Olives are undeniably good for us, but what about our dogs? Do they gain the same benefits by eating black olives as humans? Are black olives good for dogs? Can dogs eat black olives and, if so, what are the pros and cons of adding them to your dog’s diet?
If your main concern is “my dog just ate an olive or many olives and I’m concerned”, or “my dog just licked a bowl with olive oil in it”, the short and quick response you’re looking for is that your dog will most likely be fine.
A few questions to take into consideration:
Most likely, your dog is fine.
Barring something odd, such as Fido ate a whole bowl of non-pitted, jalapeno stuffed pickled olives, he’s probably fine.
Watch him for unusual behavior.
Call your vet, of course, since you are a responsible dog owner. But if it was a single olive, or perhaps one or two, there’s no reason your dog wouldn’t be fine.
A major consideration here isn’t so much “did he eat an olive, or 5” but “did he eat an olive pit, or 5″.
The olive pits are seeds and are normally passed through the digestive tract without harm. Too many can result in blockage and is a case for extreme care (and an immediate call to your vet).
Also, olive pits are hard and can chip your dog’s teeth, which will cause pain and need to be treated. If your dog chews up the pits rather than swallowing them, they can release toxins into your dog’s system.
If there is any chance of your dog eating a lot of pits, call your vet.
That’s the short and sweet answer. For more information, please read below.
What is an olive?
Let’s take a look first at “the olive” to see what it actually is.
First, the olive is a fruit, not a veggie, and has a seed that is called the pit.
Think of cherries or apricots-same concept.
They grow on trees and have pits. And each is a fruit.
A primary difference is that cherries and apricots are sweet, whereas fresh olives are painfully bitter when freshly picked.
Olives aren’t ready for consumption until after processing.
The difference between black, green, and purple olives (really, any color) is when they are picked. Green olives are picked early in the season so are less ripe, while black olives are picked later in the season. All are picked from the same trees.
So, trivia answer for you there, there are no green or black olive trees. They all come from the same tree.
Now we know what an olive is, let’s take a look at a couple of aspects.
Are they good for dogs?
Are they bad for them?
Should you feed your dog black olives?
Are black olives good for dogs?
Yes, absolutely, but with caveats.
Primary among them is how many your dog eats. If one or two, there’s only good that will come of it. A couple at a time is good for your dog’s health.
If more than that, your dog may experience tummy problems and end up with diarrhea, which we don’t want.
So in moderation, they are fine. Just don’t start your dog on a full Mediterranean diet and you should be fine.
Some dogs will tolerate them better than others. Some may get sick after eating only a single one, so best to start small and test it out.
Olives are naturally high in vitamins K, E, and A, which are just as good for dogs as they are for us, so again, in moderation, olives are good for your dogs.
Are black olives bad for dogs?
No, not if they are the right black olives.
However, feeding your dog processed olives that are perhaps stuffed with a filling such as cheese, garlic, or jalapeno isn’t recommended.
Pickled or canned olives are usually high in sodium, so not recommended.
Keep in mind that an amount of sodium that doesn’t bother you at all may have a much more intense effect on your dog.
Excessive sodium will dehydrate your dog, which can be dangerous.
Should I feed my dog black olives?
Although they are packed with nutrients, are a good source of healthy fat, high in vitamin E, and in moderation, will cause no harm, there’s really no reason to feed them to dogs.
You can find many dog snacks and dog food that serve just fine, and save those tasty olives for yourself.
If you do want to share one or two, no problem.
A small quantity of olives now and then can be a healthy snack for your pooch.
Too many may cause your dog’s stomach to become upset so proceed with caution. Nobody likes an upset stomach.
Also, keep in mind that at the end of the day, olives are a high-fat food, which is not good for dogs and can adversely affect your dog’s pancreas. So don’t overdo it.
Make sure there is no pit and rinse the olive to remove any brine or salt.
Ideally, you want to share plain olives with your furry friend, rather than a stuffed olive.
Then, enjoy an olive or two with your four-legged friend!
My dog just ate a slice of pizza with flavored olives on it – what do I do?
I feel like this is the more likely underlying question.
Your dog accidentally ate some olives, and you want to know what to do.
Well, if it was a slice of pizza, what else was on it?
If it was olive bread, what else may have been in it, or on it?
If it was a bowl of olives that you had sitting out, were they pitted? Were they processed and so potentially high in sodium and other additives?
How is your dog behaving right now? Is he drooling? Is he acting funny?
All things being equal, your dog is probably going to be fine.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with a dog eating a nice fresh olive.
It’s all those other considerations to consider (how many, processed or not, high is sodium, pits, were the olives stuffed with something, etc.).
Can dogs eat black olives – final thoughts
Black olives are fine for your dog to eat as long as you take into consideration what else your dog is eating at the same time. Pits, brine, sale, stuffing, etc. Just an olive or two, that’s fine but we don’t recommend too many.
Lastly, as I re-read this article, I realize I focused entirely on black olives. There is no real difference between a dog eating black olive or a green olive. The results, concerns, and considerations will be the same for either.
We often hear “can dogs eat [fill in the blank]” so we are working on a series of articles to discuss these topics. Please see our additional articles on our main dog health page.
Also for a more information overview about what your dog should and should not eat, be sure to take a look at our “Can dogs eat…” article where we cover over 80 different items.