Can Dogs Eat Mushrooms? The Ultimate Guide to 8 Organic Varieties

A dog sniffing a mushroom in a grassy field.


As responsible pet parents, understanding what our dogs can and cannot eat is crucial for their health. A popular query that often comes up is can dogs eat mushrooms? This topic warrants attention due to the potential risks and benefits associated with it.

Mushrooms are fungi that come in thousands of species, some are safe while others can be lethal when ingested by dogs. It's essential to have a good grasp on which mushrooms are considered safe for dogs to consume. After all, pet owners want nothing but the best for their furry companions.

This guide aims to provide a comprehensive overview on the safety of dogs eating mushrooms. It will delve into identifying and avoiding poisonous mushrooms, symptoms of mushroom poisoning in dogs, and the importance of evading wild mushrooms.

We will also introduce you to 8 organic mushroom varieties that are not only safe, but can also offer significant health benefits for your dog. Each variety will be described in detail including its key health benefits and proper dosage administration tips.

To further enhance your dog's overall well-being, you might consider adding probiotics for dogs or age-appropriate supplements into their diet. These links lead to products that support gut health and joint care respectively, which can be highly beneficial when combined with a balanced diet.

The Safety Concerns of Dogs Eating Mushrooms

When it comes to feeding mushrooms to dogs, safety is paramount. This in-depth guide aims to provide a thorough understanding of the potential risks and dangers associated with mushroom consumption in dogs.

Identifying and Avoiding Poisonous Mushrooms for Dogs

Dogs are naturally curious creatures and may sometimes ingest harmful substances while exploring their surroundings. Mushrooms, found in various environments, can pose a significant risk if consumed by dogs.

Identifying poisonous mushrooms is crucial to ensure your dog's safety. Toxic mushrooms often have distinct features that differentiate them from safe ones. These features may include:

  • A cap with white gills
  • A ring around the stem
  • A bulbous or sack-like base of the stem
  • Red on the cap or stem

However, these are merely guidelines and not all toxic mushrooms will display these characteristics.

To be safe, it's recommended that all wild mushrooms should be considered potentially harmful until professionally identified.

Common Poisonous Mushroom Species That Are Dangerous for Dogs

There are numerous species of poisonous mushrooms that pose a danger to dogs. Some of the most common include:

  1. Amanita phalloides (Death Cap)
  2. Galerina marginata (Deadly Galerina)
  3. Inocybe spp. and Clitocybe dealbata (White Clitocybe)
  4. Amanita gemmata (Jeweled Deathcap)

These toxic mushrooms contain various toxins that can cause severe harm or even death in dogs.

Symptoms of Mushroom Poisoning in Dogs

Mushroom poisoning can manifest in various ways depending on the type of mushroom ingested. The most common symptoms include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Weakness or lethargy
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
  • Uncoordinated movements
  • Seizures
  • Coma

If your dog displays any of these symptoms after eating a mushroom, contact your veterinarian immediately. Quick and appropriate action is crucial in treating mushroom poisoning.

The Importance of Avoiding Wild Mushrooms

Given the potential risk and the difficulty in accurately identifying safe mushrooms, it's best to avoid wild mushrooms altogether. Even harmless mushrooms can upset a dog's stomach due to their high fiber content.

Always supervise your dog during outdoor activities and prevent them from consuming anything off the ground. If you have mushrooms growing in your yard, regular checks and removal can help to keep your pet safe.

For more information on this topic, you can read this comprehensive guide on whether dogs can eat mushrooms from Origin Labs.

Safe Mushroom Varieties for Dogs

For dog owners, ensuring the safety of our furry friends is paramount. When it comes to mushrooms, it's crucial to differentiate between safe and poisonous varieties. Mushrooms can be a wholesome addition to your dog's diet if chosen wisely.

While certain wild mushrooms are toxic and should be avoided, several commercial and organic varieties are safe for dogs and offer numerous health benefits.

