Dogs can eat many human foods, but many others are unsafe for them. Can dogs eat mushrooms, cooked or not?
Your dog will probably try to eat anything that smells good enough to them, and it is your job to do some research and make sure you’re not feeding them anything that could be harmful.
While dogs can eat mushrooms, they should only eat mushrooms that are safe for humans. Keep your dog away from any mushrooms growing outdoors, because some species of wild mushrooms are toxic.
Understanding what foods your dog can and cannot safely eat is important to make sure they stay healthy. It is also important to identify the signs and symptoms of any kind of poisoning that happens from food.
We asked dog owners for their experiences, as well as looking into the benefits and downsides of mushrooms for dogs. We have collected our findings here in one place.
Can Dogs Eat Mushrooms?
Just like us, dogs can eat some mushrooms and not others. Some are safe, and may even be beneficial, while others can be toxic. Dogs can usually eat the mushrooms available in supermarkets and stores, though they would ideally be organic, raw and unseasoned. If the mushrooms have spices and salts added to them, these may upset your dog’s tummy and in some extreme situations, also cause sodium poisoning.
Wild mushrooms on the other hand, are a total red flag. You never know which mushrooms are safe to eat and which aren’t, especially if they’re growing out in the yard or in the woods.
Many people think that dogs will be able to smell out the toxins in the mushrooms and avoid them on their own. This would be ideal, but it’s not exactly true. Dogs can smell much better than we can, but this doesn’t mean that they can identify which smell is a sign of toxicity and which isn’t – particularly if the smell is a new one.
On top of that, dogs, while generally smart animals, are not the most careful when it comes to putting things in their mouth. Dogs like to eat everything, and if you’re not careful, they may just gobble up the wild mushrooms they come across.
Can Dogs Eat Mushrooms Cooked?
Mushrooms bought from stores with a bit of oil are generally safe for dogs to eat. However, if you’re thinking of feeding your dog mushrooms from your meal, you may want to rethink that. Mushrooms from meals are cooked with a lot of extra stuff like spices and seasoning, which can be unsafe for dogs – sometimes even in very small quantities.
If you want to feed your dog mushrooms, you can do so by cooking some for them separately.
Nutritional Benefits of Mushrooms
Mushrooms can actually be very beneficial, nutrition-wise. There are plenty of mushroom species, so each one will have its own set of benefits. Most mushrooms will usually include amino acids (proteins), vitamins A and B, copper, magnesium, potassium, zinc and a number of other essential minerals.
Mushrooms also have a high fiber content, and are full of antioxidants. Some of these may get broken down during the cooking process, if you are cooking them for your dog, but the ones that are safe to eat remain largely beneficial.
Health Concerns Around Mushrooms
On the other hand, there are plenty of other mushrooms that can be toxic to your dog. Some can even be deadly. Avoid feeding your dog any mushrooms that you wouldn’t eat yourself. Also make sure to cook any mushrooms you feed your dog, since raw mushrooms are not easy to digest and can make them sick.
Signs of Mushroom Poisoning in Dogs
Different types of mushrooms can have different negative effects on dogs. Since there are many species of mushrooms, they may all contain various toxins, and each of these can affect dogs in a different way.
Amanita mushrooms, for example, will contain amanitin toxins, and these result in some severe gastrointestinal symptoms. There is also a false recovery period during which your dog seems well again, but can be followed by liver failure and even death.
Some mushrooms will cause excessive urination, diarrhea and neurological symptoms. There may be some Amanita mushrooms that result in sedation, seizures, vomiting and diarrhea, but these are usually not fatal.
Other kinds of mushrooms will only cause gastrointestinal problems, and while these are not fatal, these early symptoms are shared by some of the life threatening mushrooms out there, so determining what kind of mushroom was eaten can be difficult.
Therefore, if you know that your dog has eaten a mushroom and they are showing any of these signs, you should be taking them to the vet as soon as possible to get them checked up. In the worst case scenario, your dog may have eaten a deadly mushroom and can be in danger.
However, sometimes we don’t know that our dogs have eaten mushrooms, since we can’t keep an eye on them all the time. In such cases, it is best to be aware of the common symptoms of mushroom poisoning so that if you see any of these, you can get them to a doctor:
- Weakness and lethargy
- Excessive salivation
- Abdominal pain
Delaying treatment can result in major problems like liver failure or death, so you should hurry to a vet at the first sign of trouble.
Sometimes, the toxicity of mushrooms in your dog may also depend on whether your dog had any pre-existing conditions that were triggered. It may also be a result of eating a number of things in combination. In either case, you should get them checked out.
Treatment for Mushroom Poisoning
Treatment around mushroom poisoning depends greatly on the kind of mushroom eaten and how recently. If you know the type of mushroom eaten, then you should take it with you to the vet so they can take adequate measures depending on the specific type of toxin.
Some vets may administer drugs to counter the dangerous toxins, while others may induce vomiting if your dog had recently eaten it. Dogs can sometimes fall into a deep sleep during procedures, and your vet will make sure to care for them and manage any symptoms.
Feeding Your Dog Mushrooms
If you’re going to feed mushrooms to your dog – knowing that they’re safe, of course – you should make sure to only feed them cooked mushrooms. As mentioned earlier, raw mushrooms are difficult for dogs to digest and while the problem isn’t serious, it can be painful and uncomfortable for your dog.
Also make sure to wash the mushrooms before you cook them to get rid of any dirt. Avoid any kind of salt or seasoning to the mushrooms when cooking, though you can add some low-sodium broth for flavor.
While these mushrooms are safe and actually beneficial, you should also keep your dog from eating too many of them. Moderation is key when it comes to any kind of food that isn’t part of your dog’s regular, balanced diet.
If you are feeding your dog medicinal mushrooms, you may want to work with a vet to make sure that the mushrooms you’re feeding them are safe, and to make sure you’re going for the right dose.
So, can dogs eat mushrooms?
Any mushrooms that you would eat, your dog can eat too. Unlike you, though, your dog should only be eating cooked mushrooms. If your dog has eaten any wild mushrooms, you want to rush them to the vet as soon as possible, and keep an eye out for any of the symptoms of mushroom poisoning.
Some mushrooms can be toxic and deadly for us, and they are just as toxic and deadly for your dog. Unlike you, your dog is not as apprehensive of what they put in their mouth, and you have to be the one to make sure they stay safe.
About THE AUTHOR
I have had dogs my whole life and have always trained my own dogs with patience and positive reinforcement. My dogs are my life. My family always had dogs growing up. I've trained dogs for clients while working at a local dog daycare. I hope that my research and experiences are helpful to you as I share them here.Read More About Russell Wright