Can Dogs eat Mushrooms?

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Can dogs eat mushrooms? A very relevant question if your dog is a bit of a forager and you take him for walks in the woods everyday.

Well I hate to be the bringer of bad news, but according to the ASPCA all wild mushrooms should be avoided. Dogs cannot eat wild mushrooms.

In fact, the only mushrooms a dog can eat is the store bought ones that us humans eat. The view is if the mushroom is okay for us to eat then it will be okay for dogs too.

You should still exercise caution when feeding a dog store bought mushrooms however, too many may cause stomach upset.

Can Dogs Eat Wild Mushrooms

As we have covered, wild mushrooms are a big doggie no-no. Mind you, there are varying degrees of danger if your dog has digested wild mushrooms.

According to the ASPCA, many of the mushrooms found in the wild incur damage to your dog’s kidney or liver, and possibly even serious neurological and digestive consequences. In rare instances, mushrooms have proved fatal to dogs.

assorted mushrooms

Identifying Toxic Wild Mushrooms

If you have any mushrooms growing in your yard, get rid of them. There is no point in playing the lottery with your dog’s health.

When it comes to mushrooms in the wild, you of course have no control. If you take your dog for walks in areas where mushrooms grow, you need to some how teach them not to eat any.

Attempting to understand which mushrooms are more poisonous than others will be a hard task. In fact, the various types of mushrooms that exist can be very difficult to identify.

The ‘False Morel’ for instance is very similar to the small morel mushrooms that can be found as ingredient to gourmet cuisine. However, if your dog was to eat this they would experience extreme stomach pains and loss of coordination. The false morel is a very poisonous mushroom.

If you are unlucky enough to take your dog for a walk where the Amanita mushroom grows and he consumes one, you may end up at your local vets with your dog fighting for his life.

The Amanita mushroom is one classed as potentially fatal if ingested. It comes in 7 recognized varieties of shape and color and is very difficult for all but experts to identify.

The best method to combat the overwhelming array of wild mushrooms that exist, is to read up a little on the types that grow in the area you live. Be aware of what they look like and react quickly if your dog eats any. Take them to the vet as soon as possible.

Mushrooms-can dogs eat themMushroom Toxicity Symptoms

If your dog eats any kind of wild mushroom, our advice is that you take him to the vet straight away. While some mushrooms are more toxic than others, they are very rarely fatal so try not to panic.

Of course you will not always know that your dog has eaten mushrooms. There are various toxicity symptoms to watch out for however.

The most obvious sign is stomach ache followed by vomiting and diarrhea.

Your dog may also start to drool excessively, their heartbeat may slow, they will be lethargic, and may even experience seizures. A dog that has eaten wild mushrooms may also have yellowing of the eyes, due to the breakdown of liver function.

Lets take a look at some of those symptoms in greater detail:

Gastrointestinal Irritation

This is the most common symptom of mushroom toxicity in dogs. The vomiting and diarrhea usually begin within 6 hours of ingestion. The vet will try to flush the toxins from your dog’s system, however the effects of the toxicity can last up to 24 hours.

Gastrointestinal Upset and Muscarinic Signs

These symptoms are indicative of a more serious poisoning. The muscarinic effects are similar to those caused by organophosphate and carbamate insecticide poisoning. This will cause your dog to drool more, pupils become small and constricted.

Bradycardia (slowing of heart beat) may also occur. This more severe symptom normally occurs within 6 hours and requires veterinary attention.

Wild mushrooms such as Inocybe spp. and Clitocybe spp are known to cause these symptoms when consumed by dogs.

Gastrointestinal upset, muscarinic signs, combined with depression and lethargy

All of the above signs occur along with signs of colic. Mushrooms that cause this level of toxicity poisoning may also destroy the liver, causing the dog to develop jaundice, (ie yellowing of the eyes.)

A damaged liver can lead to very serious dog health issues. If no treatment is sought within 20 hours of mushroom ingestion, the liver can fail leading to death.

The death cap (Amanita phalloides) is a mushroom known to cause such damage to dogs. The aforementioned false morel (Gyromitra esulenta) and Galerina spp. are also extremely toxic.

magic mushrooms

Example of wild ‘magic’ mushrooms

Hallucinogenic Syndrome

We have all heard of magic mushrooms. The fact is dogs too can experience the mild altering effects of this type of mushroom.

Symptoms such as restlessness as the dog suffers from hallucinations do occur. Your dog may frequently snap at invisible flies, they may find it difficult to walk, staggering around as they move.

Muscle tremors and seizures can also occur. Overall the experience is very unsettling to a dog – so never feed your dog magic mushrooms however funny you may find the concept to be.

Can Dogs Eat Mushrooms – Bottom Line

While a dog can eat normal store bought mushrooms, you should still only feed them very few and make sure they are cooked first.

When it comes to wild mushrooms, all of them are on the doggie toxic food list. If you suspect your dog has eaten any wild mushrooms, take them to a vet immediately. In some cases a fast response will save your dog’s life.