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Benefits of Mushrooms for Pet Health on Tripawd Talk Radio #126

You’ve probably heard about the benefits of mushrooms for pet health (and people, too). But exactly how do mushrooms helps dogs and cats or people? What’s the best way to buy a mushroom product? Are some mushrooms better than others? And just what do yaks and ants have to do with mushroom propagation? Today on Tripawd Talk Radio, you’ll find out!

Tripawd Talk share the benefits of mushrooms for pet health with Doc Rob from Real Mushrooms

Today we sit down with Real Mushrooms veterinary expert, Dr. Robert Silver, DVM MS. Join us as he shares his extensive knowledge about the potent benefits of whole mushroom products and beta-glucans for pets, especially dogs and cats undergoing cancer treatment.

With over 40 years of experience, Dr. Rob is a pioneer in integrative veterinary medicine, having established one of the first integrative vet clinics in the U.S. and now lends his expertise to Real Mushrooms Pet Products.

This episode is not sponsored nor monetized in any way. We’re sharing this information because we want you to make the best and most informed decisions you can when it comes to cancer care or healthy choices for your pet.

Learn About the Benefits of Mushrooms for Pet Health

Download the podcast, watch the YouTube video below, or dive into the full transcript. Here’s what you will learn:

Mushrooms as a Potent Health Treatment

Learn about the efficacy of medicinal mushrooms, especially products guaranteed for beta glucan potency. Discover the historical and clinical evidence for mushrooms like Turkey Tail, Reishi, and Cordyceps. Learn how they may help pets and people with cancer by boosting immunity and complementing treatments like chemotherapy and radiation.

How to Choose Quality Mushroom Products

Did you know that many “mushroom” products don’t even have actual mushrooms in them? Dr. Rob explains why you should avoid products that are technically not mushrooms, but mushroom mycelium grown on grain.

Why Mushrooms and Cannabis are Similar

Dr. Silver also highlights the parallels between mushroom and cannabis therapies. He explains the different mushroom forms like powders, capsules, and dog chews. And he shares why his formulations have complementary herbs and amino acids that improve conditions ranging from anxiety to cancer.

And finally, you’ll learn how to give your dog real mushrooms to eat!

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Meet Dr. Robert Silver, DVM, MS

After graduating in 1982 from Colorado State’s College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr Silver established one of the first integrative vet clinics in the USA in Boulder, Colorado. Since then, he has become nationally recognized for his expertise in veterinary herbal and nutraceutical medicines, medicinal mushrooms, veterinary CBD and cannabis therapeutics.

Dr. Silver is a published author, and peer reviewed nutraceutical expert. He now brings 40 years of clinical practice to the Real Mushrooms Science Team – helping treat small and large animals with botanical therapies and medicinal mushrooms.

Watch “The Benefits of Mushrooms for Pet Health” on YouTube

Listen on YouTube

Read the Transcript with Real Mushrooms’ Dr. Rob

TRIPAWDS: [00:02:28] Doctor Rob, I’m so happy to have you here. This is Rene from Tripawds and we have been huge fans of your work for a long time, so thank you for being here.

DR. ROB: [00:02:37] Oh, I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

TRIPAWDS: [00:02:39] What made you get into this area? I knew you as the veterinary cannabis expert. So, how are they connected and when did you start with this, field?

DR. ROB: [00:03:26] Well, actually, my my interest in mushrooms predated my interest in cannabis. But the problem has been that until recently, really, maybe the last ten years, there really haven’t been any credible products available that could be adapted for use in pets. Most of it were Chinese herbal extracts of the mushrooms themselves that have been hot water extracted, but not the individual mushrooms, and no standardization of them.

I’m very aware of this incredible upsurge of interest in by pet parents, by people for themselves with medicinal mushrooms, as well as with the psychotropic psilocybin. In fact, oftentimes when I tell people I’m working with a mushroom company, they kind of wink at me and go, ‘Oh, yeah, we know those ‘shrooms,’ But it’s we’re really not dealing with those kinds of mushrooms. I had worked with the company I’m with now, Real Mushrooms and their parent company, Nomex, when I was creating a mushroom product for RX Vitamins.

DR. ROB: [00:04:59] Because there’s been a shift CBD’s not such a big deal anymore. But mushrooms are huge and I always try to go where the interest is. And so I so that’s kind of what got my got me going with it.

