Dogs are a man’s best friend, thus it comes as no surprise that each dog owner would want the best for his pup. This means keeping an eye on his diet, have plenty of spare time for him, take him out for long walks or training sessions, and ensuring a comfortable shelter.
For that, dogs will reward their owners with lifelong loyalty, unconditional love and friendship. Moreover, dogs can truly play the role of therapists, aiding children and adults with anxiety problems, depression, and even autism or blindness.
Keeping your dog safe at all times also includes offering him the best dietary plan and medical assistance. Bear in mind that some dog breeds are predisposed to obesity and overweight problems, thus they will require more care, a hypo caloric diet and lots and lots of exercising.
Moreover, dogs love to eat. Everything. From chewing your left shoe to cables around the house, toilet paper and even wood, dogs must constantly have an eating/ chewing activity. Dogs are mainly carnivorous beings, meaning they will rather eat meat and meat-based products than fresh fruits or veggies.
However, this does not mean that your dog cannot benefit from the high vitamin intakes from natural fruits and vegetables. On the contrary, feeding your dog a variety of foods will boost his immune system, quench his hunger and help him live a long and blissful life.
Bear in mind that while dogs usually eat the same foods as humans, there are some aliments that can hurt your dog. Caffeine, alcohol, chocolate or grapes represent the main types of food and beverages that can poison your dog, meaning they are a big no in your dog’s daily eating habits.
However, there are some foods that are a little controversial, like tomatoes or mushrooms.
What are mushrooms?
Mushrooms can hardly be classified as plants or vegetables, because they belong to the fungi kingdom. They provide an important quantity of vitamins, minerals, nutrients and proteins, which are indispensable to humans.
Moreover, tests have shown that these foods can aid with a series of health problems, including obesity, diabetes, cancer or heart diseases. Mushrooms are also responsible for a healthy complexion, strong and thick hair, increased levels of energy and can help people lose weight.
They are rich in vitamin D, selenium, folate, potassium, phosphorus, copper and iron. However, eating mushrooms has always been controversial because there are numerous types that are poisonous. Thus, unless you are an avid forager or buy them from supermarkets, people and dogs should stay away from mushrooms.
Are mushrooms good for dogs?
Just like humans, dogs can pretty much eat anything, including mushrooms. However, store bought mushrooms are preferred instead of the wild kinds, because the store bought ones are 100% safe for both human and canine consumption. Most dogs can eat a few mushrooms, but never uncooked.
Moreover, when it comes to feeding mushrooms to your dog, take into consideration the other ingredients in the food as well. For instance, pizza, no matter how delicious is for humans, with or without mushrooms, should not be fed to your dog because it consists of important quantities of grease, fats, salt and spices.
One of the most popular types of mushrooms, the Button Mushroom, is rich in vitamin D, something your dog could truly benefit from. It is also low in calories, which can make a great alternative to regular dog foods, once in a while. The Button Mushroom also has high intakes of niacin, enzymes, antioxidants and proteins, meaning, when you can cut off your dog’s meat portions for a while and substitute it with vegetal proteins.
What types of mushrooms can your dog eat?
Even though only 1% of the variety of mushrooms is dangerous and poisonous, you should not take any chances, let alone allow your dog to eat. Most people from Asia can consume wild varieties of mushrooms, but Caucasians and Afro-Americans have a slightly different lifestyle, including the pets they own. If you are not an avid forager or know, at least, the basic knowledge about different types of mushrooms, you should not include them in your own or your dog’s diet.
The healthiest and safest types of mushrooms are the ones procured from any local food store or deli store, meaning the packaged ones, for instance the Champignon. Exotic types which are often hallucinogen and poisonous are not sold in food stores, meaning that if you do your groceries well, you should never suffer from mushroom poisoning.
Wild mushrooms (for instance, Death Cap, Jeweled Dead Cap, and Elf’s Saddle), the ones that grow in the grass or the typical ones with a red hat are the most dangerous types, both for humans and dogs. Truffles, on the other hand (typically dark-colored, black mushrooms) are extremely rare and expensive, and can cost up to several thousand of dollars a pound. Those are safe too, but, even though you want the best for your dog, I’m assuming you will stick to cheaper versions.
Also, before feeding your dog mushrooms make sure he isn’t allergic to them. Try offering your dog a tablespoon of cooked mushrooms and notice his reactions.
However, keep in mind that some food poisoning, including mushroom poisoning, can take up to a few days to manifest.
Mushroom poisoning signs
Depending on the level of toxicity found in the mushroom, dogs can suffer a wide range of side effects. They can go as mildly as upset stomach and diarrhea, to vomiting, weakness, lethargy, skin yellowing, excessive drooling, seizure, coma, or kidney failure. If you think your dog has ingested poisonous mushrooms, try inducing vomiting right away. Make your dog drink plenty of water and call the vet right away. But, as previously noted, some mushroom intoxications can last up to two days before manifesting, thus it is always best to keep an eye on your dog’s behavior.
Apart from inducing vomiting, your vet could also administrate activated charcoal to eliminate poison from the stomach. Bear in mind that these two actions are by far the most efficient and less expensive, so do not wait until clinical signs start to appear. Mushroom poisoning can be lethal to your dog if not treated accordingly and on time.
While some mushrooms are perfectly safe for your dog and extremely nutritious as well, if you are not a connoisseur, it is best to only procure mushroom from supermarkets or specialized food stores. Always make sure to cook mushrooms accordingly before feeding them to your dog.
In addition, take into consideration the other ingredients used aside mushrooms to not feed your dog a very heavy dish.