Dr. Rob and the Magnificent Properties of Medicinal Mushrooms for Dogs

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Today’s Guest

Dr. Rob:

I’m so excited to introduce to you today’s guest, Dr. Rob, who has 40 years of clinical experience treating small and large animals with diet, acupuncture, and medicinal mushrooms.


Dr. Rob graduated in 1982 from Colorado State's College of Veterinary Medicine. He established one of the first integrative vet clinics in the USA in Boulder, Colorado in 1993.

Since then he's become a nationally recognized expert in veterinary herbal and nutritional medicinal mushrooms, veterinary CBD, and cannabis therapeutics. Over the years he’s seen the incredible impact of including mushrooms in your pet’s diet for long term health. 

Today his mission is to help educate other vets and dog owners about the ability to prevent devastating diseases with mushrooms – a common vegetable found in most people's refrigerators!  

Curious to hear why mushrooms are so incredible at healing and how Dr. Rob uses them? Be sure to tune into my latest podcast!

You’ll Hear About

  • [01:15] Who is Dr. Rob 
  • [04:30] Dr. Rob’s Holistic Experience  
  • [09:00] Three Types of Mushrooms  
  • [13:20] A Mushrooms’ Long History with Humans    
  • [17:20] Mushrooms: A Functional Food
  • [21:50] Mushrooms and Allergies      
  • [23:00] Immune Response and Mushrooms 
  • [26:50] Mushroom Feeding Resources 
  • [29:30] Fantastic Fungi   
  • [30:00] The Complex Mushroom Lifecycle
  • [34:00] Adaptogens and What Mushrooms can Heal

How You Can Get Involved

Follow the links below to learn more about Dr. Rob and the benefits of mushrooms! 

Check out Real Mushrooms and see how YOU can include mushrooms in your dog’s diet to promote health and longevity… and, they make products for HUMANS too!

Links & Resources


Learn more by tuning into the podcast!

Thanks for listening—and again, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes / Spotify to get automatic updates.



~Doggy Dan 🙂

Dr. Rob Silver (00:00):

It's a term for a type of plant. Adaptogen is something that works on the adrenal glands to reduce stress. All mushrooms are adaptogens. They all have a benefit to the adrenal glands in terms of reducing stress in general. We know that mushrooms can have an important benefit fermentation, as with lion's mane, as with reishi, as with a number of other mushrooms as well that promote a feeling of calmness and peace and kind of a meditative, a sort of a zen state. We know that because of their immune-enhancing properties, mushrooms also contain molecules that have actual anti-cancer properties. A mushroom gets your immune system up to fight the cancer. It also directly has cytotoxic properties that can fight the cancer.

Voiceover (00:52):

Welcome to the Doggy Dan Podcast Show, helping you unleash the greatness within your dog.

Doggy Dan (01:04):

Hello and welcome, everybody, to another edition of the Doggy Dan Podcast Show. Today I am with Dr. Rob, who is going to be sharing with us a little bit about real mushrooms. I love mushrooms, so I'm excited, but if you've listened to this show regularly, you'll know I get quite excited when I start these podcasts, because I love learning.

Doggy Dan (01:30):

Dr. Rob is a fascinating man. He graduated ... A little bit about Dr. Rob. I'm just going to read this little bit of bio about Dr. Rob. I'm not going to pretend I know everything about you, Dr. Rob. That'd be quite strange.

Doggy Dan (01:43):

Dr. Rob, you graduated ... What was that?

Dr. Rob Silver (01:45):

It would be quite strange if you knew everything about me.

Doggy Dan (01:48):

Exactly. Dr. Rob graduated in 1982 from Colorado State's College of Veterinary Medicine. He established one of the first integrative vet clinics in the USA in Boulder, Colorado in 1993.

Doggy Dan (02:02):

Since then he's become a nationally recognized expert in veterinary herbal and nutritional medicine's medicinal mushrooms, and that's the key bit, medicinal mushrooms, veterinary CBD, and cannabis therapeutics. He's bringing 40 years of practical, clinical experience treating small and large animals with diet, acupuncture, and medicinal mushrooms. Better make sure I say that right, medicinal mushrooms.

Dr. Rob Silver (02:31):

It's a tongue twister, isn't it?

Doggy Dan (02:33):

It is a tongue twister. Welcome to the show, Dr. Rob. Yeah. I'm so excited to have you here today. Thank you for joining us.

