Can Dogs Eat Mushrooms?
Mushrooms are versatile edible fungi that can easily add texture and flavor to any dish. That is why they are well-loved by humans, and they are in the ranks among other staple ingredients of several gastronomic recipes that people love. How about our canine companions? Can dogs eat mushrooms?
While mushrooms appear to be harmless and palatable, not to mention that some varieties also smell so tempting, especially for dogs, we can’t trust all of them. Some types of mushrooms are safe for dogs, while some are not.
However, wild mushrooms are complicated and they can be tricky, even for mushroom hunters or foragers. It’s not that easy to distinguish the safe ones from the poisonous types. So, if you are out for a walk with your dog, and all of a sudden he stopped and sniffed on a mushroom, pull him away immediately.
If it’s too late and your dog is already munching on a wild mushroom, immediately take him to the vet. And if possible take some with you, so the veterinarian can identify the mushroom species, and he would have a better idea if they are the toxic types. Knowing the type of mushroom your dog ate may help the vet with his next course of action.
Which Mushrooms Are Safe for Dogs to Eat?
Dogs can eat mushrooms, but not all mushroom varieties. While some are edible and safe for dogs and humans to consume, some mushrooms aren’t just toxic but can also be fatal for our canine buddies.
If you are planning to feed your dog mushrooms, stick with the store-bought mushroom, and by all means avoid the wild varieties, or those that grow in the outdoors and just sprout almost everywhere.
Nevertheless, aside from buying mushrooms from grocery stores, it’s also best to choose organic ones. Mushrooms can easily absorb toxins and pesticides that are sprayed on them, so organic mushrooms are your best pick since they are free of these harmful substances.
Below are some of the mushrooms your pet dogs can eat:
- White button mushrooms
You can feed these mushrooms to your dog without issues, but there are also other factors to consider. If you are feeding your pooch some mushrooms, make sure to avoid adding sauces, seasonings, or ingredients that are toxic for them such as garlic and onion.
Which Mushrooms Are Toxic to Dogs?
Only a small percentage of mushrooms in the world are toxic to dogs, but the toxic ones are really toxic to the point of being fatal. And what’s even worse is that it’s so hard to differentiate these poisonous mushroom varieties from the safe ones. Even an expert mushroom forager could be deceived.
To be always on the safe side, veterinarians suggest never let your guard down and don’t just allow your dog to eat wild mushrooms. You should always treat all of them as potentially toxic. Unless you are a mycologist – a biologist who studies fungi like mushrooms – you’d better stick to store bought mushrooms for yourself and your dog.
Some mushrooms are like wolves in sheep’s clothing. They may look harmless and palatable, but deep inside they are filled with toxins just waiting to be devoured by an unsuspecting victim. Pet owners know very well that dogs explore the world with their sense of smell and taste.
Dogs may eat wild mushrooms during your walk for the same primary reason they would eat other unusual things – their scent. Hence, even the most discerning dogs could fall prey to some toxic mushroom species, such as the Amanita phalloides (death cap) and Inocybe spp, which are known for their fishy odor.
Amanita phalloides, also known as the death cap, are responsible for majority of the mushroom poisonings worldwide.
The list below enumerates some of the most toxic mushroom varieties:
- Amanita mushrooms, such as Amanita phalloides (death cap), Amanita gemmata (jeweled death cap), and Amanita muscaria (fly agaric)
- Galerina marginata (deadly Galerina)
- Gyromitra species (false morel)
- Inocybe species and Clitocybe dealbata mushrooms
Again, wild mushroom ingestion should be considered a medical emergency. Hence, if your dog eats one during your walk, don’t waste time attempting to identify the type of mushroom.
Like what was said earlier, even the expert mushroom hunters could be wrong sometimes. The best thing to do is to contact or go to the nearest vet or poison control center immediately.
What Are the Health Benefits of Mushrooms for Dogs?
Mushrooms can be good for dogs, but again, stick to those that you can purchase fresh from a local grocery store. And offer these human foods, the same way you would with their dog food, don’t add salt, spices, and other ingredients that can be harmful to your dog.
Plain mushrooms are loaded with vital nutrients for dogs such as B vitamins, and minerals like potassium. Adding store-bought and organic mushrooms to your dog’s diet can offer him the following health benefits:
- Strengthen his immune system
- Promote heart health
- Reduce blood pressure
- Support liver and kidney function
- Improve nutrition
- Keep blood sugar levels normal
- Stabilize metabolism
- Lower cholesterol, promote weight loss and prevent fatty liver disease
- Prevent viral infections
- Prevent and fight cancer
What Are the Symptoms of Mushroom Poisoning in Dogs?
