Health & Wellness
When bought from the store, certain mushrooms are generally safe for dogs to eat, Dr. Aliya McCullough, Fetch by The Dodo’s on-staff veterinarian, tells The Dig. However, not all mushrooms are created equally, and wild mushrooms can negatively affect a dog’s health. Dr. McCullough breaks down why store-bought mushrooms are safe for dogs and why you should keep your pup away from wild mushrooms.
(Even though store-bought mushrooms are generally safe for your pet, always consult your vet before introducing a new food item to their diet.)
Store-bought mushrooms, like button, oyster, shiitake and portobello mushrooms are generally safe for dogs to eat, Dr. McCullough says. They have a lot of health benefits, too, including:
However, your dog won’t likely eat enough store-bought mushrooms to impact their health significantly. Treats, including mushrooms, shouldn’t be more than 10% of your dog’s daily calorie intake.
And don’t forget that Dr. McCullough always encourages pet parents to talk to their veterinarian before bringing new foods, like mushrooms, into their dog’s diet. While store-bought mushrooms are usually OK for dogs to eat, some pups may experience symptoms of an upset stomach like vomiting, decreased appetite and diarrhea after eating them. If a pup gets sick after eating a store-bought mushroom, Dr. McCullough recommends contacting their veterinarian.
Dogs can eat raw or cooked, store-bought mushrooms without extra oil, salt or seasonings (especially onion and garlic, which are toxic for dogs), Dr. McCullough says.
According to Dr. McCullough, dogs shouldn’t eat fried mushrooms because they contain too much fat and salt, which are unhealthy for pups.
Canned mushrooms, similar to fried mushrooms, should also be avoided because they may contain preservatives and additives that can upset your dog’s digestive system.
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Store-bought mushrooms should be a special treat for dogs, Dr. McCullough says. Cut this vegetable into smaller bites so they don’t choke and give them to your dog sparingly. Talk to your veterinarian about the proper serving size for your pup, too.
If your dog loves to scavenge in your backyard or picks things up on your walks, knowing about the dangers of wild mushrooms can protect them in the future. According to Dr. McCullough, ingesting wild mushrooms can expose your dog to toxicity and make them feel ill. There are specific mushroom species that are definitely poisonous, but Dr. McCullough recommends assuming that all wild mushrooms are poisonous.
Dogs that eat wild mushrooms may show signs of sickness like gastrointestinal upset (vomiting, nausea or diarrhea) due to liver or kidney failure, abnormal heart rate, weakness, tremors, vocalizing, seizures or disorientation, Dr. McCullough explains.
“Pet parents that suspect their pet has mushroom poisoning should go to their veterinarian or emergency veterinary hospital as soon as possible,” Dr. McCullough encourages.
Veterinarians may recommend making your dog throw up to remove the mushrooms and toxins from your dog’s stomach, giving them activated charcoal to absorb the toxins or flushing them from the body through IV fluids, Dr. McCullough says. But, do not make your dog throw up without the guidance of your vet.
The time it takes for a dog to recover from mushroom poisoning depends on the type of mushroom ingested, severity of the exposure and the dog’s response to treatment, she adds. Preventing mushroom poisoning begins with removing any mushrooms from areas dogs frequently visit.
We’re confident that mushrooms aren’t the only human food your dog would love to sink their teeth into (cue the drool). Check out our series “Can dogs eat ... ?” to learn more about which human foods are off-limits and what’s fair game.
The Dig, Fetch by The Dodo’s expert-backed editorial, answers all of the questions you forget to ask your vet or are too embarrassed to ask at the dog park. We help make sure you and your best friend have more good days, but we’re there on bad days, too. Fetch provides the most comprehensive pet insurance and is the only provider recommended by the #1 animal brand in the world, The Dodo.