With all the recent Southwest Michigan rain, mushrooms are popping up everywhere on our lot. Our neighborhood used to be an oak forest, and much of the lawn has a network of dead oak roots beneath, perfect habitat for many types of mushrooms.
My dogs, Mila and Tillie, have access to most of our yard. Am I concerned about them ingesting mushrooms? You bet!
Little Brown Mushroom Look-alikes
Many poisonous and non-poisonous mushrooms are very similar in appearance. If you aren’t a mushroom expert, it’s best to treat all wild mushrooms as dangerous to your dog, and remove the fungi from your yard.
Stinky Things Not to Roll In
Sulphur Tuft mushrooms (Hypholoma fasciculare), which are native to our area and very toxic, deliquesce (dissolve) at the end of their spore-producing stage. Deliquesced Sulphur Tufts are a vile, sloppy mess that smells of rotting flesh, and becomes covered in maggots. I am a biologist, and not much grosses me out, but cleaning up a rotting pile of Sulphur Tuft mushrooms sure does. We all know that dogs love to roll in foul smelling things, so Sulphur Tufts can be especially problematic. All the more reason to remove mushrooms from your property.
Dogs & Mushrooms Rule of Thumb
If your dog rolls in any type of mushroom, you’ll want to bathe him, to remove any toxin he might lick off and ingest. If he rolls in rotting Sulphur Tufts, the smell is so bad that skipping the bath is impossible. To be safe, it’s best to keep your pet away from all wild mushrooms and call your vet, or head to the nearest veterinary hospital, immediately if you suspect your pet has eaten a mushroom.
Here are a few useful articles on the dangers of mushrooms to dogs:
- Can Dogs Eat Wild Mushrooms?, by the American Kennel Club
- Mushroom Poisoning in Dogs, from PetMD
- Can Dogs Eat Mushrooms? What to Know About Dogs and Mushrooms, from Dogster
Please feel free to leave a comment or question!
By Tami Guy, MS, CPPS, founder of Creatures Pet Care of Kalamazoo.