So many of the meals that we enjoy, wherever in the world one looks, rely on delicious cooked mushrooms as part of their ingredients list.
From that distinctive texture to the rich earthy flavour they bring, mushrooms are a hearty addition to any meal.
And of course, chances are, whatever you’re eating, your pooch wants a bite of also. That being so, can dogs eat cooked mushrooms?
Are cooked mushrooms good for dogs?
Cooked mushrooms are more often a question of delicious flavours rather than nutritional value, particularly where dogs are concerned.
In fact, dog owners know to avoid letting their dogs eat any wild mushrooms they might come across while out on a walk, so in most cases it’s indeed only the store bought variety of mushrooms that should even be considered being handed over to your dog.
And when you do so, please ensure it’s done sparingly.
Cooked mushrooms as part of meals aren’t exactly bad for dogs per se, but they don’t really bring your pet any nutritional value – and even those things they can add can be sourced better through something that is better for dogs to eat.
Cooked mushrooms are seldom served up alone when we are cooking though, and it’s here that you need to be rather careful.
After all, we use mushrooms as a cooking ingredient rather than a core mealtime component – even stuffed mushrooms are created to enhance the flavours of what go within them, rather than to make use of the mushrooms themselves.
Because of that, the kinds of seasonings in use really need to be monitored, if not altogether avoided. For instance, butter on cooked mushrooms adds nothing to your dog’s meal but complications.
Dairy and lactose are extremely difficult for dogs to digest, and for all the flavour you’re offering your pet, it will only come with a stomach ache and gas later on – no fun for your or your animal.
The plainer you can keep cooked mushrooms, the more palatable they will be for your pup – but there isn’t any reason, nutritionally speaking, to be feeding them to your dog regularly.
After a time, they could cause more complications than perks, and in terms of taste, your dog will probably prefer something else for an occasional treat anyway.
Dangers of cooked mushrooms for dogs
Due to their size, shape and how stodgy and robust they can be – mushrooms have a springy sort of texture that can resist being chewed on from time to time – the biggest risks for your dog eating cooked mushrooms in the immediate term are those of choking and internal blockages.
Dogs can tend to gulp down their meals, especially if they’re very hungry or are very excited at you giving them something.
Because of that, they might well swallow a button mushroom or two whole, and create some nasty surprises a few seconds later.
Be ready to assist your dog if any choking occurs, and keep some fresh water close by in case your pet needs it.
As we touched on beforehand, seasoning and flavourings need to be monitored if your dog is to enjoy cooked mushrooms safely.
This is not just a case of avoiding butter – but again, because of its dairy content, please do.
Butter also has high fat content, and dogs are terrible at processing that effectively – it can lead to weight gain over time.
Instead, keep an eye out for other seasonings that are often found accompanying cooked mushrooms that are dangerous for dogs.
Salt, for example, or any sauces or condiments with a high salt content, can create dangers of dehydration and even sodium poisoning in your dog.
This is a horrible affliction for your pet to go through, and certainly not worth risking.
Even worse though, things like garlic mushrooms or cooked mushrooms with onion have to be avoided at all costs.
Both garlic and onions are extremely poisonous to dogs, and that kind of toxic effect can really hurt their quality of life – even proving lethal eventually.
You can perhaps see why so many experts and dog dieticians recommend that any cooked mushrooms you offer to your dog need to be as free from flavouring as they can.
It might see far too bland to be of any good to your dog, but it’s in his or her best interests long term.
Unfortunately, even plain cooked mushrooms come with their own risks though. Dogs aren’t good at digesting material like this, and you’ll find that even a small amount, by human standards, is far too much mushroom for your dog to effectively handle.
Because of this, he or she will suffer stomach upsets and some nasty toilet breaks if they overdo it on cooked mushroom consumption.
How many cooked mushrooms can a dog eat daily?
Ideally, mushrooms are not something you’re going to be planning on feeding your dog daily – they have nothing really nutritional to offer your pet, and they’re kind of tricky to prepare properly versus other, more easily available dog treats and snacks.
If you’re in the kitchen cooking with your dog close by and you want to toss a mushroom or two his or her way on the spur of the moment though, do feel free.
Better yet, do so with the mushroom in slices, as this makes it far less likely that your dog is going to accidentally choke while gulping down their spontaneous treat.
Overall hough, you’ll find plain cooked mushrooms a bit of a tough sell for most dogs versus other, more flavoursome varieties.
You have to stay resilient though, because many of the flavourings we enjoy for mushrooms in our meals can prove problematic, if not outright hazardous, for your dog.
What to do if your dog eats cooked mushrooms
Dogs just can’t help but jump to gobble down anything they find that falls on the floor, and this may well be how your dog comes across some cooked mushrooms to eat.
The most important thing to do here, initially, is to identify if these cooked mushrooms come with garlic or onion – even a thin coating of those is enough to be toxic to your pet.
If this happens, contact your vet as soon as possible and follow the advice given to make sure your dog isn’t going to fall afoul of any untoward side effects or dangers.
Other flavourings and coatings for cooked mushrooms also need your close observation to look for any symptoms of illness in your pet – these include butter, cheese and salt.
However, in the case of your dog eating cooked mushrooms free from any additives and flavourings, the main thing you as a dog owner are going to need to worry about is your pet suffering an upset stomach.
The structure of mushrooms makes them hard for your dog’s inner systems to break down, and it’s going to cause a lot of discomfort.
It’s likely that your dog might throw up after eating lots of mushrooms all at once, and for this reason it’s advisable that your dog is kept topped up with fresh water and some comforting scratches behind the ear.
If your dog throws up for several days after this though, definitely communicate that to your vet, if only to receive some medicine that can help with this.
However, it’s just as likely that your dog will instead get rid of the mushrooms through alternative means – so brace yourself for a grumpy, gassy pooch that needs a lot of time to head outside to the toilet.
By and large, this is going to be an issue that you need to address in terms of your pet’s behaviour and knowing of boundaries, rather than any immediate medical emergency.
Nonetheless, it bears repeating that cooked mushrooms aren’t really the kind of food that dogs ought to be tucking into, permission or no, unless it’s a spur of the moment treat.
Cooked mushrooms are the only kinds of mushrooms or toadstools that dogs can eat, although they won’t derive much nutritional value from doing so.
Dogs will happily eat cooked mushrooms if offered them though, not least since they’re often coated in the likes of butter, garlic and other delicious goodness.
Unfortunately, that goodness is not so great for how your dog digests and enjoys food, and even plain cooked mushrooms are likely to cause stomach upsets too.
Keep this in mind and keep your dog’s eating of cooked mushrooms to a minimum – there are much tastier and appealing snacks for your pet to enjoy out there.