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Most pet parents share a bite or two of food with their pups, so long as you know what human foods they can eat.  Mushrooms are one food humans generally love; cooked, stuffed, sauteed, or chopped in salads. But are mushrooms poisonous to dogs?

Mushrooms are somewhat complicated because they don’t fall under a traditional food group such as fruits, vegetables, or grains. While it doesn’t sound overly delicious, mushrooms are a fungus. Dogs can eat and digest some mushrooms, and they can even be beneficial to their health. However, some mushrooms are toxic to dogs (and people).2

Whether or not dogs can eat mushrooms depends on the type of mushroom in question.

Are Mushrooms Bad for Dogs? Which Ones?

Some mushrooms are suitable for dogs, while others can be toxic. If you let your dog munch on a mushroom, only give mushrooms you can buy at the supermarket.

The following are some of the wild mushrooms that are poisonous to dogs (and people):3

●      Death Cap (Amanita Phalloides)

●      Fly Agaric (Amanita Muscaria)

●      Deadly Webcap (Cortinarius rubellus)

●      Elf’s Saddle (Helvella Lacunosa)4

●      Funeral Bell (Galerina Marginata)

●      False Morel (Gyromitra Species)

●      Destroying Angel (Amanita Virosa)

●      Fool’s Funnel (Clitocybe Rivulosa)

●      Panther Cap (Amanita Pantherine)

●      Angel’s Wings (Pleurocybella Porrigens)

Can dogs eat wild mushrooms?

There are more than 14,000 different species of mushrooms and it can be difficult to tell them apart. Therefore, veterinarians recommend treating all wild mushrooms as toxic.4  If you’re an avid outdoors person, you can even download a mushroom identifier app for your phone to help identify mushrooms that may be toxic to your dog.

However, even experts have difficulty telling some of the poisonous and nonpoisonous mushrooms apart from one another. We say, better to be safe than on the way to the vet’s office! Keep your dog away from all fungi growing in the wild.

Can dogs eat cooked mushrooms?

Yes, dogs can eat lightly cooked mushrooms purchased from a store. However, skip the seasoning. When we cook mushrooms for meals, we tend to add oils, sauces, salts, and other additives to enhance their flavor. These can cause digestive and other issues for dogs. For example, mushrooms cooked in garlic or onion flavoring can be harmful to dogs.

If you are going to serve a store-bought mushroom to your dog, make sure you wash it thoroughly, lightly cook it separately, and serve it plain.

We recommend speaking to your veterinarian before giving your dog any type of mushroom, and whenever you’re making any change in their overall diet.

Mushroom Poisoning in Dogs

As you prepare your yard for the change of seasons, remember to check for all types of possible pet hazards, from chemical sprays to standing water and mushrooms. Mushrooms are most likely to grow in the spring and fall when the weather is warm and wet.

What are the most common types of mushroom poisoning in dogs?

The symptoms of mushroom poisoning depend on the species and amount of mushroom a dog has ingested. Poisonous mushrooms can cause four basic types of toxins that cause different symptoms:5

Gastrointestinal toxins: These cause an upset stomach in dogs. The symptoms present themselves anywhere from within 15 minutes of eating the poison to 6 hours afterward

When ingested, your dog may show present the following symptoms:

●      Vomiting

●      Diarrhea

●      Dehydration

●      Weakness

●      Slow heart rate

●      Difficulty breathing

Hepatotoxic poisons: These poisons affect the liver and your dog will show symptoms anywhere from 6 to 24 hours after consuming them. The Amanita mushrooms (Death Cap, Destroying Angel, and Panther Cap) fall under this category. Hepatotoxic poisoning should be treated immediately and is a veterinary emergency. Even if the dog shows signs of recovery, there could still be underlying liver failure that could get worse if left untreated.

When ingested, your dog may present the following symptoms:

●      Upset stomach

●      Liver failure

●      Jaundice

●      Weakness

●      Lethargy

Nephrotoxins: These toxins found in some wild mushrooms can affect your dog’s kidneys.

When ingested, your dog may present the following symptoms:

●      Nausea

●      Vomiting

●      Dehydration

Neurotoxic poisons: These types of poisons affect the neurological system, so it affects all of your dog’s senses. Your dog can show symptoms as quickly as 30 minutes after consumption.

When ingested, your dog may present the following symptoms:

●      Tremors

●      Hallucinations

●      Lack of coordination

●      Weakness

●      Agitation

●      Disorientation

●      Seizures

What should I do if my dog has ingested wild mushrooms?

If you think your dog ate wild mushrooms, contact your vet, animal poison control center, or emergency veterinary hospital right away. Tell them when you believe this occurred, as timing is crucial to an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Additionally, try to be specific about your dog’s symptoms and when they began. If possible, bring a sample of the wild mushroom with you so the veterinarian can identify it.

Alternatives to Mushrooms

Since dogs do not require mushrooms as an addition to their diet, it is not a food you must feed your dog. Instead, try having them snack on carrot sticks, an occasional piece of watermelon, or a few small pieces of an apple.

Dogs and Mushrooms: Play It Safe

Ultimately, dogs can eat store-bought mushrooms you would buy for yourself, provided that they are served plain. However, steer clear of mushrooms growing in the wild. If you think your pup has nibbled on wild mushrooms, contact your vet, poison control, or your emergency animal hospital immediately.

Despite our best efforts, accidents happen. You can protect your furry friend and your wallet with a dog insurance policy from MetLife.1 Find out more about pet insurance and how a policy can save you money.

You can fetch your free quote today!

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Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal, or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.

2 Can Dogs Eat Mushrooms,” The SprucePets

3 “Can Dogs Eat Mushrooms? The Safe/Unsafe List,” Dogs Naturally

4 “Can Dogs Eat Mushrooms?,” American Kennel Club

5 “Mushroom Toxicity,” VCA Animal Hospitals