21 Aug, 2023

Can dogs eat mushrooms?

Irina Turcan
Can dogs eat mushrooms?

Many of us enjoy adding mushrooms to our meals, or choose to take medicinal mushrooms to support our wellbeing. But what about our canine friends? Can dogs eat mushrooms? Do the potential benefits of medicinal mushrooms hold true for them too? And how can you add functional fungi to your pup’s diet? In this article, we explore all these questions and more. 

Can dogs eat mushrooms?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the answer to the question ‘can dogs eat mushrooms?’ depends on exactly which mushrooms you’re referring to. Just like for humans, some mushrooms are safe for dogs to consume, while other varieties are toxic. This is why you should never let your dog (or yourself!) munch on wild fungi. Unless you’re an expert, it can be extremely hard to tell which ones are harmless and which ones are poisonous.

Having said that, almost all mushrooms you can buy at the supermarket should be safe for canine consumption. That includes shiitake, porcini, portobello and white button mushrooms.(1) In fact, not only are they harmless, they could actually confer some benefits on your pup. Mushrooms are rich in several key vitamins and minerals – such as B vitamins and copper – as well as antioxidants. These all help to support your pet’s health.

So, can dogs eat mushrooms? Broadly speaking, yes. Whether they’ll enjoy the taste is another question!

Can dogs have cooked mushrooms?

Talking of taste, many of us choose to eat our mushrooms cooked rather than raw. And while you’re preparing your meal or tucking in at the dinner table, your pup may try convincing you to give them a nibble too! So, does the answer to the question ‘can dogs eat mushrooms?’ depend on how the fungi are prepared?

Well, sort of. The act of cooking mushrooms doesn’t make them unsuitable for dogs. However, the other ingredients you cook them with might. For example, both garlic and onions are toxic to dogs because of certain compounds they contain. The thiosulphate in garlic and N-propyl disulphide in onions can damage your pup’s red blood cells, leading to a number of harmful symptoms. Likewise, eating too much salt can be dangerous for your pooch.

To keep things simple, it’s fine to give your pup mushrooms that you have cooked without seasoning. If you’ve added other ingredients though, it’s best not to. No matter how much they turn those adorable puppy dog eyes on you!

What should I do if my dog eats a wild mushroom?

Although the broad answer to ‘can dogs eat mushrooms?’ is yes, you still need to be cautious. If you think your pup has foraged some wild fungi on a walk, it’s sensible to consult a vet immediately. Dogs are inquisitive animals who explore the world through scent and taste. While people sometimes believe animals can tell which plants are poisonous by the way they smell, this isn’t always true.

Certain types of fungi can be highly toxic and even fatal to dogs. These include the death cap, fly agaric, and angel’s wings mushrooms. Eating them may cause a wide variety of symptoms, ranging from fairly mild to extremely severe. Some of the more common signs of mushroom poisoning in dogs to look out for are:

  •   Drooling
  •   Increased drinking and urination
  •   Lethargy
  •   Weakness
  •   Vomiting
  •   Abdominal pain
  •   Diarrhoea
  •   Uncoordinated movement
  •   Disorientation
  •   Organ failure
  •   Trouble breathing
  •   Tremors
  •   Seizures
  •   Coma

It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to the health of our furry friends. Therefore, experts recommend removing any wild mushrooms you notice in your garden. Likewise, always take your pup to the vet if you suspect they’ve eaten one – even if they aren’t exhibiting any symptoms. 

Can dogs eat medicinal mushrooms?

Giving your pup mushrooms purely because they like the taste is one thing. But how about using them to boost your pooch’s health? Can dogs eat mushrooms for medicinal purposes? Well, fans of functional fungi will be delighted to hear that they may be beneficial for both dogs and humans.

Not familiar with medicinal mushrooms? They are specific species of fungi which offer health-boosting properties above and beyond their nutritional value. Each has its own unique way of supporting your pooch’s wellbeing, but there are also certain advantages they all share. We’ll talk more about these below!

If you want to introduce medicinal mushrooms to your dog’s diet, we recommend using a powder. These are a convenient option as they blend into normal wet food really well. As a guide, we suggest giving your pup 50-100mg of powder per 1kg of their body weight. You can divide this into 2-3 doses throughout the day. For fussy eaters, try starting with a smaller amount and building up to this dosage over time. 

Can dogs eat mushrooms every day? Yes and no. You can give them medicinal mushroom powder daily, but it’s best to do so in cycles. Specifically, we recommend taking a break for a few weeks after eight weeks of your pooch consuming functional fungi. This is because they are quite potent, and can activate certain types of immune cells. Having a break means your pup shouldn’t over-stimulate their immune system or develop a tolerance to the mushrooms. 

What are the benefits of medicinal mushrooms for dogs?

We’ve established that dogs can eat mushrooms, so now let’s examine why you might want to give them to your pup. Firstly, medicinal mushrooms act as adaptogens. That means they could help to reduce the negative impacts of stress on your dog. This is advantageous because too much stress may cause health problems, as well as behavioural issues such as aggression. 

