Yes, dogs can eat olives. Dogs can pretty much much anything, including your homework. Instead of asking can they, we need to ask should they? In nature wolves, coyotes and wild dogs eat olives as part of a balanced diet, along with meat, vegetables, and other fruits so it makes sense your canine companion would too. Granted, he doesn’t live in the wild and have to forage for his food, but yes, dogs can eat olives. They’re non-toxic and even have several health benefits.
But before you go serving Fido that ‘mutt-ini’, olive and all, we need to go into a bit more detail. Are black olives better than the green ones? Is a stuffed olive okay for your furry friend? And what, if any, are the health benefits?
Dogs and Olives: The Facts
Not all olives are created equal
While it’s perfectly okay to give your dog an olive or two every now and again, they’re best when served as Mother Nature intended, naturally. An olive already has sodium so avoid canned or pickled varieties. The additional salt and spices aren’t good for your pup and can lead to serious long-term health issues.
Stuffed olives are a no-no. Anchovies, feta cheese, and blue cheese are often used as fillings and none are particularly good for your dog. Chances are they also have preservatives and other ingredients for taste, like garlic, which is extremely toxic.
You don’t find processed, salted, pickled or stuffed olives in nature, so don’t give them to your furry friend.
It’s the pits
Green olives usually have pits while black olives don’t. Make sure whichever ones you feed Fido the pits have been removed. All seeds are toxic, can be a serious choking hazard and can break or damage your dog’s teeth.
When it comes to olives, fresh is best. Old ones may have mold on them, which is particularly bad for your pet. It can cause seizures and tremors. Fresh is best.
Black is the new black
There are green and black olives. The difference is simple – the black ones are ripe and the green ones aren’t. Also, green olives have a slightly higher sodium content and pits, but both are fine for your pooch.
How much is too much?
Olives are an acquired taste and just like humans, not all dogs will like them. If your dog hasn’t had one before it’s best to give him a small piece at a time, in case he has an allergic reaction to it. Olives also have oil, which is good in moderation. Too much can result in a runny tummy for your pup. They also have a fairly high-fat content which can lead to weight gain, and then there’s the salt issue.
As with everything in life, too much of a good thing isn’t a good thing.
Packs a healthy punch
For such a small fruit, olives pack one heck of a healthy punch. They are rich in vitamins A, E, and K along with antioxidants, calcium, and protein.
Vitamin A and E help with eyesight and gives your dog a healthy and shiny coat while vitamin K maintains healthy bones. The monounsaturated fats in olives lower cholesterol levels, which is probably more of a benefit to you than your four-legged friend.
Why Olives are Good for Your Dog
- The monounsaturated fats in olives break down fat cells, which contributes to weight loss.
- The oil helps with brain function and maintains your dog’s cognitive health.
- Olive oil assists with blood and oxygen flow.
- The vitamin E, carotenoids, antioxidants, and chlorophyll help with your dog’s immune system.
- Olive oil is used in various hair and skin products for humans because of its benefits. It’s also good for your dog’s coat and skin.
- It’s believed oleic acid found in the oil can prevent some cancers.
A Few Precautions
Olives are a tasty and healthy treat every now and then. But their high sodium content can lead to health issues down the line. Dogs have a much lower tolerance for salt, which is why unsalted olives are recommended.
Besides the sodium, olives are known for their high-fat content. Even though it’s monounsaturated fats, too much can lead to an overweight pup and the risk of pancreatitis.
Remember, no stuffed olives, no canned or pickled ones, none that are preserved or have added ingredients like spices or garlic.
Wrapping it Up
Dogs can, and should, occasionally eat olives, but in their most natural form. If your furry friend really enjoys them, it’s best to give him organic ones that are unsalted. They may be harder to find and a little more expensive, but for the sake of his health, it’s worth it.
Olives served on a pizza as a topping aren’t good for your pooch, neither are olives in a martini. Remember to stay away from stuffed or filled ones and only ever in moderation.
Health Benefits of Olives for Dogs
Are a good source of protein
Are rich in minerals like calcium
Are rich in vitamins like vitamin A, E and K
Help improve your dog’s vision
Help improve your dog’s coat condition
Help improve your dog’s bone health
Help fight various forms of cancer
Help fight inflammations in the body
Are rich in the good kind of fat (monounsaturated fat) that helps reduce unhealthy cholesterol levels
Olive Oil For Dogs: Can Dogs Eat Olive Oil?
Before we kick off this section, let it be made very clear that dogs don’t need to consume olive oil at all. Your dog should be getting all the nutrients they need from the dog food you buy for them, which (we hope, at least) is high quality dog food.
Supplementing your dog’s diet with something like olive oil isn’t really needed, although it can make a welcome addition from time to time.
As long as you stick to giving your dog olive oil in moderate amounts and only once in a while as part of their diet, here are some of the benefits olive oil can offer your dog. Here’s why:
Weight Loss: Olive oil is renowned for its weight-loss properties, being rich in monounsaturated fats that help the body improve the process of breaking down fat cells and shedding those extra pounds your dog might be struggling with!
Very Healthy: Olive oil is a wonder foods for both man and dog alike, doing everything from lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, all the way to prevent many forms of cancer and improve the immunity system so it can fight off illnesses.
Youth: Olive oil, and thanks to the many antioxidants present in it, helps to prevent the oxidation of free radical cells in the body, a process which drastically speeds up the aging process.
Brain Function: Olive oil is excellent to help improve the brain functions of your dog and keep them well sustained as your canine ages.
Improved Circulation: Olive oil improves overall blood flow and oxygen circulation in the body
Hair And Skin: Being a very important ingredient in many human hair and skin improvement products, olive oil works the same wonders for your dog. A small serving of olive oil can make sure that your dog’s coat is as clean, fresh and shiny as ever! 🙂