Can Dogs Eat Mushrooms Safely?
Have you ever dropped a slice of pizza with mushrooms on the floor only to have your dog gobble it down before you could grab it? Or how about the dog sneaking a piece from the countertop when nobody is looking? Well the good news is dogs can eat mushrooms! There are some exceptions to this statement. Not all mushrooms are safe for dogs to eat.
The next question that came to mind is the following. Can dogs eat mushrooms from the grocery store? Typically dogs can eat the ones that you buy at the local store. These should be only the common ones though. See below for a list of known safe mushrooms for dogs.
It turns out that only about 1% of all mushrooms are toxic. However, there are about another 20% that can still make you pretty ill from consuming them. Scientists estimate that there are over 10,000 different varieties of mushrooms. If my math is correct, that means there are about 100 varieties that are highly toxic. There are around 2000 varieties that can make you and your dog ill, however they will not kill you. That is something to think about if you plan to feed your dog any mushrooms.
Its the wild mushrooms that you have to watch out for. In early Spring and Fall you can most likely spot a few varieties in your own yard that are toxic. I recently discovered 3 different wild mushrooms in my yard. It turns out 2 out of the 3 are toxic to the dog. The main cause for concern is that some of these mushrooms have a fishy smell that attracts dogs. Dogs do have a tendency to explore their world through their mouth. Be especially careful if you have a puppy at home when the mushrooms are growing. If dogs can safely eat mushrooms, what can dogs not eat?
Can Dogs Eat Mushrooms
Wild Mushrooms: Can Dogs Eat Mushrooms In The Yard?
Wild mushrooms can be found all over yards in the united states during much of the year. Where I live we see a huge amount of mushroom growth in the fall. Just recently while mowing my lawn I noticed at least three kinds of wild mushrooms growing. They literally pop out of the ground overnight. Normally I would not have any concern. However, we recently got a new puppy named Clove. She has a tendency to put everything in her mouth. This made me wonder can dogs eat mushrooms that grow in my yard. Here is what I leaned from a few hours of research.
The answer to this question can dogs eat wild mushrooms might surprise you. Yes dogs can eat some wild mushrooms. However they can be so difficult to identify that people often confuse safe with toxic mushrooms.
If you browse the internet, you will see that in the USA we have around 12 species that are edible to humans. Of those twelve there are only around 4 that are considered very easy to identify. Which makes you wonder, what about the other estimated 10,000 species? They say that only 1% are toxic and 99% are not. That saying doesn’t really tell you about the 20% that can still make you violently ill even though they are not toxic. To me the risk isn’t worth the reward. This is not meant to be medical advice. If your dog does happen to eat wild mushrooms, please contact your veterinarian for medical advice.
Wild Mushrooms: I Found These Wild Mushrooms Growing In My Yard
The burning question that I recently had was can dogs eat mushrooms that grow in my yard. As we start getting cooler nights, it became more of an urgent question. On any given morning after a rain, I can find multiple species have grown overnight. Here are the three different mushrooms I found while mowing my grass. All three of them will make Clove sick if she were to eat them. I did decide it was best to clear them from my yard. More on that later.
Jack O Lantern – Toxic
AKA . False Chanterelleb
This mushroom reminds me of the fall and the changing seasons. Fall is also when it happens to grow. Its bright orange color closely resembles that of a pumpkin which is part of fall decorations.
This mushroom is a look alike to the popular mushroom called the chanterelle. Dogs can eat the chanterelle mushroom, however they should not eat the false chanterelle. They look very similar in color and shape. The easiest way to distinguish between the two mushrooms is to look at the underside. The Jack o lantern has true gills which are very sharp and defined. The edible chanterelle has false gills that resemble wrinkles rather then an actual gill. They can look very similar and jack o lanterns are often mistaken for the edible chanterelle.
Jack O Lantern Toxins: Muscarine & Illudin
According to MushroomKnowHow, the jack o lanterns have two kinds of toxins. They are toxic due to muscarine and illudin. Both of these compounds cause similar symptoms in humans and dogs.
Symptoms Of Mushroom Poisoning From False Parasol Ingestion:
- sharp abdominal pain
- excessive saliva
While these mushrooms may not actually kill your dog, they can leave them ill for multiple days. As with any illness that causes vomiting and diarrhea, dehydration is a secondary concern. If your dog has been exposed it should be at the very least monitored for dehydration. It would be a good idea to call your vet to have your dog seen if the vomiting continues. A quick remedy to fight the dehydration is boil some chicken and use the broth leftover as a drink for the dog. The boiled chicken can also help settle the dogs stomach after the symptoms let up a bit.
Weeping Widow – Not Toxic
Unfortunately for me, this mushroom grows in abundance in my yard in the fall. I found around 20 or 30 patches of these all all the shady side of my lawn. As far as I can tell, these mushrooms are not toxic to humans but have a bitter taste. To be on the safe side I still would not let me dog eat them. It is pretty easy to misidentify a mushroom.
Weeping Widow mushrooms are noted to be extremely bitter and can cause vomiting and diarrhea if ingested. They are not considered toxic though. So your dog probably could eat these wild mushrooms but I would not take the risk. You might end up with a huge mess to clean up and a very unhappy dog. Its best to remove these from your yard. They can grow in large patches and are easy for dogs to spot from pretty far distances.