In addition, functional fungi are bursting with a special type of soluble fibre called beta-glucans. These potent polysaccharides offer a number of health benefits, including supporting gut health, cardiovascular health, and your pup’s immune system. For instance, research has found that beta-glucan from oats could reduce cholesterol levels in dogs and stimulate the immune response.(2) All of which helps your furry friend stay happy and healthy.

In addition to these universal benefits of medicinal mushrooms, different varieties have their own individual advantages. This is often as a result of their unique secondary metabolites. Here are four of the most popular functional fungi, and how they could support your pooch’s wellbeing.


Can dogs eat mushrooms as a way to boost their vitality? Absolutely! Cordyceps mushrooms have long been popular with athletes and fitness enthusiasts thanks to their ability to increase energy and stamina. Interestingly, the fungi could have the same effect on your canine companion. Cordyceps is therefore a fabulous option for active dogs who love to run around and play for hours on end. It may also help to keep older pups youthful and spry. Whatever your dog’s age, the mushroom could boost their energy levels and increase their endurance. Just what they need for playing fetch and tug-of-war, agility training, or joining you on a long hike! 

Lion’s mane

Moving from the physical to the mental, lion’s mane could help to support your pup’s brain health and cognitive functions. The mushroom is bursting with key compounds that have neuroprotective effects, such as erinacines and hericenones. Research on mice suggests lion’s mane may stimulate the growth of brain cells, plus protect against neurodegenerative conditions like dementia.(3) As such, the fungus might help to enhance your dog’s memory and focus. So can dogs eat mushrooms to help them learn new tricks? It would appear so! What’s more, lion’s mane could additionally work to boost your pet’s mood. Mouse studies indicate that the mushroom might alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety, which could be useful for nervous pups.(4)

Turkey tail

We mentioned above that the beta-glucans in medicinal mushrooms can have a positive effect on your dog’s gut. If that’s a benefit you’re particularly interested in, turkey tail is a brilliant choice. It contains high levels of prebiotic fibre, which nourishes the good bacteria in your pup’s gut. In turn, this enables them to absorb more nutrients from their food. A healthy gut microbiome supports everything from metabolism to the immune system, making this a key advantage.(5) Turkey tail is additionally rich in compounds like polysaccharopeptide (PSP) and polysaccharide krestin (PSK), which could provide natural immunity support. 


When it comes to supporting the immune system, reishi is one of the top functional fungi out there. As well as polysaccharides like beta-glucans, it’s bursting with secondary metabolites that may boost immunity. They do so by both reducing inflammation and fighting damage caused by free radicals. This is beneficial in many ways, because experts have linked chronic inflammation and oxidative stress to several harmful health conditions. Reishi may even help to ease the symptoms of allergies and respiratory issues. No wonder it’s known as the mushroom of immortality!

How to give your dog medicinal mushrooms safely

Ok, let’s recap. Can dogs eat mushrooms? Yes. Can giving your pup medicinal mushrooms support their health? Yes. Now let’s turn to how to achieve this positive result safely. 

Experts generally agree that the functional fungi we’ve discussed in this article are safe for canine consumption. However, like all supplements, there are some points to bear in mind before adding them to your dog’s diet.

To begin with, medicinal mushrooms may not be suitable for every pooch. We do not recommend giving them to puppies, or to dogs who are pregnant or nursing. This is simply because there hasn't been enough research conducted into the safety of functional fungi for these groups.

Likewise, pups with an existing health condition or who are on medication may not be able to have medicinal mushrooms. If your dog falls into either of these two groups, consult a vet before adding functional fungi to their diet. This will help you avoid any interactions or side effects.

There’s also a chance that your pet could be allergic to mushrooms. As such, keep an eye on them to check they don’t experience negative side effects or unwanted reactions. If you notice any, stop feeding them the fungi powder and take them to the vet immediately.

Furthermore, it’s important not to exceed the recommended dose when adding medicinal mushrooms to your pet’s diet. This will vary according to factors such as the size of your dog, their needs, and their current health. If you have any uncertainty over how much to give your pup, check with their vet. 

Finally, medicinal mushrooms are not a replacement for professional veterinary care or medicine. If you have any concerns about the health of your furry friend, book them an appointment.

Why quality is key in medicinal mushrooms for dogs

Compared to their usage in humans, there has been little research done into the benefits of medicinal mushrooms for dogs. As such, we only have a limited amount of information regarding precisely how effective they are. This means that when discussing the question ‘can dogs have mushrooms?’, we also need to talk about quality.

Picking a top-quality mushroom product helps make sure that your dog gets the maximum possible benefit from taking it. In addition, it lowers the chance of them experiencing any negative side effects. That means it’s especially important to choose mushroom powders from companies you can trust. On top of which, you should never give your pet the same functional fungi products that you take. Instead, always buy powders which are specifically designed for animals.

We work with a team of expert mycologists to produce our range of medicinal mushroom powders for pets. They cultivate the fungi in small batches on natural, organic substrates. As such, you can rest assured that no chemicals were used to grow them. Likewise, we don’t mix in any additives or filler ingredients – so what your pup gets is 100% pure mushroom. This ensures our products have exceptionally high nutritional value.

Moreover, we have all our functional fungi checked by an independent, accredited quality tester. They verify that our mushrooms are rich in beta-glucans and secondary metabolites, which is how we know they are among the most potent on the market. Just what your dog deserves!