Mushrooms For Dogs: Can They Really Eat Them?

As an adoring dog owner, there are few things that can induce panic quite like the suspicion that your beloved pet has consumed something potentially dangerous to them. That’s why it’s essential that you have a robust understanding of not only foods that are safe to feed your dog, but foods that aren’t pet-safe, too.

If you have mushrooms in your yard or home, you might be wondering if your dog can snag one. Today, we’re going to answer that burning question: can dogs really eat mushrooms? The answer is multifaceted. 

We have all the insight on what mushrooms are to begin with so you’ll know what to look for the next time your dog is roaming out and about. Some mushrooms are good, and some not so much; regardless it can be concerning when your dog randomly eats something they shouldn’t be eating in the first place. As for the good kind of mushrooms, there are some health benefits that they can offer. 

The number one priority we have here at WINPRO Pet is that your dog is both happy and healthy. Anything that we can do to support their health to make sure they’ll live a long, happy life is part of our mission. 

What Are Mushrooms?

First, let’s quickly recap what mushrooms technically are. Mushrooms are unique because they’re technically fungi and not vegetables, despite the fact that us humans shop for them in the produce section of our grocery stores.

Mushrooms are composed of several components. There’s the stipe, or stem. Then, there’s the pileus, or cap. Finally, we have the lamellae, or gills, of the mushroom. Of course, not all variations of mushrooms have these features, but that’s the general structure that you can expect. 

Did you know that there are actually about 14,000 different species of mushrooms? Of course, not all 14,000 of these species are edible--in fact, plenty of them are considered to be toxic. 

Let’s talk about how mushrooms come about. This fungi forms from a small structure referred to as a primordium. This grows on several types of substrates. From there, the primordium enlarges into a structure that looks like an egg. This is composed of hyphae, and is called a “button.” 

Mycelium, or the universal veil, will surround the button to start. Then, as the button grows, the veil will break. From there, the remnants of the veil on a fully matured mushroom will appear in the form of warts. Alternatively, it could appear to be found hanging from the cap of the mushroom.

Now that you have some background on mushrooms and how they are formed, let’s discuss the connection between mushrooms and dogs. Namely, is this fungus safe for dogs to ingest? 

Are Mushrooms Safe For Dogs?

The truth is that, yes, there are some mushrooms that are safe for dogs! There are also some mushrooms that are really, really dangerous for your furry friend--and those often have a fishy odor, which can attract a pup even more.

Our best suggestion for you is to incorporate mushrooms into your pet’s diet mindfully. The best way to go about it is to visit a grocery store and look for organic, human-safe varieties. This is the safest option for your pet because mushrooms can soak up both pesticides and toxins. Therefore, organic options will be devoid of unwanted compounds that could be hazardous to your pup’s health. 

Let’s run through some of the mushrooms that your dog can safely eat. Consult this list before you bring mushrooms home to your canine companion to ensure that you’ve selected the right types. 

Dogs can consume the following mushrooms: 

  • Cremini
  • Portobello
  • White button
  • Reishi 
  • Porcini 
  • Maitake 
  • Shiitake

If you want to feed your dog one of the above mushrooms, you should avoid putting them in heavy seasonings or sauces. When it comes to incorporating mushrooms into your pup’s diet, it’s best to keep it simple. 

What Mushrooms Are Unsafe For Dogs?

While there are some mushrooms that are perfectly safe for your pup, there are also some that you should avoid at all costs. 

The mushrooms that you should never feed your dog include: 

  • Gyromitra species (false morel)
  • Amanita phalloides (death cap)
  • Amanita muscaria (fly agaric)
  • Galerina marginata (deadly Galerina) 
  • Amanita gemmata (jeweled death cap) 
  • Inocybe species
  • Clitocybe dealbata 

All of the above mushrooms are toxic and poisonous for dogs to consume. Nevertheless, it can be difficult to identify a toxic mushroom species--even for people who are experienced and spend a lot of time in the woods.

If you find your pet eating a mushroom during a walk in the woods, it’s crucial that you reach out to a vet or poison control center right away. Don’t throw away valuable time attempting to identify what type it is. You should treat any mushroom your dog gets ahold of that you didn’t feed them as poisonous. 

Are There Any Nutritional Benefits of Feeding My Dog Mushrooms?

You might be wondering why anyone would feed their furry friend a safe mushroom, because they’re not typically considered to be dog food. We’re here to share with you some of the perks associated with feeding your dog the safe types of mushroom. 

They are full of nutrients, and that’s why most pet owners might be curious about adding them to their dog’s diet. These potential health benefits include: 

  • To help improve nutrient levels in weak animals
  • To support kidney and liver function 
  • To potentially lower cholesterol, they can assist with weight loss if your dog is at a dangerous weight, and also to prevent fatty liver disease
  • To reduce metabolism and blood sugar 
  • To help prevent viral infections from occurring 
  • To boost your pet’s immune system 
  • To reduce their blood pressure 
  • To support their heart health 

Of course, if you have any questions about how you can soothe chronic issues your pet is fighting, you should first reach out to your vet. There are supportive steps that you can take to help improve your pet’s condition. 

My Dog Ate a Mushroom and I’m Not Sure If It’s Toxic or Not. What Do I Do?

In the event that your dog consumed a mushroom and you’re unsure if it is toxic or not, you need to get them to the vet as soon as possible. The mushrooms that are poisonous are extremely dangerous to your pet’s health, and a mistake could prove fatal. The faster you get your dog to a vet or call poison control, the higher chance they have of surviving. 

There are several factors to watch out for if you think your dog has eaten a toxic mushroom. There could be salivation, urination, sedation, tear production, tremors, liver failure, seizures, extreme gastrointestinal distress, or even death if you don’t act soon enough or if the mushroom is that dangerous. 

Once you get your pet to the vet, they will work to rid your dog’s body of the toxicity the mushroom contains. This is usually either done by inducing vomiting, or utilizing activated charcoal. 

There are a few things that could improve your dog’s prognosis and their recovery time. The first is most crucial, and that’s early supportive care. This typically includes the usage of IV fluids, liver-protectant, and even anti-nausea medication. 

Conclusion

Mushrooms can be an excellent addition to your dog’s diet, as long as you’re sure that you are feeding them the correct type. The mushrooms that are safe for dogs, however, can have a variety of positive impacts on your pet’s health. 

 

Sources: 

Can Dogs Eat Mushrooms - Learn the Truth | Trupanion 

Mushrooms | Colorado Integrated Food Safety Center of Excellence

The Top Health Benefits of Mushrooms | Food Revolution