So, can dogs eat mushrooms? Some people ask this question because they want their canine friend to have a taste of the mushroom dish they are enjoying. Most people, however, ask the question with more than just a hint of panic in their voice.
Unfortunately, the answer to the question is an uncertain “It depends.” There is no simple definitive answer. There is a wide selection of mushrooms. Some varieties are safe to eat. Others can prove toxic if not lethal to human beings as well as to man’s best friend.
If you see your adored pet prying, sniffing, and nibbling at the questionable (potentially toxic) fungi in the park or in your own backyard, I guess nobody can blame you for getting the jitters.
What Mushrooms Are Safe for Your Dog?
You can feed your dog porcini, portobello, shiitake, and white button mushrooms. They are safe for your dog. Cremini, maitake, and reishi are also edible mushrooms. You can give your dog these mushrooms without any worries.
Can Dogs Eat Cooked Mushrooms?
Yes, and it is best recommended to always feed them cooked mushrooms. However, you do have to watch out for how the dish is prepared. The aforementioned mushrooms may be safe for your dog. But when they are heavily seasoned or come in rich or heavy sauces, it may not be healthy for your dog.
Are Any Mushrooms Poisonous To Dogs?
Around a hundred mushrooms species are toxic. Some of the more commonly known ones include the death cap (Amanita phalloides), jeweled death cap (Amanita gemmata), false morel (Gyromitra species), fly agaric (Amanita muscaria), deadly Galerina (Galerina marginata), Clitocybe dealbata, and the Inocybe species.
I am not an expert on fungi (mushrooms are fungi) so how am I expected to tell which species are poisonous and which ones are safe for my dog? If I want to feed my dog mushrooms, I definitely am sticking to mushrooms I can get from the supermarket!
And if I find my pooch grabbing an odd mushroom when I take him for a woodland stroll, you can bet I am calling the poison control center, my veterinarian, or the nearest emergency veterinary hospital ASAP!
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How quickly do dogs get mushroom poisoning?
When a dog eats a poisonous mushroom, he is bound to have an upset stomach. His condition can get worse; the subsequent symptoms will depend on what type of mushroom he ingested.
The onset of illness is fast with signs occurring in 30 minutes up to 6 hours. Signs include weakness, lack of coordination, tremors, hallucinations, vocalizations, disorientation, agitation, and seizures.[Source]
Mushrooms of the poisonous variety are usually grouped according to type. Eating a certain type of mushrooms will result only in an upset stomach. Another type triggers tremors, convulsions, disorientation, or kidney or liver failure. Another type will cause diarrhea, nausea, excessive urination, or extreme drooling or tear production.
The possibilities are many – and extremely worrisome. Most people will not know what they are dealing with. I know for a fact that if I see my dog get hold of a random mushroom while we are out on a hike, I will waste no time in contacting my vet.
I think it is prudent to consider a mushroom that my pet accidentally eats as toxic until an expert says otherwise. It is also best to gather the remaining mushrooms so that the vet will know exactly what course of action to recommend.
Adverse Reactions to Mushrooms
It is also possible for some dogs to have mushroom allergies. They may have adverse reactions even to mushrooms that are considered ‘safe’ for dogs.
If your dog is allergic to mushroom, he may show one or more of the following symptoms: excessive gas, vomiting (usually right after eating the mushroom), and skin problems.
Although not very common, some dogs may have extreme sensitivity to mushroom and show severe adverse reactions after eating it. You want to play it safe so look out for the following symptoms: faster heart rate, swelling (especially in the neck and face areas), hives, and difficulty in breathing.
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Should I make my dog vomit after eating a mushroom?
It will depend of what type of mushrooms that your dog ate. However, it is not recommended to induce vomiting yourself If you are not a trained professional.
It is best to immediately have a veterinarian take a look at your dog and induce vomiting if there is any suspicion of mushroom poisoning. He may also administer drug preparations formulated to counteract or neutralize the toxins.
Supportive care in the form of anti-nausea prescriptions, drugs to protect the liver, and IV fluids will also be provided to improve prognosis and speed up healing and recovery time.
Keeping Your Dog Safe around Wild Mushrooms
It is a myth that your dog can tell toxins by their scent and avoid them. Otherwise, how do you explain the many cases of wild mushroom poisoning in dogs?
Most dogs eat odd things, including mushroom. They are hard-wired to explore their surroundings by smelling and tasting things. My highly inquisitive dog tends to be intrigued by the texture and looks of a mushroom and to poke, sniff, and even nibble at it.
Unfortunately, some types of mushrooms like the death cap have a fishy scent that dogs find particularly attractive. It is not surprising why dogs often suffer from wild mushroom poisoning.
I don’t want to go through all the trouble, not to mention the anxiety, of having my dog checked out for possible poisoning from a random mushroom. I keep tabs on him when I take him for romps in the backyard or for long walks in the park or woods. I don’t want him gobbling up doubtful ‘snacks’ from the ground, which can turn out to be harmful or toxic.
You may want to take the following steps to help bring down the risk of your darling dog taking in unsafe mushrooms.
- Make a clean sweep of your backyard.
My dog is insatiably curious. I frequently find him snooping around or even nibbling at anything that he finds remotely fascinating. To put my apprehensions at rest, I dog-proof my yard by getting rid of everything that looks potentially toxic, including unfamiliar plants and mushrooms.
- Supervise your pet when you take him for hikes or walks.
If you enjoy taking your dog out for adventures in wood trails, watch out for the mushrooms that pop up particularly in damp, dark spots. You may want to keep your dog leashed when you can’t stop him from going on his own to poke, sniff, or nibble around. The leash will prevent him from exploring too far from you and from putting potentially harmful things in his mouth.
- Familiarize yourself with common mushrooms in your area.
If you notice that certain types of mushrooms are common in your area, take the time to educate yourself about them. Do your research. Ask the experts. Get in touch with the staff of a garden center, a greenhouse, or the local mycology association in your community who may be familiar with mushrooms prevalent in the area.
- Train your dog to “drop it.”
Teaching your dog to respond to your “Drop it” command may save him from harm, especially when he has a wild mushroom in his mouth.