Mushrooms are one of those foods that people tend to either love or hate, but what about dogs? Can dogs eat mushrooms? Are all mushrooms toxic to dogs? If so, how can we tell which mushrooms are toxic to dogs? Here’s what you need to know about dogs and mushrooms:
Are mushrooms toxic to dogs?
The first step in answering the question, “Can dogs eat mushrooms?” is understanding the difference between wild mushrooms and the ones we humans buy to eat from grocery stores. “The ones we buy in the grocery store are not toxic,” Dr. Heather Loenser, Senior Veterinary Officer with the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), explains. “However, there are several wild mushrooms that are and can cause serious consequences, including liver and kidney failure, vomiting, tremors, disorientation and seizures.” Death may sometimes result from ingesting toxic mushrooms, too.
How to identify toxic mushrooms
If you or your dog find a mushroom growing in the wild, assume that the mushroom is toxic and keep your dog away from it. One of the challenges with identifying toxic mushrooms is that some species may “vary considerably in their toxicity from year to year and location to location” an ASPCA report on mushroom toxicity notes. This makes it especially challenging to determine what mushrooms are safe and which aren’t.
There are several mushroom species that are toxic to dogs that are found in North America. The most toxic mushroom to dogs is the Amanita species of mushroom. “Amanita species are the most commonly documented cause of fatal mushroom poisonings in dogs, and they account for 95% of mushroom-related fatalities in people,” the ASPCA reports. These mushrooms are commonly referred to as the “Death Cap” or “Death Angel” mushrooms and are unfortunately very attractive to dogs, because they have a very fishy odor.