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Keep Animals Safe From Fall Poison Dangers

This article originally appeared on PETA Prime.

About this time every year, there’s a tree on my mom’s street that sprouts a large, orangey mushroom at its base. This is a “chicken of the woods” mushroom that, you guessed it, tastes just like chicken. Rinsed, sliced into chunks, and sautéed, it’s the perfect cruelty-free addition to pasta sauce and stir-fries.

However, not all mushrooms are as kitchen-ready as chicken of the woods. We’ve had a lot of rain here lately, which has caused all sorts of strange-looking mushrooms to pop up—and some of them may be extremely toxic. This got me thinking. What if one of the neighborhood dogs stumble upon one of those?! Unless you happen to have a mushroom expert living across the street (as my mother does), you know that it’s safest to steer clear of wild mushrooms. Some benign mushrooms can be dead ringers for more toxic fungi, but our little animal friends are not always that discriminating. I decided to do some research to find out, so I called the Pet Poison Helpline. This resource was so wonderful that I thought I would share it with all of you right here.

The advice I received from the folks at the Pet Poison Helpline was that when you see mushrooms pop up in your yard, you should pull them up immediately and throw them away to make sure that your animal companions (and your neighbors’) can’t ingest them.

While researching my mushroom question, I educated myself about many other potential hazards. Other autumnal poison hazards include mothballs (they may contain either paradichlorobenzene or naphthalene, which can cause vomiting, severe abdominal pain, tremors, weakness, and kidney or liver failure), rat poison (don’t go there-use PETA’s humane mousetrap to deal with unwanted four-legged houseguests instead), antifreeze,  and compost heaps (where more deadly fungi can linger).

You can find out more about poison hazards-and how to keep your animal friends safe from them-at

Do you know of any other common plants or household products that are toxic to animals? If so, let us know!

Commenting is closed.
  • Patti says:

    Not sure about allergic reactions to paws from walking through mulch, but there are certain types of bark/mulch that can be fatal if ingested. There is a “chocolate” mulch that apparently smells and tastes like chocolate, and can be fatal to your pet. I am currently landscaping my yard to become National Wildlife Federation-certified for wildlife, and I made sure the landscaper is installing non-toxic mulch.

  • priscilla says:

    My dog chewed up a wax candle once – not a vegan one – and the whole of her face swelled up.

  • Lauryn says:

    Some common frogs/toads can be poisonous. My dog got a hold of one for about 20 seconds before I got it out of her mouth. She immediately started foaming from her mouth. I learned by calling the vet, frogs can kill small/medium sized dogs.

  • Barretta says:

    What about “Dog Vommit” Mold ? It comes out every year in my Cedar Mulch garden. My Dogs walk through it all the time. Can it be harmful enough to cause Allergic / Infectious results on their Paws / Pads ??