Can Dogs Eat Mushrooms Safely?

Can Dogs Eat Mushrooms Safely?

Amy Thompson

Can dogs eat mushrooms? The answer is yes, but with some caveats. Mushrooms can be incredibly beneficial for your dog, offering a range of health-boosting properties.

But when it comes to adding mushrooms to your dog's diet, it's crucial to know which types are safe and which ones to avoid.

Some mushrooms can be toxic and pose serious health risks. In this guide, we'll help you navigate the world of mushrooms for dogs, so your dog can reap all the benefits while staying safe.

How To Spot Poisonous Mushrooms

With over 14,000 mushroom species, identifying which are safe and which are toxic can be daunting. Poisonous mushrooms often share common traits, making it somewhat easier to spot them.

Here are the key characteristics to look for:

  • White gills: The underside of the mushroom cap is white.
  • Red color: The mushroom has a red hue.
  • Ring around the stem: A visible ring encircling the stem.
  • Volva at the base: A bulbous base, often hidden underground.

    Using a mushroom identifier app can help you quickly determine whether a mushroom is safe. If you're ever in doubt, it's best to err on the side of caution and assume the mushroom is toxic.

    Common Poisonous Mushrooms

    Here are some mushrooms that are particularly dangerous to dogs:

    • Amanita phalloides (Death Cap)
    • Galerina marginata (Autumn Galerina)
    • Amanita gemmata (Jeweled Deathcap)
    • Amanita muscaria (Fly Agaric)
    • Gyromitra species (False Morel)
    • Helvella lacunosa (Elf’s Saddle)
    • Clitocybe dealbata (Ivory Funnel)
    • Inocybe species

      Some of these are incredibly poisonous, so to be on the safe side, you can look up images of these so you know what to look out for to prevent mushroom poisoning in dogs. It's also best to just avoid wild mushrooms in general, unless you really know what you're doing.

      It's important to remember that even experienced foragers can have difficulty identifying these mushrooms. Therefore, it's safest to assume that any mushroom your dog encounters in the wild is toxic unless you're certain otherwise.

      Symptoms Of Mushroom Poisoning In Dogs

      If your dog eats a poisonous mushroom, symptoms can vary depending on the type and amount consumed.

      Common signs of mushroom poisoning in dogs include:

      • Vomiting
      • Diarrhea
      • Drooling
      • Weakness
      • Lack of coordination (ataxia)
      • Lethargy
      • Yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice)
      • Abdominal pain

        Again, for most people, it's best not to feed wild mushrooms because there's just too much risk of them being poisonous.

        If you suspect your dog has ingested a toxic mushroom or wild mushroom, seek veterinary care immediately. Bringing a sample or a photo of the mushroom can help the vet provide the best possible treatment.

        Quick action is crucial, as it can take up to 12 hours for symptoms to appear, and by then, severe damage may have occurred.

        Safe Mushrooms For Dogs

        While wild mushrooms can be hazardous, the mushrooms you buy from the store are generally safe and beneficial for dogs. They are packed with nutrients that can support your dog's overall health.

        Store-Bought Mushrooms

        Mushrooms like button, cremini, and portobello are not only safe but also nutritious for your dog. These mushrooms are rich in essential minerals such as selenium, zinc, and potassium. They also provide vitamins like B-complex, folic acid, and pro-vitamin D. Additionally, store-bought mushrooms contain healthy fats, proteins, and digestive enzymes that can benefit your dog's health.

        However, it's important to note that dogs should not eat raw mushrooms. Raw mushrooms have a tough, chitinous cell wall that makes it difficult for dogs to digest the nutrients. Cooking mushrooms helps break down this cell wall and makes the nutrients more bioavailable for your dog. Cooking also neutralizes potentially harmful substances, making the mushrooms safe for consumption.

        Functional Mushrooms

        Functional mushrooms are known for their health-boosting properties. These mushrooms contain unique polysaccharides and triterpenoids that can support your dog's immune system and overall health.

