Can dogs have mushrooms? This a bit like asking 'can dogs have plants?' So there's a lot to asses to answer your actual question — Can dogs have this mushroom?
The short answer: Most likely.*
The majority of mushrooms that humans can enjoy as a food or a functional supplement, are generally safe for dogs.* The same precautions need to be taken — cook your mushrooms, make sure they aren't grown in or on chemical / heavy metal laden spaces. And of course every human and canine is unique, so we encourage you to consult with your veterinarian about specific concerns.
Dog ate an unidentified mushroom in your backyard?
Don't panic — consult these resources first and be sure to have your vet's number ready in case you are suspicious your pup ate something poisonous.
A Deeper Look at if Dogs Can Have Mushrooms
We spoke with Dr. Patti Mayfield to answer the question "Can Dogs Have Mushrooms?" For a deep dive, check out our podcast! You can stream from player above, or on any other podcast platform, and even see the video portion on YouTube!
Here are the key points from our interview.
Best Mushrooms to Support Overall Health and Wellbeing*
In terms of functional mushrooms that may support their health are as follows*:
- Reishi: supports immunity and a sense of a calm*
- Shiitake: supports healthy detox*
- Maitake: may support cardiovascular function and immunity*
- Cordyceps: may support immunity and natural stamina*
- Turkey Tail: supports cellular health and immune function*
- Chaga: supports intestinal health and natural detox*
Turns out these mushrooms are commonly consumed by humans who are also looking for extra support in overall health and wellbeing. So yes, we know what you're thinking, can I share my functional mushrooms supplements with my furry friends? You bet. Just make sure to analyze the other ingredients and make sure those are safe. Looking for a pure powdered extract with no additional herbs or fillers is safe bet! In smaller dogs especially, avoid giving them alcohol extracts. If you are keen on sharing a tincture, consult your primary vet beforehand.
Can Dogs Eat Mushrooms from The Grocery Store?
Mushrooms sold as food from the grocery store are few and far between when compared to the abundance of plants we find on the shelves. You'll typically find portobello (same species as cremini and button mushrooms), shiitakes, and possibly maitake, piopinno, enoki, and when in season you may find chanterelles, morels, black trumpets and more! All of these are generally safe for dogs. As with humans, there is a chance your pup has an intolerance so it's best to start with a small serving to ensure they can consume mushrooms safely and comfortably.
Just be sure to cook your mushroom, and don't season them with other known toxic foods like garlic, onion or xylitol.
Can Dogs Eat Mushrooms from the Wild?
As we mentioned before, this is like asking if dogs can eat plants from the wild. The answer is that it depends on the species of mushroom, and it depends on the dog. We hope you can take solace in that 99% of mushrooms have little to no toxicity. That does not completely free us of concern, since that 1% can cause mild to severe complications if ingested. The rule of thumb? Don't let your pup eat any mushroom from the wild, as best practice. Even if the mushroom is not toxic, the raw chitin (the 'fiber' of fungi) could cause mild digestive discomfort.
Refer to the resources above if you think your dog ate a mushroom that might be poisonous. Make sure to take photos, document the surrounding flora and fauna to help ID the mushroom. Your region, time of year, surround biology, humidity and even time of day all influence the mushroom presence in an area, so considering all of these factors in addition to the mushroom itself will be of great service.
Want to Learn More?
Tune into our podcast! Our friend and veterinarian, Dr. Mayfield talks about how mushrooms can support canine health.* She lays a groundwork for the do's and don'ts for good health in dogs. Then we discuss the supportive qualities of mushrooms and other herbs in a dog's health and wellbeing. Prepare for some wonderful conversations and insights into the world of veterinary practices. We get technical, speculative and philosophical in our discussions. Make sure to share the knowledge with any canine caregivers and consider the addition of mushrooms in their diet to promote good health.
Dr. Patti Mayfield DVM, HABC, CVCH*
Dr. Mayfield is an experienced small-animal veterinarian who graduated from Oregon State University in 2000 with a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Sciences (crop and soil sciences), and in 2005 with a Doctorate in Veterinary Studies. She completed a rotating internship in 2006 and spent the next 15 years cultivating a career in emergency and critical care.
In the last 3 years, Dr. Mayfield has expanded her skill set by obtaining a human animal bond certification (HABC), and will complete her certificate of Chinese veterinary herbalist (CVCH) in the spring of 2021. Additionally, Dr. Mayfield has completed the Sonographic Diagnostic Efficiency Protocol (SDEP). As the owner of Smiling Dog Veterinary Services, she offers integrative care, mobile veterinary diagnostic ultrasound, and hospice and palliative care for her patients.
Dr. Mayfield is passionate about animal welfare and promoting the human-animal bond. She is the Director of Companion Animal Project (CAMP), a nonprofit organization providing veterinary wellness services to the pets of people experiencing homelessness in her hometown of Bend, Oregon. Additionally, Dr. Mayfield has traveled to under-served areas to provide veterinary care; most recently to Malawi, Africa, where she organized a self-supported canine rabies clinic to help address the major public health issue of endemic rabies within the canine population.
Dr. Mayfield served on the Oregon Veterinary Examining Board from 2013 until 2017. She is the Chair of the Advocacy Committee of the Veterinary Cannabis Society, is an active member of the American Veterinary Association, the Oregon Veterinary Association, the North American Veterinary Community, the Canadian Association of Veterinary Cannabinoid, the International Association of Animal Hospice and Palliative Care, and the Society of Cannabis Clinicians.
In her spare time, she enjoys flying her paraglider with her partner Tim, and seeks adventure in the backcountry snowboarding or mountain biking.
Her fuzzy companions include “Pilot”, an adventurous husky mix, a darling muppet-like dog called Wheels, and her marvelous feline, Floof.