Can Dogs Eat Mushrooms? Everything You Need To Know.

Although store bought mushrooms are often safe for dogs to eat, it is crucial to exercise caution when introducing them into their diet. Store-bought mushrooms that are safe for human consumption, such as plain white button mushrooms and other cooking varieties are typically safe for dogs in small quantities. However, you should exercise caution, as […]

Although store bought mushrooms are often safe for dogs to eat, it is crucial to exercise caution when introducing them into their diet. Store-bought mushrooms that are safe for human consumption, such as plain white button mushrooms and other cooking varieties are typically safe for dogs in small quantities. However, you should exercise caution, as many other mushroom species can be toxic and potentially fatal to dogs. Continue below for more detailed information.

can dogs eat mushrooms

Are mushrooms safe for dogs?

While dogs do not necessarily need mushrooms in their diet, some mushrooms can provide health benefits to dogs, much like they do for humans. Here are some potential benefits of safe, store-bought mushrooms for dogs:

  • Nutrients: Mushrooms can be a source of B vitamins, selenium, antioxidants, and other minerals that are beneficial for a dog’s immune system and overall health.
  • Digestive Health: Some mushrooms contain dietary fiber which can aid in digestion.
  • Immune Support: Certain mushrooms are known for their immune-boosting properties due to the presence of beta-glucans.
  • Anti-inflammatory: Some types of mushrooms have anti-inflammatory properties, which can be helpful for dogs with chronic inflammation or arthritis.

Nevertheless, these potential benefits should be weighed against the possible risks:

  • Allergic Reactions: Some dogs may be allergic to mushrooms and can exhibit adverse reactions.
  • Toxicity: Many wild mushrooms are toxic to dogs and can lead to severe poisoning or even death.
  • Digestive Upset: Some dogs may experience gastrointestinal upset after they eat mushrooms.

Considering these points, while mushrooms can offer some health benefits, they are not an essential part of a dog’s diet. If you choose to feed your dog mushrooms, it should be done in moderation, with proper preparation (cooked, without harmful additives), and ideally under the guidance of a veterinarian. Always err on the side of caution and avoid feeding wild mushrooms to prevent the risk of poisoning.

How much mushroom can dogs eat? 

There’s no established guideline for the exact amount of mushrooms a dog can eat, largely because they are not a necessary part of a canine’s diet. If you choose to feed mushrooms to your dog, you should consider their size, the type of mushroom, and the dog’s overall diet and health. Here are some general guidelines to consider:

  • Small Dogs (10-25 lbs): For a small dog, a few small pieces of mushroom (equivalent to about a teaspoon or less) might be a good starting point to see how they tolerate it.
  • Medium Dogs (25-60 lbs): Medium-sized dogs could potentially have 1-2 teaspoons, depending on their exact size and diet.
  • Large Dogs (60-100 lbs): A larger dog could have a tablespoon or slightly more.

However, these amounts should be approached with caution and introduced slowly to your dog. It’s important to start with a small quantity regardless of the dog’s size to monitor for any adverse reactions. If there are no negative reactions, you could gradually offer more, but it’s crucial to remember that mushrooms should only be a small part of a dog’s diet.

Nutritional benefits of mushrooms

The nutrients found in safe, edible mushrooms can offer several benefits to dogs, similar to how they support human health. It’s important to remember that while mushrooms have beneficial nutrients the amount of mushrooms that a dog can safely consume is small, so the actual nutritional benefit they receive from mushrooms is limited.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the key nutrients typically found in mushrooms and their potential benefits for dogs:

  • B Vitamins: B vitamins, including riboflavin (B2) and niacin (B3), are important for maintaining healthy skin and facilitating enzyme function. In addition, niacin helps with digestion and the conversion of food into energy.
  • Vitamin D: Some mushrooms are exposed to ultraviolet light to increase their vitamin D content. Vitamin D is crucial for the regulation of calcium and phosphorus, promoting healthy bones and teeth.
  • Antioxidants: Antioxidants like selenium and ergothioneine can help protect body cells from damage caused by free radicals. This is beneficial for supporting the immune system and may help in preventing certain diseases.
  • Beta-Glucans: Certain types of mushrooms contain beta-glucans, which are soluble dietary fibers known for their role in stimulating the immune system and potentially helping to fight off pathogens.
  • Protein: While mushrooms are not a high-protein food, they do contain some levels of protein, which is a crucial component of a dog’s diet.
  • Minerals: Mushrooms can contain trace amounts of minerals like potassium, which is important for maintaining proper muscle and nerve function, and phosphorus, which contributes to healthy bones.
  • Amino Acids: Mushrooms contain various essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins needed for muscle and tissue repair.

