules called triterpenes. These interfere with the mast cells’ ability to release histamines. For pet allergies, Reishi and Chaga mushrooms can act like antihistamine medications without potential side effects.
Mushrooms may also be good for pet allergies because their beta-glucan compounds improve immune system function. Beta-glucans activate immune cells to produce anti-inflammatory compounds. They can help reduce the increased reactivity of the immune cells that we see with allergies.
Pet Allergies Can Be Controlled with Mushrooms Plus Traditional Remedies
Allergy symptoms can be devastating for dogs and cats. Self-injury is common because they’re always scratching their skin and licking themselves, to the point that they create lick sores or hot spots.
But allergies are complex and have many different causes, so mushrooms alone won’t likely be sufficient to help a dog or cat who’s suffering. However, combining conventional treatments for allergies with mushroom supplements will be a winning combination, and I highly recommend it. Talk to your vet or a veterinary dermatologist about your dog’s or cat’s allergies and the therapeutic choices available.
Feeding Your Dog or Cat Mushrooms
The best way to give mushrooms to your pet is as a powder or in capsules that can be given with food. Companies such as Real Mushrooms make highly concentrated standardized extracts of the functional mushrooms that have antihistaminic properties. You can get these mushroom extracts in capsules and bulk powder. The Reishi mushroom is very bitter, so you might need to give it in capsules.
I recommend basing the dose on your pet’s weight and the beta-glucan content of the mushroom. All Real Mushrooms products are standardized for beta-glucan content, and that potency is expressed on the label as a percentage. Most mushrooms have about a 25% concentration of beta-glucans. Each ¼ teaspoon of powder contains 125 mg of beta glucans, which would be good for a 40-pound dog. This is equal to 3 milligrams of beta-glucans for each pound of body weight daily. You can divide that total daily dosage into two administrations if that is easier.
It may take 2 to 4 weeks for the mushrooms to have an effect, so be patient and wait for your dog or cat to feel better.
Visit Real Mushrooms today to see their full line of functional mushrooms for pets!
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