        Here are some of the most beneficial functional mushrooms for dogs:

        1. Shiitake (Lentinula Edodes)

        Shiitake mushrooms are beneficial for heart health. They support healthy cholesterol levels and provide a range of nutrients that support overall wellness.

        2. Lion’s Mane (Hericium Erinaceus)

        Lion’s mane mushrooms are beneficial for cognitive health. They contain compounds that support healthy brain function and may help maintain mental clarity. Lion's mane mushrooms are also rich in antioxidants that support cellular health.

        3. Cordyceps (Cordyceps Militaris)

        Cordyceps mushrooms are known for their energy support properties. They support overall vitality and can help maintain energy levels. Cordyceps mushrooms also support respiratory health and help maintain lung function.

        4. Maitake (Grifola Frondosa)

        Maitake mushrooms support metabolic health and maintain balanced blood sugar levels. They contain compounds that support a healthy immune response and overall wellness.

        5. Chaga (Inonotus Obliquus)

        Chaga mushrooms are rich in antioxidants that support cellular health. They also contain compounds that support the body's natural defense mechanisms.

        6. Phellinus

        Phellinus mushrooms support joint health and help maintain a healthy inflammatory response. They also support the immune system and overall wellness.

        7. Reishi (Ganoderma Lucidum)

        Reishi mushrooms are known as the "mushroom of immortality" for their wide-ranging health benefits. They support immune function, promote relaxation, and help maintain overall health.

        8. Turkey Tail (Trametes Versicolor)

        Turkey tail mushrooms are known for their immune support properties. They contain beta-glucans, which can support a healthy immune response. Turkey tail mushrooms also provide antioxidants that help protect cells from oxidative damage and support overall wellness.

        How To Feed Mushrooms To Your Dog

        You can buy fresh or dried mushrooms for your dog, but mushroom powders are the most convenient choice. Read on to learn how to incorporate mushrooms into your dog’s diet safely.

        Choosing A Powdered Supplement

        When buying mushroom supplements, always check that the product is made from whole organic mushrooms and not mycelium. Whole mushrooms contain higher levels of beneficial compounds like beta-glucans compared to mycelium, which is often grown on grains and has less nutritional value.

        Dosing Mushroom Powder

        Follow the directions on the product label. If the supplement is intended for humans, adjust the dosage based on your dog's weight. It's best to start with a lower dose and gradually increase it to avoid any digestive upset.

        Making Mushroom Broth

        Another way to give your dog the benefits of mushrooms is by making a mushroom broth. Combine dried mushrooms in a pan with enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil and simmer until the mushrooms are soft.

        You can strain and save the broth, or leave the mushrooms in the broth and serve it as a stew. Cool and store in the refrigerator. Give your dog ½ ml per 5 lbs of body weight.

        Final Thoughts

        Mushrooms can be a valuable addition to your dog's diet, offering numerous health benefits. By understanding which mushrooms are safe and how to prepare them properly, you can enhance your dog's nutrition and support their overall health.

        Always source mushrooms carefully and avoid wild varieties unless you are certain they are safe. With the right knowledge, mushrooms can be a nourishing and healing part of your dog's diet.


        Can my dog eat cooked mushrooms? Yes, it's okay to let dogs eat cooked mushrooms, especially those bought from a store, as they are safe and provide valuable nutrients when prepared properly.

        Are mushrooms toxic to dogs? Some wild mushrooms can be highly toxic to dogs, so it's essential to avoid letting your dogs eat wild mushrooms and stick to non-toxic, store-bought varieties.

        Can dogs have white mushrooms? Yes, dogs can eat white mushrooms such as button or chestnut mushrooms, as long as they are cooked to aid digestion and release nutrients.

        Can dogs have portabella mushrooms? Yes, dogs can eat portabella mushrooms when they are cooked, as these shop-bought mushrooms are safe and nutritious for dogs.