olives in a bowl

Olives can be enjoyed in so many ways: on a pizza, in a salad, or even straight out of the jar. If you are a dog owner, it’s most likely that your companion is always around when you are eating, and maybe you are wondering if your dog can enjoy a Mediterranean snack with you.

The answer is not as black and white (or green) as it may seem. The simple answer is yes and no. If an olive managed to escape your plate and your furry friend quickly devoured it, they will be okay, but olives should not be a regular part of your pet’s diet. Moderation is always crucial, and there are several factors that play a role in whether or not your canine can eat olives.

What Happens If My Dog Eats Olives?

Your dog can enjoy olives in moderation, like most snacks and foods. Olives have health benefits and are enriched with vitamins and minerals, but a dog that is fed a balanced diet doesn’t necessarily need these extra nutrients.

The salt and fat content in olives make them a cautionary snack for your pet. If olives are fed to your dog regularly, the high-fat content can put your dog at risk for pancreatitis. Pancreatitis occurs when the pancreas becomes inflamed, resulting in vomiting and abdominal pain.

Some olives are cured in brine and saltwater, covered in garlic, or stuffed with delicious fillings. The ingredients you want to avoid are garlic and onion as they are toxic to dogs, and any spicy ingredients, like jalapenos, can be irritating.

The pit of the olive can also be something to watch out for. If the olives that your pooch has ingested are not pitted,  the pits can cause choking or obstruct the bowel. Smaller dogs can damage or chip their teeth by biting down too hard into the olive’s pit.

If you have discovered that your pet has indulged in olives, there is no need to be concerned. If your dog has snacked on less than a handful, just check their teeth for chips and make sure the whole olive has been swallowed and is not stuck. If your dog has consumed stuffed olives, assess the ingredients to ensure there is nothing toxic in them. Your canine would need to eat several olives to experience severe symptoms, so don’t be too concerned about the single olive that rolled off your plate.

If you are unsure, always consult your vet for the best knowledge and advice.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Are Olives Good for Dogs?

Olives contain vitamins that are beneficial to your pup, but your dog would need to eat a large number of olives, and the nutrient content is too small to benefit your dog’s nutritional needs.

Olives have anti-inflammatory properties that are helpful for itchy skin and joint health.They also contain vitamin E, which is an immune-boosting vitamin that keeps the skin and eyes healthy and is an important antioxidant that is beneficial to your dog’s diet.

Iron is vital for the transport of oxygen through  the dog’s body. A 100-gram can of olives contains 6.28 mg of iron, and AAFCO recommends 80 mg for dogs at any stage of life. Magnesium, copper, zinc, and potassium are all beneficial minerals to be included in your dog’s diet in the right amounts, and olives are rich in these minerals.

Fiber is an important form of carbohydrates for your dog’s gastrointestinal health, keeping the microbes and colon healthy.

Although olives contain nutritional benefits that are necessary for your dog’s diet, they cannot sustain your dog’s dietary needs. However, it won’t hurt to add a few olives to your dog’s bowl every now and then.

Final Thoughts

Olives have nutritional value for both humans and dogs, and although they can be beneficial, they are not necessary. If your dog snacks on olives in moderation and they are unsalted, unseasoned, or stuffed and preferably pitted, then let them experience the joy of the Mediterranean snack. Olives should never be part of your dog’s diet or become a daily staple. Consulting your vet is always a good idea if you are in doubt or unsure.

Featured Image Credit: VagelisDimas, Pixabay