I went to Real Mushrooms. I said, ‘Would you like me to create a pet line for you, just like I did with RX Vitamins?’ And they said, ‘Yeah, we’ve been thinking about it. We were actually wanting to get started, to get started on it, but glad to have you join us.’ I’m now with Real Mushrooms. I’ve been with them for two, two and a half years developing products.

We’ve got a lot more products in the pipeline. I have a partner, in this in the pet space with me, Joni Kamlet, who is ten years with a company called Standard Process. She’s also very knowledgeable about mushrooms and supplements and pets. She’s a vet tech, and so between us, we’re doing just an incredible job of marketing. Getting the word out there, getting on podcasts, going to conferences, going to these pet expos that are being put on by Doctor Judy or, you know, other places like that to get the word out and to promote the sale of our products.

We believe that the quality of our products surpasses anything else in the marketplace.

TRIPAWDS: [00:06:15] What makes these, these medicinal mushrooms so powerful in helping pets, and how has that been proven along the way?

DR. ROB: [00:07:04] Okay, so there is not enough studies in pets and that’s because there’s not the studies are costly, you know, and there has to be that financial inducement for it.

What do studies say about the benefits of mushrooms for pet health?

The only studies that we really have with mushrooms are by companies that have products that they were testing. And one company was testing an extract of the Turkey Tail mushroom in a very nasty disease in dogs called hemangiosarcoma, which is cancer of the spleen. Another company was testing the maitake mushroom in a variety of different cancer lines in dogs and found that the lymphoma line was most sensitive to that.

So, there’s one clinical trial in with the maitake in lymphoma, which didn’t really work out so well because they didn’t do a good selection of their subjects. They chose dogs that would that could survive maybe for two weeks end stage. Not a good time to start a natural therapy as natural therapies take time and you might not. And the cancer might be progressing so rapidly and aggressively that it’s not going to matter what you give them unless you can downsize that cancer growth.

Sometimes the only tool we have is a harsh, conventional therapy that’s mildly toxic to the body as a whole and more toxic to the cancer. And sometimes you have to bite the bullet. But that’s also a choice for the pet parent to make. And that’s a very individual choice. that’s based on on their belief system, their, their religion, their every, you know, a whole host of, of decision making factors that as a veterinarian, I would help them to make that decision, but I would never make that decision for them.

TRIPAWDS: [00:08:52] We have had some members use Turkey Tail quite a bit. I think it was a Cornell study that you were referring to?

DR. ROB: [00:09:29] Pennsylvania University.

TRIPAWDS: [00:09:31] Upenn. Okay. Yes.

DR. ROB: [00:09:33] There’s two studies in the Turkey Tail mushroom extract, in Hemangiosarcoma, both of them published through the University of Pennsylvania. And and here’s how the deal works.

A company, a researcher in China created a unique extract from the mycelium of the Turkey Tail mushroom that was growing in a liquid culture. And from this, because the Turkey Tail mushroom historically has been the most powerful mushroom for treating cancer, and the pharmaceutical industry has found that they can take the mycelium and they can they can cultivate it in liquid culture. They can extract from it single molecules, which is what the basis is of most.

Science wants to have one single molecule to measure and study, because it’s it’s clear what the results are.

The Turkey Tail, mushroom itself, the mushroom fruiting body. The mushroom contains maybe 17 different beta glucan compounds. Beta glucans are these special polymers of sugar molecules that signal our immune system to wake up and take care of the cancer, take care of infection, take care of inflammation, take care of pain. A lot of it has many, many different functions in the body.

And it’s these beta glucans that really are the secret sauce in mushrooms. But there are other, other, equally powerful different categories of molecules in the mushroom as well, which are also equally powerful against cancer.

Getting back to the story, so they were able to extract the single, the single beta glucan molecule that was enhanced with a little bit of a protein molecule attached to it.

DR. ROB: [00:11:15] They started using that for studies in the mid 1980s. And and because it is a single molecule, all research since the mid 1980s on Turkey tail really is on this extract called PSP. And the product created by this Chinese company that’s for sale in the US that people are using for hemangiosarcoma, but also for many other types of cancer, including osteosarcoma. It is called PSP and the trade name of the product is called I’m-Yunity. And it’s quite costly, maybe not as costly as chemo and certainly not as costly as death, but nonetheless it is it large animal which oftentimes we see burdened with osteosarcoma anyway. You know, it can be pricey, but you know, for many people price is not an object. Unfortunately for some it is. And that’s, you know, that’s part of the inequity of the world we live in, you know, unfortunately.

