Mushrooms are an excellent source of protein, vitamins, and nutrients. It has several nutritional benefits that are good for humans. But can dogs eat mushrooms? Most pet owners have a habit of sharing almost anything they eat with their pets. If your diet includes mushrooms, you might be wondering if it is safe to share with your dogs too.
There are thousands of mushroom varieties. The majority of them are edible. However, it can be quite tricky to determine which ones are safe and edible for humans and canines. Moreso, dogs, though brilliant in many ways, are not particularly fussy when it comes to what gets into their mouths. And to make matters worse, there are toxic mushroom species that smells fishy and are very attractive to pets.
Is Mushroom Safe to Give to Dogs?
Dogs can have mushrooms, but there are only specific types of food that are safe to eat. The safest ones that you can share with your pet are those sold at grocery stores and markets. These types of mushrooms are edible, healthy, and harmless for both humans and pets.
Poisoning and fatal complications can happen when dogs ingest mushrooms that grow in the wild. There are types of fungi that contain toxic substances, which can lead to poisoning and even death. Thus, please don’t risk your pet’s life by letting them eat out anything when you are outdoors.
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Types of Wild Mushroom that Dogs Can’t Eat
If you consider adding mushrooms into your dog’s diet, you might be worried about wild species that can harm them. About 99% of mushrooms are edible, but when you are outdoors, it is still hard to figure which ones are poisonous. And when it comes to your pet’s well-being, there is no such thing as edible wild mushrooms. It is best to keep them away from all mushrooms when you are outdoors.
Thus, keep watch for toxic mushroom species, such as the following:
- Death Cap (Amanita phalloides) – causes fatal poisoning for both humans and pets. It appears as a simple white and unassuming fungi plant. Ingesting half fresh of this mushroom can kill a human adult.
- Fly Agaric (Amanita Muscaria) – this species looks like an iconic fairy tale mushroom. It has a bright red spotted cap.
- Jeweled Death Cap (Amanita Gemmata) – this mushroom species comes with a yellowish cap dotted with white jewel-like spots.
- Elf’s Saddle (Helvella Lacunosa) – has a dark “saddle-like” cap with a white stem. Toxicity levels vary in this mushroom family, but it is best to keep your dogs away.
- Autumn Galerina (Galerina Marginata) – this species appears as small brown mushrooms that are as deadly as the death cap. It has a flatter cap and often grows on rotten wood.
Pet parents also need to look out for other toxic mushrooms including clitocybe dealbata and other inocybe species. These can grow in areas with grass patches where your dogs can eat.
Symptoms Of Dogs That Eat Poisonous Mushroom
Poisoning from ingesting toxic mushrooms will manifest various symptoms in your dog depending on its species. There are four categories of mushrooms toxicity that can affect different parts of the body.
For instance, Category A mushrooms are the most poisonous. It can destroy cells and lead to kidney and liver failure due to toxins. Category B and C impacts the nervous system. These species can cause seizures, tremors, and the ability to walk. And for Category D, these species are rarely life-threatening. But it can cause gastrointestinal distress such as vomiting and diarrhea.
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Some of the most common symptoms of mushroom poisoning in dogs are the following:
- Abdominal Pain
- Excessive Drooling
If your dog shows any of these symptoms and you suspect that it ate a wild mushroom, contact your veterinarian immediately. If possible, you can take a sample of the fungus to show to your vet. It will help them determine the best course of action and medication to help treat your dog.
What Should You Do When You Suspect Mushroom Poisoning in Your Dogs?
In case you saw your pet eat a mushroom and noticed them having adverse side effects, you should immediately call your veterinarian. The sooner you seek help, the earlier you can avoid severe complications. It is best to take your pet to a clinic for medical attention as quickly as possible. It will cost less in terms of treatment, and it will ease the suffering of your dog.
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Some treatments you can expect for this kind of mushroom poisoning in dogs are the following:
- IV fluid treatment
- Charcoal therapy
- Monitoring of blood circulation
- Liver protection medication
- Treatment for diarrhea and vomiting
- Extensive veterinary care for severe cases
You may contact your veterinarian for further questions about potential mushroom poisoning due to mushrooms. For more information, you may also reach out to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.
How to Prevent Dogs Eating Wild Mushroom
Wild mushrooms can be hazardous to dogs. When you are out for a walk or exploring the outdoors, your pet can quickly ingest mushrooms that can make them sick. You can limit the risk by taking simple steps to keep your pet safe. Likewise, it is best to understand the risk around and know what to do when the inevitable happens.
Keep Your Dogs Away from Toxic Mushroom Species
Train your canine buddy to follow your commands and direct them away from the plant. When taking them out for a walk, don’t let it get too close to wild mushrooms in the area. Your dogs may pull and insist on sniffing, chomping and mushroom ingestion, so be firm and keep away. Your dog will not determine whether it is edible or toxic. More so, some poisonous species have a fishy smell.
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Inspect Surroundings for Various Species
If you let your dog roam around in the area, it should be safe from all forms of hazards, including poisonous mushrooms. If you have a small yard, conduct a quick routine scan of the area. For larger areas and unenclosed yards, it is more challenging. Eliminate all forms of mushroom in your yard to prevent your pooch from taking an interest in them.
Learn Different Strains of Mushroom
Take some time to study the different species and strains of mushrooms so you can protect your dog more effectively. Understand which ones are hepatotoxic, neurotic, gastrointestinal, and nephrotoxic.