Dr. Rob Silver (02:40):

Well, thank you for having me. It's nice to be here. It's nice to meet you. You're a pretty interesting guy. Thank you for the introduction. Yeah. I'm a veterinarian and I've had about 30, 35 years of practice experience. When I graduated vet school in 1982, I thought I had all the tools I needed to go and do battle with all the diseases of the world in our critters.

Dr. Rob Silver (03:05):

I found that as I kept working, that there were a number of problems that just slipped through the cracks, that no matter how good I was to diagnose, no matter how good I was slinging the drugs or with surgery, that there still were some patients that had problems that I couldn't solve and these were mainly patients with these chronic diseases that we see so much of like diabetes and chronic skin diseases and cancer and neurologic diseases like epilepsy. We just don't have really good tools in western medicine to address these, that don't also have some toxicity associated with them.

Dr. Rob Silver (03:43):

I started my journey a long time ago. About five years out of vet school, I said, "I got to figure this thing out" and I started looking at diets. I looked at what the commercial foods are that they were feeding and thought they were not all that healthy and started to recommend based on some readings and nutritional work I had done on home prepared meals for pets.

Dr. Rob Silver (04:03):

Back then, that was kind of ... Everyone was going, "That's pretty unusual. You want me to actually fix meals for my pet?"

Doggy Dan (04:08):

Revolutionary, I'd say. Revolutionary stuff. Yeah.

Dr. Rob Silver (04:12):

Now it seems like everybody is doing that. You know? Crazy. I know. What really was crazy was that some of these animals had really complicated problems and I wasn't doing anything different for the problems, I just was changing their diet, and they started improving. That really got my attention, and having those successes with that, just with simple diet, homemade food, I started looking at other modalities such as herbal medicine and acupuncture.

Dr. Rob Silver (04:44):

Over the years, over the 30, 40 years I've developed quite a repertoire, quite a bit of experience. For 25 years, I worked for a company designing products to be used by veterinarians in clinic that were herbal and nutritional and medicinal mushroom types of products.

Dr. Rob Silver (05:02):

2015, I introduced the first CBD products to veterinarians and they really went like gang busters. CBD has a lot of value but we can maybe talk about that at some other time. Today, I want to focus on my mushrooms.

Dr. Rob Silver (05:17):

You know, over time, I've developed quite a repertoire and after this whole feeding frenzy with the public over CBD has kind of settled down and now we're seeing a lot of competition and the big boxes getting in on it, it's getting kind of boring. I'm looking for something that is more exciting, that is untrodden territory, new turf that I can rule, at least, for a while until the big boxes get in and take it over, as they tend to do. Perhaps you know what I'm referring to.

Dr. Rob Silver (05:53):

I started looking around and I found this Canadian company that actually grows about 10 or 12 different mushroom species under USDA organic certified standards, and then extracts them and standardizes them so we know exactly how much they have from one batch to the next, it's the same, and they have a huge number of human practitioners that use these products for their patients.

Dr. Rob Silver (06:20):

I used some of these human products for my own patients back when I was in practice. I've retired from practice now. I'm getting to be an old fart and I want to pass my legacy on by teaching and sharing and developing products that the pets can use.

Doggy Dan (06:36):


Dr. Rob Silver (06:39):

I went to this company and I said, "Hey, I've got an idea. Would you like me to develop a line of pet products for you?" They said, "Yeah. In fact, we've been talking about it" and I'm really friendly with the guy who is the founder of the company, he and I have known each other a number of years, and his two sons run the company.

Dr. Rob Silver (06:77):

It's really a very cool operation. They're really dialed in. They sell most of their stuff online and they've done really well as far as creating a really high quality product with a lot of consumer confidence and now I get the opportunity to modify their materials, so that they can be palatable and easy to give to pets and I can make the directions easy, so the pet parent or the veterinarian will know how best to use that mushroom or that mushroom blend for what conditions.

Dr. Rob Silver (07:30):

It's taking a lot of work. I've been with them nearly a year now and I'm still buried with all the work, all the stuff I'm writing and the products I'm developing and all the marketing tools that we're doing. That's basically why I'm here is to let people get the word out, let people know that these exist, that we're just in the infancy of getting this stuff out there. We've got five or six products now but we've got at least as many coming down the line.

Doggy Dan (07:59):

Wow. Love it. I mean, here's my thing, I love mushrooms. I love mushroom omelet. I won't talk about other types of mushrooms I've had on this show. Yeah. I'm curious about mushrooms.

Doggy Dan (08:13):

In terms of ... Not getting into the chemical, how they ... The formulas and stuff.

Dr. Rob Silver (08:21):

Sure. Yeah. That's too technical. Yeah.

