Something that many people love to snack on is olives. Although they have distinctly different flavors, black and green olives are equally delicious. They are also a versatile ingredient that is used in many cuisines, especially Mediterranean food. Some people think that olives are so great that they want to share the taste sensation with their dogs. However, you must always check whether food is safe for your dog before feeding it to them. So, can dogs eat olives?
Can Dogs Eat Olives?
In moderation, olives are safe for dogs to eat, and this applies to both green and black olives. Olive flesh does not contain any toxins that are harmful to dogs, so it will not cause your pet any health problems if you share this snack occasionally. However, feeding olives to your dog comes with a word of caution concerning the pits. It is essential that you only ever feed your dog olives with their pits removed as the pits pose several potential risks. First, the pits are a choking hazard. It is easy for your dog to get one lodged in its throat or airway. Second, olive pits can cause a blockage in your dog’s intestinal tract, which will cause abdominal discomfort and, at worst, can lead to serious illness or even death. Finally, biting down on an olive pit can lead to your dog painfully cracking its teeth.
Are There Any Nutritional Benefits of Eating Olives for Dogs?
While olives contain many nutrients that are beneficial to a human’s diet, they are not nutrients that dogs necessarily need as part of a healthy and balanced diet, says the American Kennel Club. The nutritional needs of dogs are very different to that of humans. In the wild, dogs eat a diet that consists primarily of protein, with very few fruits, vegetables, or carbohydrates. Although domestic dogs have become accustomed to eating some vegetables in their diet, it is not a necessary addition.
What About Stuffed Olives?
Another type of olive you might consider feeding your dog is stuffed olives. There are many different types of stuffing for olives, so it depends on the filling whether not it is safe for your dog. For example, peppers and tomatoes are safe fillings says KC Insurance. Cheese is a filling that you can occasionally feed to your dog, but it can cause weight gain and some dogs can experience an unsettled tummy. There are some fillings you should completely avoid. One example is any spicy ingredients. Not only will your dog find it unpleasant to eat, but it can irritate the lining of their stomach. Another example is any fillings containing garlic, which Dog Sense says is highly toxic to dogs.
Are There Unsafe Types of Olives for Dogs to Eat?
It is best to avoid olives that are stored in brine, as this is water and salt. Too much salt in your dog’s diet is detrimental to its health as it can cause damage to its kidneys. Brined olives can also cause dehydration. It is better to feed them plain, unsalted olives. Another type of olive to avoid is pickled olives, as the acidity in the pickling liquid can upset your dog’s stomach. It is also unlikely that your dog will enjoy the flavor of pickled olives. You should also note that olives are high in healthy fats. While it is fine to feed your dog healthy fats in moderation, too much fat can cause weight gain and lead to obesity. In turn, obesity can increase your dog’s risk of developing serious health conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and joint problems.
Can Dogs Eat Dishes Containing Olives?
Although it is fine for dogs to eat olives, it does not necessarily mean they can eat all foods containing olives. You need to consider the other ingredients of a dish when making this decision. Olives are a common ingredient in many Mediterranean sauces, and these often contain ingredients that are potentially harmful to your dog, such as garlic. Olives are often also used in dishes such as pizza and pasta. Again, it is essential to check the other ingredients in these dishes. Also, it is important to note that most pizzas and dried pasta contain wheat, which is a common allergen for dogs. A further example of a dish containing olives is salads. Types of salads with olives to avoid include those containing onions, cheese, and dressings.
How Often Can a Dog Eat Olives?
Although olives are safe for dogs to eat, the high-fat content means you should only give your dog olives in moderation. They are not something that you should feed to your dog every day, but giving them one or two plain pitted olives occasionally is unlikely to do your dog any harm.
Do Dogs Like Olives?
Whether it is safe for your dog to eat olives might not be something you need to worry about as your dog may show no interest in this food. Although many humans think they are delicious, dogs do not have the same tastebuds as humans, so it may not appeal to them. Every dog has different food preferences, so you will have to see if your dog shows any interest.
The Final Verdict: Can Dogs Eat Olives?
Both black and green olives are safe for your dog to eat if they are pitted and have not been preserved in brined water or a pickling liquid. However, the high-fat content means that you should only feed olives to your dog as an occasional treat if they are something your dog enjoys. If there are olives in a dish you want to feed your dog, it is essential to check all the other ingredients in the dish before feeding it to your dog.