Are you a nature-lover who likes to go to the woods with your dogs to hunt mushrooms, or even more valuable, and expensive ones: truffles? If not, do you like to be fancy in the kitchen and utilize some extraordinary and luxury products such as truffle oil? The question of whether it is safe for your pup to eat truffle or truffle oil might pop up in your head.
Truffles and truffle oil are not toxic to dogs, but if you are not a mushroom expert you should avoid feeding your dog truffle products.
What is Truffle?
Truffle is a fungus of the genus ectomycorrhiza which grows in oak trees roots, 5 to 20 centimeters deep in soil, and is known in the Mediterranean region and is found in many regions of the world. In the world, 45 percent of truffle mushrooms are supplied by France, 35 percent by Spain, 20 percent by Italy.
The most valuable of these is the Black Truffle, also known as the Black Diamond. Truffles are one of the most important and valuable elements of Italian cuisine, a variety of mushrooms that are very difficult to grow.
Because it grows underground, it is not visible from the surface, requiring special expertise to collect truffles. In fact, especially dogs and pigs are used for this, because of their ability to smell.
Truffles are very expensive kinds of fungus. One pound of truffle can be sold for up to $3000 USD.
In some countries, hunting truffles with pigs is prohibited. Pigs were often used for truffle hunting since they do not require much training to locate truffles. However, they tend to eat the truffles they find. Therefore, dogs began to be very popular in truffle hunting since dogs do not dig the soil. Dogs just locate truffles and are not interested in eating them. Dogs that are used for truffle hunting are called truffle hounds.
Is it Safe for My Dog to Eat Truffle Oil?
Unfortunately, there are not many studies conducted to reveal whether truffle oil is safe for dogs or not. However, we know that truffle itself is not toxic to dogs, therefore, we can only assume that truffle oil is safe for dogs.
There are hundreds of kinds of truffles, and none of them are known to be poisonous. However, only some of them are considered as delicacies by humans.
Since the truffles are not on the surface of the soil and are underground, they rely on animals to eat them to spread their spores to multiply. Their scents cannot be detected by humans. Therefore, mostly pigs and dogs are used to locate them.
Generally, dogs are not interested in eating them. However, if they do, it won’t cause harm since truffles are not toxic to dogs. Nevertheless, if you are not an expert on mushrooms, and you are not sure what type of mushroom you are about to serve your dog, avoid feeding your dog mushrooms.
Are Truffles Nutritious?
Truffle has become a popular kind of mushroom and is preferred by chefs widely in the world. They should not be confused with the chocolate truffles. Anyway, the chocolate truffles are named after the mushroom truffles since their shapes resemble truffle mushrooms.
Truffles are known to be high in carbohydrates, protein and fiber. They also contain saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. Besides, truffles have vitamin C, phosphorus, calcium, sodium and magnesium in them. As there are various kinds of truffles, each of them might differ in nutrition.
Truffles are also rich in anti-oxidants meaning that they fight free radicals and protect from oxidative damage to cells.
Truffles can also increase the growth of Staphylococcus aureus drastically which can cause different illnesses in humans. There needs to be an experiment on the impact of truffles on dogs for us to have a clear idea if the same situation would occur in dogs or not.
Can Dogs Eat Other Mushrooms?
It is a known fact that most of the mushrooms in the world are not toxic, however, the ones that are toxic are highly toxic. It is also very hard to distinguish the toxic mushrooms unless you are a mushroom expert. Veterinarians recommend that if your dog has eaten a wild mushroom, you must treat it as a toxic mushroom and seek professional help immediately.
Amanita phalloides, known as death cap, and Inocybes are highly dangerous mushrooms not only for humans but also for dogs. If you go to the woods with your dog, you need to specifically pay attention to those kinds of mushrooms because they have a fishy odor and as a known fact, dogs are easily attracted by fish scents.
What are the Symptoms of Mushroom Poisoning in Dogs?
Mushrooms that are found in stores are known to be safe for dogs. They can be safe if consumed in moderate amounts by your dog. However, if you decide to go to the woods with your dog, you need to watch out for toxic mushrooms.
No matter what kind of mushroom your dog ate, you need to watch him closely and see if he shows any unusual reactions. Some of these reactions might include kidney injury, liver failure and death.
If you think your dog walks like he is drunk, he is under the impact of a toxic mushroom and you should contact a vet immediately. Other effects of mushroom poisoning can be sedation, tremors and seizures.
Toxic mushrooms can lead to vomiting, excessive salivation, weakness, diarrhea, lethargy, ataxia, coma, jaundice, and abdominal pain as well.
Conclusion: Can Dogs Eat Truffle Oil?
Despite numerous toxic mushrooms in the wild woods, truffles are known to be non-toxic to dogs. Therefore, truffle oil should not cause any concern if consumed by your dog.
However, as there is not enough research on truffle oil’s impact on dogs, you should always be careful about the amount of truffle your dog is consuming, and also watch your dog for any unusual reactions. If you notice any unusual behavior or reaction in your dog after he eats mushroom, seek professional help immediately.