The importance of healthy eating is becoming more recognised among people and, as they enjoy and experience the benefits, many pet owners are exploring healthy options for their dogs.
Like people, dogs can benefit from healthy diets and there are several food items that can be enjoyed by dogs as well as humans.
But what about shitake mushrooms, can dogs eat them, are they safe for dogs?
In a nutshell, yes, they can. But… you should make sure your dog doesn’t have a history of allergies to mushrooms of any type before you feed him these delicious treats. Read on to learn more about the health benefits of eating shiitake mushroom, and how they can boost your dog’s immune system and him to stay healthy.
What are Shitake mushrooms?
The Shitake mushroom is an edible mushroom that is native to East Asia and is widely cultivated and used in cooking and medicinal products.
These mushrooms are rice in protein and are also a great source of amino acids and enzymes. They contain glucomannan which is a fibre that helps to control blood sugar levels and other substances which can help the body to resist parasites and viral infections.
The mushroom is named from the native Shi tree where is is found growing and from ‘take’ which means mushroom in Japanese.
Are Shitake mushrooms safe to eat for dogs?
According to Dr. Justine A. Lee, DVM, DACVECC, writing in Pet Health Network, shop bought mushrooms, including Shitake mushrooms, are safe for dogs to eat.
The prime things to remember, however, is that we often cook mushrooms with various oils, sauces and other ingredients which can be harmful to your dog if these are fed.
You should only serve mushrooms that are plain or that have been cooked on their own with no added ingredients.
What are the health benefits of giving Shitake mushrooms to dogs?
Shitake mushrooms have a range of qualities that make them beneficial for your dog and the nutrients that they contain can support and aid your dog’s health and wellbeing in a number of ways:
- They’re high in potassium. Potassium plays a critical role in regulating fluid in your dog’s body and is essential to life. Over 60% of your dog’s body is made up of water, and staying hydrated is vital to good health. Potassium helps with this. It supports vital functions such as the nervous system and muscles to function correctly. The nerves transmit messages from the brain to all parts of the body and enable and control the entire bodily process and functions – Shitake mushrooms can support a healthy nervous system.
- Shiitake mushrooms are high in B-vitamins. B-vitamins are essential for the development and maintenance of good health in your dog shiitake mushrooms contain good levels of the B group of vitamins. The supply of a regular and steady level of B vitamins helps your dog to enjoy life, from running and other exercise through to digestion and other bodily chemical reactions. Shitake mushrooms are a healthy and natural source of B vitamins.
- They boost the immune system. Shiitake mushrooms are thought to strengthen and support the immune system and this is true of dogs as well as humans. Research suggests that there are compounds in shiitake mushrooms that can help to reduce inflammation, resist viruses and also provide increased resistance to parasitic infections.
- They contain high levels of Vitamin D. Unlike humans, dogs cannot produce vitamin D and are reliant upon their diet to provide it. Vitamin D is important for the maintenance of strong bones and muscles and also for the support of the immune system and can aid recovery from injury.
- Shiitake mushrooms contain trace elements and minerals. Dogs need trace elements and minerals in small amounts to help maintain good health. Shitake mushrooms contain a wide variety of trace elements that are vital for dogs and will help him to have healthy skin, eyes, coat and will also support other areas.
- Dried shiitake mushrooms have a wonderful smoky flavour and a meaty texture
- A delicious addition to just about any recipe
- A source of high quality protein
- Also a significant source of minerals and vitamins
How many Shitake mushrooms should you give to your dog
Shitake mushrooms should not make up more than 10% of your dog’s meal.
Like all new foods you should introduce mushrooms gradually to your dog’s diet and in small amounts.
Keep a close eye on your dog for any signs of upset tummy or other reaction and stop feeding if you see anything unusual.
Safe Ways to Feed Shitake Mushrooms to Your Dog
There is not too much to think about when giving Shitake mushrooms to your dog. The key things to remember are to not add any extra ingredients and to not feed too often or too many.
Shitake mushrooms are often dried when bought and they can be reconstituted by soaking in warm water.
- Place chopped mushrooms in a frying pan with a small amount of water. Allow the mushrooms to cook in the liquid making sure that they don’t dry out and burn.
- You can also fry the mushrooms with a small amount of vegetable oil.
- Allow the mushrooms to cool fully and mix them into your dog’s food.
Dogs can eat Shitake mushrooms. They can provide a wide range of dietary benefits to dogs and can support the development and maintenance of a healthy immune system.
When feeding Shitake mushrooms to dogs they should be cooked without any added ingredients and, like all new foods, should be introduced slowly into your dog’s diet.
Last update on 2021-10-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API