Doggy Dan (08:23):

Can you give us a little bit ... These are obviously not your standard mushrooms. Can you just throw a couple of teasers in there without going too deep and losing half of our listeners? You know what I'm trying to say. For your common man, for your common man like me.

Dr. Rob Silver (08:39):

Yeah. I can do it. I can do it.

Doggy Dan (08:40):

What sort of stuff do they heal? What do these mushrooms look like?

Dr. Rob Silver (08:45):

Well, I think you're actually an uncommon man, but I'll go ahead and gear it to the common man.

Doggy Dan (08:51):

And woman.

Dr. Rob Silver (08:53):

Yes. Yes. Human.

Doggy Dan (08:55):


Dr. Rob Silver (08:77):

Anyway, we won't go there. There's really three kinds of mushrooms that are out there. There's those that are toxic and poisonous and there's a small percentage of mushrooms that are and people who go and try to identify mushrooms when they go walking in the forests, many times, as expert as they may be, they make identification mistakes and go straight to the ER. You need to know what you're doing if you're picking mushrooms in the wild, because it could be toxic to you.

Dr. Rob Silver (09:27):

Then we've got the psychedelic mushrooms, which is a topic we can discuss, the psilocybins. Now we're seeing an incredible rebirth of interest in these, that they may actually help humans who have PTSD, who have depression, who have chronic anxiety and we're starting to see a little bit of movement in terms of testing these compounds in the critters.

Dr. Rob Silver (09:51):

It's really in the very early infancy and I don't have a lot to report about that. In a way, it worries me how an animal would react to being given a psychedelic mushroom, because I know how animals react when they're being given THC. Although many humans like THC, it's a lot of fun, recreational, all that stuff, get high, animals, they're in survival mode all the time.

Doggy Dan (10:16):


Dr. Rob Silver (10:17):

You know that. As a dog trainer, you know animals. They're always in survival. If they feel as though their survival is being threatened, it freaks them out. They need to have their ears working, they need to have their eyes working, they need to have their balance working. If you're taking a psychedelic mushroom, or THC, it messes up your perceptions and I could imagine it could create more anxiety than solve it. That's an area that I'm going to be looking at but I have not yet explored enough to be able to give really good, credible information about it.

Dr. Rob Silver (10:50):

Then we have the edible mushrooms. You like your mushroom omelets, you probably have enjoyed shiitake mushroom. You know? Which is a Japanese origin mushroom. Incredibly tasty. I'm growing some in my basement here on sterilized wood chips actually. Shiitake is one of the most powerful medicinal mushrooms we have. It has multiple compounds in it that can impact your immune system in a beneficial way, that can reduce your cholesterol levels in a beneficial way, that can regulate blood sugar if you're maybe slightly diabetic or something. It also has anti-cancer properties.

Dr. Rob Silver (11:30):

That's just the tasty little shiitake mushroom that you have on your omelets. There's several other edible mushrooms like that, button mushroom, Portobello mushroom, cremini, there's the Maitake mushroom, the hands of the woods, there's lion's mane. There's a lot of very edible mushrooms out there and all the ones that I've named also have medicinal properties.

Dr. Rob Silver (11:53):

That makes taking your medicine not too hard to do, if it's tasty and you can take it in with your omelet.

Doggy Dan (12:01):

Are those mushrooms the ones that you're using in the medicine?

Dr. Rob Silver (12:04):

Yes. Yes. They are. There's others as well, which are not as edible. For instance, if you've walked through your forests, and I know New Zealand has some of the most amazing forests on the planet, I'm sure you can see mushrooms growing on trees that look like shells. These are woody mushrooms. They're not very tasty, because they're so ligneous, they're so woody, but the right kind of woody mushroom also has remarkable healing properties.

Doggy Dan (12:32):

Is that right?

Dr. Rob Silver (12:33):

There's one woody mushroom called turkey tail, and maybe you have seen that. I've got an example here. Here, let me just grab it off the shelf.

Doggy Dan (12:42):

Yeah. Yeah. I'm fascinated. We were admiring these ... They come out of the tree, almost like a plate, they come out like plates, some of these.

Dr. Rob Silver (12:52):

Exactly. Like a shelf.

Doggy Dan (12:54):


Dr. Rob Silver (12:55):

This is ... Isn't that pretty? It looks like a turkey tail. This has some of the strongest anti-cancer properties of all the mushrooms that are grown. Period.

Doggy Dan (13:05):


Dr. Rob Silver (13:05):

It's amazing. Look at this one. This is also a woody mushroom, not very tasty, incredibly bitter but so powerful that the Chinese emperors would have their subjects bring them the largest specimens they could find as a tribute to them.

