The Turkey Tail Mushroom, or Coriolus Versicolor
As the name would suggest, this fungus resembles the fanned plumes of a turkey’s tail. It is a common sight in North America, mostly found on tree stumps in shaded, wooded areas. While humans do not consume the turkey tail, one of its unique protein-bounds (PSK) is being studied for its medical applications.
Dogs, on the other hand, may stand to benefit a great deal from the turkey tail, which is safe for them to eat. Containing soluble fibers that help digestion and gut health, immunity-boosting beta-glucans, and phytonutrients that support heart health, it offers an excellent addition to a dog’s diet.
And, as we mentioned above, the turkey tail features unique protein bounds – PSK, and another called PSP. While research remains in the exploratory phase, some claim these protein-bounds may have cancer fighting properties, although more research is required before definitive claims can be made.
The Shiitake Mushroom
As a result of the fact that the shiitake is a common sight in human dishes – particularly East Asian cuisine – as well as traditional medicine, this mushroom will no doubt sound a little more familiar. The shiitake grows on decaying wood – favoring warm, humid environments – and boasts a meaty texture that has made it a popular meat replacement in many contemporary plant-based (human) diets.
Shiitake is also perfectly safe for dogs to consume as part of a more comprehensive diet. They boast a wealth of amino acids, cholesterol-fighting eritadenine, and a wealth of minerals, vitamins, and enzymes that can serve your dog’s digestion, immunity, and all-round wellbeing.
Cordyceps, or Cordyceps Militaris
A little different to the other fungi mentioned in this article, cordyceps is actually a genus that features hundreds of individual species, which are parasitic to other mushrooms and, at times, insects – although they are more widely cultivated by experienced farmers these days.
While we might not hear about these fungi in everyday life, they have garnered a great deal of interest within human and animal trials in recent years. Already, scientists and researchers have spotted the potential for fighting and preventing tumours, improving liver, kidney and heart health – and, of course, offering a good does of the amino acids and B vitamins for which mushrooms are famed.
They also offer the perfect complement to other mushrooms, such as the turkey tail and shiitake, all of which are included within our Joint Support Dog Chew.