So, the reason why they chose the mycelium of the Turkey Tail is because the Turkey Tail mushroom has been so powerful historically. But not in controlled studies like we now look at with the gold standard. Historically, anecdotally, culturally, it has been used for that as well as other mushrooms like Chaga, for instance, which is which grows up where you guys are in the north as well.

DR. ROB: [00:12:35] I think that the Turkey Tail mushroom and I actually have a case that I report in a book that I’m soon to be publishing called “There’s a Mushroom for That.” I actually think that the Turkey Tail mushroom itself can be more powerful than the single extract. There’s 17 different molecules, all of which hit it in a different way. Plus, the other ingredients that are in mushrooms are called terpenes.

You mentioned about the similarity between cannabis and mushrooms. There’s a big similarity because they both have they both are powerful. They both are repositories of powerful ingredients. And many of the ingredients are of the same categories, like in cannabis. We’ve got terpenes like linalool from lavender, which is calming. Or from limonene, from lemon, which is uplifting and anti-depressive, but those are very small molecules, which is why we can smell them when we smell the marijuana.

They’re very volatile in the mushroom. They’re very large terpenes that aren’t volatile, that are actually extracted through a hot water extraction process. And these terpenes also have anti-cancer properties. You take the beta glucans, you take the anti-cancer properties of the terpenes, and you just don’t have one of each of them, you’ve got 17 of one, you’ve got 20 of the other.

DR. ROB: [00:14:01] I think the Turkey Tail mushroom dosed appropriately, which is pretty freaking high for an animal, I think we’ll have equal success. I have this one case of a dog with Hemangiosarcoma. They remove the spleen because this disease keeps hemorrhaging and bleeding into the belly. Kind of like they remove the leg to remove the pain with osteosarcoma. Generally, by the time they remove the spleen or they remove the leg, the metastasis has already happened.

Anyway, so, this dog, the owners refused to do the surgery to remove the spleen. I’ve never had a case like that before because the spleen is like a time bomb. But their thinking was if the dog only has a month or two to live, why should we subject it to this? And I think you get the same questions when you talk about, you know, osteosarcoma and amputating. I recommend amputation in osteosarcoma because it takes the pain away unless you have an alternate way of relieving that pain. Because I think the pain is big and they suffer with that. At the same time, there’s some thought that maybe amputating increases the risk of metastasis. I’ve heard that as well. I just haven’t seen the controlled studies that support it.

But there is that question mark, you know. So I put the dog on a huge dosage of Turkey Tail from Real Mushrooms.

DR. ROB: [00:15:33] We standardize our mushrooms to the beta glucan content so you know how to dose it. And to get the kind of potency, I also put the dog on cannabis. I put it on THC and CBD together for their anti-cancer properties, and a number a ketogenic diet and a number of other anti-cancer, efforts. And for this dog, vitamin D, so on and so forth.

The dog lived well. I mean, it lived really well. It was running around, it was eating. They were just really happy. For eight months. It would have these episodes where it would run too much, be too, too much, and it would cause the spleen to bleed, and it would have to be down for a few days until it got better. And then eventually that’s what took it down. Eight months, nine months later into the process, the dog finally did something that wasn’t reparable and we had to let it go. I think if we had, you know, removed that spleen, I think the dog could very well still be alive today.

That’s where mushrooms can have an effectiveness for cancer.

DR. ROB: [00:16:44] We also find that that multiple mushrooms together are more synergistic than a single mushroom alone. So, Turkey Tails, a great mushroom for cancer, but so is Reishi. is Chaga, so is Shiitake, so is Maitake. And so are many, many others.

What Real Mushrooms has done is to take those five that I’ve just mentioned, the five most researched mushrooms for cancer and put them into one formula. It’s called Five Defenders, which is our single most popular mushroom product.

TRIPAWDS: [00:17:22] You know, I have to say, I was really impressed with the Real Mushrooms information that they have on their website. I downloaded their e-book, Functional Mushrooms for Pets … Excellent book! You put a bunch of really cool recipes in there for people to try. How did you come up with those?

