If you're grilling up a portobello mushroom for dinner, your pooch may be making hungry eyes at you because it smells so delicious. If Dexter's never had a portobello mushroom before, feel free to see if he'd like a little unseasoned taste. Generally, store-bought mushrooms are fine in small amounts.
Portobello mushrooms are actually crimini mushrooms that have been allowed to grow to their full maturity. Mushrooms are not vegetables; they are fungi, easily grown in decaying organic matter such as wood or leaves. They have an earthy taste that enhances many dishes or, in the case of a big portobello, can serve as the main dish of a meal.
According to Dr. Ihor Basko, mushrooms provide myriad health benefits to dogs. They're a good source of vitamin B, vitamin C and folic acid; minerals such as zinc, manganese, potassium and phosphorus; and dietary fiber. As well, they serve up healthy amounts of proteins, antioxidants and lipids. All this works to help Dexter by supporting his liver and kidney function, preventing viral infections and keeping a trim waistline.
If you cook for Dexter, you can chop up a portobello and saute a quarter-cup of it to add to his food as part of his daily veggies. If you're dining on portobello, you can give him a smaller amount as a treat. If you've seasoned the mushroom in salt or other spices that may upset his stomach, restrain your generosity. Dexter shouldn't eat an entire portobello as a snack or a meal. Eating too much of this good thing in one sitting could upset Dexter's belly, particularly if he's new to mushrooms.
Just because portobellos are safe doesn't mean all mushrooms are good for Dexter. The ASPCA cautions against allowing your dog to eat wild mushrooms, as some are toxic. Various wild species can cause kidney and liver damage as well as gastrointestinal and neurological problems. Since it can be difficult to differentiate wild mushrooms and know which ones are safe for sure, keep Dexter out of those fungi and limit his mushroom treats to what you pick up at the supermarket.
- ASPCA: Mushrooms
- VetStreet: Human Foods That Are Dangerous for Dogs and Cats
- ASPCA: Wild Mushrooms
- Humane Society of the United States: Foods That Can Be Poisonous to Pets
- DogChannel.com: Recipes for Dogs and You
- World's Healthiest Foods: Mushrooms, Crimini
- Dr. B. Holistic Vet: Functional Foods for Pets: All About Mushrooms
- Fresh Food and Ancient Wisdom: Preparing Healthy & Balanced Meals for Your Dog; Ihor Basko
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