Safe Mushroom Varieties for Dogs

Here are some safe mushroom varieties that you can include in your dog's diet:

  • Reishi
  • Cordyceps
  • Maitake
  • Chaga
  • Lion’s Mane
  • Turkey Tail
  • Shiitake
  • Oyster

Each of these mushroom types has unique properties that can support your dog's health in different ways:

  1. Reishi: This mushroom is known for its immune-boosting properties and can help reduce inflammation.
  2. Cordyceps: Cordyceps mushrooms are believed to enhance energy levels and improve respiratory function.
  3. Maitake: Maitake mushrooms have been shown to have anti-cancer effects and may also help regulate blood sugar levels.
  4. Chaga: Chaga mushrooms are rich in antioxidants and can support immune system function.
  5. Lion’s Mane: Lion's Mane mushrooms are thought to promote brain health and may aid in nerve regeneration.
  6. Turkey Tail: Turkey Tail mushrooms contain compounds that can strengthen the immune system and fight off harmful bacteria.
  7. Shiitake: Shiitake mushrooms are a good source of vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins and selenium.
  8. Oyster: Oyster mushrooms are low in calories and fat but provide some protein, fiber, and beneficial nutrients.

Remember to introduce these mushrooms gradually into your dog's diet and closely monitor their reaction. This approach will allow you to identify any signs of intolerance or allergies early on.

Consulting Your Vet

Before making any changes to your dog's diet, it's important to consult with your veterinarian. They can provide guidance on the best mushroom variety for your dog based on their specific health needs and nutritional requirements.

Your vet can also advise you on the proper dosage and administration of mushrooms, as this can vary depending on factors such as your dog's size and overall health.

By working closely with your vet, you can ensure that you're making informed decisions about incorporating safe mushroom varieties into your dog's diet.

Reishi Mushroom

The Reishi mushroom, often referred to as the "mushroom of immortality," is a polypore fungus brimming with compounds beneficial to health. Recognized for its glossy, reddish-brown cap and woody texture, this mushroom has been a staple in traditional Eastern medicine for centuries.

Key Health Benefits for Dogs

1. Immune System Support

Reishi mushrooms contain beta-glucans, complex sugars that enhance immune function by activating cells that fight infection and disease.

2. Anti-Cancer Properties

The triterpenes in Reishi mushrooms have been shown to inhibit the proliferation of cancerous cells, providing a complementary approach to canine cancer care.

Proper Dosage and Administration Tips

To ensure safety and efficacy when introducing Reishi mushrooms into your dog's diet:

  1. Consult with a veterinarian, particularly one knowledgeable about holistic or integrative medicine.
  2. Begin with small doses to monitor your dog's reaction; consider using products specifically formulated for dogs.
  3. Opt for high-quality, organic Reishi mushroom supplements rather than raw or whole mushrooms to prevent any digestive upset.
  4. Follow the recommended dosage based on your dog's size and health status—typically, this will be indicated on the supplement packaging.
Caution: While Reishi mushrooms offer remarkable health benefits, it is crucial to adhere strictly to guidelines regarding dosage and administration. Incorrect dosing may lead to adverse effects such as gastrointestinal discomfort or allergic reactions.

By incorporating Reishi mushrooms into your dog's regimen with care and expertise, you can support their overall well-being without compromising safety.

2. Cordyceps Mushroom

A unique variety of mushroom, Cordyceps have a long history of use in traditional Chinese medicine. They are known for their peculiar growth, often sprouting from insects and other arthropods. However, it's not just their strange life cycle that makes them stand out, but their potential health benefits for dogs.

Key Health Benefits for Dogs

Cordyceps mushrooms offer several potential health benefits for dogs:

  1. Improved Energy Levels: Cordyceps mushrooms are known to enhance cellular energy production, which in turn can boost your dog's energy levels and endurance. This is particularly beneficial for active dogs or older dogs experiencing decreased vitality.
  2. Respiratory Health Support: These mushrooms may support healthy lung function and respiratory health in dogs.

Proper Dosage and Administration Tips

As with any supplement, it's crucial to administer the correct dosage of cordyceps mushrooms to your dog. Consulting with a veterinarian is strongly recommended before introducing this or any new supplement into your pet's diet.

Here are some general guidelines for using cordyceps mushrooms as a supplement based on your dog's weight:

  1. For smaller dogs up to 25 lbs, consider starting with a half dose (around 1/2 teaspoon) per day.
  2. For medium-sized dogs between 26 to 50 lbs, start with approximately one teaspoon per day.
  3. Larger dogs over 50 lbs can start with two teaspoons per day.