DR. ROB: [00:18:30] Well, some of those were shared with me by a Canadian woman, named … I’ve forgotten her name [Suzy Beber, ed.]. But, some of those were shared with me by her. She’s been big in doing that. She has the Blue Skies Foundation up there in Ontario, which is which, which provides, support for cancer, families, cancer patient families at the veterinary college in at Ontario.

DR. ROB: [00:18:58] Susie Beber! and she’s got a website. You can search for her that way. She’s done some wonderful, wonderful philanthropic work. for pets with cancer. She was stimulated by her own golden retriever’s cancer. That happened at the same time as her father had cancer. It was traumatic for her. She’s experienced her own her own medical issues through her life, but she’s doing a wonderful job.

She shared those recipes with us. And, and we’re, you know, and the company itself, Real Mushrooms were big on eating mushrooms. We’re big on foraging mushrooms. And so we, we publish, you know, on our blogs, on our newsletters, recipes, things like that.

It really is the company’s offerings in terms of their their education, in terms of their blogs and information, their recipes. You know, they’re one of the, the largest companies in the world that does this, quite frankly. And I’m really happy to be with them because it gives me so many resources to work with and, and allows me to touch so many more lives with my message.

TRIPAWDS: [00:20:05] What what should we be looking for in a mushroom product? What what makes Real Mushrooms stand out from others that, you know, we that they may not have? What kind of ingredients and things.

DR. ROB: [00:20:49] There are two methods right now in the industry for creating a, a fungal product. and I say fungal product because one product contains nothing but the mushroom. And the mushroom is that stalk and the cap, you know, or that, that, you know, that Turkey Tail growing on the tree or whatever, that’s the mushroom.

But underneath the mushroom is something called mycelium. Mushrooms have a life cycle. It’s a three part life cycle starts with the spores, which are like sperm and ova, which when they are released from the mushroom. They then germinate and then the germinate into these little thin tubes. And one tube is a female, one tube is a male or positive or negative. The tubes have to be have to mate in order to create the mycelium and then the tubes mate to create this mycelium which is the vegetative part of the mushroom life cycle.

And the mycelium creates all of these strong enzymes that digest the material they’re growing on and nourish themselves through those digestive enzymes. Some of the most powerful digestive enzymes for human use come from fungi as well. The mycelium has a lot of positive properties of its own.

DR. ROB: [00:22:06] That’s where we get that PSP, you know, from the Turkey Tail. It’s from the mycelium. But these companies are growing their mycelium on grain. And so the difference is the PSP product was mycelium grown in liquid culture. We can separate the two and extract the good stuff from it.

In a mycelium grown on grain, you can’t separate the mycelium from the grain, and the amount of grain in there dilutes the active ingredients. And it’s established fact. There’s peer reviewed, published articles on that topic. I even did a study where I pulled at random ten products off the internet that were labeled for pets as Turkey Tail. We analyzed them to see if they contain mushroom. Or did they contain grain starch? Because that would be mycelium that had grown on grain. Many dogs avoid grain for whatever reasons they might have. And we’re using a mushroom if it’s a cancer patient because it has potency against cancer. Why would you take a product that is not a mushroom? Or maybe only has 1 or 2 little mushrooms in it, you know, less than half a percent?

DR. ROB: [00:23:20] That doesn’t have the same potency if you’re wanting to help your your poor pet with cancer. That’s why it’s important to look at the mushroom label on the bottle and make sure it doesn’t say anything like mycelium or biomass.

When they say biomass, what they mean is grain that the mushroom grew on. There may be some medicinal value to the mycelium that grows on grain, not just because of what’s in the mycelium but also because the actual, digesting of the grain creates these secondary metabolites. We call that a postbiotic.

You’ve heard of prebiotics and probiotics? Well, a postbiotic is the killed fermentative organism and all the secondary metabolites that are derived from the substrate and it does have value does have, medical value, but it’s not a mushroom. And I don’t know how to treat cancer with postbiotics, but I know how to treat cancer with mushrooms.

I don’t want to malign other companies. We all live in the same world, I’d like us all to be friendly. But I think if you’re looking to treat your pet with cancer, you should try to find a product that guarantees its potency and beta glucans. And also contains mushrooms.

TRIPAWDS: [00:24:46] Is there any kind of lab testing that we can look for, like a COA (certificate of analysis) provided by a cannabis manufacturer?

