Mushrooms are one of the best ingredients to add to recipes, giving it extra flavor and texture while providing a low-calorie source of fiber, protein, and antioxidants. If you’re wondering whether dogs can eat mushrooms, you’ll find that it depends on which type you’re giving them. There are over 50,000 varieties of mushrooms out there in the world with 1-2% of them being poisonous. The non-toxic varieties can be good for dogs to eat since mushrooms do contain essential nutrients. Generally speaking, store-bought mushrooms are safe for dogs to eat and can be served cooked or raw. Dogs should not eat wild mushrooms since they might be toxic for them.
To help you learn more, we’ve compiled a guide on mushrooms for dogs. From health benefits to signs of poisoning, let’s explore more on giving your dogs mushrooms.
Are Mushrooms Bad For Dogs?
Unlike fruits and vegetables, mushrooms grow from spores rather than seeds that are so small that they can’t be seen with the naked eye. These spores get nourishment from substances like wood, grain, straw, or sawdust and spawn into mycelium which eventually transforms into the mushrooms we’re used to seeing. While there are many mushroom varieties out there that are safe for dogs to eat, there are also strains that can be poisonous for them.
The primary issue with consuming wild mushrooms is that unless you’re a trained expert you’ll never know whether the mushrooms you come across are safe or poisonous. While many wild mushrooms are not poisonous, there are plenty that are. If you can’t discern one from the other, we recommend that you avoid feeding any to your dogs.
Examples of poisonous mushroom strains:
- Death Cap (Amanita Phalloides)
- Deadly Galerina (Galerina Autumnalis or Galerina Marginata)
- Jeweled Death Cap (Amanita Gemmata)
- Fly or Deadly Agaric (Amanita Muscaria)
- False Morel (Gyromitra spp)
- Inocybe spp. And Clitocybe Dealbata Mushrooms
Unfortunately, there have been many cases of dogs coming across and ingesting these types of varieties in the wild leading to serious treatment or even death. While it’s never a good idea to feed your dogs wild mushrooms, most store-bought mushrooms are harmless for them.
Health Benefits of Non-Toxic Mushrooms For Dogs
Non-toxic mushrooms actually have a ton of nutrients including antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. They are rich in vitamin D, zinc, selenium, potassium, copper, thiamin, magnesium, and phosphorous. Mushrooms have been found to help reduce blood pressure while also providing an added boost to immune systems.
Mushrooms are also rich in protein and fiber. They have zero fat or cholesterol making this a healthy treat for obese dogs. In addition, mushrooms are naturally low in calories. The added fiber will also keep your dogs satiated since it makes them feel fuller for longer periods.
Like most foods out there, you should only feed non-toxic mushrooms to your dogs in moderation without any added seasonings. Mushrooms are often prepared with garlic, onions, salt, butter, etc. that are toxic or unhealthy for your dogs to eat.
Most dog foods have been formulated to provide all the nutrients the average dog needs to maintain a healthy and happy lifestyle so you don’t always need to augment their diets with additional foods. However, not all dog foods are created equal so we’ve created a guide to help you compare different options available here.
What If Your Dog Eats Wild Mushrooms?
If your dogs have ingested wild mushrooms, you should monitor them to see if they exhibit any negative symptoms. Be prepared to take them to the veterinarian if necessary. This means not being a few hours away from your veterinarian or without appropriate transportation available.
We recommend being on the safe side and taking your dogs to the veterinarian for inspection regardless of whether they are exhibiting any negative symptoms which can include:
- Excessive salivation
- Muscle weakness
- Abdominal pains
These symptoms can take as little as 15 minutes or as long as 12 hours to show.
Remember that there are over 50,000 varieties of mushrooms out there in the world with only 1-2% being toxic. Of these toxic varieties, there is only a handful that can lead to death. But it’s better to err on the side of caution and take your dog to the veterinarian for potential treatment. If possible, take a sample of the mushroom even if it’s found in your dog’s vomit. This way a professional can quickly analyze the mushroom and identify its strain.
Wild mushrooms aren’t only found out on trails. They can also grow in your own backyard so make sure to regularly check your garden and remove any mushrooms that are growing out there. This way you won’t have to worry about them finding one while unsupervised!
Veterinary Treatment For Wild Mushroom Poisoning
The type of treatment for mushroom poisoning is dependent on three factors:
- The type of mushrooms your dogs have eaten
- The symptoms your dogs are experiencing
- How recently your dogs ate the mushrooms
Remember, your veterinarian needs to know what type of mushroom your dogs have eaten. If you can, take a sample of the mushroom with you to the vet so it can be analyzed. The more the vet knows, the better they will be able to treat your dogs, minimizing their chances of needing serious treatment or even dying.
Veterinarians use a variety of treatment tools but they can include inducing vomiting or giving your dogs drugs like activated charcoal that can help counteract the effects of the poison. In extreme cases, your dogs may become comatose. If this happens, treatment can also include constant monitoring until your dogs wake up.
Yes, Dogs Can Eat Non-Toxic Mushrooms in Moderation
Dogs can eat certain varieties of mushrooms in moderation. Generally speaking, these include most commercially grown mushrooms found in stores. However, you should never let your dog eat wild mushrooms since you can’t determine whether it’s poisonous or not unless you’re a trained professional.