Mushrooms are a staple in many dishes. They can grow anywhere, from in the wild to your yard. As a result, your dog could easily find some to chomp down. If they do, is it something you need to be worried about? Can dogs eat mushrooms too? Well yes, but only a handful of them. Much like humans, poisonous species of mushrooms are dangerous for dogs too. Thus, if you plan on adding mushrooms to your pup’s diet, you’ll have to be very careful when picking which one.
Which Mushrooms Are Toxic for Dogs?
According to an article in The Washington Post, of all the mushrooms in the world, only one to two percent of them are actually poisonous. Even from among that small percentage, only about a dozen are fatal. Some of the most common toxic species include:
- Amanita phalloides (Death Cap)
- Galerinamarginata (Funeral Bell)
- Amanita gemmata (Jeweled Amanita)
- Amanita muscaria (Fly Agaric)
- Gyromitra species (False Morel)
- Inocybe species
- Clitocybedealbata (Fool’s Funnel) etc.
Identifying toxic species of mushrooms is tough, even if you have experience as a forager. If your pet grabs one when you’re out on a walk, don’t waste time identifying the species. Immediately contact your veterinarian or the poison control center.
Which Mushrooms Are Safe for Dogs to Eat?
Planning to add mushrooms to your pet’s diet? Purchase the ones locally available in an organic grocery store. Mushrooms are known for sucking/wicking up toxins and pesticides present in the soil or surroundings, so organic options will be healthy and free of these compounds.
Mushrooms that dogs can safely eat include:
How Are Mushrooms Beneficial for Dogs?
Mushrooms contain varying degrees of vitamins, proteins, antioxidants, and minerals. Selenium, a powerful antioxidant that supports the immune system and helps prevent damage to cells and tissue, is also part of the mushroom’s nutritional contents. These fungi can have various health benefits, including:
- Support liver and kidney function
- Help stabilize blood sugar and metabolism
- Lower cholesterol levels and aid promote liver health
- Boost the immune system and help prevent viral infections
- Reduce blood pressure
- Prevent heart diseases and cancer
What Are the Signs of Mushroom Poisoning in Dogs?
To identify if your pet dog has mushroom poisoning, keep an eye out for the following signs:
- Tear production
- Severe gastrointestinal upset
If you suspect your pet has eaten a potentially poisonous mushroom, take them to the vet immediately. As soon as your pet walks through the door, the veterinary team will try to eliminate the body of the mushroom’s toxicity. This is often done by inducing vomiting and/or using activated charcoal to bind the poison. Early veterinary care is sure to help reduce recovery time.
Can Dogs Have an Allergy to Mushrooms?
Yes, some dogs may have an allergic reaction to mushrooms. Signs of a potential food allergy include vomiting (especially immediately after eating), excessive gas, and skin problems. Some dogs may be extremely sensitive and may have a severe reaction after eating mushrooms. To be on the safe side, be on the lookout for hives, swelling of the face or neck, increased heart rate, and difficulty in breathing.
Can Dogs Eat Store-Bought Mushrooms?
An article on Pet Health Network cites that mushrooms sold in large-chain grocery stores are safe and non-toxic to both humans and dogs. However, mushrooms smeared in sauces, oils, and seasonings are a big no. These pose a whole new set of problems for our little buddies. Oils, butter, seasoning, and certain vegetables can be harmful to dogs. Thereby, it’s best to serve them plain to your pup.
Can Dogs Eat Wild Mushrooms?
Dogs are known for jeopardizing their health by gobbling up whatever they see or sniff. Even though only 3% of wild mushrooms are poisonous (source: Cleveland Clinic), you should be extra careful by supervising your dog and consulting with the vet if they have eaten any wild mushrooms or even homegrown ones.
How to Identify Mushrooms That Are Poisonous to Dogs?
It is hard to identify if a given random mushroom is poisonous or not as its look cannot justify its nature. Some good rules that apply for avoiding poisonous mushrooms if you are a novice are:
- If the mushroom has white gills, a skirt or ring on the stem and a bulbous or sack-like base called a volva, avoid it. It may be some good edible fungi, but it could also potentially be a part of the deadly Amanita family.
- Avoid mushrooms with red on the cap or stem.
- Finally, don’t use mushrooms that you’re not 100% sure of being safe.
These rules don’t mean all other mushrooms are safe, but they’ll help you rule out some of the nastier types.
How Can You Add Mushrooms to Your Dog’s Diet?
Any new food can upset your dog’s tummy, and mushrooms are no exception, so it is better to introduce these delicacies gradually by slowly increasing the amount every time to prevent stomach upset. This should be stopped if any sign of illness is seen.
Generally, fresh or dried mushrooms have more beneficial nutrients than canned/preserved ones. Dogs do not create the enzymes needed to break down the fiber and some of the sugars found in mushrooms, so you must also cook them properly before feeding them to your pet to aid in digestion.
Mushroom Recipe for Your Trust-Worthy Companion
If you’re thinking of adding mushrooms in your canine’s menu, you can serve them with the following pet-friendly nutritional recipe by Dr. IhorBasko.
Mushrooms and Peas
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced white button mushrooms or porcini
- 1/2 cup chopped snow peas
- 3 tablespoons butter or ghee
- 1 raw egg
- Sauté mushrooms in butter on medium heat for about 10 minutes.
- Add broth and increase heat to medium-high.
- Add snow peas and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring well.
- Remove from heat.
- Crack open the raw egg over the mushrooms and peas. Mix well.
- Cover pan to allow the egg to cook.
- Serve at room temperature, over an equal amount of cooked brown rice or quinoa.
We can safely say that dogs can eat mushrooms, but not of all types. Poisonous mushrooms are dangerous for both you and your canine buddy. Overall, it’s better to feed your dog edible/locally available mushrooms by properly cooking them. However, remember to consult your vet before deciding whether or not you should let your pup have some.
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