DR. ROB: [00:24:58] There is similar I mean, we do we do see COAs as well in terms of looking at heavy metals and stuff. Like cannabis, mushrooms are phytoremediation as they concentrate materials they bring up from the soil. Yes, it’s important to do those kinds of things.

We cultivate our mushrooms and have been cultivating them for the last 30 years with under USDA organic standards in China. China is the world’s leader in mushroom cultivation technology. They 85% of all the mushrooms in the world are cultivated in China. we went so our founder went there 30, 40 years ago and and started growing there within the Chinese mushroom industry. And he actually introduced to the mushroom industry organic growing. You can now find mushrooms in China that are organically grown, as are ours.

We standardize our products to their beta glucan content. That way, the beta glucan content is a consistent potency marker for the mushroom and especially for medical people like myself. And we sell to a lot of human and veterinary practitioners. We want to know how much to give, based on what is measured potency.

DR. ROB: [00:26:21] That’s a real plus as well. When you look at the beta glucan content of a mycelium grown on grain product, you’re going to get probably somewhere on the range of, two to maybe 10% top beta glucans.

When you look at mushrooms, you might get as low as a 10%, but usually it’s more like 15 to 20% to as high as 40 to 45%. beta glucans. If you measure digestible starch, which is what I did in my study, I measured the beta glucans, and then I measured the digestible starch, which would indicate there are grain starchy starch in there. you’re going to get 2 to 5% digestible starch in a mushroom. You’re going to get, probably, you know, 30 to 60% starch in grain.

We have one we have one analysis actually had 66% digestible starch and 1.8% beta glucans in a very popular brand of mushroom, although it’s mycelium on grain product. Many pet owners are buying and giving to their pets that they think is going to be good for their kids. And, I don’t know that it would be, because I don’t really know how these postbiotics work on cancer.

TRIPAWDS: [00:27:46] Thank you for explaining that.

DR. ROB: [00:27:47] It’s a bit complicated and technical, but I think it’s important to know because it’s all about product selection. I can keep it easier for your viewers.Just go with Real Mushrooms because we because because we’re the best!

TRIPAWDS: [00:28:03] Can mushrooms conflict with any therapies like chemo? We hear from a lot of oncologists that, a pet parent should not do anything, any kind of nutritional changes during chemotherapy.

DR. ROB: [00:28:34] You know, oncologists have a very special task. They oftentimes tend to be a little more protective of their patient if they don’t really know what something is going to do to a treatment that they know what it will do. Tthey’ve got scads of statistics about what any given treatment will do for a patient who presents in a certain way. They base their treatment decisions on those statistics because they can figure, you know, that the future will recreate the history, in terms of that.

But the reality is, when you look at the evidence, there are most of the studies out there that show mushrooms being used with chemotherapy show that mushrooms improve the outcomes with chemotherapy, likewise with radiation, they don’t interfere with it.

There’s a big concern with oncologists that antioxidants could possibly interfere with the effectiveness of the chemotherapy agent or of the radiation. And there’s no evidence in the literature that I’ve been able to find that supports a problem with the use of mushrooms concurrently with radiation or chemotherapy. And in many cases, it will improve how well they do.

Plus mushrooms, the beta glucans and mushrooms have a direct effect on stem cells in the body, particularly stem cells in the bone marrow.

DR. ROB: [00:30:01] We know that radiation and chemo are going to kill the stem cells in the bone marrow or reduce their numbers. Chemo and radiation typically attack cells that are rapidly dividing and stem cells are actively dividing. So beta glucans actually stimulate more stem cells to grow. When you wind up having anemia or a really low white count secondary to the chemo or secondary to the radiation, mushrooms can help restore it to to normal levels.

Now, if you have them on the mushrooms to begin with, you’re not going to get as much destruction of the stem cells either. Mushrooms have a lot of value that oncologists need to wake up to. Many oncologists are are good with it. Veterinary oncologists, and if any are listening, I love the entire profession. I’m kind of an oncology wannabe. It’s understandable how selective you are in what your recommendations are.

In particular, I think in the veterinary realm, there just hasn’t been as much evidence as there has been in the human realm, that allows human ecologists to be more supportive of the use of mushrooms than veterinary oncologists.

TRIPAWDS: [00:31:17] What about, dogs with liver or kidney issues? Can mushrooms impact that at all?