Doggy Dan (13:23):


Dr. Rob Silver (13:24):

Mushrooms have a long history with humanity. It's a good history. You know?

Doggy Dan (13:28):

Yes. Yes. Fascinating.

Dr. Rob Silver (13:31):

Can I dig down some more? I'm not losing you guys?

Doggy Dan (13:34):


Dr. Rob Silver (13:35):

Okay. Good.

Doggy Dan (13:35):

Portobello, button mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms. I'm with you.

Dr. Rob Silver (13:41):

Yum. When's dinner? If you've ever eaten a shiitake mushroom and if you've tried to eat it raw, it's not very tasty. You'd probably have to cut it really, really thin because it's so fibrous. In fact, we don't recommend eating mushrooms raw, or not eating very many mushrooms raw. Even your little button mushroom has some very mild toxic principles to it, that if you eat a lot of raw button mushrooms, you could get into trouble but a little bit in your salad, a couple little slices, no problem.

Dr. Rob Silver (14:13):

The reason why the mushrooms are so fibrous is because their cell walls are made up of this really strong fibrous material called chitin. Now chitin is also found in what makes the outer shell of a lobster or a crab. Really hard fibrous material. There's also something in the cell wall called a beta glucan or a glucan molecule, which is sugar molecules that bind together and aren't digestible but they form structural ... They're like rebar in concrete in that cell wall and the fungus. That's what makes it so fibrous.

Dr. Rob Silver (14:49):

It's actually many of these fiber elements that have the medicinal properties. The way that you can release the medicinal properties from a mushroom, if you've got a raw mushroom, is to cook it.

Doggy Dan (14:59):

Got it.

Dr. Rob Silver (15:00):

You need to cook it pretty well. You need to put some water in it. Maybe you're going to saute it but then put some water in it after that to steam it. That cracks open those cell walls and enables your body to absorb these good, healing molecules that are found in that mushroom.

Doggy Dan (15:16):


Dr. Rob Silver (15:17):

A company like Real Mushrooms, they do that for you. They hot water extract all the goodies and then they dry them into a powder and then put them in a capsule or put them in a pouch, so you can take them in your drink, you can mix them in your food, you can do whatever you want.

Dr. Rob Silver (15:33):

They're not really culinary extracts. I mean, they're medicinal extracts. If you're going to have a nice mushroom meal, I don't think I would use their extracts but if you want to have a nice mushroom drink or put some mushroom powder in your tea as a way of ingesting it to give yourself those benefits, it can work really well.

Dr. Rob Silver (15:50):

For the pets, it's a little different. I mean, people, we understand that mushrooms might taste a little funny and we can understand it's for our own good, so we take it. An animal, not so much. If it's not something that tastes like food to them and tastes like food they're familiar with, they're going to say maybe not today, dude, I'll pass on that mushroom powder.

Dr. Rob Silver (16:14):

That's what I'm in the middle of working on is developing more palatable approaches to putting these into dosage forms that makes it easier for the pet parent to give it to their critter. If you can't get it in them, it's not going to do any good. If it's a hassle every time to do it, it's not going to work. You know?

Doggy Dan (16:32):

Yeah. For people listening to this who maybe have a ... I mean, I'm sure 99% of the people listening have got dogs.

Dr. Rob Silver (16:40):

Probably. Let's hope so.

Doggy Dan (16:43):

They're probably thinking will this ... Let's hope so. Yeah. They'll be thinking, "Will this help with my dog's X, Y, and Z?" You touched on it can help with a number of things. There's two questions I've really got, can you run through, again, what specifically it can help with and then how would people go about ... I'm really curious about is this something they can self-diagnose and self-medicate? Is that the word? Do they have to go through the vet and educate their vet and say, "Can we have a look at this?"

Dr. Rob Silver (17:15):

Yeah. Those are very good questions.

Doggy Dan (17:17):

Is it a medicine or a food? Yeah.

Dr. Rob Silver (17:21):

It's considered to be a functional food. That's a very good question. As a functional food, it has medicine-like properties and it has food-like properties as well. It's not drug-like in that ... Let's say you have cancer and you take a mushroom for a day or two, it's not going to do much of anything. Mushrooms really have to be a lifestyle type of supplement, which means they need to be given regularly. Every day, not in huge amounts, just in small amounts, and over time, they build up to the point where they train your body to be healthier.