Remember that these guidelines may vary depending on the specific product used and your dog's overall health status.

3. Maitake Mushroom

Maitake mushrooms, also known as "Hen of the Woods," are a type of edible fungus recognized for their ruffled appearance and rich flavor. While these mushrooms are a delicacy in human cuisine, they also offer several health benefits when incorporated into a dog's diet, provided they are prepared safely and served in moderation.

Key Health Benefits for Dogs:

  • Immune System Support: Maitake mushrooms contain beta-glucans, compounds known to enhance the immune system's ability to fight off pathogens.
  • Antioxidant Properties: They have potent antioxidants that can help neutralize free radicals, potentially reducing oxidative stress in dogs.

Proper Dosage and Administration Tips:

When introducing maitake mushrooms to your dog's diet, consider these guidelines:

  1. Consult with a veterinarian to establish a safe dosage based on your dog's size and health status.
  2. Start with small amounts to assess your dog’s tolerance.
  3. Serve the mushrooms cooked rather than raw to ensure easy digestion and to eliminate any potential harmful pathogens.

Remember that while maitake mushrooms can be a healthy addition, they should only be a small part of your dog's overall diet. Also, it is crucial to source these mushrooms from reputable suppliers to avoid the risk of contamination with poisonous varieties.

4. Chaga Mushroom

Chaga mushroom, a fungus mainly found on birch trees in cold climates, is a powerhouse of antioxidants and immune-boosting properties. Its unique appearance, similar to burnt charcoal or a dense black mass, is easily recognizable.

Health Benefits for Dogs

Chaga mushroom offers numerous health benefits for dogs due to its high antioxidant content. These antioxidants help combat harmful free radicals in the body, promoting overall health.

One significant benefit of Chaga mushrooms for dogs is their immune system support. The bioactive compounds present in these mushrooms can stimulate white blood cell production, thereby enhancing your dog's immune response.

Dosage and Administration Tips

When it comes to feeding Chaga mushrooms to dogs, sticking to the proper dosage is crucial. Too much of anything can be harmful, and the same applies to Chaga mushrooms.

A general rule of thumb is:

  • For small dogs (up to 15 lbs), feed 1/4 teaspoon of Chaga powder per day
  • For medium dogs (15-40 lbs), feed 1/2 teaspoon per day
  • For large dogs (40+ lbs), feed 3/4 teaspoon per day

It's important to consult with a veterinarian before adding any new supplement into your dog's diet, including Chaga mushrooms. This ensures safety and allows for proper dietary adjustments if needed.

5. Lion's Mane Mushroom

The Lion's Mane mushroom, known scientifically as Hericium erinaceus, sports a unique appearance akin to a white, fluffy pom-pom. This mushroom has been used historically in Asian countries for its medicinal properties and is becoming increasingly popular worldwide.

Health Benefits of Lion's Mane Mushroom for Dogs

Dogs can obtain several health benefits from consuming Lion's Mane mushrooms, primarily associated with brain health and nervous system support. This is due to the mushroom's high content of erinacines, a group of compounds that stimulate the growth of brain cells:

1. Brain Health

Lion's Mane mushrooms are believed to enhance cognitive function in dogs, potentially improving memory and concentration. They may also aid in the maintenance of brain health as dogs age.

2. Nervous System Support

The nerve growth factors present in these mushrooms can help regenerate and repair neurons, benefiting dogs with nervous system conditions or injuries.

Proper Dosage and Administration Tips

As for the proper dosage and administration tips, it is crucial to follow the instructions provided by your veterinarian or a trusted pet supplement manufacturer:

1. Dosage

The dosage depends on your dog's size, age, and overall health condition. It is generally recommended to start with small amounts and gradually increase based on your pet's tolerance.

2. Administration

These mushrooms are typically available in powdered form or as an ingredient in dog supplements. They can be mixed into your dog's food for easy consumption.

Precautions and Consultation

Despite the potential benefits, it is always advisable to consult with a vet before introducing new items, such as Lion's Mane mushrooms, into your pet's diet. This ensures safety and addresses any possible toxicity risks associated with mushrooms for dogs.

6. Turkey Tail Mushroom

Quite familiar to the foraging community, the Turkey Tail Mushroom stands out with its vivid colors and concentric circles resembling a turkey's tail. This mushroom, scientifically known as Trametes versicolor, is not just visually striking but also packs a punch when it comes to health benefits for dogs.