DR. ROB: [00:31:33] Yes, they can in a very good way. There’s a great urban myth out there that mushrooms somehow have hepatotoxicity. Not true mushrooms, and kidneys as well, not true! Mushrooms are very supportive.

You we look at a mushroom called Cordyceps mushroom. A Cordyceps is a parasite that lives on, insects and and parasitizes them. Maybe you you saw that Netflix horror film about The Last of Us or something, where the cordyceps is attacking a human nervous system.

But what the Cordyceps do is the spore will live inside an ant, and somehow the myceli takes over the nervous system of the ant and makes it climb all the way to the top of a bush. And at the very top of the bush, it clamps onto it with its jaw. And at that point in time, the mushroom expands, you know, explodes out of its head and out of its body and releases spores, because the mushrooms survival is dependent on the dissemination of spores. And that’s why you see so many mushrooms up trees, because when they release their spores, they get disseminated widely by the wind.

Mushrooms that grow on the ground oftentimes are disseminated because animals eat them, and then the spores are very resistant to degradation. They poop them out and they grow. They grow somewhere else and sauced with the poop. They have their own nutrition as well, you know.

DR. ROB: [00:33:06] The Cordyceps are going to be very supportive of of kidney function and lung function. We know that it’s good for asthma cats, which, don’t oftentimes get osteosarcoma or probably are not very many cat owners on this talk. But cats typically are big problem, have big problems with kidney disease, and so it can help to give it to a cat early on as a way of helping to protect it, because it’s also been shown to be renal protective. If there’s if there’s kidney toxins, it can help to protect against that.

We see asthma as well as an imbalance between the kidney and the lungs. And so Cordyceps has a long history of helping with cough, helping with asthma. It also has been known to help with, with energy and activity and performance and stamina.

It’s also an adaptogen. It helps to reduce stress because it helps to support the adrenal glands and the pituitary gland, the hypothalamic pituitary axis, which is involved in the stress response.

It also has an influence on stimulating testosterone production as well as a beta 17 estradiol production. It has an influence on both fertility and libido. So the wild Cordyceps that grows on the steppes of Bhutan, Tibet, and Nepal is wild crafted and collected. You have to crawl on the ground to see the little monkey coming up. There’s their chart. They’re selling that for 15 to $20,000 a kilo because it’s it’s considered to be an aphrodisiac. And because of its effect on testosterone, it probably is.

And, you know, there’s an interesting story. This is another digression.

TRIPAWDS: [00:34:50] Please do. Please.

DR. ROB: [00:34:52] Okay. The indigenous people that would wild craft and collect the Cordyceps, you know, by kind of crawling along the ground in the springtime. The yak herders in that part of the world would notice that in the spring time, after the after the tundra had softened, that the yak would use their hooves to break through the tundra so that they could graze on the grass that grows underneath.

Well, growing in the grass underneath the tundra shell. Also are these mushrooms that are coming up, these Cordyceps mushrooms. They would graze on the Cordyceps mushrooms, which was also known to these yak herders. And shortly after the yaks would go into season, they’d start running, they’d start mating. And so that’s where they got the original idea that Cordyceps had some influence on both, sexual activity and fertility.

TRIPAWDS: [00:35:46] If people want to go out and try medicinal mushrooms, obviously we want them to go to Real Mushrooms. But what is the best way to introduce the product to the pet?

DR. ROB: [00:36:37] Mushrooms are food. Most of them are food. We’re really talking about superfoods. You can certainly feed your pet edible mushrooms. Nothing wrong with that. But they do need to be cooked. Mushrooms have a very, very fibrous, cell wall that’s made up in part by the beta glucans and in part by something called chitin. We also see chitin in the hard exoskeleton, shells of lobsters and crabs. Chitin is a precursor for glucosamine.

By the way, when mushrooms are eaten, the bacteria and the bowel convert it into a form of glucosamine that actually helps with leaky gut and helps to restore tight junctions and things like that. So you can cook them, you need to cook them at least for 15 minutes.

Best if you make like a stew or something like that, to kind of boil them for or keep them at nearly boiling temperatures for a couple of hours to break down the cell wall. I like to dice them up really small when I’m cooking them, so they cook through more thoroughly and, you know, they’re kind of slimy when you eat them.

