Mushroom are known for their many health benefits and their great taste. They are packed with essential vitamins and minerals, which all boost your health significantly. For that reason, mushrooms are a great addition to human’s diet.
But, with the many health benefits and its rich content of both vitamins and minerals, a valid question for dog owners could be: Can dogs eat button mushrooms?
In this article we will try to answer all of your questions regarding dogs eating mushrooms.
What are the nutritional values of mushrooms?
Mushrooms are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. All of these are vital for us human’s health, but also for a dog’s health. The antioxidants in mushrooms are, amongst others, selenium, vitamin C and choline.
Mushrooms are rich in many different types of vitamins, but they are especially rich in B vitamins, and contain almost the full spectrum of the different B vitamin variants. This includes B-2, B-9, B,1, B-5 and B-3.
Last but not least, mushrooms are very low in calories, which mean they also are great for filling up the stomach without having to consume a ton of calories. All in all, mushrooms nutritional value is extremely good.
What are the main types of mushrooms that we can buy in supermarkets?
There are many different great types of mushrooms available in the supermarkets. They all look very differently, and all taste significantly different, but they all have their amazing nutritional values in common.
The main types of mushrooms you will find in supermarkets are Chanterelles, Cremini, Morels, Portobello, Enoki, Shiitake, and Oyster. These are just the most typical mushrooms you will find – there are many more to be found.
In fact, there are more than 50.000 different species of mushrooms in the world! Many of these species overlap each other but are all different in some way.
Even though this huge number of different mushrooms can make you want to experiment, you should only stick to feeding your dog with the main types that you can find a typical grocery store.
Do button mushrooms differ nutritionally from other types?
As described, most mushrooms are super rich in both vitamins and minerals. Button mushrooms do, however, differ nutritionally from other types. They differ, as they are especially rich in vitamin D.
Button mushrooms are one of the very few vegan, or non-animal, sources of Vitamin D. The reason is that button mushrooms are exposed to a lot of UV lights as they grow up, which significantly increases their concentration of vitamin D.
Vitamin D is the vitamin your body produces when exposed to the sun light. During periods where you get little sun exposure, like winter, vitamin D is especially beneficial to eat.
What are the health benefits of feeding store bought mushrooms to your dog?
Dogs shouldn’t eat wild mushrooms as they can be very toxic to dogs, and in the worst-case lead to the dog being poisoned.
However, store bought mushrooms is a different story. Mushrooms that are sold in large grocery stores are safe for dogs to eat. Just like us humans have many health benefits connected with eating mushrooms, so do dogs.
Dogs can benefit from the wide array of vitamins and minerals just like we do. Like e.g. vitamin D, found in button mushrooms, which dogs need just like we do. And your dog has a period with little to no sunlight, feeding it some button mushrooms could be a good alternative.
Should dogs eat mushrooms from the yard?
The short answer is that, no, dogs shouldn’t eat mushrooms from the yard. Many people believe that dogs won’t eat toxic mushrooms because they can smell whether a mushroom is toxic or not. This is, however, not true. Mushroom poisoning can be fatal for dogs, and for that reason, you have to be very careful that your dog doesn’t eat the wrong mushrooms. This also means that sticking to store bought mushrooms is the way to go. By sticking to store bought mushrooms you can be certain that your dog isn’t getting a toxic mushroom. It is not just mushrooms from the yard that dogs shouldn’t eat. In general, dogs should eat wild mushrooms no matter what.
Should dogs eat wild mushrooms?
The short answer to this question is that, no, dogs should never eat wild mushrooms. As earlier described, wild and toxic mushrooms can result in your dog getting a mushroom poisoning, which in the end can be fatal for the dog. If your dog eats a toxic mushroom, there are several different symptoms that you show attention to, to make sure that your dog isn’t poisoned by a mushroom. These include vomiting, diarrhea, salivation, weakness, seizures and other different symptoms. For this reason, it is important that you only give your dog store bought mushrooms, that you know are safe for the dog to consume.
Is it better to feed your dog raw or cooked button mushrooms?
While dogs technically can eat both, we highly recommend that you feed your dog raw button mushrooms rather than cooked. The reason isn’t that dogs can’t handle cooked mushrooms, but because of all the other ingredients we typically use when cooking mushrooms, which can be harmful to dogs and make your dog very ill. An example could be onions, which are almost everywhere to be found. Onions are toxic to consume for dogs, and will in turn make your dog very ill. So either cook your mushrooms with nothing on at all, or just feed your dog mushrooms completely raw. There are no down-sides to feeding dogs way mushrooms, and you can still cook some extra delicious mushrooms for yourself. Go for the raw solution if you want to be on the safe side.
How many button mushrooms should you feed your dog?
When you introduce new food to your dog, you should always introduce it gradually to prevent its stomach from being upset. The same applies to mushrooms. Start by giving your dog just a single button mushroom over a period of a few days. Then slowly increase the amount of a few periods until you have reached feeding it with a nice potion of button mushrooms. By doing it this way, you can also make sure that your dog actually can eat button mushrooms without getting sick If you notice any signs of illness as you are introducing the button mushrooms to your dog, stop immediately. Then it is better to not feed it any button mushrooms at all. If, however, your dog reacts nicely to the mushrooms and there are no signs of illness, then button mushrooms can be a great addition to your dog’s diet.
Are there any vitamins or minerals that might cause harm to your dog if mushrooms are fed in large amounts?
As mushrooms are so rich in minerals and vitamins, it can actually be harmful for a dog to eat too many of them. The high content of minerals and vitamins can first of all make your dog grow too quickly. This is especially true for large breed puppies. If your puppy grows too fast it can cause diseases like e.g. hip dysplasia. It is the large amount of minerals that can cause these skeleton problems. Vitamins, however, can also cause problems. It is not surprising that something that is so important for a dog’s health, like vitamins and minerals, also can be potentially harmful if they get it in too large quantities. Mushrooms are also rich in vitamin A, and if a dog is fed too much vitamin A it can result in joint pain, dehydration and even be harmful to the dog’s blood vessels. In other words, you shouldn’t feed your dog a ton of mushrooms. They should only be added to its diet as a supplement to give it a small boost of vitamins and minerals.
All in all, there is no doubt that mushrooms can be a great addition to your dog’s diet. They should, however, only be a small addition, and not be given in too large quantities. Too large quantities can be directly harmful for you dog. Also, you should be careful what types of mushrooms you feed your dog. Only feed your dog with the main types of mushrooms that you can find in large grocery stores. Never allow your dog to eat wild mushroom, even if it is mushrooms from your own garden. The risk of your dog getting poisoned from wild mushrooms is simply too significant. When all of that is said and done, mushrooms can be a great health-booster for your dog. You just have to be careful not to give your dog too large quantities, and only feed it with the safe types of mushrooms.