For canines, Turkey Tail Mushrooms are lauded for their potent immune-supporting properties. They are rich in polysaccharide K (PSK) and polysaccharide-peptide (PSP), compounds known to stimulate the immune system. PSK and PSP have been studied for their potential anti-cancer properties, offering hope for dogs battling this disease.

Introducing Turkey Tail Mushrooms into your dog's diet might enhance their health significantly:

Immune System Support

These mushrooms are packed with antioxidants and beneficial compounds that enhance the immune response, helping your dog fend off various diseases.

Anti-Cancer Properties

Studies indicate that the PSK and PSP in Turkey Tail Mushrooms can help inhibit tumor growth, making them a potential ally in fighting cancer.

When it comes to dosage and administration, consider incorporating turkey tail mushroom powder into your dog's meals. Here's a general guide:

  • Dogs up to 25 lbs: 1/4 tsp per day
  • Dogs from 26 - 50 lbs: 1/2 tsp per day
  • Dogs over 50 lbs: 1 tsp per day

Remember that every dog's needs are unique. Always consult your vet before introducing new elements into your dog’s diet to ensure safety.

Emphasizing safety when it comes to mushrooms and dogs is crucial. While Turkey Tail Mushrooms have significant health benefits, misidentification or accidental ingestion of toxic mushrooms can pose serious risks to dogs.

7. Shiitake Mushroom

An integral part of Asian cuisine for over 6000 years, Shiitake mushrooms are renowned for their rich, savory taste and diverse nutritional profile. These edible fungi are brown, with caps that curve down towards the stem. Originating from East Asia, they are now cultivated worldwide due to their culinary and medicinal value.

Health Benefits for Dogs

As far as dogs are concerned, Shiitake mushrooms can offer some incredible health benefits when administered correctly in their diet. Here's a quick look at what these benefits entail:

1. Improved Heart Health

Shiitake mushrooms are known to contain certain compounds that help control cholesterol levels. They aid in reducing the bad cholesterol (LDL) and raising the good cholesterol (HDL), promoting overall heart health in dogs.

2. Digestive Support

Rich in dietary fiber, these mushrooms can facilitate smoother digestion and help maintain optimal gut health in dogs.

Safe Feeding Guidelines

When it comes to feeding your dog Shiitake mushrooms, safety is paramount:

  1. Cook Thoroughly: Raw Shiitake must never be given to dogs as they can cause stomach upset. It's best to cook the mushrooms thoroughly before serving them to your canine companion.
  2. Mind the Dosage: The dosage is another critical aspect that requires attention:
  • A small dog should only have a few small pieces
  • Larger dogs may eat a whole mushroom
  • However, this should not exceed more than 10% of their daily food intake.
  1. Consult Your Vet: It's always advisable to consult with your veterinarian before introducing new foods into your dog's diet.
  2. Monitor for Reactions: After feeding them Shiitake mushrooms, monitor your dog for any signs of digestive distress or allergic reaction.

While the potential benefits of Shiitake mushrooms are immense, remember that all dogs are unique and might not respond identically to these organic varieties.

8. Oyster Mushroom

Oyster mushrooms are a commonly consumed variety, known for their delicate texture and mild, savory flavor. Growing in clusters, they resemble an oyster's shape, earning them their name.

In terms of health benefits, these mushrooms are a nutrient powerhouse, offering potential advantages for your dog's health. They're packed with essential nutrients like B vitamins, iron, and potassium that can contribute to overall health and well-being.

Health Benefits of Oyster Mushrooms for Dogs

Here are some potential health benefits of oyster mushrooms for your furry friend:

1. Nutrient-Rich

Oyster mushrooms have high levels of protein, fiber, niacin, and riboflavin. The presence of these nutrients can provide a beneficial boost to your dog's diet.

2. Digestive Support

Fiber aids digestion by adding bulk to the diet and promoting regular bowel movements. This makes oyster mushrooms a good option for dogs with digestive issues.

How to Safely Incorporate Oyster Mushrooms Into Your Dog's Diet

However, it's crucial to consider the proper dosage when introducing oyster mushrooms into your pet's diet. Here are some guidelines to follow:

  1. Begin with small amounts and observe any changes in your dog’s behavior or physical condition.
  2. If no adverse reactions are noted, gradually increase the quantity over time.

