Olives are very healthy, and whether you prefer them in your drink or with other food, they sure give that extra kick of flavor. They are also very versatile, come in different types and even flavors.
But can your four-legged friend eat them too?
You are worried because your dog ate a few olives from leftover pizza that was supposed to be safe on the counter. So now, you are worried that something might happen to your pup because of this small Mediterranean snack.
Well, we get it. It’s not so simple, figuring out what type of fruit or veggies are safe for your dog to eat, especially if you are new to this. But don’t worry, because we are here to clear things up and give you the best possible information, so read on!
Can Dogs Eat Olives?
Olives are not toxic to dogs, and they can eat them. Also, olives are full of vitamins and minerals that are very beneficial for human health but are not necessary for your dog’s diet.
Furthermore, you should know that your dog should eat olives in moderation. More like as an occasional snack, rather than a handful of them. That’s because olives are full of fat, and feeding your dog with a fatty diet may trigger health problems such as pancreatitis. Their kidneys and pancreas are not equipped to process high amounts of fat.
Also, the consumption of new and unconventional foods may lead to tummy pain and possible diarrhea. That said, if your dog eats a single olive and experiences any type of digestive problem, don’t feed him with olives again.
Are Olives Safe For Dogs?
Well, yes, they are, but only if you give them the right type.
First of all, you need to know that your dog can never eat olives with pits. Dogs can’t remove the kernel by themself. That’s because they don’t have the exceptional motor skill needed for this type of action. That is important because the small pits can cause your dog to choke. Additionally, it may harm their teeth because they would probably try to chew it. So, always make sure to remove the pit from olive before feeding your dog with it.
Furthermore, dogs can’t process flavors like humans. So there is no point in feeding your dog with flavored olives. But more importantly, flavored olives tend to have a certain amount of sodium, which can be very harmful to a dog’s health. It can lead to dehydration and toxicity.
In addition, olives coated with seasonings, garlic, or oils also carry potential risks. Dog’s digestive system can’t process flavors and salt, so make sure to always choose plain olives for your dog.
On top of that, never give your dog an olive from an alcoholic beverage, as even small amounts of alcohol can lead to coma or death. Also, make sure to check the best-before-date first. That is because olives can develop mold if they are spoiled, which can lead to very dangerous intoxication in canines called tremorgenic mycotoxin.
Which Type Of Olives Should Your Dog Eat?
There are canned olives with a lot of sodium, olives with seasonings like paprika or garlic, and even olives with cheese. All of these and similar are very harmful and even toxic for dogs and should never be consumed by them.
Instead, choose a plain olive, in its most natural form. Also, if it means you have to spend a few extra bucks on organic olives, then do it.
What Is The Main Difference Between Black Olives And Green Olives?
The only difference here is the time of harvesting. Green olives are harvested earlier from black olives. But even so, black olives may be the healthier choice for your pup because they contain less sodium. Remember, no canned ones with salt or flavored ones with seasons and stuffing, and it will be fine.
Let’s compare the difference between the two:
|Green Olives (per 100gr)||Black Olives (per 100g)|
|Energy:||145 calories||116 calories|
|Protein:||1,03 gr||0,84 gr|
|Total fat:||15,32 gr||10,90 gr|
|Carbohydrate:||3,84 gr||6,94 gr|
|Fiber:||3,30 gr||1,60 gr|
|Calcium:||52 mg||88 mg|
|Iron:||0,49 mg||6,28 mg|
|Copper:||0,12 mg||0,25 mg|
|Potassium (Vitamin K):||42 mg||8 mg|
|Vitamin E:||3,81 mg||1,65 mg|
|Sodium:||1,556 mg||735 mg|
There are also small amounts of other minerals such as magnesium and cink, and also some other vitamins such as niacin, vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin B-6.
Major factors here are sodium and fat levels, so focus on that when buying olives for your dog. Aim to buy the ones with less salt and less fat, as those could be very harmful to your dog’s health.
Can Dogs Eat Kalamata Olives Or Olives With Pimentos?
The short answer is – yes, they can. But keep in mind that olives with pimentos are often stuffed with additional things like garlic, cheese, and other salty additives. In contrast, kalamata olives are higher in sodium like green olives.
Are Olives Good For Dogs?
These stone fruits contain vitamins E, A and K, and are rich with protein and calcium. More importantly, they contain healthy fats or so-called oleate, which can lower cholesterol, improve heart health and cognitive functions.
The fat around olives is fine for dogs because it is unsaturated. But still, it is fat, and you should consider measuring the caloric intake based on your dog’s size.
Nevertheless, here are some health benefits for dogs:
- Healthy skin and coat
- Improves vision
- Improves bone health
- Improves circulation
- Potential weight loss
- Reduces inflammation
- Improves digestion
- Supports the immune system
- Good source of proteins, minerals, calcium, and vitamins
- Healthy fat (monounsaturated fat) can help in reducing unhealthy cholesterol levels
What are the benefits of minerals and vitamins?
Calcium helps the blood clot properly and helps muscles lengthen and contract. Also, it supports bone and teeth health.
Copper affects the color of your dog’s coat, as it is involved in melanin production. But it also helps in collagen, formative tissues and formation of bones. It is essential in terms of the absorption of minerals such as calcium and iron.
Copper is beneficial in red blood cell formation. If you want your pet friend to be healthy and youthful-looking, get him some copper.
Iron is an essential mineral for dogs due to its roles in physiological processes, like the synthesis of blood. The daily intake is 0,5 mg/kg of body weight for adult dogs.
Iron is directly involved in red blood cell formation and hemoglobin. Hemoglobin carries nutrients and oxygen throughout the body.
4. Vitamin E, A, K
Vitamin E is essential for metabolism and cell function.
Vitamin A improves growth, immune, and cell function.
Vitamin K is crucial in activating your dog’s blood’s ability to clot.
5. Olive Oil Instead Of Olives
Unlike olives, olive oil has low sodium levels, making it a far better snack option for your dog. Olive oil isn’t necessary for your dog’s diet, but mixing it with some foods from time to time can be an excellent addition.
Some of the benefits are:
- Increases energy levels
- Nourishes dog’s skin and coat
- Improves the immune system
- Fights premature aging
- Prevents cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and diabetes
- Improves joint health and cognitive functions
Just keep in mind that the recommended amount is 1 teaspoon per every 20 pounds of food. Choose EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) as it has low acid levels and a fresher flavor.
How Many Olives Can You Feed Your Dog?
Now that you know the benefits and risks of feeding your dog with olives, you are probably wondering how much you should give your dog.
For starters, your dog can’t have a bowl of olives because they are rich with fat. As we’ve already explained, dogs can’t handle high amounts of fat as they can develop pancreatitis. You should consider giving olives as an occasional treat.
Furthermore, if your dog has never tried olives before, start by giving a small bit. Your dog may even not like it for all you know. Also, always start slow when introducing new foods because you don’t know how it will affect your dog’s digestive system. Ideally, wait for 24 hours after the first olive, and if it’s okay, you’re good to go.
You should give your dog olives as an occasional treat, definitely not every day, and nothing more than 1-2 olives.
Lastly, always opt for fresh olives that are not canned, flavored, or stuffed. Also, thoroughly rinse them and pull out the pits. Black or green, olives can be healthy for dogs, but only when they’re fed in moderation.
If your dog eats too many olives, especially the ones with pit, contact your veterinarian for advice, as this could be potentially dangerous.