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How Lion’s Mane Helps Old Dogs Stay Sharp

Commonly compared to Alzheimer’s or dementia in humans, dogs’ brains age too; this process is called canine cognitive decline (CCD) or doggy dementia. 

The first symptoms include going to the bathroom where they shouldn’t, forgetting training cues, acting disoriented, wandering aimlessly, or failing to recognize everyday objects.

Lion’s Mane, the Ultimate Brain Food

You may have heard of turkey tail, but have you heard of Lion’s mane? Lion’s mane helps old dogs stay sharp. This is because it is known for being the ultimate brain food it’s neurotrophic factors enhance the growth and survival potential of neurons -or more simply, it promotes brain growth.  

As a medicinal mushroom, lion’s mane keeps pathways forming in the brain, which: 

  1. Helps in cognitive function
  2. It helps the nervous system by supporting the hippocampus form short-term memories and keeps your dog engaged with the world.  

Various Studies that Support that Lion’s Mane Helps Brain Function in the Aging

An older study in Japan on adults aged between 50 and 80 years old found that daily consumption of lions mane for 16 weeks, let to higher scores on cognitive function scales.  

A different study on mice showed that lion’s mane supplements appeared to give them better object recognition and recognition memory.  

While another one concludes that lions mane may have the potential to treat or prevent diseases that cause a decline in cognitive health, such as Parkinsons’ disease and Alzheimer’s disease.  

Other Benefits of Lions’s Mane

Lion’s mane is good for more than just the brain. It also:

  • May have a cholesterol-lowering effect. 
  • May have a role in cancer prevention and treatment by activating apoptosis (cancer cell death) 
  • May have a role in lowering blood sugar
  • May have a role in fighting inflammation and thereby lead to a healthier heart.  
  • May help those with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • May boost immune function and encourage the growth of good bacteria in the gut. It’s a prebiotic as well as helps regenerate the intestinal lining and may prevent or repair leaky gut.  
  • May help with faster healing of wounds
  • May encourage nerve cells to grow and repair more quickly. 
  • Has anti-bacterial benefits

Risks When Taking Lion’s Mane?

Most studies have used animals and appear to be safe in moderate quantities. 

How To Feed Lion’s Mane To Dogs

Whole Food

If you can find lion’s mane from a local mushroom farmer, you can make a tea with it. Simply simmer for an hour or until the water turns a different color and cool it. You can add a teaspoon for every ten pounds your dog weighs to their food. 

You can also cook it in butter and feed it to your dog. Feed no more than the size of a dice for every ten pounds that your dog weighs.  

Tincture

Tinctures are a great option for small dogs. When using a tincture made for humans, assume that the suggested dosage is for a person that weighs 150 pounds. Adjust the dosage in accordance to your own dog’s weight.    

USDA Organic Lion’s Mane Mushroom by MaryRuth’s | Nervine Neuroprotective Herbal Liquid Drops | Non-GMO, Vegan, Alcohol Free Tincture,

Powder

There are various brands available for dogs. I find they tend to cost more. Below are some options for humans: 

Sustainably US Grown, Organic Lions Mane Mushroom Supplement (Lions Mane Concentrated 50:1 Extract), 8 Ounce (227 Serving), Freeze Dried, Supports Mental Clarity, Focus, Memory and Nervous System

KOS Organic Lions Mane Powder – Lion’s Mane Mushroom Powder – Natural Nootropic, Supports Memory & Focus, Immunity Booster – Potent Mushroom

Three Final Takeaways

Lion’s mane is a beneficial medicinal mushroom to feed aging dogs or have inflammation or cancer.  

Whole food sources are best when sourced locally.  

You can also buy them easily online and save money when you buy lion’s mane made for humans.  

Resources:

Neurotrophic properties of the Lion’s mane medicinal mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) from Malaysia

Erinacines E, F, and G, stimulators of nerve growth factor (NGF)-synthesis, from the mycelia of Hericium erinaceum

What are the benefits of lion’s mane mushrooms?

Dietary Supplementation of Hericium erinaceus Increases Mossy Fiber-CA3 Hippocampal Neurotransmission and Recognition Memory in Wild-Type Mice

The Neuroprotective Properties of Hericium erinaceus in Glutamate-Damaged Differentiated PC12 Cells and an Alzheimer’s Disease Mouse Model

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