When it comes to choosing the best mushroom supplements for your pets, how mushrooms are grown and where they are sourced play a crucial role in their medicinal and nutritional value. While cultivated mushrooms can be grown on various mediums such as oats, rice, and sawdust, these methods often yield lower-quality mushrooms with fewer health benefits. In contrast, mushrooms grown outdoors in their natural environment, such as on logs in the forest, provide the most potent medicinal properties.

Mushrooms sourced from their natural habitat absorb key nutrients from the natural substrate they grow on, resulting in higher levels of beneficial compounds like beta-glucans and triterpenes. In addition, wild-harvested mushrooms contain fewer fillers and sugars, ensuring a purer and more effective supplement for your pets. We'll explore the different growing methods for mushrooms, comparing the advantages and disadvantages of each. Understanding how mushrooms are grown can help you make informed choices when selecting the best mushroom supplements for your furry companions.


how mushrooms are grown in nature on logs cultivated wild harvested

Mushrooms originated in nature, in the woods, without human intervention. We started growing them ourselves once humans caught on to their exceptional properties and then developed a whole supplement industry because of it!

Cultivated mushrooms are those grown in a controlled environment, away from their natural source/environment in the woods and throughout nature. Usually, this is in a greenhouse, warehouse, or even your own home.

There are many ways mushrooms can be grown in a controlled environment. There are also many options when it comes to what substrate they're grown on.

Common options for mushroom growth mediums include:

  • Oats
  • Rice
  • Logs (cut down, aka “bolts”)
  • Sawdust logs (manufactured)
  • Coffee grounds
  • Straw
  • Manure
  • Compost
  • Wood Chips
  • Agar Pellets


However, just because mushrooms can grow on these mediums does not mean the end product is the same. For the best quality end product, the mushrooms must be grown on a quality medium, ideally in the wild for the most benefits. This is because the medicinal properties of the mushrooms are fueled and synthesized by the medium they grow on.

For example, Reishi mushrooms must be grown on trees to yield their special compound- triterpenes. If not grown on a tree found in nature (they prefer to grow on dead rotting trees in the forest), these compounds are produced in meager and poor-quality amounts. For example, if reishi is grown on brown rice, the result will be a mushroom with little medicinal value.

Fungi play a vital role in maintaining a healthy ecosystem by facilitating Nutrient Cycling. Reishi primarily feeds on hardwood trees, particularly oaks, and their fallen logs, branches, and buried roots. As a saprobe (fungi that grow on dead substrate), it contributes to the forest's cleanliness and recycles nutrients back into the soil.

how mushrooms are grown in nature cultivated on logs right substrate best benefits

When only the fruiting body is used and picked, the best part of the mushroom is removed, leaving its root structure, mycelium, intact on the tree or substrate. Just like picking a grape doesn’t harm the vine, the same applies. The mushroom roots are left to continue to feed and create new fruiting bodies while continuing to help the ecosystem thrive.

MycoDog mushrooms are wild-harvested and cultivated with intention, grown on logs, outside in nature.

Besides the obvious environmental benefits of using wild mushrooms, the verdict is in: wild-grown and harvested mushrooms have better medicinal properties than their cultivated counterparts. Not only do wild mushrooms contain high levels of key constituents like beta-glucans, but they also contain fewer sugars!


Due to the popularity and rapid demand for medicinal mushrooms, manufacturers will take shortcuts to create a product as fast as possible. This leads to products created with less regard for quality, and more regard for profit. For instance, some manufacturers grind the mushroom and its roots (mycelium) WITH its growth medium. This is a great way to create a large volume of product, but one with little to no medicinal value.

how mushrooms are grown on grain oats myceliated grain

Since oats (and other cereal grains) have beta-glucans, grinding them with the mushroom and its root structure (mycelium) will falsely elevate the beta-glucan content. However, mushroom-derived beta-glucans and the beta-glucans in oats are different. This kind of shortcut manufacturing is the problem with so many products- the companies making them are out for profit and nothing else.

