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Can Dogs Eat Olives?

Updated: Apr 4

can dogs eat olives

Can dogs eat olives?


Welcome to our comprehensive guide on a question that has crossed every dog owner's mind in caring for their furry family: "Can dogs eat olives?"

This simple question opens up a world of exploration into the diet of our beloved pets.

As responsible pet parents, we strive to ensure that every morsel of food our dogs consume is delicious but also safe and nutritious.

Olives, a staple in many of our kitchens, naturally come under scrutiny.

Are these small, often pitted fruits safe for our dogs to consume? Or should they be kept well out of paw's reach?

This article delves deep into the world of dogs and olives, providing the information you need to make the best dietary choices for your furry family.

The Olive Tree


The olive tree, known scientifically as Olea europaea, is one of the oldest cultivated trees in the world, with its origins tracing back to the Mediterranean region over 6000 years ago.

Revered for its resilience and longevity, the olive tree symbolises peace and prosperity, its silvery leaves shimmering under the sun, bearing the precious fruit we know as olives.

Olives come in a variety of types, each with its unique characteristics.

The black olive typically ripened on the tree, is known for its robust flavour and meaty texture.

The green olive, harvested before fully maturing, offers a somewhat bitter yet refreshing taste.

Then there's the kalamata, a large, dark purple olive bearing the Kalamata city's name from Greece. Renowned for its smooth, meaty texture and rich, fruity flavour, the kalamata olive is a favourite in many culinary applications.

Each type of olive, whether black, green, or kalamata, carries its distinct taste profile and nutritional value, making it a versatile ingredient in our kitchens.

But the question remains: are these olives safe for our furry family? Let's explore further.

Olives in the UK  


Olives have become a staple in many households and restaurants in the United Kingdom.

Their popularity has grown significantly over the years, thanks to the increasing influence of Mediterranean cuisine and the recognised health benefits of the Mediterranean diet.

Olives, from supermarket chains to local farmers' markets, are readily available in the UK.

They come in various forms - fresh, canned, stuffed with pimentos, marinated in oil or brine, and even flavoured with garlic or herbs.

This wide availability and variety make olives a versatile ingredient in British kitchens.

The consumption of olives in the UK is as diverse as the types of olives available.

They are often enjoyed as a snack, served with a cheese board, or used as a garnish in cocktails like martinis.

In cooking, olives add flavour to salads, pastas, pizzas, and stews. They are also commonly used in tapenades and spreads.

Despite their popularity among humans, pet owners must understand whether these tasty morsels are safe for their furry family.

As we continue our exploration, we'll delve into the implications of feeding olives to dogs.

Nutritional Value of Olives  


Olives, small as they are, pack a nutritional punch.

They contain a lot of beneficial monounsaturated fats, especially olive oil, known for its heart-healthy effects.

The Mediterranean diet, which involves olive oil as one of its main components, has been associated with better metabolic health and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

In addition to healthy fats, olives are good for vitamin E, iron, copper, and calcium. They also contain various antioxidants, which can help fight inflammation and protect against chronic diseases.

One exciting component of some olives is pimento, a pepper often used to stuff green olives. Pimentos are rich in vitamins C and A, essential for a healthy immune system.

It should be noted that olives, particularly those preserved in brine, contain a significant amount of salt.

Even though salt is necessary for human survival, eating too much of it can cause hypertension and other health issues.

Incorporating olives into a balanced diet can offer numerous health benefits for humans.

However, the nutritional needs of our furry family are different, and what's healthy for us might not be safe for them.

Let's delve deeper into this in the following sections.

Olives and Dogs  


Regarding our furry family and their diet, the question of whether dogs can safely consume olives often arises. The answer is not straightforward and depends on several factors.

Firstly, it's important to note that olives are not toxic to dogs.

However, they should be served in moderation due to their high-fat content, which can lead to weight gain and pancreatitis in dogs if consumed excessively.

The type of olive also matters. 

Pitted olives are generally safer as the pit or seed of olive can pose a choking hazard or cause an intestinal blockage in dogs.

Therefore, if you're considering giving your dog an olive, ensure it's pitted.

However, not all olives are created equal.

Olives stuffed with pimentos or soaked in oil or brine can harm dogs.

The high sodium content in brined olives can lead to excessive thirst, urination, and even sodium ion poisoning in dogs.

So, while dogs can technically eat olives, serving them safely and appropriately is crucial.

You should always get your vet's approval before feeding your dog any new foods.

Case Study: Small Breeds and Olives 


Let's consider a case study involving a small breed dog named Bella, a Yorkshire Terrier.

Bella's owner, intrigued by sharing olives with her furry family, introduced pitted green olives into Bella's diet.

Initially, Bella was given a small piece of a pitted green olive.

She seemed to enjoy the new treat, showing no immediate adverse reactions. Encouraged by this, Bella's owner continued to give her a few pieces of pitted green olives once a week as a special treat.

Over time, Bella's owner noticed that Bella seemed to have more energy, and her coat appeared shinier.

A visit to the vet confirmed that Bella was in good health, and the vet agreed that the olives could contribute to Bella's well-being, provided they were given in moderation.

However, the vet cautioned against giving Bella olives soaked in brine due to the high sodium content or olives stuffed with garlic, which is toxic to dogs.

