Dogs can eat truffles in moderation, they are not toxic to dogs. You shouldn’t feed your dog regularly on truffles, though. Doing so can lead to nutritional issues, as truffles don’t contain all the nutrients dogs need. Furthermore, because many dogs aren’t used to consuming truffles, they can cause an upset stomach.
Black truffles (Tuber melanosporum) are said to have anti-inflammatory properties, they also contain many essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals making them a very nutritious fungus. However, they don’t contain everything your dog needs. Your dog needs to consume a complete and balanced diet for their best health.
Although it would be considered very rare, truffles can trigger food intolerances—they’re a fungus, so dogs with allergies to fungi or mushrooms shouldn’t consume truffles.
Benefits of Truffles for Dogs
Truffles are very expensive and are a sought after delicacy by many people. It is not likely that you will be sharing your hard earned truffles willingly with your dog. However, should they get hold of some of this popular culinary ingredient there may be some benefits for them. Keep in mind that not all proposed benefits are proven in dogs.
Truffles are surprisingly rich in protein. They contain several amino acids which are the building blocks of proteins. Dogs must consume certain amino acids in their diet, as they cannot produce them inside their bodies. Truffles include some of these essential amino acids, such as methionine, making them a great source of protein (this is rare for a plant, as many contain only incomplete proteins).
Dogs typically consume all of the protein they need in their commercial diet. The AAFCO requires these diets to include a minimum amount of protein. However, some dogs may benefit from extra protein in their diet if recommended by their veterinary surgeon.
Truffles also contain a high level of antioxidants. Antioxidants help prevent oxidation within cells. Oxidation can lead to countless diseases, including cancer and chronic inflammatory conditions. Antioxidants also help to reduce inflammation which is beneficial. Therefore, antioxidants are often recommended for dogs, people, and practically any other animal. They work to keep a dog generally healthy.
Truffles contain a range of minerals that may benefit your dog. Again, all commercial dog foods are required to have the minerals that are necessary for dogs. Canines cannot produce any minerals in their bodies. Therefore, they must consume all the minerals they need in their diet.
Some dogs may benefit from higher mineral levels than the minimum required in dog food.
Truffles contain a decent amount of manganese, copper, selenium, zinc, and phosphorus.
Downsides of Truffles for Dogs
There are several downsides of truffles for dogs. Many of these are temporary and not serious. However, allergic reactions can occur with any food.
1. Allergic Reactions
Dogs can have allergic reactions to anything, technically. However, reactions to truffles are rare. Therefore, there isn’t anything to worry about in most cases. Allergic reactions can on occasion be serious, though. Without fast medical attention, severe reactions can be deadly.
Luckily, most allergic reactions in dogs cause mild skin problems. Acute symptoms aren’t all that common, but chronic symptoms can occur with continued consumption. Dogs already allergic to fungi or mushrooms are most likely to experience allergic reactions to truffles.
2. Gastrointestinal Problems
Dogs may have stomach upset after consuming truffles, especially if they aren’t used to them. Dogs may experience diarrhea, as their body may struggle to digest the fungus. Stomach upset and other symptoms may occur, too. Usually, these won’t last more than 24 hours as the truffle moves through your dog’s system. If your dog has extended or severe symptoms, we recommend contacting your veterinarian.
Truffles can be mistaken for other mushrooms or fungi—not all of which are edible. For instance, they may look like black truffles, but instead be false truffles which aren’t edible. They aren’t lethally poisonous, but they aren’t something you want your dog eating, either.
Therefore, we highly recommend being certain about the truffle’s identity before feeding it to your canine. Don’t feed it to your dog unless you would eat it.
Truffles aren’t a common food for dogs. They’re expensive, so very few people will give them to their dogs. They do have some slight health benefits and aren’t toxic. For instance, they’re surprisingly high in protein and contain several minerals your dog needs. They may also have minor anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants.
With that said, there are cheaper ways to achieve these benefits. If your dog needs extra nutrients, a supplement is often the easiest way. Many other whole foods have the same minerals as truffles but are much cheaper. Berries are very high in antioxidants and often much more accessible than truffles. However if your dog gets into your culinary supplies and snaffles a truffle it is good to know they are not toxic to dogs.
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