Cooking Tips for Oyster Mushrooms for Dogs

Cooking is also essential before serving; raw oyster mushrooms can be tough and hard for dogs to digest. Here are some suitable preparation methods:

  • Steaming
  • Boiling without seasoning

Remember: safety first! If unsure about any new food introduction into your dog's diet, always consult a veterinarian.

Feeding Mushrooms to Dogs: Raw vs. Cooked

When deciding whether it's safe to give mushrooms to your dog, one important thing to think about is how you prepare them. Here's what you need to know about feeding cooked mushrooms versus raw mushrooms to dogs:

Is It Safe to Feed Cooked Mushrooms to Dogs?

Raw mushrooms can sometimes have harmful bacteria that might upset your dog's stomach or even lead to food poisoning. Cooking mushrooms helps get rid of these bacteria, which makes the mushroom safer for your dog to eat. Additionally, certain types of mushrooms can be tough and difficult for dogs to digest if they're not cooked. By cooking the mushrooms, you make them easier for your dog to chew and digest while also enhancing their taste.

Note: Regardless of whether they're cooked or raw, always make sure that you're giving your dog safe, non-toxic types of mushrooms.

The Best Ways to Cook Mushrooms for Dogs

While cooking mushrooms does make them safer for dogs, it's also important not to forget about their nutritional value. Different cooking methods can affect how nutritious the mushroom remains after it's been cooked. Here are a few cooking methods that are recommended for preserving as much nutrition as possible:

  1. Steaming: This method keeps most of the mushroom's nutrients intact while also ensuring that any potential harmful bacteria are killed.
  2. Sauteing: A quick sauté in a pan can bring out the flavors in the mushroom without significantly reducing its nutritional content.
  3. Boiling: Although boiling can cause some nutrient loss, it's still a safe way to cook mushrooms for dogs.

Remember not to add any seasoning or spices when cooking mushrooms for your dog since these could be harmful. Certain seasonings like garlic and onion are toxic to dogs and should never be used when preparing their food.

In conclusion, while raw mushrooms might be risky due to potential bacterial contamination or indigestibility, cooked mushrooms are generally safe for dogs—as long as they come from non-toxic types. Additionally, it's important to choose a cooking method that helps retain as much nutrition as possible in the mushrooms.

Dealing with Mushroom Poisoning in Dogs

Mushroom poisoning in dogs is a serious matter. Quick action can make a crucial difference in outcomes. It's important to know what steps to take if a dog ingests toxic mushrooms.

Immediate Steps to Take if Your Dog Ingests Toxic Mushrooms

Should a pet parent suspect their dog has consumed poisonous mushrooms, steps must be taken immediately.

  • Safely remove any remaining mushroom pieces from the dog's mouth. This could prevent them from swallowing more of the harmful fungus.
  • Collect samples of the mushroom or its remnants. Veterinarians or poison control centers may be able to identify the species and determine the appropriate treatment based on this information.
  • Contact your local veterinarian or a pet poison helpline immediately. This should be done regardless of whether symptoms have presented yet or not.

The Role of Vomiting Induction and Veterinary Treatment

Vomiting induction can sometimes be recommended in cases of mushroom poisoning, but it's crucial that a professional advises this course of action. It's worth noting that some mushrooms can cause additional harm if regurgitated due to their toxic properties.

Once under veterinary care, treatment for mushroom poisoning will depend on the type of mushroom ingested and the symptoms presented by the dog. Some common treatments may include:

  • Activated charcoal: This helps bind toxins in the stomach and intestines, reducing further absorption into the body.
  • Intravenous fluids: These help flush toxins out of the system and support kidney function.
  • Medication: Depending on symptoms, drugs may be administered to manage pain, seizures, liver damage, or other complications.

Knowing how to respond quickly and effectively to potential mushroom poisoning is vital for all dog owners.

Incorporating Organic Mushroom Varieties into Your Dog's Diet Safely

Organic mushrooms can be a valuable addition to your dog's diet, offering a range of health benefits that contribute to their overall well-being. These fungi are known for being nutrient-dense while also supporting various aspects of canine health such as the immune system and digestive health.

