Can Dogs Eat Mushrooms?

Posted by Heather & Blair on

zak and zoe are dogs to can eat mushrooms
Zak & Zoe

Thanks to a healthy home cooked diet that includes chaga mushroom, our dog Zak (left) is healthy and happy and an incredible 19 years old. His sister Zoe passed away 3 years ago from a heart condition. Miss you Zoe Zoe :-)

You may have heard of the wonderful health benefits mushrooms have and can't help but wonder are mushrooms safe for dogs?

After all, we want the best for our dogs, and if we can help them stay healthy by feeding them mushrooms, why wouldn't we?

While a quick fungi snack from your backyard isn't the best idea and could be toxic to dogs. There are varieties of mushrooms that are safe for dogs to eat and offer a multitude of health benefits.

Here's a quick guide on the types of mushrooms dogs can eat and how mushrooms can benefit your pet.

Dogs are omnivores. While they love meat, they can also eat and digest the nutrients from non-meat sources as well. This is why you see ingredients like oats, corn, and sweet potato in many commercial dog foods.

Like these other ingredients, dogs can depending on the type also safely ingest some kind of mushrooms, such as:

  • Reishi
  • Chaga
  • White button mushrooms
  • Cremini
  • Portobello
  • Porcini
  • Shiitake
  • Maitake

Whether you decide to feed your dogs mushrooms as a treat or incorporate it into their food, you will want to avoid using raw wild mushrooms. Dogs do not have the necessary enzymes to break down some of the sugars and fibers found in fresh, uncooked mushrooms. 

By washing and cooking fresh mushrooms in dog-safe cooking oil before feeding them to your dog, you will help them digest the mushroom better.

Alternatively, instead of cooking mushrooms for your dog, you can use dried medicinal mushrooms, teas, or extracts instead.

Chaga Mushroom for Dogs

Reishi and Chaga mushroom tea will be easier for your dog to digest, while still providing the same health benefits.  1 tablespoon of brewed mushroom tea added to their regular diet for would be sufficient for dogs 1- 5lbs. 

What are the benefits of adding mushrooms like chaga to your dogs regular diet?

Mushrooms can be an important part of a healthy dog diet, helping to:

  • Support liver and kidney function
  • Improve nutrition
  • Regulate metabolism and blood sugar levels
  • Lower cholesterol and blood pressure
  • Prevent heart disease
  • Boost weight loss
  • Support the prevention of fatty liver disease
  • Support the prevention of viral infections
  • Boost immune system
  • Prevent and combat cancer

Fresh or dried mushrooms tend to have more beneficial nutrients, like Vitamin D, than canned and preserved ones do.

Be sure to keep in mind that it takes time for dogs to adjust to new food. Introducing anything too fast will lead to an upset stomach, so be sure to take it slow and gradually increase how much mushroom your pet eats. 

Mushrooms and any other extra foods you feed your dog should be less than 10% of your dog's daily food intake. The other 90% should be regular dog food to ensure your pet has a balanced diet, gets the right nutrients, and remains generally safe for dogs.

Can Dogs Be Sensitive to Mushrooms?

Just as some people can have allergies to mushrooms, dogs can as well.

While it is rare for a pet to have a severe allergic reaction, mushroom poisoning in dogs can be a possibility.

If you suspect your dog may be allergic to mushrooms, look out for vomiting, excessive gas, and skin problems. A more severe reaction may include hives, swelling around the face or neck, difficulty breathing, and an increased heart rate.

If your dog shows these symptoms, you should stop feeding them mushrooms. In the rare case of a severe reaction, you will probably want to bring your dog to a veterinarian.

However, make sure you have not introduced any other new foods alongside the mushrooms. If you have, it will be harder to figure out if it is actually the mushrooms or another food causing the problem.

Types of Mushrooms Your Dog Shouldn't Have

While mushrooms can be good for dogs, this does not mean you should let them eat any mushroom they see on a walk, in the forest, or even in your backyard. Only let your dog consume mushrooms that you would feel safe eating. 

There are around a hundred toxic mushroom species, which are dangerous for both humans and animals to consume. A few common species of mushrooms that are toxic are:

  • Amanita phaloides (death cap)
  • Galerina marginata (deadly Galerina)
  • Amanita gemmata (jeweled death cap)
  • Amanita muscaria (fly agaric)
  • Gyromitra species (false morel)
  • Inocybe species
  • Clitocybe dealbata

Even if a mushroom looks safe to eat, many poisonous mushrooms and edible mushrooms look similar to each other, and even an experienced forager may have trouble telling them apart.

Because of this, you should only feed your pet mushrooms store bought mushrooms or mushrooms you have purchased from a trustworthy source.

If you dog becomes ill from eating mushroom seek your local veterinarian immediately, try to induce vomiting or have them ingest activated charcoal.  Make sure that any pet insurance includes the accidental ingestion of mushrooms in their coverage. 

Signs of Toxic Mushroom Ingestion

Unless you can prove that a mushroom is non-toxic, it is best to consider it dangerous for your pet to eat.

If your dog has eaten an unidentified or toxic mushroom, contact your vet or poison control center immediately. Mushroom poisoning can severely impact your dog's health and can even cause death.

Symptoms of mushroom poisoning are:

  • Salivation
  • Urination
  • Tear production
  • Sedation
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Severe gastrointestinal upset
  • Symptoms of liver failure

Be sure to take pictures of the mushroom your dog ate and bring in samples, if possible try to identify where the mushroom was growing. This will help the veterinarian identify the species of mushroom and give your dog the best care possible.

Mushrooms for a Healthy Dog Diet

Now that you know which mushrooms are safe you can be confident in helping your dog stay happy and healthy.

The best mushrooms for pets are bought from a trustworthy source. Responsible pet parenting includes the purchase of mushrooms from the grocery store or from a reputable organic source. Annanda Organics offer high-quality certified organic mushrooms that provide the most health benefits possible.

Check out some of our Chaga and Reishi mushroom products today, so you and your pets can both live a healthier life.