If you’re one of those people who like olives on your salad or in your martini, you may have wondered: can dogs eat olives? Luckily, the fruit (yes, it’s technically a fruit) is not toxic to dogs. It can be safe in small quantities, but there are some risks that you should know about before sharing this tasty Mediterranean treat with your canine companion.
Are Olives Safe for Dogs?
Dogs can eat olives in moderation. They contain many vitamins and minerals important for human health, though dogs fed a complete and balanced diet don’t need these additional nutrients. However, plain, unsalted olives can be a healthy snack for your pup.
They are full of healthy fats and proteins, though too many can add unnecessary calories to your dog’s diet. But an olive now and then won’t hurt him.
While olives themselves don’t contain any toxic ingredients, the pits pose some hazards. Olive pits may cause choking or obstructions in dogs. They can block airways and lodge in your pup’s intestinal tract. The pits also have the ability to crack teeth.
Plain, pitted olives rarely cause problems in dogs. However, ones that are canned or pickled often contain excessive amounts of sodium. Too much sodium is unhealthy for dogs and can lead to dehydration and even toxicity.
Olives coated in garlic, seasonings, or oils also carry additional risks. Many Mediterranean dishes contain these ingredients, so be cautious. Olives also occasionally appear in beverages. It probably goes without saying, but you should never feed your canine companion ones that have been soaked in alcohol, as alcohol is toxic to dogs.
If your dog consumes a large amount of olives, contact your veterinarian for advice. Eating too many is potentially dangerous, especially if they still contain the pits.
Though olives are not harmful to dogs, they’re not necessarily the best choice for a canine snack. At your pup’s next checkup, talk to your veterinarian about the right treats for your dog’s diet.