Dr. Rob Silver (17:77):

When we look at the things that mushrooms can do, yes, they can treat cancer but if you're in end stage cancer, it's not strong enough to do anything. It's best if you start early on in that process before it gets too far gone. Mushrooms are quite safe, so I'm not worried about using a mushroom for an animal with a condition and it hurting that condition. The only thing that concerns me as far as the self-diagnosing aspect that you describe, which is actually quite common amongst dog owners or pet parents, because who wants to take your animal to the vet? I got it. The animal doesn't want to go, you don't want to have to hassle with it, you don't want to have to pay the money, but at the same time, you want the animal better.

Dr. Rob Silver (18:46):

The first stab usually is to do it yourself unless the animal is abjectly suffering, vomiting blood, things like that, that are obviously reasons to take the dog right to the vet.

Dr. Rob Silver (18:77):

What worries me is not so much that it could be harmful to the animal who has a condition like we've described but that it would delay the appropriate treatment for that condition. It may be that mushrooms are not so much a primary care as a supportive care. They can support the pharmaceuticals. They can support the side effects that you get. For instance, with chemotherapy, we often see that it knocks out the bone marrow, that you wind up becoming anemic or you wind up having low levels of the important white cells to fight the cancer and mushrooms, themselves, can stimulate the bone marrow to produce more of these cells.

Doggy Dan (19:37):

Wow. Yeah.

Dr. Rob Silver (19:38):

That's why it's something that it's a great idea but it really ... To be best, it needs to be incorporated into your lifestyle. For instance, some mushrooms like lion's mane and reishi can help calm the animal and these days, as stressful as the world is, a lot of pet parents are looking for things to help settle their animal down. Even in training, they get all excited. If it's not like your online training, which is brilliant, by the way, but if they're in one of those little training groups at your local pet store or whatever it is, shelter, wherever they're doing it, there's so many distractions from all the other dogs.

Dr. Rob Silver (20:17):

Of course, those distractions, they say, are good to help train them to be trained through distractions, but not in the early stages of training. You know that. You haven't trained them yet and you're distracting them. You can't expect them...

Dr. Rob Silver (20:31)

That's where using something like a lion's mane or a reishi or something or even CBD in this case, can help to settle them down enough, so they get to listen to you, and so they're not as excited when they're in that environment where there's multiple other puppies all doing their thing that puppies do in these training groups.

Doggy Dan (20:52):

Wow. Brilliant.

Dr. Rob Silver (20:55):

You know, there are a number of conditions that we know mushrooms can address. Very few studies in dogs. You know? As a veterinarian, I like to go by the studies because at least they give you a more objective idea if something is right or wrong. You have to know how to read a study. You can't take them as the absolute truth. You need to see how it was put together and how they analyzed it and what their numbers were and what is their bias and stuff.

Dr. Rob Silver (21:21):

I like the studies, because they help you feel more comfortable, if I recommend things. For instance, there's a study that came out of eastern Europe using the oyster mushroom. Have you had oyster mushrooms?

Doggy Dan (21:32):

I don't think I have.

Dr. Rob Silver (21:33):

Very tasty. They have a little taste like seafood. Yummy. Yum. I've got one that grows on my cottonwood tree out here. Anyway, oyster mushrooms have these beta glucans in them just like all mushrooms do, and these beta glucans turn on the immune system so it works better.

Dr. Rob Silver (21:50):

If you've got allergies, which is the immune system not working so well, there's studies showing that these beta glucans can calm the immune system down, so the allergies aren't as bad. In this case, the study they took shelter dogs, puppies that were strays, they were immune suppressed, they were malnourished, all those things. They had worms, they had all the things that we see puppies get, Demodex, all those skin parasites, and they gave them vaccinations at the shelter and then they tested their blood to see if they had protective titers of the antibodies.

Dr. Rob Silver (22:28):

We talk about that now these days with this whole COVID thing but that's done for vaccinations with dogs and a lot of pet owners, a lot of dogs don't want to vaccinate them every year. I don't think dogs need to be vaccinated every year. They probably don't need to be vaccinated for much of their life, except when they're young, when they really need it and are at risk.

Dr. Rob Silver (22:48):

A lot of vets and a lot of the industry says you have to vaccinate every year. I think that's inappropriate and I think that may be unsafe, but we also don't want to not vaccinate if the animal doesn't have protective titers, if it doesn't have enough antibodies to protect it, if it does encounter that disease.

Dr. Rob Silver (23:09):

We do a test, we do a blood test, which tells us if they have protective titers and then we don't have to vaccinate for that year. It's a smarter way to go. It may cost a little more than a vaccine to do the test but for the pet parent who doesn't want to over-vaccinate their pet and with this whole vaccination thing with COVID, there are a lot of people that are vaccine hesitant. I respect that.