Wild mushrooms could grow anywhere outside the four corners of your home, even in your backyard. Hence, if your dog loves to run and play outdoors, you should always keep an eye on him.
Needless to say, if you notice a sudden spurt of mushrooms in your garden or your yard, immediately remove them even if they are the safe ones. It’s better to be paranoid and be safe than sorry.
Symptoms of mushroom toxicity or poisoning could vary depending on the type of mushroom your dog ate. Certain types of mushrooms contain specific toxins that may affect dogs differently.
For instance, Amanita mushrooms, which contain amanitin toxins, can cause severe GI symptoms, a false sense of recovery, followed by liver failure, acute kidney injury, kidney failure, and death.
Other types of Amanita mushrooms may not be fatal, but they can still cause uncomfortable symptoms for dogs, such as vomiting, diarrhea (GI upset), sedation, and even seizures.
Inocybe species and Clitocybe dealbata mushrooms cause increased urination, salivation, diarrhea, and neurological symptoms such as hallucinations, drunken-like movements, and seizures.
Below is a list of the most common symptoms of mushroom poisoning in dogs that you should watch out for:
- Excessive drooling
- Stomach upset
- Abdominal pain
- Increased tear production
- Ataxia (staggering gait)
- Organ failure
How to Treat Mushroom Poisoning?
Treatment options for mushroom poisoning in dogs can depend on the type of mushroom, the symptoms, and the time that elapsed since the dog ingested the mushroom to his arrival to the vet or poison control center.
Immediate actions by the vet will start by getting rid of any trace of the toxins inside your dog’s system. This can be done by inducing vomiting and/or doing gastric lavage with activated charcoal to absorb the poison and remove it from the body. In some cases, the vet may give a drug to counteract the effects of the toxins.
The dog’s prognosis and recovery can be influenced by early supportive care that will most likely include intravenous fluids, anti-nausea, and liver protectant medications.
Some dogs may also be allergic to mushrooms, whether it’s store-bought or wild. Below are signs of potential food allergy that you need to watch out for:
- Vomiting, especially after eating
- Excessive gas
- Skin problems
On rare occasions, dogs may also be extremely sensitive and may exhibit severe reactions after eating mushrooms. To be on the safe side, observe your dog for the following symptoms:
- Swelling of the face or neck
- Increased heart rate
- Labored breathing
How Can Dogs Eat Mushrooms?
Like any other food, whether it’s pet food or human food, you should always introduce it to your dog gradually to allow for better adjustment and/or transition.
If your dog loves and tolerates it, and doesn’t show any unusual reactions, you may increase the amount over several days. Immediately stop feeding your dog mushrooms, if he shows any sign of illness or allergic reaction.
Also, when giving mushrooms to your dog, make sure to wash and cook them first to wash off impurities and aid in better digestion.
When choosing between canned or preserved or fresh and dried, always choose the latter because they contain more nutrients that can be helpful for your dog.
How to Prevent Your Dog From Eating Wild Mushrooms?
Providing your dog with regular exercise is vital for his overall health. While some dogs are fine with indoor activities, some are more excited about going outdoors.
Hence, if you find the need to take your dog for a walk, always keep him on a leash, especially when you are trekking locations that are high-risk for wild mushrooms.
As much as possible, avoid damp, warm, and wooded areas since these are ideal environments for mushrooms to thrive. Like what was said earlier, if you notice some wild mushrooms in your garden, remove them immediately.
If your dog loves to dig on food and things while walking, it may be useful to put a basked muzzle during your walks. And teaching your pooch some useful tricks could come in handy, particularly the “drop or leave command,” so he can immediately drop something when you say so.
Can dogs eat store bought mushrooms?
According to Dr. Justine A. Lee, DVM, DACVECC, mushrooms sold in large and chain grocery stores are generally safe for dogs to eat. However, we rarely serve up plain mushrooms. Unless the mushroom is served plain, it is generally safer to avoid feeding dishes with mushrooms to dogs.
Can dogs eat cooked mushrooms?
When cooked, many mushrooms are safe and even healthy for dogs. Dogs can also eat and digest mushrooms, which are a fungus.
What happens if my dog eats mushrooms?
What happens if my dog eats mushrooms?” answer-2=”There are many mushroom varieties that cause upset stomach. Pets may become ill within 15 minutes of nibbling on these mushrooms or symptoms may be delayed for up to 6 hours. The muscarinic mushroom is a noted variety that causes vomiting and diarrhea. Pets may become weak and dehydrated.
Will mushrooms hurt my dog?
Pets have been known to eat mushrooms in yards and while on walks. While 99% of mushrooms have little or no toxicity, the 1% that are highly toxic can cause life-threatening problems in pets. Take extra care to keep pets away from areas where mushrooms might be growing.