You know how people say that dogs often look like their owners? More and more research shows that it's not just external features that may be alike, but similarities are seen in physiological and anatomical workings.

From our gut microbiome, the way we age, emotions, and diseases that infect us, there is a lot that vets and doctors can solve and study together. Despite some differences, it's believed that the health approach towards humans and their companion animals are very much alike.

So when vets recommend the use of Turkey Tail for pets, it's based on a long history of use in humans. Like the Turkey Tail mushroom, medicinal mushrooms have been used in Chinese medicine for centuries, and they're finally reaching the arena of veterinary medicine.

In fact, for more than thirty years, medicinal mushrooms like Reishi, Turkey Tail, Shiitake, and Maitake have been among the hundreds of mushroom types used to treat cancer in Japan and China.

In the U.S, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have not approved the use of Turkey Tail for the treatment of medical conditions. Pet owners need to seek advice, diagnosis, or treatment from their family vet and make sure they buy a good product that has been tested. Of course, the correct dosage is another critical consideration as each pet has unique needs.

In this article, we will address Turkey Tail Mushroom dosage so that you can safely administer these medicinal fungi to your furbaby.

What is Turkey Tail Mushroom?

What is Turkey Tail Mushroom for dogs

Turkey Tail mushrooms are beautiful fanlike fungi that are found on dead logs around the world. They resemble the autumnal-colored tail of a turkey, as well as the fanlike shape. It is scientifically named Coriolus Versicolor or Trametes Versicolor, or Yun Zhi in Chinese medicine.  

Is Turkey Tail Mushroom Safe for Dogs?

Natural-based products that have pharmacological benefits are generally perceived as safer than harsh synthetic medications or treatment plans. Chemotherapy has harsh side effects and can leave patients depleted of robust immune cells. For this reason, immunomodulators like Turkey Tail mushrooms are being used more and more, with an annual increase rate of 8.6% in humans. 

Similarly, pet parents are eager to try natural options for their pets, and since animal studies for Turkey Tail have shown safe use, all that's needed now is the nod of approval from your vet.

Health Benefits of Turkey Tail

Turkey Tail contains protein-bound polysaccharide-K (PSK) and polysaccharopeptides (PSP). These beta-glucan active compounds are used in combination or as alternative medicine for the following health benefits:

Cancer Treatment and Cancer Fighting

Polysaccharides in Turkey Tail may act as biological response modifiers in cancer treatment. BRMs, also called immunomodulators, are substances from living organisms used to treat diseases by stimulating the immune system to fight the disease-causing cells.

Clinical trials have reported exciting results of improved survival time, pain relief, and enhanced immune function in 70-97% of cancer patients with gastric cancer, colorectal cancer, esophagus cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, and ovary cancer.

Polysaccharide-K is a direct inhibitor of the growth and spread of cancer cells in women (or dogs) with mammary and breast cancer. When used as immunomodulating therapy treatment with chemotherapy and radiation, PSK and PSP improved the wellbeing of cancer patients in many ways, namely body weight, immune function, tumor-related discomfort, and prolonged survival.

Immune Boosting

We have already mentioned the immune-boosting ability of Polysaccharides in Turkey Tail mushroom. The benefit of these abilities serves to fight cancer cells and activate vital components that form a part of the immune system.

Natural killer cells are lymphocytes that fight infections and diseases that enter the body. The presence of polysaccharides encourages their potent ability to stabilize a healthy immune system. 

Decreases Oxidative Damage

When your dog is reaching their senior years, many diseases start to rear their heads. In this stage, the addition of Turkey Tail mushroom supplements can provide the boost that their immune system needs. Turkey Tail contains potent antioxidants, which serve the body by protecting it against oxidative stress (a common reaction to radiation therapy or chemotherapy).

Gut Health and Urinary Tract Health

If your dog regularly has gut health issues and you're often cleaning up after them, you may be considering the addition of a Pre+ Probiotic. Probiotics are healthy gut bacteria that are vital to the healthy function of the digestive system. Probiotics naturally occur in the body, but they rely on us to feed our dog's a healthy diet that includes prebiotic foods.

Good news: Turkey Tail mushrooms are prebiotic foods. 

Prebiotic foods contain insoluble fibers that are indigestible. These carbohydrates make it to the colon and are a food source for probiotics.

By giving your pet Turkey Tail mushroom supplements, you feed the healthy gut microbiome and ensure that your pet has a healthy gut. A healthy and functional gut impacts digestion, weight loss, skin health, allergies, and more. 

Control Yeast Growth

Medicinal mushrooms have antifungal and antibacterial abilities. The health benefits of Turkey Tail extract help the body to fight yeast overgrowth and infection. Yeast infections range from mild to severe and can cause itchiness, hot spots, ear infections, and hair loss. It's an irritating condition that often stems from causative disease. 

Turkey Tail mushrooms may help prevent yeast infections by promoting a healthy gut and boosting immune response. 

Turkey Tail Mushroom Side Effects

The National Cancer Institute has reported that with such long-standing use in Japan, it's promising to see that few side effects of PSK and PSP have been reported.

Turkey Tail Mushrooms are considered safe, but since all dogs respond differently to products, there have been some adverse reactions. Side effects may include:

  • Diarrhea, vomiting, or both – these side effects could be an indication of an allergic reaction. 

  • Contraindication for human or pet patients receiving bone marrow transplants.

  • Adverse reactions in the liver.

  • Hypoglycemic effects display weakness, anxiety, heart palpitations, and confusion in dogs. 

  • Low blood pressure.