The vet also reiterated the importance of pitted olives to prevent choking or intestinal blockage.

This case study illustrates that while small-breed dogs like Bella can safely consume olives, it's crucial to do so responsibly and under the guidance of a vet. 

The Risks of Garlic and Brine  


While olives can be a safe treat for dogs when served correctly, it's important to be aware of the dangers of eating some olives, especially those filled with garlic or steeped in brine.

Garlic, a common stuffing for olives, is part of the Allium family, including onions, leeks, and chives. 

The chemical thiosulphate is poisonous to canines and is present in these meals.

Ingesting garlic can lead to haemolytic anaemia, where the dog's red blood cells burst while circulating in its body.

Symptoms of garlic toxicity include lethargy, pale gums, elevated heart rate, vomiting, and even collapse in severe cases.

Brine-soaked olives pose another risk due to their high sodium content.

Dogs can suffer from sodium ion poisoning if they consume too much sodium, even though it is an essential mineral.

In extreme instances, the symptoms—which include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, high temperature, tremors, and seizures—can be lethal.

Therefore, avoiding giving your furry family olives soaked in brine or stuffed with garlic is best. Always opt for plain, pitted olives and remember to serve them in moderation.

Alternatives to Olives for Dogs  


While olives can be a safe treat for dogs when served correctly, other dog-friendly foods can be used as alternatives.

These alternatives not only provide variety but also ensure that your furry family is getting a balanced diet.


A great source of vitamins and fibre, carrots are a healthy and low-calorie dog snack. Both raw and cooked versions are acceptable, and their crunchy texture can help clean your dog's teeth.


Besides providing fibre and vitamins A and C, apples are an excellent food choice. The seeds and core, however, are toxic to dogs, so be careful to remove them.


Packed with antioxidants, blueberries are a nutritious treat for dogs. They're also small and soft, making them easy for dogs to eat.

Sweet Potatoes:

Cooked sweet potatoes are a fantastic source of dietary fibre, vitamin A, and other nutrients. They're also easy to digest for dogs.


Cooked pumpkin is safe for dogs and is often used to help with digestive issues. It's also a good source of vitamin A and fibre.

Remember, while these foods are generally safe for dogs, it's always best to introduce any new food into your dog's diet gradually and under the guidance of a vet.

faqs can dogs eat olives?


Do dogs eat olives? 

Yes, dogs can eat olives. However, they should be served in moderation due to their high-fat content. Also, the olives should be pitted to prevent choking or intestinal blockage.

Can dogs eat black olives? 

Yes, dogs can eat black olives. Black olives are generally safe for dogs if pitted and not soaked in brine or stuffed with garlic, which can harm dogs.

Can dogs eat olives green? 

Yes, dogs can eat green olives. Like black olives, green olives should be pitted and not soaked in brine or stuffed with garlic.

Can dogs eat green olives? 

Yes, dogs can eat green olives. They should be pitted and not soaked in brine or stuffed with garlic. It's always best to introduce any new food into your dog's diet gradually and under the guidance of a vet.

Can dogs eat olives black? 

Yes, dogs can eat black olives. They should be pitted and not soaked in brine or stuffed with garlic. Always serve them in moderation.

Can dogs eat olives UK? 

Yes, in the UK, dogs can eat olives. Whether black or green olives should be pitted and not soaked in brine or stuffed with garlic. As always, moderation is key. It's always best to consult a vet before introducing new foods into your dog's diet.

Final Thoughts


In conclusion, whether dogs can eat olives opens up a nuanced exploration into the dietary habits of our beloved pets.

While olives are not toxic to dogs, they should be served in moderation due to their high-fat content and potential risks associated with certain types, such as those soaked in brine or stuffed with garlic.

Pitted olives are generally safer, but it's crucial to consult with a veterinarian before introducing olives or any new food into your dog's diet.

Knowing olives' health benefits and possible hazards enables pet owners to make well-informed dietary selections for their animal family members.

While olives can offer some health benefits, such as being a source of healthy fats and antioxidants, it's essential to balance these benefits with the potential risks.

Ultimately, responsible pet ownership involves providing love and care and making informed choices about what we feed our pets.

By considering the unique dietary needs of dogs and consulting with professionals when in doubt, we can ensure that our furry companions stay happy, healthy, and thriving for years to come.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for veterinary advice. For specific veterinary dog health advice, contact a veterinary pet healthcare provider.

Before you go...!

Check out these related articles for your small dog's food here:

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mary puppins can dogs eat olives

mary puppins can dogs eat olives

mary puppins can dogs eat olives

Kate Phillips, Chief Editor

BSc (Hons), MSc

Kate is the UK's very own Mary Puppins, a professional Dog Nanny, an expert in small breed dogs and a pet parent to her own beloved small dogs.

With over 30 years' experience and successfully helping high profile celebrity pet parents raise their furry families,

Kate shares her top tips with you.

Kate guides readers on small dog breeds, dog health, dog training, dog nutrition, dog food, dog walks, dog accessories, dog enrichment, rescue dogs, dog behaviour, dog grooming and the best products for dog mums and dog dads to create the ultimate lifestyle for their small dogs.



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