The Facts Around Dogs Eating Mushrooms

Mushrooms are the only plant-like foods that have the umami flavor. But they are not true plants. These edible fungi have been on the human diets for eons, and we love the taste and health benefits.

What about our furry buddies? Is it okay for dogs to eat mushrooms?

There is no single answer to that question. There are several varieties of mushrooms. Some are edible, but some are toxic.

Like many dog owners, that response could trigger more questions than answers. So we have prepared a series of questions and expertly drawn responses to help you understand the facts around dogs eating mushrooms.

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Which mushrooms are safe for your dog?

The only mushrooms that would be safe for your dog are the ones that you can eat. That means nothing from the woods, nothing that sprouts in your backyard, and nothing from a source you cannot verify. Mushrooms like Portobello, Cremini, Shiitake, and Morel are excellent additions to your dog’s diet. Anything you can purchase at the store and is certified as “safe for humans” should be safe for your dog.

Mushrooms don’t just taste great. They contain rich doses of vital minerals and powerful antioxidants. Including mushrooms in your dog’s diet will boost your dog’s health, and the oxidants counter chronic ailments such as cancer.

But there is another group; toxic mushrooms. Out of 50,000 different types of mushrooms, Pet Food Sherpa explains that approximately 2% of them are poisonous.

Which mushrooms are toxic for your dog?

If the mushrooms are not from the store, or if they randomly appeared in your yard or the woods, they could be toxic.

Many varieties of mushrooms could harm your dog. Mushrooms like the Death cap, Deadly Galerina, Jeweled death cap, Deadly Agaric, and False Morel are toxic to dogs and could be lethal.

Here’s the critical fact you should get; it is hard to differentiate between safe and unsafe mushrooms. You would have to be a mycologist to do that.

A wrong choice could be a fatal error for your dog. So, avoid feeding your dog mushrooms apart from the edible ones you get from the store.

Is it okay to allow the dog to forage? Can your dog tell which mushrooms are safe?

Dogs have an acute sense of smell. Scientists believe that a dog’s sense of smell is 10,000 times better than humans. Breeds like the Bloodhound or Basset hound could have a sense of smell that is 100,000 times better than humans.

But your dog cannot tell if a mushroom is safe or toxic. Some toxic mushrooms like the Death cap have a fish-like odor which to most dogs is irresistible. Dogs don’t have an inbuilt mechanism to differentiate the safe and unsafe mushrooms. Your dog could happily chow down a chunk of the Death cap mushroom without a clue of what it could do. That is until you find the dog lying on the ground writhing in pain or in a coma.

If you plan for outdoor excursions, take adequate measures to keep your dog safe.

What are the signs of toxic mushroom ingestion?

You may not be around to witness your dog eating that toxic wild mushroom. Perhaps he was just bored and decided to stroll for a few seconds, and you didn’t notice. After all, it only takes a couple of seconds. But whenever you find your dog chewing on something, yet it is not meal or snack time, it could mean trouble.

Immediate signs of mushroom ingestion are signs of chewing and fragments of the fungi around your dog’s lips or in the vicinity.

If you notice mushrooms around the dog, call the vet immediately. Don’t try to figure out the type of mushroom your dog could have ingested.

However, if you do not see any mushroom fragments around the vicinity, look out for the following later signs:

  • Vomiting and diarrhea – inspect what comes from your dog’s bowels. Does it contain mushroom fragments? Collect a sample and give it to the vet.
  • Excessive salivation
  • Excessive urination
  • Muscle tremors.
  • Drunken gait.
  • Jaundice
  • Seizures and coma.

How your dog will be affected depends on the type of mushroom and the quantity he ate.

As you may notice, the signs above are not unique to mushroom poisoning. Therefore, it is crucial to take your dog to the vet for further examination.

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What should you do if you suspect your dog ingested mushrooms?

The first action is to contact your vet and explain the situation. Then rush your dog to the nearest vet emergency room.

Toxic mushrooms can be fatal. Even if your dog seems okay, it could be a phase. Poisonous mushrooms like the Death cap will cause severe gastrointestinal discomfort. This phase is followed by a lull period when the dog will seem to have recovered from the poisoning. But it does not last long. The dog then experiences organ failure, and it could be fatal.

Vets also advise pet parents not to try and identify the mushroom. Instead, focus on getting your dog to the emergency room.

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Treatment for mushroom poisoning in dogs

Depending on the type and quantity of mushroom ingested, the vet will recommend specific treatment. In some cases, they may induce vomiting. If you can carry a sample, the vet will examine it and figure out appropriate treatment faster.

Dogs and mushrooms, final thoughts

Mushrooms are an excellent addition to your dog’s diet. But ensure that you serve mushrooms that are safe for you and the dog. If it’s not from the store, it could be toxic. So, don’t allow your dog to forage in your yard or any other outdoor location. One bite of a poisonous mushroom could be fatal. To keep your canine family member safe from roaming and finding harmful items to ingest, consider providing them shelter in a Horizon Structures Dog Kennel.