How to prepare mushrooms for your dog

If you’ve confirmed with your veterinarian that it’s safe to give your dog mushrooms, here is the best way to prepare and offer them to your canine friend:

Choose Non Toxic Mushrooms: Only use mushrooms that are bought from a reputable grocery store or market. These include common types like button, portobello, and shiitake mushrooms. Never give your dog wild mushrooms as many wild mushrooms are toxic.

  • Wash Mushrooms: Clean the raw mushrooms well to remove any pesticides or contaminants.
  • Cook Mushrooms: Cook the mushrooms without any added oils, butter, seasoning, garlic, or onions, all of which can be harmful to dogs. Steaming or boiling are good cooking methods to use. Raw mushrooms can also be eaten if properly cleaned.
  • Cut into Small Pieces: Once cooked, cut the mushrooms into small, manageable pieces to prevent choking and make them easier to digest.
  • Introduce Gradually: Start with a small piece to see how your dog reacts to the new food. If there’s no adverse reaction after 24 hours, you can offer a little more next time.
  • Serve as a Treat or Meal Supplement: If mushrooms agree with your dog, you can serve them as an occasional treat or mix them into their regular food as a supplement. Remember, moderation is key—mushrooms should not make up a large portion of your dog’s diet.
  • Observe Your Dog: Keep an eye on your dog for any signs of gastrointestinal upset or allergic reactions. If you notice any abnormal signs, such as vomiting, diarrhea, excessive gas, or lethargy, stop feeding mushrooms and consult your veterinarian.

Always consult your vet before making any changes to your dog’s diet, especially if your dog has health issues or dietary restrictions.

Allergies 

Yes, dogs can be allergic to mushrooms, although it’s not extremely common. Just like humans, dogs can develop allergies to virtually any food. An allergy may manifest as gastrointestinal upset (like vomiting or diarrhea), skin irritation (such as itching, redness, or hives), or more severe reactions such as anaphylaxis, although this is rare.

If you’re introducing mushrooms to your four legged friend for the first time, start with a small amount and monitor for any adverse reactions. Here are some signs that could indicate an allergic reaction or sensitivity:

  • Excessive scratching or licking
  • Hives or skin rashes
  • Swelling of the face, ears, lips, eyelids, or earflaps
  • Red and inflamed skin
  • Chronic ear infections
  • Nausea or induce vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abnormal breathing

If you notice any of these symptoms or other unusual behavior after feeding your dog mushrooms, discontinue feeding them and consult your veterinarian immediately. In the case of a severe allergic reaction, seek emergency veterinary care without delay.

FAQ 

Can dogs eat cooked mushrooms?

Yes, dogs can eat cooked mushrooms that are safe for human consumption, such as store-bought button, cremini, or portobello mushrooms, but they must be cooked plain without any added oils, butter, salt, garlic, or onions, all of which can be harmful to dogs. They should be served in moderation and introduced gradually to ensure they don’t cause gastrointestinal upset or an allergic reaction. It’s always best to consult with a veterinarian before adding mushrooms to your dog’s diet to ensure they’re suitable for your pet’s individual health needs.

Can dogs eat wild mushrooms?

While wild mushrooms remind us of the iconic fairy tale mushroom, it is imperative to not let your dog eat wild mushrooms. Many wild mushroom species are highly toxic and can cause serious health issues or even be fatal for dogs. Identifying safe versus poisonious mushrooms is extremely challenging, even for experts, and the risk to dogs is high. If a dog consumes wild mushrooms, it can lead to symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, liver failure, and more.

If you suspect your dog has ingested wild mushrooms, you should seek immediate veterinary care.

What types of wild mushrooms are toxic to dogs?

There are numerous types of wild mushrooms that are toxic to dogs, and they can vary by region.

A few of the most commonly known toxic mushrooms include:

  • Amanita phalloides (Death Cap Mushroom): This is one of the most poisonous mushrooms for both humans and pets. It can cause severe liver and kidney damage.
  • Amanita muscaria (Fly Agaric): Recognizable by its bright red cap with white spots, this mushroom contains neurotoxins and can cause neurological symptoms.
  • Amanita pantherina (Panther Cap): Similar to the Fly Agaric, this mushroom also contains neurotoxins that affect the central nervous system.
  • Galerina marginata (Deadly Galerina): These small brown mushrooms contain the same toxins as the Death Cap and are just as deadly.
  • Lepiota (False Parasol): Some species within the Lepiota family are toxic and can cause severe gastrointestinal upset, liver failure, and even death.
  • Inocybe spp. and Clitocybe dealbata: These mushrooms contain muscarine, which can cause severe symptoms like salivation, lacrimation (tearing), urination, diarrhea, gastrointestinal upset, and neurological signs.

