Mushrooms are used in a variety of dishes, such as mushroom soup and mushroom pasta. Mushrooms are also very nutritious, apart from their good taste. Now the question is whether we can give mushrooms to our dogs as well? Are mushrooms healthy for them and are there types of mushrooms that our dogs should not eat?
In this article, we will find an answer to the question- “Can Dogs Eat Mushrooms?”
Can Our Dogs Have Some Mushrooms?
YES, we can give some mushrooms to our four-legged companion BUT WITH SOME CAUTIONS TO FOLLOW.
We all know that not all mushroom varieties are safe for human consumption. Some may be toxic. The same can be said when it comes to feeding mushrooms to our dogs.
It’s better to allow your dog to eat store-bought mushrooms to be healthy. The general rule you must obey is to keep your dog back when you go out. Many mushrooms can grow in the wild, and you’re not sure whether or not these mushrooms are toxic. Even within your own backyard, there may be some mushrooms sprucing out which your dog might ingest.
Dogs have a massive sense of smell, and mushrooms emit an enticing scent. And, as a dog owner, I’m sure you’re going to agree with me when I say a dog’s receptiveness to smell doesn’t always mean they know what’s bad for them and what’s great for them. Dogs are attracted to the scent of mushrooms but sadly, there are reported cases of mushroom toxicity in dogs.
Now, if you still want a taste of mushrooms for your pooch, you can do that but only those you buy in the grocery store. Later in the article, I will detail the types of healthy mushrooms and those that are not suitable for your four-legged friend to support you further.
Are Mushrooms Toxic to Dogs?
Dogs can eat mushrooms, as I mentioned, but not all varieties are safe. They can have some good effects, depending on what kind of mushrooms, but some can make your dog sick.
There are six classifications of mushrooms that are TOXIC for your pooch:
1. Toxic Mushrooms that could result in gastrointestinal problems in dogs are:
2. False Morel Mushrooms:
These mushrooms can cause severe vomiting, dehydration, and diarrhea.
- Gyromitra caroliniana or the big reds variety
- Gyromitra esculenta
3. Mushrooms that are toxic to your dog’s liver:
It can be said that these mushrooms are the most toxic to dogs. The toxins of amanitin cause severe damage to the liver and kidneys.
- Amanita phalloides or death cap mushroom variety
- Amanita ocreata or the angel of death mushroom variety
4. Mushrooms that can cause hallucinogenic effects on dogs:
Although these do not endanger your dog’s life, it does create irregular habits such as excessive howling, hyperthermia, and unnormal eye movements.
5. Mushrooms that can cause muscarinic toxicity:
These mushrooms have muscarine toxin that causes diarrhea and neurological dysfunctions.
6. Mushrooms that are the toadstool varieties:
Such mushrooms bear two forms of toxins with them: muscimol and ibotenic acid, which causes tremors and dog seizures.
- Amanita muscaria or the fly agaric variety
- Amanita pantherina or the panther cap variety
I know that the above-mentioned poisonous mushroom varieties can be disturbing because of their scientific names, that is why it is of utmost importance that you make an extra effort when feeding your dog mushroom. Likewise, you should keep your dog from eating wild mushrooms and those that spurt out in your garden and park.
Make it a habit to clean your backyard to stop your dog from eating wild mushrooms. Search if there are mushroom growths and remove these immediately if you see any. The same can be done if you take your dog to a park, check if there are mushrooms around, and then eliminate them so that your dog will not consume any of these wild mushrooms.
What Are The Symptoms That Your Dog Have Eaten Wild Mushrooms?
- Tremors and seizures
- Salivates profusely
- Frequent urination
- Severe gastrointestinal problems
- Lethargic behavior
However, if there are toxic mushrooms, there are also healthy mushrooms that your dogs can eat.
What Are The Health Benefits Mushrooms Can Give to Your Dog?
Dogs can benefit if given mushrooms occasionally. I will list below the vitamins and the minerals that good mushrooms can provide for your four-legged companion:
- Vitamin A:
If your pooch is deficient in vitamin A, due to skin problems, it will scratch the skin. It will also have poor vision and may have early signs of eye problems such as cataracts. Mushrooms are rich in vitamin A, which can help to solve issues with the skin and poor dog vision.
- B-Complex Vitamins:
To stay in tip-top shape, your pooch requires B-complex vitamins. These are B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12 vitamins. There are water-soluble vitamins that act as skin protection, to improve immunity from all types of infection, and to produce red blood cells and better process proteins.
- Vitamin C:
- Vitamin D:
This is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps in the processing of calcium and phosphorus for strong bones, muscles, and teeth.
- Dietary Fiber:
Lack of fiber leads to improper waste elimination.
Potassium, selenium, magnesium, riboflavin, and phosphorus are all present in mushrooms.