False Parasol – Very Toxic
This is another one to avoid. The False Parasol is responsible for more human poisonings in the USA per year then any other mushrooms. These mushrooms are also poisonous to dogs. Dogs are more likely to have a severe reaction then a human.
The ones that grew in my yard were about 8 inches tall when fully grown. The caps were about 3-5 inches in diameter. They are a pretty large mushroom compared to most. When you consider how large they are, eating just one could be enough to make your dog very ill. These are definitely a wild mushroom your dog should not consume.
Symptoms Of Mushroom Poisoning From False Parasol Ingestion:
- GI distress and pain
Wild Mushrooms: Here Is What I Did To Remove Them From My Yard
After another rain storm, I went outside armed with a shovel, a bucket, and some gloves. I walked up and down my yard scooping mounds of mushrooms into the bucket. The larger concentrations grew where the yard gets the least sun. Taking my time, I was careful to fully remove any signs of the mushroom that I could. Especially the False Parasol. There were a few that could not be removed with the shovel. Those were removed with the gloves.
After about 10 minutes I managed to fill half of a 5 gallon spackle bucket with the various wild mushrooms. I took those mushrooms far into the woods and dumped them on top of a briar patch. Not many animals will venture into that area with all the nasty thorns.
Over the course of the last few weeks I had to collect mushrooms once again from my yard. This time I found and identified two other ones that are toxic. The second time I went out there, I removed about 20LBS of mushrooms from my yard.
** If you chose to remove mushrooms in your yard, make sure you take proper precautions. Do not handle any mushrooms without gloves unless you are positive you know what it is. Make sure you dispose of them where your pets and children can not come into contact with them. If you don’t have a lot of property it might be best to bag them and throw them in the trash. Absolutely wash your hands after removal of them, also wash the shovel and collection container thoroughly. Do not shake the mushrooms and breath in the spores.
These Are The Wild Mushrooms Dogs Can Eat
Truth be told, dogs can eat some wild mushrooms. The biggest issue is that the mushrooms can be very difficult to identify. Even professional mushroom foragers make mistakes. I personally would not feed myself or my children a wild mushroom that I identified. Why would I take the risk and feed my dog a wild mushroom? Dogs can get vitamins and minerals from many other safe sources. So for me, the juice isn’t worth the squeeze. However, if you do want to feed your dog wild mushrooms, these are generally safe:
- Lions Mane
- Chicken of the woods
- Hen of the woods
Common Questions Related To Can Dogs Eat Mushrooms:
1. Can dogs eat mushrooms from pizza?
The mushrooms commonly found on pizza in the USA are safe for dogs to eat. So don’t freak out if your dog gets a gold of a few. The cheese on the pizza is more likely to cause a loose stool then a few mushrooms.
2. Can dogs eat mushrooms that are cooked?
Typically dogs can eat cooked mushrooms as long as they are safe for human consumption. Cooking actually helps break down the cell wall of the mushroom which makes it easier for the dog to digest. So if you do plan to feed your dog mushrooms, it is best to cook them first. In order to get the health benefits for dogs, you have to cook the mushroom first.
3. Can dogs eat mushrooms cooked in butter?
This is pretty much the same answer as above. Dogs can eat cooked mushrooms as long as they are safe for human consumption, the dog should be fine. The only issue is the butter. Giving a dog a high fat diet can actually be very detrimental to their health. They can get something called Pancreatitis from eating too much fat. Its best to avoid giving your dog butter. So its also probability a good idea not to give your dog mushrooms that were cooked in butter.
4. Can dogs eat mushrooms bought at the store?
Store bought mushrooms are the only kind that a dog should eat unless you are very good at identifying wild mushrooms. Wild mushrooms are difficult to identify, so the risk is very high. Its best to only use store bought mushrooms in your dogs diet if you use mushrooms at all. Personally I do not see the benefit of feeding dogs mushrooms.
5. Can dogs eat baby bella mushrooms?
Yes! There are considered safe for dogs to eat. They are better for the dogs if they are cooked first to help the dog digest. As with any new food, make sure they are introduced in moderation. Too much of a new item can make your dog sick even if its not toxic.
6. Can dogs eat mushrooms in the yard?
As stated above, its best not to let your dog forage any wild mushrooms. Its very easy to mistake an edible mushroom with a toxic one. Jack o Lanterns will make your dog sick, they look like Chanterelle. Morels have a look alike called the False Morel which is very toxic. Unless you are absolutely sure what the mushroom is, its best to remove them from your yard.
7. What are the symptoms of mushroom poisoning in dogs?
Most of the time mushroom toxicity in dogs will start with vomiting and diarrhea. The dog could look dizzy or intoxicated. Mushrooms can cause dogs to drool excessively. Depending on how toxic the mushroom is, dogs can experience GI pain as well. If you feel like your dog has ingested some mushrooms, its best to take your dog to the vet to seek advice. Some mushrooms cause mild issues while others can kill a dog pretty quickly.
8. Can dogs eat mushrooms raw?
Dogs can eat raw mushrooms, however like many vegetables its best to cook them for your dog. The cooking process helps break the mushroom down. This breakdown of the cell walls makes the nutrients more readily available to your dog.
Can Dogs Safely Eat Mushrooms – Summary
- Dogs can eat store bought mushrooms
- Dogs can eat cooked mushrooms from pizza
- Dogs can eat some wild mushrooms
- It is best to cook mushrooms for the dog to get the full benefit of their nutrients
- You should remove mushrooms from your yard if you have a puppy or a dog that eats everything