Food is one of the basic needs that we need to constantly give to our beloved canine companions to ensure they have long and happy lives. However, because some foods are dangerous for dogs but safe for humans, it can be tricky to feed them human food. It is really important to know which one we can feed them, and which ones we can’t. One of the most common questions dog owners ask is that if they can feed their dogs mushrooms. Are these okay or not?
Are mushrooms safe for dogs to eat?
This is something that many dog owners ask. We also tend to be curious if the other foods found in our fridge are also safe for our dogs. We open the fridge door, and see what is inside and end up with questions such as ‘can my dog eat tomatoes?’ or ‘can my dog eat avocado’? Can dogs eat grapes? If so, can dogs eat green grapes or can dogs eat seedless grapes? The list just goes on and on. However, when it comes to mushroom, the answer is yes! But, dogs can only safely consume certain kinds of mushrooms, which are the ones sold by vendors in markets.
These types of mushrooms do not cause harm, unlike the ones that are found in the wild. The ones found in stores and markets are already commercially packed, which means they are safe to eat for your beloved dog.
Health benefits of mushrooms to dogs
Mushrooms are not just food to fill your dog’s belly, but also adds to the nutrition received by your beloved pet. These are some of the most important nutrients your dog will receive from mushrooms:
- Vitamins – Specifically B, vitamin D, and folic acid. Vitamins can also be consumed by your dog from other food like watermelon.
- Minerals – Your dog can receive copper, sulfur, potassium, phosphorus, and sodium
- Protein – Amino acids
Here are other important benefits of mushrooms in your dog’s health:
- It improves the function of your dog’s liver and kidney
- Enhances the condition of metabolism and blood sugar
- Reduces your pet’s weight, and lowers his cholesterol
- Provides better health through antioxidants and immunomodulators
- Prevents infections from viruses
Which mushrooms can my dog eat?
The best ones to choose for your dogs are also the ones that are safe for humans or also known as ‘human-grade mushrooms’. Here is the list of mushrooms that you can buy for your dog:
1. Porcini – It is also known as boletus edulis, this mushroom is usually found in the wild, but it is also commercially sold on a seasonal basis. In order to achieve the best value of nutrition from this mushroom, it is better to cook a dried Porcini.
2. Maitake – It is also known as grifola frondosa. In Japanese, it translates to ‘Dancing Mushroom’. It came from the overlapping appearance of how Maitake grows in groups, and it looks like they are a group of butterflies dancing. Since these mushrooms are already rarely found in the natural environment of Japan, they decided to grow them commercially, and sell them to the markets. It is also known as a Medicinal Mushroom like Reisi and Shiitake that have polysaccharides that prevent viruses and bacteria from attacking your dogs.
3. Reishi – It is also known as ganoderma lucidum. This mushroom is also effective for your dogs to eat as they have lysosomal enzymes, triterpenes, and polysaccharides that make your dog healthier, which is why it is called as the ‘herb of immortality’.
4. Shiitake – This is also known as lentinula edodes. This is another mushroom that your dog can eat which is also called ‘elixir of life’ because it contains acids, enzymes, and minerals which can enhance one’s system function.
5. White Button – It is also known as agaricus bisporus. It is filled with fibers that enhance your dog’s diet as well as antioxidants and vitamins that are responsible to give treatment to diseases caused by diabetes. It can also improve one’s heart function. There are also two kinds of White Button which are Crimini and Portobello.
6. Crimini – This type of button mushroom is brown in color, which can be harvested after the expansion of the cap, and the gills can already be seen which has a dark brown color.
7. Portobello – This one is more mature and bigger which also has the same nutrition of White Button and Crimini. Also, it has a complex of B vitamins like niacin, B6, folate, pantothenic acid, thiamine, and riboflavin). It also contains zinc, copper, selenium, iron, manganese, protein, and lysine.
Symptoms of mushroom poisoning in dogs
In case your dog accidentally ate a wild mushroom which can be toxic for them, you need to observe your dog and see if they exhibit bad side effects from ingesting a wild mushroom. Here are some signs and symptoms that you can observe when your dog is poisoned:
- Pain in the abdomen
- Excessive drooling
- Jaundice or yellowish skin
- Uncoordinated movements
What should you do when my dog is poisoned?
If you saw that your pet dog ate a mushroom and observed them experiencing bad side effects, the best thing to do is to go to a veterinarian. The earlier you do so, the earlier you can prevent complications. It is better to take your dog to the vet for medical attention as soon as possible because it will also cost less, and will cause less suffering from your dog. Some of the treatments would be:
- Monitoring the blood circulation
- IV fluids
- Medicine for liver protection
- Treatment to prevent vomiting
- Extensive veterinarian care
When you are being skeptical about this, you can contact your veterinarian for more questions or even the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center for you to be enlightened about poisoning.
There’s always room for mushroom
It is one of a dog’s greatest experiences when you feed him. It lets you build a stronger relationship with your beloved dog when he knows you continue to happily feed him with all your heart. As long as you know the kind of mushroom you feed your dog, there is nothing to worry about when it comes to his health and well-being.
Just make sure you monitor your dog outdoors to prevent bad things from happening. There might be other dogs out there, but there’s nobody like the one you already have.