Can Dogs Eat Mushrooms? What Are the Risks?

Written by Austin S.
Updated: June 19, 2022
Image Credit tismaja/Shutterstock.com
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Mushrooms are edible fungi with many beneficial minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins. Much research has shown the benefits of mushrooms for humans. The question is, “are they safe or dangerous to dogs?”. 

Similarly, you’ve probably come across reports that state that certain types of mushrooms are dangerous to humans. Thus, as a dog owner, you might be wondering if your dog can eat mushrooms and what kinds. Dogs are playful creatures. When playing outdoors, they are willing to eat anything that looks tasty or appealing. 

Hence, It is not unusual for your dog to find a mushroom while playing outdoors. But not all mushrooms are suitable for your dog to eat. So, as a dog owner, you need to know the different types of mushrooms your dog can and can’t eat. In this article, we’ll be discussing everything you need to know about the question “Can dogs eat mushrooms?”. 

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Can Your Dog Eat Mushrooms?

Yes, your dog can eat mushrooms. But they must be the ones that are also safe for human consumption. Your dog can safely eat the store-bought edible mushrooms that you eat. But you have to ensure they don’t contain any extra additives. 

Nutritional Benefits of Edible Mushrooms

Edible mushrooms are rich in minerals, vitamins, potent antioxidants, and co-enzymes. They also contain a considerable amount of protein and fiber. Below are the nutritional benefits of edible mushrooms. 

B Vitamins

All the B vitamins in mushrooms work together to regulate enzyme function and energy metabolism in your dog. They also support heart health and the nervous system. 

Potassium

Potassium is an essential mineral found in mushrooms. This mineral helps your dog’s kidneys function correctly. It also supports efficient muscle and heart function. 

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin present in mushrooms. It supports your dog’s reproductive system and bibe growth. It also supports the dog’s healthy vision and immune system.  

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that reduces cellular damage in your dog’s cells. It also helps to support your dog’s immune system by reducing cognitive aging and fighting off cancerous cells. 

Ergothioneine(ERGO)

Ergothioneine is one of the most potent antioxidants found in mushrooms. It reduces the effects of cognitive aging and chronic diseases in dogs. ERGO also reduces cancer risk and inflammation. 

Glutathione(GHS)

Glutathione is another powerful antioxidant found in mushrooms. GHS helps to enhance the efficiency of other antioxidants in mushrooms. It also reduces cell damage, inflammation, and cognitive aging. 

Which Mushrooms Can Your Dog Eat?

All mushroom species that you can eat are safe for your dog to eat. Pick mushrooms sold at your local store and ensure they don’t have preservatives. Also, ensure that you choose the organic mushrooms over the non-organic ones. Dogs can’t process toxins and chemicals like humans. Thus, it would be better to stick with organic mushrooms if you plan on giving mushrooms to your dog. 

Some Mushroom Species That Are Suitable for Canine Consumption

Shiitake Mushrooms

These mushrooms are potent immune-boosting mushrooms with anti-tumor and anti-cancer benefits. They are great for supporting and modulating the immune system. Shiitake mushrooms also offer anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. 

Porcini Mushrooms

Porcini mushrooms have an earthy flavor. You can find them mostly in Italian dishes. Also, dried porcini mushrooms are a good source of vitamin D. 

White Button Mushrooms

Button mushrooms are the most common mushroom species found in local stores. They are rich in phosphorus, selenium, and vitamin D

Can Your Dog Eat Wild Mushrooms?

No. Many species of wild mushrooms are highly toxic to dogs. Identifying wild mushrooms can be difficult if you’re not an expert on mushrooms. Some people believe that dogs can identify toxic mushrooms through smell. But this is not true. Some toxic mushroom species can attract your dog due to their unique scent. But they can cause mushroom poisoning in your dog if consumed. 

What Are the Dangerous Mushrooms Your Dog Needs to Avoid?

The number of mushrooms dangerous to your dog’s health is minimal. But their effect is deadly. Some cause very deadly symptoms, while others cause mild symptoms. 

Unless you have adequate knowledge of mushrooms, it can be challenging for you to identify the toxic ones. Thus, it is safer to avoid mushroom poisoning and keep your dog away from wild mushrooms.  Below are some of the most toxic mushrooms to dogs

Death Cap Mushrooms (Amanita phalloides)

Just like their name, death cap mushrooms are incredibly deadly. They are thought to be the deadliest mushrooms in the world. Death cap mushrooms contain a toxin called amanitin. This toxin causes severe gastrointestinal issues followed by liver failure. Also, you can identify death caps by their light green or white color.

Fly Agaric Mushrooms (Amanita muscaria)

Fly agaric mushrooms are the most common mushrooms in the Amanita family. They cause neurological symptoms, seizures, and tremors in dogs when ingested. Fly agaric mushrooms are red with white spots. 

