Are Morels Poisonous to Dogs? (Solved & Explained!)

Are morels poisonous to dogs? Any true morel is not poisonous to your dog, although they do contain a mildly toxic substance that can add up if eaten in large quantities, so it’s best to keep your dog away from morels as much as possible. However, there are False morals which are mushrooms that look a lot like morels and are poisonous. 

Keep reading to learn about what morels are safe for dogs and some tips to keeping your dog away from mushrooms.

How poisonous are morels?

True morels are mildly toxic if you eat them in large quantities, and some people have allergic reactions, so it’s best to eat in moderation if it’s your first time trying them. Also, morels shouldn’t be eaten raw since cooking them takes away some of the toxic substances. 

False Morels are a type of mushroom that looks very similar to true morels but is considered poisonous. Unlike true morels, false morels have hollow interiors and longer stems. While there are instances of people eating false morels without any ill effects, most experts recommend avoiding them to be safe. 

Differences between “True Morels” and “False Morels”

The best way t tell if you have a true morel or a false morel is by cutting it open to check if it’s hollow inside or not. A hollow morel means it’s a true morel, whereas false morels have a cotton material inside. 

There is also a difference in the stems as true morels have stems that attach at the bottom of the cap. However, false morels have stems that join at the top of the cap and fold over the stem like a skirt. 

Both true and false morels like to grow in similar conditions so the same areas can have a mixture of both kinds. However, false morels can grow into the summer and early fall, but true morels tend to only grow during the late spring. 

What happens if a dog eats a poisonous mushroom?

While most mushrooms are harmless to dogs and humans alike, there are some symptoms to look out for that will tell you your dog has eaten a poisonous mushroom.

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Yellowing skin from liver-related issues
  • Lethargy
  • Excessive drooling
  • Coordination issues
  • Seizures

If you even suspect that your dog has eaten a poisonous mushroom, take it to the nearest vet immediately, as the effects of mushroom poisoning can happen very quickly.

How long does mushroom poisoning last in dogs?

You will start to see symptoms of mushroom poisoning within 2 hours of your dog eating the mushroom. Most cases are resolved in 1 to 2 days, depending on the severity. 

Can a dog recover from mushroom poisoning? 

There is a high chance that your dog will recover from mushroom poisoning if it gets the proper medical care. About 25% of dogs recover from mushroom poisoning within 2 hours of ingestion. However, there are instances where a dog seems to recover from poisoning without medical care but suffers from liver failure a few days later, so it’s always better to have a professional examine your pet. 

How long does it take a dog to recover from poisoning? 

How long recovery takes will depend on how severe the mushroom poisoning is. Generally, your dog will spend a few days minimum in the hospital to restore the right amount of potassium and glucose to the blood. A vet may also want to keep your dog under supervision to ensure there aren’t any liver problems. 

How do you know a mushroom is poisonous?

One of the most obvious signs that a mushroom is poisonous is its acrid smell, while harmless mushrooms smell more refreshing. You can also get a spore print by cutting off the stem and placing the cap gill-side down on the piece of paper.

After waiting a few hours, you will be able to see if you have a white spore print, a sure sign of a poisonous mushroom, or not. 

Should you induce vomiting if your dog ate a mushroom?

It’s important to remember that the vast majority of morels and other mushrooms aren’t toxic, so in most cases, your dog will be fine after eating one. However, you can induce vomiting to try and avoid some of the symptoms of mushroom poisoning by giving your dog hydrogen peroxide in doses of one teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight. 

Does milk help a poisoned dog?

Milk is unlikely to help a dog that has eaten something poisonous and could make things worse. Many dogs are lactose intolerant, so giving your dog milk could worsen their stomach pains and cause more nausea. 

How to stop mushrooms growing in your yard

If you want to prevent your dog from eating the wrong kind of mushrooms, the bests step is to remove and prevent mushrooms from growing on your lawn. Here are some things to incorporate into how you care for your property to ensure your dog stays safe. 

Drainage

Mushrooms thrive in moisture, so having standing water in your yard after it rains will facilitate their growth. You can try using rain barrels to collect rainwater from your roof, preventing it from collecting on your lawn or dig an underground drain to redirect water off your property. 

Remove shade

Mushrooms love shady areas, so you could try pruning the trees on your property to allow more sunlight onto your lawn. The extra sunlight will also help dry your yard after a rainfall.

Remove organic materials

Not racking fallen leaves or grass clippings from mowing your lawn will create a layer of decaying organic matter that mushrooms will love to grow in. Making sure that you remove any organic material from your yard helps keep mushrooms from growing and makes it easier to spot any that might pop up.

Mow Regularly

Mowing your lawn regularly will keep moisture from staying in the soil since shorter grass dries faster. Just be sure to remove any mushrooms already growing before mowing your property to prevent spores from spreading.