Can Dogs Eat Olives Safely?

Are olives a good snack for dogs? 🫒🫒🫒

dog with olives on a branch

If you love having olives as a snack, you might want to let your dog share them with you (especially if he’s staring at you the whole time you eat them).

But can dogs eat olives?

We spoke to Dr. Michelle Burch, a veterinarian with Paramount Pet Health, and Dr. Chyrle Bonk, a veterinarian with Hepper, to find out if olives are safe for dogs.

Are olives safe for dogs?

Olives aren’t toxic to dogs, and they even have some health benefits for your pup. But there are risks to giving your dog olives, too.

When it comes to benefits, olives contain vitamin E, iron and calcium, which are important for developing strong bones and muscles, supporting the immune system, and producing hemoglobin in red blood cells. These ingredients are all found in complete and balanced dog foods, though, so you don’t need to feed your dog olives for the nutrients or give your dog a supplement (unless your vet recommends it).

“Olives and olive oil contain many healthy vitamins and minerals that dogs on a balanced diet don’t necessarily need, but they also contain healthy fats that can improve heart health and brain function,” Dr. Bonk told The Dodo. “These healthy fats can also improve the haircoat and skin, and they contain antioxidants to boost the immune system.”

A danger to giving your dog too many olives is the high fat content, which can cause an upset stomach or can put your dog at risk for developing pancreatitis, Dr. Burch told The Dodo. Olives aren’t a good snack for dogs who are overweight or obese because the amount of fat in them can make them gain even more weight.

Olives are also high in salt, especially ones that are pickled, which can lead to dehydration or salt poisoning.

“If your dog consumes a large amount, he may develop salt toxicity,” Dr. Burch said. “Salt toxicity can cause vomiting, weakness, diarrhea, muscle tremors and seizures.”

The pit of an olive can be dangerous for dogs, too, because it’s a choking hazard and can fracture teeth or cause an intestinal obstruction. So if you’re giving your pup an olive, be sure to remove the pit.

Can dogs eat black and green olives?

Both black and green olives are safe for dogs to eat, but green olives contain more salt. If you want to give your pup green olives, make sure you only do it every once in a while and don’t give him too many.

Can dogs have olive oil?

Dogs can have olive oil, but it has a lot of calories and fat, so you shouldn’t give it to your pup often. Don’t give olive oil to dogs who are overweight.

“Dogs cannot utilize the essential fatty acids in olive oil, which contributes to extra calories in your pet’s diet [and] can result in weight gain,” Dr. Burch said.

Can dogs eat olives often?

You should only let your dog eat olives as an occasional snack. Dr. Burch recommends only giving him olives once or twice a week at most.

And if your dog has any health issues, like pancreatitis or obesity, he probably shouldn’t have olives at all. “I do not recommend feeding olives to dogs who have a sensitive stomach or pancreatitis history,” Dr. Burch said.

Talk to your vet to find out how often your dog can eat olives and how many olives are safe to give him.

“Always check with your veterinarian before giving your dog an olive snack to ensure that they are healthy enough to eat them and don’t have any underlying conditions that may be exacerbated by sodium or fats,” Dr. Bonk said. “The safe amount will depend on the size of your dog, their health condition and what you are using the olives or olive oil for.”

How to feed your dog olives

If you’re going to give your pup a few olives (after your vet said it was OK), they should be plain, pitted olives. You can also drizzle a little bit of olive oil on your dog’s food.

Be sure to avoid olives that are seasoned or stuffed with other ingredients, such as garlic or onion, since they’re poisonous to dogs.

“The olive fruit can be given to dogs with the pit removed and without any extra seasonings,” Dr. Bonk said. “You’re better off to use fresh, not canned olives.

And definitely don’t give your dog an olive out of your martini, since alcohol is poisonous to dogs.

It’s safe to sneak your pup an olive every now and then as long as it isn’t seasoned, the pit is removed, and your dog doesn’t have any underlying medical conditions. Just check with your vet first to find out how often and how many olives are safe for your dog.