Panther Cap Mushrooms (Amanita pantherina)

Panther cap mushrooms can attract your dog because of their fishy smell. Panther cap mushrooms cause symptoms like diarrhea, salivation, and urination after consumption. During severe cases, your dog might go into a coma-like sleep. 

Angel of Death Mushrooms(Amanita ocreata)

Angel of death mushrooms causes damage to your dog’s kidneys and liver when ingested. The first sign of poisoning after ingesting an angel of death mushroom is a gastrointestinal disorder. These mushrooms are extremely deadly to your dog, and consumption can be lethal.  

Symptoms of Mushroom Poisoning

Mushroom poisoning is a serious problem and can cause severe illness or death. To this end, ensure your dog doesn’t eat any wild mushrooms. Symptoms of mushroom poisoning can vary depending on the species of mushroom. But the general symptoms include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of coordination
  • Seizures
  • Muscle spasms
  • Difficulty moving
  • Excess drooling
  • Abdominal pain

What Should You Do if Your Dog Eats Wild Mushrooms?

You should take your dog to the vet immediately if you notice symptoms of mushroom poisoning. The sooner you take your dog to the vet, the faster they can determine what is wrong.

Do not try to identify the type of mushroom your dog ate. Even a tiny amount of some mushroom species can be fatal in your dog, so you need to treat all wild mushrooms as poisonous. 

Treatment of Mushroom Poisoning in Dogs

Before going to the vet, try to get a sample of the mushroom your dog ate. The type of mushroom, quantity, and time of consumption will help your vet treat your dog effectively. Your vet might try to induce vomiting if the mushroom was consumed recently. Also, the vet might use activated charcoal if it is impossible to induce vomiting. Activated charcoal will bind the poison and neutralize Its effect. 

Furthermore, supportive care is then given to your dog to aid its recovery. Your vet might provide liver protectants and anti-nausea medications to aid in recovery. Also, the vet can administer IV fluids to help control the symptoms. 

Can Your Dog Be Allergic to Mushrooms?

Dogs, like humans, can have food allergies. Mushroom allergy in dogs is very rare. But it’s possible. When you feed your dog mushrooms for the first time, start with small quantities. See how your dog reacts, then you can introduce larger quantities if it’s not allergic. Your dog might be allergic to mushrooms if it exhibits the following symptoms after ingesting one. 

  • Hives
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Vomiting
  • Excess gas
  • Accelerated breathing

Furthermore, take your dog to the vet immediately if you notice it having difficulty breathing. 

What Are the Best Methods to Feed Mushrooms to Your Dog?

Fresh, organically grown, store-bought mushrooms are the best mushrooms for your dog to eat. You can decide to give it fresh or cooked to your dog. But if you cook the mushrooms, ensure that they don’t contain any sauce, seasoning, or oil that can harm your dog. Also, try to avoid feeding raw mushrooms to your dog. Raw mushrooms can be challenging for smaller dog breeds and puppies to digest. 

Secondly, you can serve your dog canned mushrooms. As long as there are no additives other than water, they are safe for your dog to eat. Dried mushrooms might not contain the same water content as fresh mushrooms, but they still have nutritional benefits. Also, ensure that there are no added seasonings or salts to the dried mushrooms. 

Finally, you can serve mushroom broths to your dog. You can offer mushroom broths as a hydrating treat or add them to your dog’s diet.

A Brief Note About Medicinal Mushrooms

Some veterinarians prescribe medicinal mushrooms, which come in dried, powdered, and capsule forms, to their canine patients. Since these types of mushrooms are medicinal, they should be treated like any other type of medication. If your veterinarian believes that medicinal mushrooms could benefit your dog, they will select the proper variety, dosage, and frequency. In short, we do not recommend that you administer medicinal mushrooms without specific directions from your veterinarian.

Final Summary 

Mushrooms are safe for your dog to eat, as long as they are store-bought. Wild mushrooms seen in your backyard or on the grass by the road should be kept away from your dog. When introducing new food to your dog’s diet, moderation is key. Always remember the 90%/10% rule when you need to feed your dog a treat. Make dog treats or snacks 10% of your dog’s diet. Let the remaining 90% be for quality dog food

Before sharing any human food with your dog, consult your vet first. Your vet will determine if you can add the food to your dog’s diet or not. To this end, check with your vet before offering your dog mushrooms. If your dog eats wild mushrooms, take it to the vet immediately. 

Furthermore, read this article to know which mushrooms to give your dog and which ones to avoid. 

The following high-quality dog food contains mushrooms:

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About the Author

Growing up in rural New England on a small scale farm gave me a lifelong passion for animals. I love learning about new wild animal species, habitats, animal evolutions, dogs, cats, and more. I've always been surrounded by pets and believe the best dog and best cat products are important to keeping our animals happy and healthy. It's my mission to help you learn more about wild animals, and how to care for your pets better with carefully reviewed products.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

How big do mushrooms get?

As incredible as it might sound, the world’s largest mushroom is located in Oregon and covers about 3.7 square miles in area!