If you love cooking with shiitake mushrooms, you may wonder whether these delicious and healthy Asian fungi are safe for dogs.
The short answer to the question “can dogs eat shiitake mushrooms?” is yes, they are safe for dogs, but only when served plain.
According to the American Kennel Club, dogs do not need mushrooms in their diet, so it is better to avoid adding any kind of mushrooms to their diet. Shiitake or other mushrooms do not have any nutritional value for canines.
But some dog parents and experts support the idea of shiitake mushrooms having health benefits for their four-legged friends and recommend feeding them in moderation.
However, if you feel inclined to add some lovely mushrooms to your pup’s food, ensure they are cultivated and safe for humans and canines.
It’s best to stay away from any and all types of wild mushrooms.
Also, do not add seasonings such as salt, garlic, spices, fat, and other toxic or harmful ingredients for pups when preparing the shiitake mushrooms for your pet.
If your pup has allergies or a sensitive stomach, you may want to limit adding any new non-dog foods to its diet.
Is It Safe To Give My Dog Shiitake Mushrooms?
Yes, if you have a curious pup who wants to try them, you can give it a few shiitake mushrooms but only on occasion. Remember the mushrooms should not be salted, fried, or with added garlic, onions, or other potentially harmful ingredients.
Once again, it is important to remember that shiitake or any other mushrooms are not a natural food for canines. They do not have nutrients that are essential for them, so your pup should be eating a complete and balanced diet of dog food instead.
One or two shiitake mushrooms can be added from time to time if your pet is fond of their taste and if it can eat them without any adverse effects.
There are no scientific studies that show that shiitake mushrooms can be beneficial for the dog’s health.
Never allow your pup to eat wild mushrooms, which can be dangerous for humans and dogs. Also, keep in mind that cultivated mushrooms may contain traces of pesticides and other potentially harmful chemicals.
Are Shiitake Mushrooms Harmful For Dogs?
They can be harmful if prepared with ingredients that can hurt and poison the pup. Such ingredients are often included in the recipes calling for shiitake mushrooms. The ingredients to avoid include garlic, salt, spices, onions, fried or other added fat, and others.
Never feed your dog wild mushrooms that you or your pup have found growing around your home or anywhere else outdoors.
If you are adding some mushrooms to your furry companion’s diet, choose cultivated, organic ones that have not been treated with potentially dangerous chemicals.
Watch your pet closely for adverse reactions after feeding it a few pieces of the mushrooms for the first time. If it is okay, you can increase the amount over time. But mushrooms should not be a primary ingredient in your pet’s diet.
How Many Shiitake Mushrooms Can My Dog Eat?
The amount of mushrooms that you can safely add to your pup’s diet, or give it as treats, depends on your pet’s weight, activity level, age, and health.
The mushrooms should not be used as a replacement for the essential meats, veggies, and fruits which are included in your pup’s dog food and diet.
Instead, if your furbaby enjoys them, you can give it a piece of shiitake mushroom as a reward or as an occasional treat.
Can Shiitake Mushrooms Be Toxic To Dogs?
Any mushrooms which are safe for humans are safe for dogs. So, shiitake mushrooms are not toxic to them either.
If you buy mushrooms from a store or a farm market, make sure they are organic. Then you can safely feed a healthy pup a little bit as a treat or add some of them to its food.
Keep in mind that if the mushrooms have been exposed to or treated with harsh chemicals, they can be dangerous for your dog.
Also, some pups have mushroom allergies or sensitivities. So make sure you speak to your veterinarian before adding mushrooms to your pet’s diet.
When you give your furry companion shiitake mushrooms for the first time, start with a minimal quantity. Watch it for any adverse reactions such as vomiting, diarrhea, itching, skin or eye irritations, or others.
If you suspect your dog may suffer from mushroom poisoning or a severe allergic reaction, you should contact your veterinarian immediately!
Are Dried Shiitake Mushrooms Safe For Dogs?
Some animal nutritionists believe that dried shiitake mushrooms can benefit dogs when added to their food. At the same time, other experts advise against feeding canines with any dried or raw mushrooms.
The reason is that our four-legged companions do not produce the enzymes needed to digest the fungi as humans do. Thus feeding them with raw or uncooked mushrooms can lead to digestive upsets.
Another reason that you may want to avoid giving your dog any dried mushrooms because they can be harder to chew and swallow. This can turn them into a choking hazard, especially for smaller dogs or dogs with tooth and gum problems.
Are Raw Shiitake Mushrooms Safe For Dogs?
While technically, any kind of mushrooms that are store-bought, organic, and safe for you are also safe for your dog.
But as mentioned previously, dogs lack the enzymes needed to digest mushrooms, so it is not advisable to feed them raw mushrooms.
Eating too many raw mushrooms can lead to stomach upsets, such as diarrhea and vomiting.
Also, always keep an eye on your pup when walking and spending time in outdoor areas with wild mushrooms.
Unlike the common belief that canines can smell and will avoid poisonous mushrooms, unfortunately, there are hundreds of cases of wild mushroom poisoning among dogs every year.
If you want to add shiitake mushrooms to your dog’s food, wash them and cook them first. Do not fry them, and avoid seasoning them. Instead, feed your pup unseasoned and cooked shiitake mushrooms, which have been chopped or sliced into manageable pieces.
Speak to your veterinarian if you are thinking about adding shiitake mushrooms or products and supplements which contain them to your pet’s dietary regimen.
Remember to always monitor your furbaby for any potential adverse effects from allergies, sensitivities, or toxicity when adding new foods to its diet.
If you notice any worrying signs, discontinue feeding it with the mushrooms and contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.
The mushrooms should not be given as a replacement for the essential ingredients present in your balanced dog food.
Instead, use the mushrooms as occasional treats or topping, which take up no more than 10% of the recommended caloric intake for your pet.
Eating too many mushrooms can lead to digestive problems, even in large, young, and healthy dogs.
Overall, you may want to avoid giving your furry companion any mushrooms at all, just to stay on the safe side.