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The Root of the Behavior
Mushrooms are fungi that grow wild in all areas of the world. Specific non-toxic species of mushrooms are consumed by humans on a regular basis. Dogs and mushrooms have a different type of relationship compared to humans and mushrooms. When a dog consumes certain mushrooms, his liver and kidneys can be negatively affected. Organ failure and other issues often lead to serious illness and death. Symptoms of mushroom poisoning in dogs include vomiting, wobbling, loss of balance, salivating excessively, whites of eyes turn yellow, seizures, and sleep-like coma. These symptoms need to be addressed immediately by a veterinarian. Rushing your dog to the local animal hospital as quickly as possible is recommended. The most common way dogs are exposed to mushrooms is from being outdoors. Pet parents often allow their dogs to roam around in a fenced in yard on their own for exercise. If the yard has mushrooms growing in random areas, your dog can become curious and try to play with them or chew on them.
Local parks and anywhere there are grassy areas in a neighborhood is also a popular place dogs find mushrooms. Sometimes a dog comes into contact with mushrooms by accident. Your dog might drop his toy next to a mushroom and as he reaches down to get his toy, accidentally scoops up a mushroom too. Pet parents that enjoy cooking and eating mushrooms need to be cautious about their dogs snatching their food when they aren’t looking. A common scenario involves pet parents ordering a pizza with mushroom toppings and setting their plate down for a moment. Their dog takes their chance to scarf down the entire piece of pizza, mushrooms and all. Almost all cases of dogs coming into contact with mushrooms are accidental and can be prevented. There are several things you can do as a dog owner to help prevent your dog from consuming mushrooms.
Encouraging the Behavior
As a pet parent, you need to discourage your dog from eating mushrooms. Taking preventive measures is helpful in this situation. If you have a yard, go outside without your dog and carefully search your yard for mushrooms. Remove any mushrooms you find by putting them in a plastic bag and disposing of them in a covered trash can. You want to do this at least once per week and especially after it rains. Mushrooms can sprout up quickly when moisture is around. Taking your dog for a walk on a leash is recommended. This allows you to observe your dog’s environment during the walk. If you notice mushrooms growing nearby avoid going in that area, even if you have to cross the street.
If you cook with mushrooms, keep them in a drawer inside the refrigerator so your dog can’t access them easily. Discouraging your dog from eating mushrooms needs to be at the top of your priority list. If you aren’t able to remove them from your own diet, choose to put your dog in his crate when serving food at home that contains mushrooms. If you think your dog has consumed mushrooms take immediate action by making your dog vomit to attempt to remove the toxicity from his system, then get to the animal hospital immediately to continue treatment.
Other Solutions and Considerations
If you aren’t the only person who takes your dog for a walk, teach your family members and others who have access to your dog about the dangers of mushrooms. Also, notify your family members of any areas in the neighborhood that frequently have mushrooms growing so they can avoid walking your dog in that area. Avoid parks and any other public areas that you have seen mushrooms as well. If you enjoy hiking with your dog, train him to stay next to you instead of roaming away on his own adventure. Hiring a dog trainer that can teach you to keep your dog next to you when he is off the leash will help the situation and allow you to monitor your dog’s surroundings during the hike.
Mushrooms are toxic to dogs and need to be avoided at all times. Pet parents have the power to prevent their dog from consuming these little fungus devils by controlling their dog’s environment. In case of accidental exposure, rush your dog to the animal hospital as quickly as possible to help prevent serious illness and death.