Dr. Rob Silver (23:35):

You know, this is another way of doing it. What they found was that these puppies, when they gave them the rabies vaccination, they were all stressed out and immune suppressed, they didn't have protective titers. If they encountered a rabid dog, they would get it too.

Dr. Rob Silver (23:48):

They then gave them a month of this oyster mushroom extract and vaccinated again and they all developed protective titers. That's one very practical application for a mushroom, which would be to improve their response to vaccinations, so you don't have to keep boostering them over and over again, because their immune system is strong enough to maintain that memory.

Doggy Dan (24:09):


Dr. Rob Silver (24:10):

That's one example.

Doggy Dan (24:11):

How widespread is the use of mushrooms by vets? People are going, "This sounds interesting. I want to know more ..."

Dr. Rob Silver (24:23):

Well, that's my job.

Doggy Dan (24:24):

Are the vets using...

Dr. Rob Silver (24:26):

That's my job.

Doggy Dan (24:27):

That's your job.

Dr. Rob Silver (24:29):

Well, some are.

Doggy Dan (24:30):

I guess I'm curious. We're at the very early stages. There's not much point in people asking their vets or they can try?

Dr. Rob Silver (24:38):

Well, the vets is a large body of very different individuals. There's some that are extremely tight centered and uptight and only follow the precise rules. You know? If they have a blood test that is like two degrees over normal, it's abnormal. There's those kinds of vets. I think they're going to be late adopters to mushrooms. They were certainly late adopters to CBD as well.

Dr. Rob Silver (25:07):

Then you have the vast mass of veterinarians who are interested and they might want to apply it but they need to see a study, they need to see something that supports that it actually works, because if you're a doctor, you want to know if you're suggesting something that it's really going to do some good.

Dr. Rob Silver (25:23):

There's that group there, which is probably the biggest group for me to talk to, and so I'm developing lectures, I'm developing studies, I'm developing all kinds of things that veterinarians will read and learn and be convinced that mushrooms have value and then they will hopefully start adopting some use of them in their practices.

Dr. Rob Silver (25:43):

Then you have the other group of veterinarians, which are the holistic veterinarians and they've already adopted the use of mushrooms.

Doggy Dan (25:52):

Got it. Okay. We're probably talking about America here more than some other countries, I mean, you're in America, so you can talk about America. If you're in America, the chances are or there's a good chance, we should say, if you have a holistic vet or if you're interested in this and you go to your holistic vet, then they may well know a bit about this or they may be fully onboard but worth a try is what you're saying? It's worth chatting to them about it?

Dr. Rob Silver (26:23):

There's actually quite a few more veterinarians who are integrative or holistic throughout the world.

Doggy Dan (26:29):


Dr. Rob Silver (26:29):

I am conversing with a number of them in New Zealand, quite a few in Australia.

Doggy Dan (26:35):

Oh, yeah. It's not so much ... I know there's lots of holistic vets. I mean, specifically, the ones that are using the mushrooms. I don't think my holistic vet has heard of mushrooms. I'm going to ask him, though.

Dr. Rob Silver (26:45):

Do ask him. Yes.

Doggy Dan (26:47):

I will ask him. That's my next question. For people who are in America, what's the next ... I want to promote this. I love what you're doing and I love pushing the barriers. For people who are in America and their vet has never heard of it, let's just go and share where can they find out more about getting their vet to have a look at it? Or for vets who are interested, can we share the best place to go is? You've got a website I think.

Dr. Rob Silver (27:16):

Yes. It is. It's www.RealMushrooms.com.

Doggy Dan (27:22):

There you go. I wanted to get that website out there. Yeah. I wanted to get that out there, RealMushrooms.com, guys.

Dr. Rob Silver (27:28):

Yeah. Yeah. That's where you can go to buy the stuff but that's also where you can go to get a large amount of educational material. That's one reason I like the company and why I joined it is because they're very education forward. They send out newsletters and they're really not, as we see so much these days in terms of crass marketing, they're using education as their marketing tool.

Dr. Rob Silver (27:53):

It's very effective because there's a lot of questions that people have about mushrooms and we answer them. I'm working specifically in the veterinary realm, working on FAQs and practitioner newsletters and pet newsletters and all these things that will help the individual to learn.

Dr. Rob Silver (28:13):

I know it's a kind of steep learning curve. It's for me to get all this information out. It's going to be several years, I am sure, before it really becomes more on the top of the mind of a veterinary practitioner but, hopefully, we can stimulate the pet parents to be interested in it, because all change usually happens within the veterinary world when the clients ask the vet for stuff.