Benefits of Organic Mushrooms for Dog Health and Well-Being

  • Immune System Support: Many organic mushroom varieties contain beta-glucans, compounds that help stimulate the immune system.
  • Digestive Aid: Some mushrooms have prebiotic properties, aiding in the maintenance of healthy gut flora.
  • Rich in Antioxidants: Antioxidants found in mushrooms like Chaga can help neutralize free radicals, potentially reducing the risk of chronic diseases.

When considering feeding mushrooms to your dog, it's crucial to focus on those that are safe and offer health benefits. Not all mushrooms are created equal, and some may even be harmful to your pup.

Key Considerations When Feeding Mushrooms to Your Dog

  • Species Selection: Only provide your dog with mushroom species that are recognized as safe. When in doubt, consult with a veterinarian.
  • Organic Quality: Choose organic mushrooms to avoid pesticides and other chemicals that could harm your dog.
  • Preparation Method: Cook mushrooms before offering them to your dog to enhance digestibility and eliminate any potential toxins.
  • Portion Control: Introduce mushrooms into your dog's diet gradually and in small amounts to prevent gastrointestinal upset.
  • Observation: Monitor your dog for any adverse reactions after consuming mushrooms, such as allergies or sensitivities.

By integrating safe, organic mushroom varieties into your pet's diet with care and moderation, you can provide them with the nutritional benefits these unique organisms have to offer. Remember that each dog is an individual, so what works for one may not necessarily be suitable for another. Always tailor dietary additions to meet the specific needs of your furry friend.


Feeding your dog with organic mushrooms is not only safe but can also offer numerous health benefits such as improved immune system, brain health, and digestive support. However, responsible feeding is paramount. It's important to remember the following points:

  • Know Your Mushrooms: Not all mushrooms are created equal. Some varieties like Reishi, Cordyceps, and Shiitake are beneficial for dogs while others can be toxic. When in doubt, stick with store-bought or farm-grown mushrooms and avoid wild ones.
  • Proper Dosage and Preparation: Cooked mushrooms are generally safer for dogs than raw ones. Be sure to follow dosage recommendations based on your dog's weight and consult with a vet if necessary.
  • Monitor Your Dog: Keep an eye on your dog after they consume any new food, including mushrooms. If you see any signs of distress or allergic reaction, seek veterinary help immediately.

Incorporating organic mushroom varieties into your dog's diet safely not only provides them with essential nutrients but also enhances their overall well-being. The key here is to ensure that the type of mushroom is safe for dogs and that it is prepared appropriately. Remember, responsible pet ownership entails ensuring that our furry friends are healthy - and that includes giving them a balanced diet that caters to their nutritional needs.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What are the safety concerns of dogs eating mushrooms?

The safety concerns of dogs eating mushrooms include identifying and avoiding poisonous mushrooms, understanding common poisonous mushroom species that are dangerous for dogs, recognizing symptoms of mushroom poisoning in dogs, and the importance of avoiding wild mushrooms.

What are some safe mushroom varieties for dogs?

Safe mushroom varieties for dogs include Reishi Mushroom, Cordyceps Mushroom, Maitake Mushroom, Chaga Mushroom, Lion's Mane Mushroom, Turkey Tail Mushroom, Shiitake Mushroom, and Oyster Mushroom. These varieties offer various health benefits for dogs and proper dosage and administration tips are provided.

What are the key health benefits of Reishi Mushroom for dogs?

Reishi Mushroom offers key health benefits for dogs such as immune system support and anti-cancer properties. Proper dosage and administration tips are also provided to ensure safe consumption by dogs.

What immediate steps should be taken if a dog ingests toxic mushrooms?

If a dog ingests toxic mushrooms, immediate steps should be taken including vomiting induction and seeking veterinary treatment. It is important to act quickly to minimize the impact of mushroom poisoning.

Is it safe to feed cooked mushrooms to dogs?

Feeding cooked mushrooms to dogs is considered safe. Recommended cooking methods should be used to retain nutritional value and ensure the safety of consumption by dogs.

What are the benefits of incorporating organic mushroom varieties into a dog's diet?

Incorporating organic mushroom varieties into a dog's diet offers benefits for their health and well-being. Key considerations when feeding mushrooms to a dog should be taken into account to ensure safe consumption.

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