It’s important to note that poisonious can be very difficult to distinguish from non-toxic ones without expert knowledge. Even mushrooms that look similar to safe varieties can be dangerous.

What are the symptoms of mushroom poisoning in dogs?

Mushroom poisoning in dogs can present a range of symptoms depending on the type of mushroom ingested. The symptoms can vary from mild gastrointestinal upset to severe, life-threatening conditions.

Here are some common signs of mushroom poisoning in dogs: 

Gastrointestinal Symptoms:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Drooling

Neurological Symptoms:

  • Seizures
  • Tremors
  • Ataxia (loss of coordination)
  • Weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Hallucinations (less obvious in dogs but may result in unusual behavior)

Liver Failure Symptoms (which may occur several hours to days after ingestion):

  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin, whites of the eyes, and mucous membranes)
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Coma 

Other Symptoms:

  • Increased urination and thirst (from species containing muscarine)
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Hypersalivation
  • Hyperthermia or hypothermia

Delayed Symptoms: Some mushrooms, particularly those that affect the liver, may have a delayed onset of symptoms, often not appearing until 6 to 24 hours or more after ingestion.

The severity and progression of symptoms can vary significantly based on the type of mushroom ingested, the amount consumed, and the individual dog’s sensitivity. Some toxins act very quickly, while others result in delayed toxicity, which can make diagnosis and treatment more challenging.

If you suspect your dog ate a wild mushroom, contact your veterinarian immediately. Do not wait for symptoms to appear, as early treatment is often more effective. If possible, bring a sample or a photograph of the mushroom in question to assist the veterinarian in identifying the type of poisoning and formulating an appropriate treatment plan.

Are there medicinal mushrooms for dogs?

Yes, medicinal mushrooms are increasingly being recognized for their potential health benefits in dogs. These mushrooms contain bioactive compounds that can support the immune system, help with inflammation, and may even have anti-cancer properties. Common medicinal mushrooms used for dogs include:

  • Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum): Known for its immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s often used to help manage stress and improve overall vitality.
  • Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor): Rich in polysaccharides, particularly polysaccharide-K (PSK), which is known to support immune function. Turkey tail is often used in conjunction with cancer treatments.
  • Shiitake (Lentinula edodes): Contains lentinan, a compound that boosts the immune system and supports heart health.
  • Maitake (Grifola frondosa): Known for its immune-modulating effects and potential to help regulate blood sugar and support cancer treatment.
  • Cordyceps: Used for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and to support respiratory and kidney health.
  • Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus): May support brain health, nerve growth, and cognitive function.

When considering medicinal mushrooms for your dog, it’s important to use products specifically formulated for pets, as human supplements may contain additives that are harmful to dogs. The dosage and safety can vary depending on the type of mushroom and the health condition being addressed.

Always consult with a veterinarian before adding medicinal mushrooms or any new supplement to your dog’s health regimen, especially if your dog has existing health issues or is on medication.

Recipes 

When preparing mushrooms for dogs, simplicity is key. Here are a few straightforward recipes and ideas for pet owners to serve mushrooms safely to your dog:

Plain Cooked Mushrooms:

  • Steamed Mushrooms:
    • Clean the mushrooms thoroughly to remove any dirt.
    • Cut them into small pieces appropriate for your dog’s size.
    • Steam the pieces until they are soft.
    • Let them cool and serve a small amount mixed in with your dog’s regular food.
  • Boiled Mushrooms:
    • Clean and chop the mushrooms.
    • Boil them in water without any seasoning.
    • Drain them and let them cool before serving.

Mushroom Dog Treats:

  • Mushroom Puree:
    • Cook the mushrooms as described above.
    • Puree the mushrooms in a blender or food processor.
    • Use the puree as a topper on your dog’s regular meals.
  • Mushroom and Meatballs:
    • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
    • Prepare a mixture of ground turkey or lean beef, cooked and pureed mushrooms, a bit of cooked oatmeal (or cooked sweet potato), and an egg to bind it all together.
    • Form into small, bite-sized balls and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
    • Bake until the meatballs are cooked through (time will vary based on size, but typically around 15-20 minutes).

Let them cool completely before serving.