Autumn comes with plenty of mushrooms popping up on wooded trails and in our gardens.
Picture this; it’s time to serve your favorite morels, but then you notice those cute glances from the family pup.
What would you do?
Slip a few for their nibble or just ignore the advances?
So, can dogs eat morels?
Yes, morel mushrooms are non-toxic to dogs and, thus, safe for consumption.
They have a rich nutritional profile, including minerals, vitamins, and proteins vital in your dog’s body functions like metabolisms and digestive processes.
Contrary, excessive consumption of morel mushrooms leads to gastrointestinal issues in canines.
Check with your vet before introducing morels into your dog’s daily diet.
Do you enjoy morels and wonder if you can share them with your favorite four-legged companion?
Here is everything you should know about morel mushrooms and dogs.
What are morels?
Morels are a species of wild mushrooms growing in organic, moist, and sandy areas.
They feature brown, long, and spongy honeycombs with a white stem attached to the cap.
A full morel grows up to six inches tall.
Some poisonous mushrooms are easily disguised as morels if you’re not careful, including false morels and gyromitra esculenta.
False morels feature a long, sturdy stem loosely attached to the cap but with the same sponginess as true morels.
On the other hand, gyromitra esculenta features a large dark red honeycomb structure.
It contains toxins lethal for your dog, even in small amounts.
What are the health benefits of morels to dogs?
Like most mushroom varieties, morels have several health benefits for your canine friend.
Morels have zinc for healthy skin, iron that aids in energy production, and copper supports cellular metabolism.
It’s also rich in phosphorus which helps develop muscle and critical body functioning.
Morels have a high vitamin D count among edible mushrooms, primarily consumed in soluble form in your dog’s body.
Vitamin D supports calcium metabolism and bone and muscle growth.
Additionally, morels are rich in B-complex vitamins like niacin with antioxidant properties that help reduce infections.
Fresh or dried morels have a low-calorie count superb to add to your dog’s daily diet—this aids in weight management, reducing risks associated with fatty dog foods.
Can dogs eat wild mushrooms?
Most wild mushrooms are edible and safe for dogs, but some can also be poisonous.
Luckily, dogs can sniff toxins making it nearly impossible to munch on toxic wild mushrooms when you’re on that trail walk.
However, keep your dog from eating wild mushrooms unless you’re sure it’s safe.
Otherwise, certain wild mushrooms can be problematic to their health if ingested. Do your research and keep your dog safe.
What are the dangers of feeding wild mushrooms to my dog?
Some wild mushrooms can be poisonous even in small quantities, and the severity of mushroom toxicity largely depends on the species.
There are different mushroom categories known to affect various body areas.
Mushroom toxicity – These morel lookalikes mushrooms damage body cells leading to liver and kidney failure if consumed in large amounts. Some mushrooms specifically target the nervous system leading to seizures, tremors, and incoordination.
Other types cause mild effects like stomach upsets, vomiting, and diarrhea but are rarely life-threatening.
Symptoms of mushroom poisoning in dogs include;
- Abdominal pains
- Excess drooling
What should I do when my dog consumes large amounts of wild mushrooms?
First, find out the species they ate; if considered safe, then no need to panic.
The dog may exhibit mild stomach upsets, which will subdue after a while.
However, it could be problematic if the variety they ate is a wild poisonous mushroom.
Watch for mushroom poisoning symptoms like lethargy, excess drooling, and seizures.
These symptoms may appear immediately after ingestion or hours later.
Monitor them closely and contact your vet for further medical attention.
Can dogs safely eat store-bought wild mushrooms?
Although some varieties of wild mushrooms are toxic to dogs, most store-bought are safe for consumption.
Regrettably, most are preserved in oils, seasonings, and sauces, making them problematic to canines.
Unless the mushroom is plain, avoid additives when it comes to feeding them to your dogs.
You can give them a different treat like carrots, applesauce, or plain pumpkin, which poses no health hazards to them.
Consult your vet if you suspect any adverse effects caused by store-bought wild mushrooms.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Can dogs be allergic to morels?
Dogs, like humans, can develop various food allergies when introduced to new diets.
Although not common, morels can cause allergic reactions to canines.
Feed them in small amounts and closely monitor them for the following reactions vomiting, loose stool, hives, excess panting, face swellings, and massive heartbeat.
Can dogs eat raw morels?
Raw morels are not toxic to dogs but can cause gastrointestinal upsets, especially for canines with sensitive stomachs.
Soak morels in salt water for about 10 minutes to remove the dirt harbored in the wrinkly caps.
Thoroughly cook morels with no seasonings or spices before feeding your dog to avoid sickness.
Feed then in moderation.
Can dogs eat fried morels?
Fried morels can harm your canine pal if prepared with lots of oil or seasoned.
Fat is a health hazard to dogs, and most kitchen seasonings like salt are toxic.
If frying morels for dogs, use little fat and avoid spices and seasonings.
Dogs are excellent, and as an owner, you want a healthy companion; thus, their diet matters.
Adding some morel mushrooms increases a healthy intake of proteins, vitamins, and minerals excellent for their vital body functions.
However, don’t be carried away by the rich nutritional profile; moderation is key.
Since you now know the benefits and risks of morels, feel free to share bites with your furry friend.