The Truth About Pet Mushroom Products Real Mushrooms

Pet parents who buy supplements have a reasonable right to expect that product names and labels accurately reflect supplement ingredients. If you buy a mushroom supplement, it should contain mushrooms, right? Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Learn how to identify a product that contains mushrooms.


There is a new trend in pet supplements whereby companies don’t sell true mushrooms. Instead, the supplements contain mycelium. The mycelium is the mushroom’s root system and it is the stage of the fungus that provides nourishment for the ultimate growth of the mushroom. When used in products, it is grown on grains like rice or oats, then this mycelium and grain mixture is dried and powdered. Some companies will label their mycelium grown on grain as containing mushrooms, which it does not. The mushroom and mycelium are two different stages of these fungi. Some of the most important benefits of mushrooms come from their beta-glucans. Mushrooms contain beta-glucans and only 2%-5% glycogen, which is an alpha glucan, or digestible starch. By contrast, mycelium on grain (MOG) products are high in alpha-glucans and low in beneficial beta-glucans.


MOG products may have post-biotic benefits. However, there’s very little evidence that they have the same beneficial properties as real mushrooms. And there have been a lot of published studies about mushroom benefits.

For example, mushrooms are commonly used as adjunctive support for conventional cancer therapy protocols. Cancer patients are often told to avoid simple sugars and complex carbohydrates, and that’s what you get with MOG products.

Many dogs are on grain-free diets. Some dogs have grain allergies or sensitivities, and MOG products aren’t appropriate for them.


It’s not always easy to tell whether a supplement contains mushrooms or MOG products, especially when the company isn’t transparent. But the following words can tip you off that a supplement contains mycelium instead of mushroom:

  • Mycelium
  • Mycelial biomass
  • Myceliated oats/rice
  • Primordia
  • Extracellular compounds

Whether mushrooms are better than MOG products or vice versa isn’t the point. Pet parents have a right to choose what fungal products to give their dogs and cats. To make the best choices, they must know what’s really in the products they buy. As such, companies that use MOG in their products should be transparent in their labeling practices. When you want to be sure you’re giving your dog or cat the real thing, opt for safe, trusted products from Real Mushrooms for Pets.



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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