Dr. Rob Silver (28:41):

If clients weren't asking their vets about CBD, we wouldn't be seeing CBD being used in veterinary practices. There's a lot of interest. If clients weren't upset with commercial foods, we wouldn't see so many raw diets out there. If clients weren't upset by vaccinations, we wouldn't have vaccine titer.

Dr. Rob Silver (28:58):

It really is, in many regards, driven by the pet parent and so by addressing the pet parent and getting them excited about the value of mushrooms as a daily boost for their animal's health and longevity, that's really where we're focusing a lot of our energy.

Doggy Dan (29:18):

That's beautiful.

Dr. Rob Silver (29:19):

That's why we're here on this podcast to do that.

Doggy Dan (29:21):

Exactly. I'm one of those people who is starting to get fascinated, particularly or specifically, since I watched ... You may have seen it, a Netflix movie, I think it's called Fungi.

Dr. Rob Silver (29:32):

Yeah. Fantastic Fungi. It's a lovely film. It really has gotten a lot of people ... It's great. It's a great film, beautiful.

Doggy Dan (29:45):

It helped me understand you've got these trees and plants and then you've got these mushrooms and the mycelium I think ... Is the mycelium underneath the ground? Is that right?

Dr. Rob Silver (29:53):


Doggy Dan (29:54):

It just blew my mind. It was like a communication network. It reminded me of the internet around the world.

Dr. Rob Silver (30:01):

It kind of is. Yeah.

Doggy Dan (30:03):

Yeah. Could you share a little bit about mushrooms and mycelium?

Dr. Rob Silver (30:07):

I can. Yes.

Doggy Dan (30:08):

I'd love you to share a little bit about mycelium.

Dr. Rob Silver (30:10):

Yeah. Mushrooms are complex organisms. They have what we call a life cycle and there's three parts to the life cycle and I won't make it too complicated. I'll liken it to a plant. Okay? They have spores and the spores are like the seed of the plant. The spores are held in the mushroom itself, what we call the mushroom, that mushroom cap. When the conditions are right, the mushroom releases these spores, which fly into the wind or go down to the soil or whatever the sub-strait is underneath it, maybe some dead wood, and then they start to germinate and when the spores germinate, they germinate into the mycelium.

Dr. Rob Silver (30:52):

They liken the mycelium to the roots, but it really is not. The mycelium is the ... We call it the vegetative stage of the mushroom fungus, which means that this is where it gains strength, it multiplies, it produces these enzymes that digest through the material that it's one. This is why mushrooms are one of the great recyclers of our planet, because what happens to dead plants? What happens to dead animals? It's the fungi that consume them through their mycelium.

Dr. Rob Silver (31:24):

That's why the mycelium is in the ground, it's consuming these nutrients in the soil or on dead wood, and we also know that fungi, which are this more simple fungi, actually live in the roots of trees and they actually will digest the nutrients that the roots will then absorb, so the trees can flourish from that mycorrhizae, they call those types of fungi. I just planted my garden, I put them in the roots of all the plants I'm planting in there as well, because it improves their vitality and their growth.

Dr. Rob Silver (32:01):

The mycelium grows and proliferates. There's one area of mycelium in Oregon that's like 2000 square acres. It's huge. You can imagine the communication network there amongst all those trees. Then when the conditions are right, usually the temperatures go a little lower, there may be some moisture, the mushroom sends up ... Or the mycelium says, "Huh, it's time to reproduce", so they then send up the mushroom, which is really the fruit of the plant, that then produces the seeds, which are inside the fruit and the spores, which then drop and form more mycelium, which then do their thing for a while, and then things are ripe, they go, "Okay, let's shroom up here." They mushroom up again. That's the cycle of the mushroom.

Dr. Rob Silver (32:51):

Each part of that cycle has an important value, an important medicinal value and an important value in terms of its function on our planet. Mushrooms are really a very important partner in terms of our global health.

Doggy Dan (33:05):

Brilliant. I love it. As a reminder, it's all coming back to me now. Mycelium mushrooms, the life cycle. Yeah. Beautiful.

Dr. Rob Silver (33:11):

Yeah. All that stuff.

Doggy Dan (33:14):

Before we move on and head off in our own direction, can you just give people one last reminder of maybe five of the main benefits of ... I think there's longevity of the animal as well that can really help with that. It's not just that your dog has to be sick. I don't want to put words in your mouth but I believe it calms the dog, it helps with cancer, there's longevity. People listening who may be going, "Will it help my dog?"

