Three olives on table on a piece of burlap

Can Dogs Eat Olives?

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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?

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.

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.

Check out the articles below to learn whether other common foods are safe (or not safe) for dogs to eat:

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.