A Summary of the Benefits of Mushrooms for Dogs:
- For the proper functioning of kidneys and liver
- To boost-up immunity from diseases
- To prevent cardiovascular diseases
- Normalizes blood sugar level
- Lowers the cholesterol level
- Aids in improving the conditions of convalescing dogs
Now that you are aware of the many advantages that mushrooms can bring to your dog’s health, it’s safe to say that dogs can eat mushrooms, but only those sold in grocery stores.
What Are The Mushroom Varieties or Types That Are Safe for Your Dogs?
- Shiitake Mushrooms:
These are meaty, edible mushrooms, most of which are found in East Asia. Generally, those mushrooms grow on hardwood trees. The color is somewhere between tan to a dark brown shade and their caps growing up to 4 inches .
Shiitake mushrooms are rich in iron, potassium, riboflavin, dietary fiber, among others. Due to its numerous health benefits, shiitake mushrooms are considered as one of the healthiest food choices around the globe.
- Maitake Mushrooms:
These are mushrooms known to have medicinal properties mostly found in Japan’s northeastern part. These are distinguished by the physical characteristics of feathery and ruffles. And some people call those mushrooms “the king of mushrooms” because of their medicinal properties.
These have ant-cancer properties, lower the cholesterol level of your dog, maintain the normal blood sugar, and level up the immunity to diseases.
- Reishi Mushrooms:
This fungus, also known as Ganoderma lucidum, thrives well in hot and humid parts of Asia. It is also known that these mushrooms have some medicinal properties because they contain polysaccharides, triterpenoids and peptides that prevent and cure diseases.
The Reishi mushrooms come in various colors like yellow, blue, purple, and black. But the red variety is the one that is widely-cultivated.
Once in a while, you should offer your pooch Reishi mushrooms as they can help cure skin allergies, pump up their energy level, and boost their overall immune system.
- Button Mushrooms:
Agaricus bisporus is the scientific name of button mushrooms. These are abundant in North America and Europe.
These mushrooms, are rich n vitamins like the B-complex. In addition, these nutritious and healthy dog mushrooms contain minerals such as copper, phosphorus, and potassium.
These are the four varieties of mushrooms that are normally found in grocery stores. These are safe and dogs can eat these mushrooms without the deadly side-effects.
What About Wild Mushrooms, Are These Safe for Dogs?
A big NO. The mushrooms that can make your dog really ill are the ones found in the wild. But before you stop taking your dog on a hunting trip, let me stress that only 1% of wild mushrooms are harmful to your dog. The problem is that determining which of these wild mushrooms are safe or not can be pretty hard.
How To Serve Mushrooms to Your Dog?
The best way to give these to your dog is to cook the mushrooms in boiled water. But avoid adding butter, garlic, onion, and salt. Here’s a dog-friendly mushroom recipe. Nonetheless, take note that fresh and dried mushrooms are better for them than canned mushrooms.
- 1/2 cup of thinly sliced button mushrooms
- 1/2 cup chopped of snow peas
- 1 fresh egg
- Olive Oil
Sauté the mushrooms in olive oil. Add a little water and add the snow peas and cook for 5 minutes when it starts to boil. Turn off the fire, then mix the beaten egg together. Cover the pan to allow the cooking of the egg.
How Many Mushrooms Can Your Dog Eat?
Feed your dog with the right amount of mushrooms, 1/8 cup average for small dogs and 1/4 cup average for big dogs. Edible and store-bought mushrooms may be good, but too much may have side effects such as diarrhea.
A word of caution when serving mushrooms: Do not feed your dog with uncooked mushrooms even if these are bought in the grocery.
Can Puppies Eat Mushrooms?
If the puppies are already eating solid food, a very small amount of mushrooms can be fed to the pups. At this point, puppies are gradually starting to explore different tastes and textures, and one of those might be mushrooms. Note that only the mushrooms you got in the grocery store are safe to eat.
But not all puppies would like the taste and the texture of mushrooms. Try giving it with few bits and if the puppy does not exhibit any signs of food allergies, then mushrooms can be part of its occasional diet.
Gift Your Dog with Some Mushroom Treats:
Give your dog the right amount of dog treats to make them feel special. The one made with mushrooms is one of the healthier treats to give. Try the mushroom bites of Zesty Paws that are good for all ages.
Dogs are allowed to eat mushrooms. But be careful about which type to choose from. You should give only store-bought mushrooms like shiitake and button mushrooms. Unless eaten in large quantities, these mushroom varieties will not affect your puppy or dog Otherwise, mushrooms give both puppies and adult dogs a lot of health and nutritional benefits.
Do not give mushrooms that you find in the wild or your backyard. You never know whether these are poisonous to your four-legged companion or not.