Dr. Rob Silver (33:40):

You know, I see prevention as being the strongest medicine we have. Certainly, we have a lot of sick animals out there and they need to be helped as well. There's also a lot of animals who haven't gotten sick yet.

Doggy Dan (33:54):


Dr. Rob Silver (33:55):

Those are the best places to start because the mushrooms are most likely to have a protective effect in terms of their health. Mushrooms in terms of improving immune system function, if you improve immune system function, you're going to improve longevity.

Doggy Dan (34:11):


Dr. Rob Silver (34:11):

Mushrooms have antioxidant properties. They call mushrooms adaptogens. Have you heard that term before?

Doggy Dan (34:17):


Dr. Rob Silver (34:18):

It's a term for a type of plant. An adaptogen is something that works on the adrenal glands to reduce stress. All mushrooms are adaptogens. They all have a benefit to the adrenal glands in terms of reducing stress in general. We know that mushrooms can have an important benefit fermentation, as with lion's mane, as with reishi, as with a number of other mushrooms as well that promote a feeling of calmness and peace and a meditative, a sort of zen state.

Dr. Rob Silver (34:51):

We know that because of their immune enhancing properties, mushrooms also contain molecules that have actual anti-cancer properties. A mushroom gets your immune system up to fight the cancer. It also directly has cytotoxic properties that can fight the cancer.

Dr. Rob Silver (35:08):

The thing is if the cancer is well progressed, then it's hard to stop that once it gets to that point. You know? Early on, as a wellness supplement before cancer strikes, it's a great idea. If you just get the diagnosis of cancer and it's very early ... I mean, even if it's late, I would use them but if it's very early, that's where you have your best possible chance of success.

Dr. Rob Silver (35:32):

I've heard a lot of stories about the use of turkey tail in dogs with cancer that were only given a couple of weeks to live that are still around a year or two later. Now I can't promise anyone out there that this is going to work for you but we're just becoming aware that these are good things to give to our pets on a daily basis to help with a variety of things.

Dr. Rob Silver (35:52):

There's some studies that show it can help with allergies. There's some studies that can help with gastritis or with inflammatory bowel disease or digestive issues. It really has a very global effect. Certain mushrooms are a little better at some things than others but really, most mushrooms can be very good for almost everything.

Dr. Rob Silver (36:12):

A lot of mushroom companies, and Real Mushrooms is one of them, will also make what we call a mushroom blend, so Real Mushrooms has like a five mushroom blend, so it combines all the properties of these five different mushrooms into one capsule or into one powder or into one soft chew. That way, you get to have this synergistic blend of all these benefits and these effects.

Dr. Rob Silver (36:36):

That's I guess putting it into a simple nutshell that mushrooms have a lot of value and go to RealMushrooms.com, if you want to learn more details and we have a very good customer service support crew, that if you have questions, you can pose it to them and they'll probably pose them to me and I'll get back to them and they'll get back to the people.

Dr. Rob Silver (37:02):

We're really trying to do the job right. I really appreciate your having me on today to get the word out, because we're just brand new. You know? Just brand new at it.

Doggy Dan (37:12):

It's been my pleasure. Like I say, I'm fascinated with the mushrooms anyway. I love them, having watched the movie Fantastic Fungi. Yeah. Fascinated at what they can do for dogs.

Doggy Dan (37:26):

I so appreciate you being on the show, Dr. Rob. Is there anything else you'd like to share with people, other than go to RealMushrooms.com, before we finish up?

Dr. Rob Silver (37:38):

I think this has been quite comprehensive. I really appreciate it. You are, yourself, quite a fun guy.

Doggy Dan (37:46):

Thank you, sir. I appreciate it. It's been said before, I love life, I love life, I love a lot of things. I'll put mushrooms in that box.

Dr. Rob Silver (37:55):

You should.

Doggy Dan (37:56):

Dr. Rob, thanks for being on the show and for you listeners out there, RealMushrooms.com. Go and check it out today. Thanks for tuning into the Doggy Dan Podcast Show where we believe in every dog is a good dog and every good dog is a great dog. Have a great day and, as always, love your dog. Bye bye.


You've been listening to another episode of the Doggy Dan Podcast Show, bringing you one step closer to creating harmony with your dog.

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Doggy Dan

Doggy Dan is the founder of The Online Dog Trainer, a wildly successful online training program for dog owners. His goal is to continue to share his unique approach to dog training with like-minded people who wish to make a difference in the world of dogs. His training methods focus on creating and building the connection between dogs and dog owners, and are shared and used around the world.

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