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Can Dogs Eat Black Olives?

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Olives are like marmite, you either love them or you hate them. And if you’re the type of person who enjoys an olive on your pizza, or in your martini or if you’re a dog owner who has experienced the fear of your pet eating something they shouldn’t…

Then you may have wondered to yourself – can dogs eat olives?

Before we explore whether black olives are in fact safe for dogs to eat, it is first important to understand what olives are and why we would even want to feed them to our four legged friends.

What are olives?

Olives are small round types of fruit that are popular in Mediterranean cuisine. Enjoyed not only for their flavour, olives are packed full of nutrients such as vitamin E, Iron, Calcium and Copper and are a great way of lowering your cholesterol and controlling your blood pressure.

What is the difference between green and black olives?

Green olives are simply those that are harvested from the tree before they are fully ripe, whereas black olives are left until they have been given enough time to ripen on the tree. Both olives have the same nutritional content and benefits, they just have different flavours!

So we know how great olives can be for humans but the question still remains…

Can dogs eat black olives?

The simple answer to this question is – yes! 

Olives are not toxic to dogs and therefore fine for your furry friend to enjoy. Olives are known to contain many vitamins and minerals that will help promote a healthy coat and even brain function.

However if your dog is receiving a well balanced diet then there is really no need to add olives to their meals.

So whilst yes, it is fine for your dog to eat black olives, there are guidelines which should be followed before serving your pooch their own bowl of olives.

It is extremely important that you make sure to remove the pit from any olives you intend to feed to your dog as they can damage your dog’s teeth, cause digestive problems and may be a choking hazard.

Both green and black olives are safe for dogs to eat but many prefer to feed their pets black as they contain lower levels of sodium.

A dog’s digestive system is not designed to process high levels of sodium so consuming too many olives can prove to be fatal without quick medical intervention.

This also applies to store bought canned olives as these often contain large amounts of sodium and other preservatives that your dog shouldn’t consume. 

You should always check the ingredients listed before giving your dog any stuffed olives as they may contain ingredients that are unsuitable for dogs, such as garlic which is known to be extremely toxic.

Other ingredients to avoid are:

  • Feta
  • Blue cheese
  • Anchovies 
  • Hot peppers

For the same reasons, it is also not advised to feed your dog olives off your pizza or out of your martini as these will likely contain extra ingredients that may not be dog safe.

Are olives good for dogs?

Dog waiting to be given a black olive as a dog treat while owner is cooking a meal.

It is well known that olives are healthy for humans but does this extend to our dogs too?

If fed in moderation, dogs can also experience the health benefits that olives provide to us humans. Olives are rich in vitamins A, E and K and also contain lots of minerals and antioxidants – not to mention they are a good source of protein too!

Olives have also been shown to help with brain function and cognitive health and can even prevent heart disease and various cancers.

Not to mention olives have been shown to be great at helping the body break down fat so are ideal for weight loss.

However, it should be remembered that dogs are carnivorous animals that have adapted to enjoy an omnivorous diet. Too many fruits and veggies can create digestion problems and even cause vomiting and diarrhea.

How should I feed olives to my dog?

When introducing any new food to a dog it is advised to offer them just a small piece first and to monitor them for any side effects or allergic reactions over the next 24 hours.

It is unlikely that your dog will have an allergic reaction but it is better to be safe than sorry, when it comes to your fur baby.

If your dog enjoyed the olive (not all will!) then you can happily increase the number of olives to around one or two at a time. This should only be done occasionally however as it is not recommended to feed your dogs olives on a daily basis.

If your dog consumes too many olives in one sitting it is advised that you contact your veterinarian for advice on what to do next.

Conclusion

Yes, your four legged companion can in fact eat black olives! They have a high nutritional content that is beneficial to both humans and dogs and can help promote a healthy and glossy coat and can even boost brain function!

And if you do choose to let your dog snack on olives it is recommended you choose a plain, ripe black olive to feed to your pet as this is the safest way for them to enjoy this treat.

However, as with anything, black olives are best given to your pooch in moderation. And the most important thing to be aware of when feeding your dog olives is to check the sodium content and to make sure you stay away from stuffed olives or anything coated in oils or garlic.

If you overdo it, you will likely end up with a sickly pup and an expensive trip to the vet.

So remember, whilst black olives are fine for dogs to eat, it really is best to stick to traditional dog food. Dog food is made with the nutrition of dogs at the heart and should be more than enough to keep your dog healthy and happy.