But just in case you suspect your dog has swallowed some toxic mushroom, talk to a vet first – don’t bother identifying the mushroom. Then find the nearest vet ER. Your furry buddy depends on your swift action.


Signs Your Dog Has Anxiety And How to Treat It

Anxiety in dogs is much the same as it appears in humans, in that it can be normal and healthy, or acute and problematic, sometimes requiring diagnosis and treatment.

Any dog, no matter the breed, can suffer with anxiety, and the causes and triggers can vary. If the regularity and severity of the anxiety is significant enough, then it certainly warrants further investigation. There are a number of behavioral and medication-based approaches that can help.

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Signs that your dog is suffering with anxiety

Signs that your dog could be suffering with anxiety include:

  • Pacing and restlessness
  • Panting and drooling
  • Excessive barking or whining
  • Destructive behaviors
  • Urinating or defecating in the house
  • Depressive, flat mood
  • Loss of appetite
  • Aggressiveness

Not all of these behaviors are necessary to confirm the presence of anxiety, but a combination of them is common. If these signs are only occasionally witnessed and don’t appear to be severe, then it is possible that your dog is experiencing normal, healthy levels of anxiety that require no professional intervention. For example, a dog may have an anxious reaction to fireworks, but being that they are such an uncommon event, it’s possible that no action is required so long as the reaction is not too intense or problematic. In this case, taking precautionary action to minimize their stress is sufficient.


Types of anxiety in dogs

Sometimes, anxiety in dogs is ongoing and requires further attention. Such anxieties are often caused by one of three reasons. These are:


As discussed, sudden, loud noises, such as chainsaws, could trigger an anxious response, but for some dogs, their fear is triggered regularly by a broader range of stimuli. This triggering stimuli could include unfamiliar animals or people, different environments, unusual visual stimuli, such as umbrellas, beards, or hats, and more. Every dog is different and so too will their triggers be. Car rides and vet clinics are common triggers.

Again, one-off triggers can often be easily managed or solved with training, but a variety of triggers signals the likelihood of fear-based anxiety.


Similarly to toddlers, dogs can experience anxiety when left alone or specifically when separated from their owners or family members. This can be especially intense if they have not been properly socialized as a pup, as well as desensitized to being alone for reasonable periods of time.

Excessive barking and whining, destroying furniture and doors, and defecating in the house are common signs of separation anxiety when dogs are left alone. It can be hard for a dog suffering with separation anxiety to calm themselves down, so while it’s understandably frustrating to be angry when they exhibit these behaviors, it isn’t helpful to punish them, as it probably felt out of their control. Having a safe, comfortable place for your dog to stay, such as a Horizon Structures Kennel while you are away can help to minimize separation stress.

Old age

As dogs get older, they can begin to develop cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS). This condition results in impaired cognitive functions, such as difficulties with memory, perception, concentration, spatial awareness and more. These impairments can feel confusing and elicit feelings of frustration and anxiety.


Treatment for anxiety in dogs

The most important first step to take is to make an appointment with your local vet. They can assess your dog thoroughly, rule out any contributing medical conditions and then determine the cause and severity of their anxiety. From there, a treatment plan can be created.

Treatment for anxiety in dogs can vary depending on the nature and severity of the condition, but some combination is usually most effective. Treatment options include:


Counterconditioning works to alter the conditioned response that your dog has to certain triggering stimuli. By gradually interrupting their anxious response with positive reinforcements, treats and comfort, over time, their association to the anxiety-provoking stimuli can transform.


Desensitization is a similar approach, in which the dog is exposed to low-level, gentler versions of the triggering stimuli while receiving immediate positive reinforcements (such as praise and rewards) to any calm reactions. This can desensitize the dog to the stimuli as it is gradually increased.

Diet and supplementation

It is important to consult with your vet to ensure that your dog is receiving adequate nutrition to maintain a healthy nervous system. Depending on the findings, your vet may suggest a change in diet or supplementation to better support your dog’s overall health.

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Sometimes it is advised to treat more severe cases of canine anxiety with medications, such as SSRIs and antidepressants, as well as occasional benzodiazepines for acute reactions. While this may feel confronting, these dog anxiety remedies can dramatically improve their quality of life, and in many instances can simply be a temporary measure to assist with training and conditioning therapies.

Older dogs suffering with CDS are sometimes prescribed a drug called Selegiline, which works to reduce the severity of CDS symptoms and in turn alleviate some of their anxieties.

Even though there is yet to be any conclusive scientific evidence of efficacy, there are some anecdotal reports of the successful use of CBD oil in helping pets with anxiety. Your vet will be able to advise you further as to whether this is an appropriate course of action.


Final thoughts

It can be distressing to witness your dog suffer with anxiety, and while some of their behaviors can be equally frustrating, it’s important to remain calm and seek out a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. With the right approach, you should soon see some improvements.