Three olives on table on a piece of burlap

Can Dogs Eat Olives? Yes, But…

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There is nothing that dogs love more than getting into food that isn’t meant for them–and sometimes, there’s nothing that humans love more than giving dogs their food! However, whether you’re taking care of a pet or are trying to share a treat, always ensure that food is safe for your dog before giving it to them.

One food that your dog may be attracted to is olives. Olives are the gem of the Mediterranean, one of the oldest domesticated plants, and they’re doggone delicious, so of course, your dog wants a sample. But you may be wondering: can dogs eat olives?

The answer is that olives can be a healthy dog snack in moderation, though there are risks. Read on to learn everything you need to know about feeding olives to your dog.

Is It Safe for My Dog To Eat Olives?

Yes, dogs can eat olives in moderation.

Olives are what we might call a cherry on top of a dog diet. The delicious emeraldine fruits give a whole suite of health benefits to humans and dogs alike, with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants such as vitamin E.

That said, your dog doesn’t necessarily need them if they’re already eating a healthy diet.

Are There Any Safety Concerns Feeding Olives to My Dog?

The biggest three safety concerns with olives are their salinity, choking hazard, and seasoning.

Regarding the former, most people tend to eat olives preserved in salty brine—in fact, you might think of saltiness as the humble olive’s main trait, given its presence in martinis and more. Dogs most certainly do not need the added salt in their diets, and eating too many olives could pose the risk of associated health issues like high cholesterol.

In addition, olives can be a simple mechanical hazard to your dog’s system. If olives pits aren’t properly removed, the sturdy cores (while harmless and delicious for humans) can block their airway.

Finally, if olives have been seasoned with garlic or other seasonings, cooked or marinated in oil, or used in alcoholic beverages, they are not safe for dogs. All of these substances are harmful to canine digestive systems.

How Many Olives Can I Feed My Dog?

With all the previous concerns in mind, the best thing to do is to give your pooch olives only in moderation—only every once in a while, and only as a snack. Unfortunately, Fido isn’t ready to incorporate an Italian diet into his routine.

On top of that, be sure to feed your dog unsalted olives for the sake of their cholesterol. Always remove the pits to prevent any choking hazards. And make sure you avoid olives that have been spiced or soaked in oil or alcohol.

Tips from Our Vets

The following is a list of tips on how to think about what human foods are (and may not be) safe for your dog from Dr. Jennifer Coates’ article on Foods Dogs Can and Cannot Eat.

There are some human foods that dogs can eat safely, as well as some human foods dogs can’t eat.

If you have a dog, you might be used to seeing adorable puppy eyes begging for a bite of, well, anything that you happen to be eating.

While it’s natural to want to share human food with your furry pal, many of the foods we eat are toxic to dogs. Some reasons foods may be harmful to your pup include:

  • Foods that are a problem due to our physiological differences (foods we can handle that a dog’s stomach can’t)
  • Other foods aren’t toxic, but are still potentially dangerous for dogs because they are hard to digest
  • Another category of foods that are a problem for dogs are foods that may contain high levels of fat

Some tips and words of caution if you are feeding your pet human foods:

  • Always keep in mind that new foods of any kind, including switching to a different dog food, can cause stomach upset.
  • When you find a human food you’d like to share with your pup, go slowly. Give small amounts at first and watch for any problems like vomiting or diarrhea before giving more.
  • Remember that treats should make up less than 10% of your dog’s diet. So all of the foods that are safe for your dog should be given in moderation to avoid weight gain and nutrient excesses and deficiencies.

What To Do if Your Dog Eats Something He Shouldn’t

Now that you know what foods are safe for dogs, it’s a good idea to know what to do if your pup eats food that’s toxic to dogs.

If your dog does end up eating something he shouldn’t, try not to panic. You have a few options for getting the help your dog needs:

  • The first is to call your dog’s veterinarian, who can advise you to either come into the office or to watch for signs of poisoning, obstruction, or other potential problems.
  • If it’s after hours, you can try calling an emergency veterinarian.
  • Another option is to call a pet poison control line. Be aware that there is a fee to use these services. Two that we can recommend are the ASPCA Animal Poison Control at (888) 426-4435 and the Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661.

In some cases, you might be told to induce vomiting in your dog. It is helpful to keep hydrogen peroxide on hand in case you need to do this.

Do not induce vomiting unless your veterinarian or someone from one of the pet poison control hotlines advises you to do so, however, because in some cases, vomiting can make the situation worse. [efn_note]Is it ever safe to induce vomiting? ASPCA.org. November 19, 2019. Accessed April 28, 2021.[/efn_note]

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, olives aren’t the worst thing to feed a dog, but there are plenty of associated risks. If you want to keep your dog safe, make sure to feed them only unsalted, pitted olives, or no olives at all.

If you’re looking for more information about which human foods are (and aren’t) safe for your dog to eat, check out our series of guides below:

Can Dogs Eat Asparagus? Can Dogs Eat Cantaloupe? Can Dogs Eat Kiwi? Can Dogs Eat Pineapple? Can Dogs Eat Shrimp?
Can Dogs Eat Avocados? Can Dogs Eat Cauliflower? Can Dogs Eat Lettuce? Can Dogs Eat Pistachios? Can Dogs Eat Tuna?
Can Dogs Eat Beans? Can Dogs Eat Celery? Can Dogs Eat Mangoes? Can Dogs Eat Plums? Can Dogs Eat Turkey?
Can Dogs Eat Beets? Can Dogs Eat Cinnamon? Can Dogs Eat Marshmallows? Can Dogs Eat Popcorn? Can Dogs Eat Walnuts?
Can Dogs Eat Bell Peppers? Can Dogs Eat Coconut? Can Dogs Eat Oatmeal? Can Dogs Eat Pork? Can Dogs Eat Watermelon?
Can Dogs Eat Blackberries? Can Dogs Eat Fish? Can Dogs Eat Olives? Can Dogs Eat Radishes? Can Dogs Eat Yogurt?
Can Dogs Eat Blackberries? Can Dogs Eat Green Beans? Can Dogs Eat Peaches? Can Dogs Eat Raspberries? Can Dogs Eat Zucchini?
Can Dogs Eat Broccoli? Can Dogs Eat Ham? Can Dogs Eat Pecans? Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken? Can Dogs Eat Hot Cheetos?
Can Dogs Eat Brussel Sprouts? Can Dogs Eat Honey? Can Dogs Eat Peppers? Can Dogs Eat Salmon?
Can Dogs Eat Cabbage? Can Dogs Eat Ice Cream? Can Dogs Eat Peppers? Can Dogs Eat Seaweed?

Pet News Daily Staff
Pet News Daily writers are experts in pet care, health and behavior. We are members of Society for Professional Journalists and practice ethical journalism.