Supervise outdoor time
Always keep watch over your dog when you are outside. Don’t leave your dogs unattended, whether in your yard or out in the wild. Keep your dog on a leash when visiting parks or hiking in areas where mushrooms may grow.
Can Dogs Eat Mushrooms From Grocery Stores?
If you intend to share mushrooms with your pet, you should stick to store-bought kinds. These are safe to add to your dog’s diet and provide them with additional nutrients and minerals such as Vitamin B and potassium. Here are some ideal variants you can add to your dogs’ food and its benefits.
- Shiitake – this variety is one of the world’s healthiest sources of protein for humans and dogs. You can also get copper, zinc, manganese, selenium, iron, thiamin, folate, niacin, riboflavin, and dietary fiber. Additionally, it is a symbol of longevity for Asians. Shiitake are readily available from your grocery store, but you can also grow it from old logs.
- Maitake – this species is used by Japanese and Chinese for healing practices. It is tagged as the “king of mushrooms” because of its medicinal properties. Maitake helps normalize blood sugar levels, contains anti-cancer properties, lowers cholesterol, and boosts the canine immune system. It still plays a vital component in traditional medicine.
- Reishi – similar to Maitake, this species has various health benefits for humans and dogs. Medicine men use it as a tonic to alleviate symptoms of allergy. It also boosts energy, improves canine digestion, supports the cardiovascular system, and strengthens the immune system. All these benefits are due to its various organic nutrients and microelements. The most common Reishi are red-colored, but they also come in yellow, black, white, purple, and blue.
- White Button – these are another popular variety you can buy from grocery stores in North America. It contains B vitamins, copper, selenium, phosphorus, and potassium. It is the most cultivated kind of mushroom around the world. After days of growing, it turns into the Crimini and the Portobello variety.
- Crimini – this is a type of button mushroom that is brown in coloring instead of white. It is harvested right after the cap opens, and the grills are visible with darker brown color. It contains the same nutritional benefits as the button variety.
- Portobello – this type is the bigger and more mature version of the button and crimini mushroom. It offers the same nutritional value as the other two, like B vitamins, folate, thiamine, and riboflavin. Likewise, it contains iron, zinc, copper, and lysine.
- Porcini – this type of mushroom often grows in the wild, but they are also available seasonally at the supermarket. For best value nutrition, serve this cooked plain without seasonings or sauces.
Keep your dog’s consumption of mushrooms in moderation. Although these varieties contain nutrients beneficial for canines, excess amounts can also be harmful. Ideally, you can serve this along with its foods during meal times.
Health Benefits of Mushrooms For Dogs
Mushrooms are not just new foods you can mix into your pet’s meals. Similar to other vegetables, it contains lots of nutrients that will benefit their health. Some of the essential nutrients your pooch can get from mushrooms are:
- Vitamins, such as B vitamins, vitamin D, and pantothenic acid
- Minerals like sodium, potassium, phosphorus, and copper
- Protein and amino acids
- Vitamin C helps boost their immune system and fight viral infections, skin diseases, kennel cough, and other conditions
- Riboflavin helps sustain energy production from fats
- Manganese helps prevent canine reproductive failure, weak growth, and abnormalities in the skeletal system
- Vitamin A for better eyesight, prevent reproductive problems and promote healthier coat and fur
- Antioxidants help prevent canine carcinoma, enhance the immune system, prevent allergies and skin issues.
- Selenium helps prevent heart diseases, skins problems, and arthritis in canines
- Iron helps fight anemia and keeps dogs healthier as they grow old.
- Phosphorus serves as a crucial component in canine bone development.
All these vitamins and nutrients help improve your dog’s health and well-being.
- Enhances metabolism and improves blood sugar levels.
- Improves liver and kidney functions in canines
- Lowers cholesterol and reduces weight
- Prevent infections from various viruses
- Provide better health with immunomodulators and antioxidants.
How many Mushrooms Can You Give to Dogs Daily?
Giving your pup too many mushrooms can lead to indigestion. Feed them just enough for them to eat and digest. Ideally, it must be served as an addition to their main meal instead of giving it separately. They are not like treats or cookies. Monitor your dog’s reaction to this new food. If your pet shows any sign of sensitivity, then stop giving it to them.
Moreover, it is best to cook this type of food before adding it to a canine’s meal. Though fresh and dried ones contain more nutrients than preserved and canned, it is not advisable for your pets. Dogs do not have enzymes that help breakdown sugars and fibers in raw mushrooms. Therefore, it is best to cook them before feeding your pet to avoid indigestion.
Dogs view feeding time as a positive experience. It is always rewarding for them when you give them a delicious meal. Similarly, your pet craves bits and morsels of the food you eat too. So if you’d like to bond more with your canine buddy, always consider the safety and health benefits of the food you share with them.
If you love having alternative protein sources, you may also wonder, can dogs eat mushrooms too? There are thousands of species of this plant, and they provide excellent health benefits for both humans and pets. However, you should exercise caution as there are poisonous types that can harm dogs. Always opt for store-bought variety when feeding mushrooms to your pet. More so, always supervise your dog when you are outdoors. Keep them away from wild mushrooms to prevent untoward circumstances from happening.
How about you? Have you tried feeding mushrooms to your dogs? Did they like the experience? Share with us your experience by leaving us a comment in the box below.