How Functional Mushrooms Support Trained Immunity

You’ve heard about obedience and behavior training, but what about trained immunity Training is one of the first things pet parents tackle when they bring a new dog or cat into the home. It teaches them how to be good citizens in the home and keeps them safe out in the world. On the other hand, trained immunity helps keep your dog or cat safe from internal invaders that could make them sick. What’s more, you can support your fur baby’s trained immunity with functional mushrooms!

The Innate and Adaptive Immune Systems

Your pet’s immune system has two main components: the adaptive immune system and the innate immune system. These work together to protect your dog or cat from viruses, bacteria, and antigens (including allergens).

The adaptive immune system isn’t found in all animals. Adaptive immunity is built up as an animal’s immune system meets new invaders and learns to defend against them. The immune system remembers the invader for a long time so it can better protect the body in the future.

And then there’s the innate immune system (also called the non-specific immune system). All animals are born with an innate immune system, which includes things like skin and mucous. Innate immunity provides a rapid response to an invader even if the immune system hasn’t encountered it before. However, the innate immune system doesn’t usually carry an immunological memory of these invaders.

Dogs and Cats Also Benefit from Trained Immunity

Trained immunity happens when the immune system meets an invader, and the interaction triggers certain cellular changes. The innate immune system gains an immunological memory of the exposure.

The innate immune system is then able to recognize invaders using pattern recognition receptors (PRR). Thanks to PRRs, trained immunity can give your dog or cat greater protection and a stronger defense against invaders. What’s more, trained immunity also helps to regulate the gut microbiome.

Functional Mushrooms and Trained Immunity

Functional mushrooms can promote trained immunity in your dog or cat, making their immune system faster and more effective. That’s because functional mushrooms contain a high concentration of beta-glucans. Beta-glucans are soluble fibers that may support heart health, the immune system, and the gut.

When you give your dog or cat the daily recommended amount of mushroom beta-glucans according to their weight and condition, over time, the beta-glucans will help to support trained immunity. As a result, your dog’s or cat’s immune system will become more vigilant and effective against pathogens and antigens.

Real Mushrooms has a large selection of the highest-quality functional mushroom extracts that support the health and well-being of our companion animals. Visit Real Mushrooms today to find the best organic mushroom extracts for your fur babies!


Renke, G., Baesso, T., Paes, R., Renke, A. β-Glucan “Trained Immunity” Immunomodulatory Properties Potentiate Tissue Wound Management and Accelerate Fitness Recovery. (2022) ImmunoTargets and Therapy:11 pp 67-73.


Robert J. Silver, DVM, MS, CVA

Dr. Robert J. Silver is a 1982 graduate of Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. He has pioneered the use of diet, herbs and nutraceuticals in his small animal integrative practice in Boulder, Colorado for the past 25 years. He writes and speaks both domestically and internationally to veterinary audiences on the value of blending holistic modalities with conventional medicine, and is a consultant to the pet food industry. He is also the Chief Medical Officer of Real Mushrooms for Pets.

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