Olives sure taste great in pizzas and subs. You can eat it raw as well or add them to any salad to give an in-depth flavor. You can even use olive oil for pretty much any food you make. Sounds tasty, right? But, can your dog eat them? Let’s find out.
Can Dogs Eat Olives?
The good news is dogs can eat olives, provided they are safe and doesn’t harm the dog. However, that doesn’t mean you can give your dog olives for every meal or you can give them any kind of olive! There are certain aspects to keep in mind while giving olives to your dogs, and here they are.
- No pit
Dogs are not like humans. They do not have the fine motor skill needed to remove the pit from the olives. In fact, dogs can never remove any seed because their paws are not meant for that action.
Also, since they can’t separate the pits, they will tend to eat the olive as a whole. This could prove to be dangerous because the puts can choke the dog. In addition, it can affect their teeth if they try to chew it.
This is why make sure that you remove the pit from the olive before feeding your dog.
- No flavoring
Dogs cannot process flavor like humans. First off, their taste buds cannot even differentiate one flavor from another. Excepting a broad range of flavors, everything else tastes the same.
This means, there is no point in giving your dog flavored olives because they cannot really enjoy them.
More importantly, flavored olives tend to contain some amount of sodium, which again the dog cannot process. Remember, dogs were in the wild hunting and eating raw meat until they were domesticated a few centuries ago. So, their digestive system cannot process salt and flavors. In fact, feeding canned olives to your dog can have a serious impact on its health.
If you’re planning to go to the supermarket to buy some olives, make sure to choose the plain ones, available preferably in the fruits and vegetable aisle. If you cannot find them fresh, skip giving your dog canned olives or olives that come with any topping.
- Fresh olives
Another aspect is that feed your dogs only fresh olives. If they are old or if you see some mold or coloration on them, just throw them away. Never feed your dogs any contaminated or spoilt food as it could have serious repercussions on their health. You may even have to rush them to the hospital right away if you give such foods to your dog.
In most places, it is hard to find fresh olives all throughout the year. If you’re unable to get fresh olives, simply avoid giving them to your dog. Maybe you can buy a tin of canned or spiced olives to satisfy your taste cravings and to relish its flavor, but it’s a big no-no for your dog.
- Black and green olives
As you know, there are two kinds of olives, green and black. So, which can you give your dog? Green olives or black olives?
Anything is fine really. There is not much difference in both these kinds of olives in terms of their nutritional content. Black olives are ripened ones while green olives are still raw. That’s pretty much the only difference between them. You can feed your dog either of the two kinds, and it’ll be fine. But remember, no spices or salt.
How Many Olives Should You Feed Your Dog?
Now that you know that it is fine to feed olives to your dog, the next question is how much you can give.
Ideally, give your dog a small bit if you’re giving it for the first time and see if it likes the taste. For all you know, your dogs may not take a fancy to olives and may not try them at all. It completely depends on your dog’s personality. Some dogs are open to trying new foods while others are closed to anything new or different. So, give a small piece and see how your dog responds to these olives.
If your dog likes it, start with just one olive a day. Always start slow when you’re trying new foods because you don’t know how it will affect your dog’s digestive system. It is best you give one olive to your dog the first day and wait for 24 hours to see if there is any adverse reaction to it. if your dog seems fine, increase it to two a day and again, be on the lookout for any adverse reactions.
If everything seems fine with your dog, you can go ahead giving olives. But definitely not every day. it can be an occasional treat for your dog, and maybe two at a time. Definitely nothing more than that. Never fancy giving your dog a bowl of olives to snack on. It can be highly detrimental to their health.
If you’re wondering why your dog can’t have a bowl of olives, it is because olives are high in saturated fat. The kidneys and pancreas of dogs are not equipped to handle such high levels of fat. In fact, if they are subjected to a diet that is rich in olives or for that matter any fatty substance, they have a huge risk of developing pancreatitis, a life-threatening disease. In this condition, your dog’s pancreas becomes inflamed and will require immediate surgery.
A rule of thumb is your dog’s diet should contain about 95% of high quality dog food and in the remaining 5%, you can experiment with human foods and that too, sparingly.
In short, you can feed olives to your dog and they can provide a ton of health benefits as well. That said, dogs’ digestive system is not equipped to handle the high levels of fat present in olives. This is why give them sparingly and not more than one or two olives at a time. Opt only for fresh olives with no flavors whatsoever.
- Anna Burke, Can Dogs Eat Olives?, The American Kennel Club