  • Overdose can lead to toxicity or bowel problems.

Before adding Coriolus Versicolor to your doggy's diet, make sure you've invested in a high-quality product. You also want to seek the medical advice of your vet so that they can monitor your pet if taking Turkey Tail mushroom is part of their treatment plan.

How to Give Your Dog Turkey Tail Mushroom 

How to Give Your Dog Turkey Tail Mushroom

Before you add a Turkey Tail supplement to your virtual shopping cart, speak to your vet. If your pet has cancer symptoms or any underlying disease, an expert should be your first stop. Turkey Tail mushrooms cannot treat, cure or prevent diseases. Only your family vet should give medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment plan options. 

Turkey Tail mushrooms are edible, although their bitter taste and leathery texture have led people to consume them as a tea. With the evolution of medicine, powdered Turkey Tail supplements, tinctures, or capsules are available for humans and their pets. 

Some tips:

  • Never give your pet raw Turkey Tail mushrooms as they can irritate your pet's liver or cause toxicity. Dogs don't have the correct enzymes that digest the fiber in mushrooms, so supplements are a better choice. You can find a pet-appropriate supplement that manufacturers have flavored for your doggy's palate. 

  • You can cook Turkey Tail mushrooms for your pet. Steer away from added ingredients, though, and make sure to identify the mushroom type with an expert. Foraging may be fun, but not if it harms your pet. 

  • Powder supplements, Turkey Tail extract, or chews may be a better choice for your pet as they have been tested for safety. Depending on your pet, you can give your pet the Turkey Tail mushroom supplement as is, sprinkled over their food or between meals. 

  • Make sure you follow the manufacturer dosage guidelines for your pet's weight. 

Turkey Tail Mushroom Dosage Recommendations

You can give Turkey Tail mushrooms to your pet as a stand-alone supplement or as part of a treatment plan to boost the immune system. 

Turkey Tail mushroom dosage per day will vary depending on the accompanying ingredients in the mushroom supplement you choose to buy. Some manufacturers will combine a few medicinal mushroom types for potent immune-boosting ability. 

Your dog's weight and health needs can also impact the dosage allowance. Speak to your vet if your dog will be taking turkey tail extract with any other treatment. Contraindications need to be considered. 

Dosage Frequency

Pet owners can give Turkey Tail mushrooms to their pets daily. It's essential to follow the dosage guidelines on the label and make sure the formula is for pets and not humans. Dosage measurements for pets will be according to their weight. 

For example, our Honest Paws Turkey Tail and mushroom supplement prescribes the following doses for your four-legged friend:

  • Less than 25 lbs – half a scoop per day

  • 25 - 50 lbs – one scoop per day

  • Over 50 lbs – two scoops per day

  • Or as recommended by your vet

When to Give Your Dog Turkey Tail

You can give your pet Turkey Tail every day. If they show sensitivity to a total dose for their weight, then you can give them half their daily dose in the morning and the other half later in the day. When adding natural supplements to your pet's wellness routine, start with a small amount and gradually increase it to ensure tolerance.

If your pet is undergoing chemotherapy, Turkey Tail extract may ease its symptoms. Please speak to your vet about whether your pet needs a higher dose while their immune system takes the strain. 

What to Look for in Your Turkey Tail Mushroom Supplement

What to Look for in Your Turkey Tail Mushroom Supplement

You want the very best for your pet. Blindly trusting natural products without checking their list of ingredients can leave your pet worse off. Turkey Tail mushrooms have many health benefits, so you don't want to buy a product that will compromise their wellness. 

Tick off this "must-have" checklist when buying Trametes Versicolor mushroom products for your pet:

Fruiting Body

When a supplement says that it's used the "fruiting body" of the Turkey Tail mushroom, it refers to the entire body of the mushroom. The whole mushroom body is dried out and powdered. The fruiting body has a richer source of antioxidants and is the favored choice over products that say they contain the mycelium only. 

Mycelium supplements only use the root of the mushroom and typically contain fewer beta-D-glucans. 

Ideally, you want at least 30% of beta-glucans in the mushroom supplement blend.  

Organic

Just because it's natural doesn't mean it's organic. Look for a product that is non-GMO, free of bacteria, heavy metals, and pesticides. 

Allergen-Free

Does the Turkey Tail product contain fillers? If yes, then keep searching for a good product for your pet. You want a supplement free of fillers like corn, soy, dairy, or unnecessary starches like grains or cereals. 

Turkey Tail for Your Furry Friend

Turkey Tail for Your Furry Friend

The medicinal mushroom Turkey Tail may be the most significant addition to your pet's wellness care. Whether your dog needs support for its immune system or it's facing the daunting symptoms of chemotherapy, Turkey Tail may prolong its life expectancy, boost natural killer cells, reduce inflammation, and more. With health benefits like these, it's worth passing it by your vet and considering it for your furry companion. 

For Turkey Tail to be a safe and helpful addition to your pet's life, you need to give them the correct dose. Always choose a product that is safe, organic and lists dosage guidelines. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is turkey tail mushroom safe for dogs?

Turkey Tail Mushrooms are considered safe, but since all dogs respond differently to products, there have been some adverse reactions. Speak to your vet if your dog responds with vomiting or diarrhea. 

How much turkey tail should I give my dog?

It's essential to follow the dosage guidelines on your pet's supplement label. Dosage measurements for pets will be according to their weight. Speak to your vet if you're unsure of how much Turkey Tail to give your pet. Turkey Tail mushrooms may cause toxicity in the event of an overdose.