If they’re smaller, they’re, I think, better digested. But in terms of starting an animal on a mushroom, you know, if it’s just for wellness, you know, I would go with, you know, with a blended product that would have multiple mushrooms in it, like the Real Mushrooms’ Five Defenders. It comes in a capsule form, and in a bulk powder.

DR. ROB: [00:38:03] The powder may be a little bit, bitter, or sour, depending on your taste buds and your palatability. And not all pets are going to accept the powder. Not all pets are going to be easy to give a capsule to, it’s a human sized capsule.

We also have smaller sized capsules for pets, we’ve got pet labeled bottles. But you know, for large dogs, you probably want to use a larger capsule, or you’d want to see if they would take the powder.

if you’re not treating them for wellness, but for cancer or something, that way you can escalate the dosage. But I also put together a soft chew, which is a very, which is one of the most popular dosage forms these days for supplements and for drugs.

And so we’ve got the Five Defenders in this soft chew. I’ve also put a couple of herbs that have immune benefit like astragalus and ashwagandha. It’s got blueberry powder. It’s got olive leaf extract as well. And it’s very palatable. And we sell quite a bit of it.

So, so there’s three different ways that you can get started with that one. I also have another soft chew for pets who are a bit anxious. You know, those little Chihuahuas who, you know, who drink too much, espresso! It contains the Reishi mushroom and a mushroom called Lion’s Mane. And we haven’t really talked about Lion’s Mane. We probably should. it’s it’s less it’s it’s less used for cancer and more used for cognition and stress.

DR. ROB: [00:39:37] The mushroom chews have the Lion’s Mane and the Reishi, but I’ve also put some amino acids that are calming in it, like tryptophan and theanine and taurine. I also have catnip in it, and I also have valerian. It’s a big formula, valerian and passionflower and lemon balm. We call it a chill pill. It’s very calming. One of the things I’ve been working with is I’ve been working with blending, mushrooms with cannabis and, and to their advantage, to the advantage of both.

In fact, I have my own brand of CBD product. It’s a it’s a 2 to 1 CBD:CBG ratio in a broad spectrum tincture (that means zero THC). I’ve also included the Cordyceps mushroom, because I think the Cordyceps is a good daily mushroom to take for protection of organs and for stress and stuff. And the Lion’s Mane, which is also good for stress and cognition and meditation. I call those the Silver Dog and Silver Cat treats. The use of Lion’s Mane together with CBD is is more potent than either one of them alone. It’s that’s one reason I put those together in the soft chews.

Real Mushrooms. It’s a Canadian company and they don’t really want to mess with CBD, it’s too complicated. Their their formulas are just straight mushrooms and herbs.

TRIPAWDS: [00:41:12] There’s so much information here. I cannot thank you enough. I would love for you to come back some other time. And we can talk more about Lion’s Mane and other mushrooms that are powerful. I like your enthusiasm. Thank you for being here!

DR. ROB: [00:41:44] And thank you guys for having me here.

TRIPAWDS: [00:41:46] That’s a lot to digest. See what I did there? If I learned one thing, it’s that not all mushroom products on the market provide the full benefit that mature mushrooms do. don’t fall for the marketing behind popular products or follow advice you find on Facebook. Read the labels, talk with your vet, or head over to Real Mushrooms.com and check the show notes for additional recommended reading.

Do you give your dog medicinal mushrooms? Share your experiences and see what others are doing in the blogs and forums at Tripawds.com.

Resources for More Information About the Benefits of Mushrooms for Pet Health

Real Mushrooms
https://www.realmushrooms.com/

Real Mushrooms Functional Mushrooms for Pets free e-book
https://www.realmushrooms.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/Real-Mushrooms-Functional-Mushrooms-for-Pets.pdf

Doc Rob’s Administration Guidelines for Pets
https://www.realmushrooms.com/doc-robs-administration-guidelines/

Nurse Your Pet
https://nurseyourpet.com/

Well-Pet Dispensary
https://www.wellpetdispensary.com/

U Penn Turkey Tail Mushroom Study
https://penntoday.upenn.edu/news/compound-derived-mushroom-lengthens-survival-time-dogs-cancer-penn-vet-study-finds

Smiling Blue Skies Foundation (Suzi Beber)
https://www.smilingblueskies.com/

Tripawds Cannabis Corner
https://tripawds.com/tag/cannabis/

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