Lots of people have become aware of the health benefits of mushrooms today. Many mushrooms are believed to have healing powers. Some are even recommended for cancer patients and others fighting diseases. So, you might wonder if it’s okay to give mushrooms to your pet. Or, are wild mushrooms toxic to pets? We have the answers for you.
What you need to know about mushrooms
There are over 10,000 types of known mushrooms in the world. That’s probably only a fraction of how many different kinds of mushrooms actually exist.
If you go looking for mushrooms, about half of the mushrooms you find will probably be inedible. That means they would be too tough to eat or indigestible. They might be woody in texture, for example.
About one-fourth of the mushrooms you find would be edible but not significant. They would not have any taste to them.
About 20 percent of the mushrooms you find in the wild will make you sick. These mushrooms can irritate the digestive tract. For mild cases they might make you or your dog vomit when they are eaten. In a more severe case your entire gastrointestinal system might respond and try to get rid of the mushroom (vomiting and diarrhea). This could last for several days.
About four percent of mushrooms will actually taste good. These are the mushrooms that are often used in cooking and for eating.
About one percent of mushrooms are deadly. One percent of 10,000 mushrooms means that there are about 100 mushrooms out there that could kill you.
It’s not always easy to identify mushrooms in the wild. We recommend that you don’t eat any wild mushrooms unless you are certain of their identification. It’s especially important not to let your dog eat any wild mushrooms unless you are sure they are safe.
Can you give mushrooms to your dog?
You can safely give your dog any kind of mushroom that is commonly sold at the grocery store. Mushrooms that are usually found at stores include:
- White Button mushroom
- Crimino mushroom
- Portabello mushroom
- Shitake mushroom
- Maitake mushroom
- Oyster mushroom
- Enoki mushroom
- Beech mushroom
- King Trumpet mushroom
- Black Trumpet mushroom
- Chanterelle mushroom
- Hedgehog mushroom
- Morel mushroom
- Porcino mushroom
All of these mushrooms are quite safe for your dog to eat either raw or in food that you prepare. Many of these mushrooms are discussed on health sites, including sites for dog health.
Mushrooms to avoid
There are some mushrooms to avoid. They might grow in your yard or you and your dog might find them if you are out walking, hiking, or camping.
- Amanita mushrooms, the most dangerous kind of mushroom. These mushrooms include Amanita, Galerina, Lepiota, A. phalloids (death cap, death angel), and A. ocreata. (Deadly)
- The Inocybe spp. and Clitocybe dealbata mushrooms. (Deadly)
- Amanita muscaria and A. pantherina (a different kind of Amanita with different toxins). (Deadly)
- The false morel (Gyromitra spp.). (Can be fatal)
- Agaricus, Boletus, and Entoloma. (Gastrointestinal irritation)
- Hallucinogenic mushrooms such as Psilocybe, Conocybe, and Gymnopilus spp.
Symptoms of mushroom poisoning
Symptoms of mushroom poisoning can vary, depending on the kind of mushroom your dog has eaten. In many cases a dog will have severe gastrointestinal symptoms (vomiting, diarrhea). Some mushrooms will cause a dog to have neurological symptoms. Unsteady walking, drooling, glazed eyes, trembling, and seizures can also occur in some cases. In severe cases, your dog’s organs will begin to fail without proper treatment.
If your dog eats a wild mushroom
If your dog eats a wild mushroom OR if you notice any symptoms that suggest your dog has eaten an unknown mushroom, take him to the vet or emergency clinic IMMEDIATELY. The faster he can get treatment from a vet, the better. If your dog has eaten a bad mushroom, the longer you wait, the more serious the possible damage can be and the harder it is to help your dog. If you saw your dog eat the mushroom, try to take the remains of the mushroom with you to the vet to help with identification of the toxin.
Mushrooms can have many health benefits but there are some wild mushrooms that can be extremely harmful to humans and to pets. You should never eat a wild mushroom or give one to your dog unless you are certain of its identification. If your dog eats a wild mushroom or you notice symptoms that suggest your dog has eaten one, take him to the vet or emergency clinic right away!