Can dogs eat olives?

Can dogs eat olives? Yes, dogs can safely eat olives, but there is some guidance you should be aware of.

Olives are the fruit of the olive tree and are found growing throughout the Mediterranean. As humans we are often divided when it comes to olives- it seems we either love or hate their intense flavor. 

But do our dogs like olives? Is it safe if your pooch accidentally hoovers up an olive? Read on to find out more….

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Can I feed my dog olives?

Olives are not toxic to dogs so yes, you can safely feed a few of them to your dog. However, like many fruits there are a few things that dog owners should be aware of before serving up olives.

Are olives safe to feed to dogs?

Olives are safe to feed to your dog in moderation, however, they do have an intense flavor and your dog may not like them. If your dog does like the taste of olives, make sure they are unsalted as too much salt could cause health problems. 

Many olives come in a jar of oil and while a small amount of oil shouldn’t make your dog ill, too much oil could cause gastrointestinal upset in sensitive dogs. 

You should only feed pitted olives to your dog as the pit (seed) can pose a choking hazard. Olive pits are indigestible and there is a risk of them causing an intestinal blockage in small dogs or puppies. This may also be seen with other fruits such as papaya.

Are olives good for dogs?

There are certainly some health benefits to eating olives, for both humans and dogs.

  • Olives are high in vitamin E – which is good for the skin, eyes, and nervous system. It is also essential for maintaining a healthy immune system. Vitamin E is an antioxidant, meaning it helps to prevent cell damage by free radicals. There is also evidence to suggest that it acts as an anti-inflammatory and may be beneficial to dogs with osteoarthritis.

  • Olives contain many important minerals such as iron, copper, and calcium, which are essential for health and vitality.

  • Olives contain polyphenols compounds found in plants- and these bring many health benefits. There is evidence to suggest that the polyphenols in olives may help to protect bones as animals age. Polyphenols also help to reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases.

  • Olives are high in vitamin A which is essential for good vision and a healthy immune system in dogs.

It is worth noting that although olives certainly contain many health-boosting compounds, it is unlikely your dog will eat enough of them to make a significant difference to their health.

Can dogs eat green olives?

Yes, dogs can safely eat green olives as long as they are pitted, unstuffed and not high in salt.

Can dogs eat black olives?

Yes, black olives are safe for your dog to eat. Dogs can eat olives of any colour as long as they are pitted, unsalted and not stuffed with anything that could pose a risk to your dog.

Can dogs eat stuffed olives?

Olives are often stuffed with ingredients to enhance or complement their flavor. This could be cheese, garlic, chili, herbs and spices, anchovies, or chorizo. 

It would be sensible to steer clear of feeding your dog stuffed olives as many of the ingredients used can be poisonous to dogs or may cause gastrointestinal upset. In particular, garlic and onions are toxic to dogs, and olives containing these should not be fed.

Can dogs be allergic to olives?

Although it is not common for dogs to be allergic to olives, there is always a possibility that they could be allergic to them. 

Even if not allergic to them, dogs may be sensitive to certain compounds found within olives or to the ingredients used to preserve or stuff them. 

To be on the safe side, only feed your dog a small piece of olive, to begin with, and monitor them carefully for signs of allergy or intolerance. If you notice gastrointestinal discomfort, diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, or any other signs that your dog is unwell, call your vet for advice.

Can dogs eat olive oil?

Yes, most dogs can safely eat small amounts of olive oil. There may be health benefits to feeding your dog olive oil in moderation, including promoting healthy skin and coat and maintaining brain health as your dog ages.

However, too much olive oil may cause gastrointestinal problems and is definitely not recommended if your dog suffers from pancreatitis as it might cause a flare-up. Consult your vet if you are unsure.

How many olives should I feed my dog?

Olives are not a natural food for dogs and should only be fed in small amounts, if at all. If your dog likes olives, then feeding them a few olives occasionally is perfectly acceptable.

However, if you feed too many olives to your dog there is a risk of unbalancing their diet and causing health problems. 

You can probably find other treats that provide just as many health benefits and are more to your dog’s liking. You could try feeding carrots, beets, plantains, seaweed, okra, or crab.

Suggested reading: Can dogs eat seaweed? Can dogs eat basil?

My dog ate a whole lot of olives, should I worry?

While olives are not toxic to dogs, if they eat them in very large quantities they may pose a health risk. This is particularly true if the olives are unpitted as the pits are indigestible and may cause an intestinal blockage. 

If the olives are stuffed with ingredients that are toxic to dogs such as garlic or onions, this may be a cause for concern. If your dog ate a lot of olives and you are worried, call your vet for advice.

Conclusion: Can dogs eat olives?

If your dog likes the taste of olives, then they can be fed safely in small amounts as long as they are pitted, unsalted, and not stuffed (unless you are certain they are stuffed with a dog-safe food. 

Olives should only be fed occasionally. Dogs can eat olives of all colors and there may be some health benefits to feeding them, however, these are unlikely to be significant when feeding olives in such small amounts. There are other healthy dog treats that your dog would probably prefer!

Suggested reading: Can dogs eat Oreos? Can dogs eat Prunes?

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