Using mycelium in the end product is another way to lose potency but increase volume. Since the mycelium is exceptionally fragile and has hair-like roots, it is impossible to pull it out without taking the growth medium as well. So, this means the product will contain a lot of “filler” in the form of grain or other growth mediums. It’s just like big kibble—full of fillers with little to no nutritional value.

Another way to produce cheaply is to use sawdust logs. While this may seem “eco-friendly” by recycling materials that would otherwise be thrown away, it is fraught with problems. Not only will the end product be less potent and medicinally efficacious, but it will also likely be contaminated.

Sawdust is a byproduct of sawmills, which process all types of treated lumber. The key word here is TREATED lumber. The sawdust from these mills has been adulterated with chemicals for various reasons in the manufacturing process of the original product (wood planks).

Since mushrooms, are bio-accumulators, this is a problem. Bio-accumulators are plants that absorb their growth medium’s chemical constituents, good or bad. So if lumber is treated with chemicals, and the sawdust from said lumber is made into a log to grow mushrooms on, this can mean the mushrooms will absorb these chemicals, and the end product will contain those byproducts, many of which are heavy metals. So, even if the sawdust is the correct type of wood, the risk of contamination is not worth it. Would you want your supplements grown on lumber byproducts?

In addition, these logs are not living organisms like real trees are. Real trees provide active nutrients and will create an end product with better chemical constituents. Vitamin D is a compound that can be found in medicinal mushrooms if they are correctly grown and exposed to natural sunlight.


Since the mushroom supplement industry is polluted with low-quality options and deceiving labels that make it confusing for consumers, it’s tough to know what’s good and what’s not. So how can you tell what’s what? Labels of quality mushroom products may look quite similar to those of low-quality products. That being said, there are a few key things to look out for in a quality product.

how mushrooms are grown substrate comparison mushrooms for dogs pets

First, make sure your mushroom product contains fruiting bodies only. If the word “mycelium” appears in the ingredient panel, steer clear. As it's impossible to separate those fragile roots from the substrate as we mentioned, this means that the substrate is part of the end product. Which ends up filling most of the jar or capsule with inert, useless ingredients from a medicinal perspective.

Second, look for wording on the product about extraction techniques. “Dual Extraction,” “Triple Extraction,” etc., are important to find on the product. This indicates the product has gone through a process to pull out the medicinal compounds. As opposed to a simple mushroom powder, which is little more than a food ingredient and definitely not a medicinally therapeutic product.

Third, a quality product will be honest about where the mushrooms are harvested or cultivated. Based on the information we just discussed, wild-harvested mushrooms are best, as well as mushrooms cultivated naturally on their proper substrates, out in nature. If there is no indication of whether they’re wild-harvested, or grown out in nature, they’re likely not. If you want to be sure, go to the manufacturer’s website, check their FAQs, or contact them directly for answers. A good mushroom company should be willing to divulge this information with pleasure, as it's a great sign of quality.

Fourth, if you’re shopping for a pet, it’s best to steer away from an alcohol-based extract. Although the amount of alcohol in mushroom tinctures is relatively low, glycerites are a better option for dogs. Since mushroom extracts are generally given by the dropper full, dosing alcohol long-term could be detrimental to your pet’s liver. Glycerin is a better option due to its inert nature, not affecting blood sugar or metabolism. It also offers better palatability, since it tastes sweet. This sweetness will help negate the bitter nature of many mushroom extracts.


Mycodog mushrooms are sourced in nature like they’re supposed to be. Our mushrooms are wild-harvested and naturally cultivated in the Pacific Northwest and Michigan. They’re grown in the forest, on the wood or substrate found in nature, where they get natural sunlight. They are all grown organically by co-op farmers, and harvested at their peak.

MycoDog mushrooms undergo a meticulous triple-extraction process. This involves an initial ethanol extraction using Organic Cane Alcohol (with no alcohol present in the final product), followed by hydro extraction using distilled water. Finally, the fungi's mineral salts are carefully extracted and imbued into the tincture. The outcome? A potent mushroom tincture known as a Spagyric Tincture.

Since we don’t outsource or grow in other countries, we can actively monitor our growers and sources as often as we want. We are so proud of the products we have created, and are always happy to answer questions and provide transparency. MycoDog is proud to be at the forefront of innovation in this industry!


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