Can Dogs Eat Olives?

Olives are the perfect mixture of salty and tangy, and they’re extremely versatile. Mexican, Greek and Italian cuisines all utilize olives in fresh, unique ways, and they’re also tasty just paired with fancy cheese, crackers, and wine. They’re definitely a love it or hate it food, and it’s actually pretty hard to find a dog who will eat them. If your dog happens to like olives, though, are they okay for dogs to eat?

Are Olives Dangerous for Dogs?

Olives–black or green–aren’t bad for dogs if they came fresh from the tree, but once humans have soaked them in a salty brine, they become less ideal for your dog. As humans, we definitely consume way more salt than we truly need, and the daily sodium intake for a dog is a lot lower than a human’s. One small olive has 24 mg of sodium, and dogs only need 10 mg of sodium per day. Too much salt easily dehydrates your dog, especially when they aren’t used to excess sodium intake like humans are. As in humans, it also leads to high blood pressure, a very real condition in dogs, especially overweight and elderly canines.

Green and black olives aren’t necessarily worse than the other; it really depends on what they’re soaked in and how much sodium is in each serving to decide which one is the least healthy.

Any olive your dog eats should be pit-free. Not only could they crack a tooth (requiring an expensive anesthetic procedure to remove the broken tooth), they could pose a choking hazard in smaller dogs.

Check the Ingredients, Before Feeding Your Dog Olives

If you’re a fancy olive connoisseur, check your olive’s ingredients. Fancier stuffed olives are stuffed with foods that aren’t good for your dog, like bleu cheese, garlic, or even onions. Always check the ingredients, and if you don’t know what the ingredients are, skip the sharing and give your dog a treat more suitable to their diet. Do the same thing with the plain variety of canned olives, too. High sodium isn’t the only thing you need to be on the look-out for on the label. Check for any hints of garlic or onion, too.

Olives won’t kill your dog, but they can dehydrate them if your dog takes a shine to them and eats a large amount. The sodium in canned or jarred olives is the only potentially dangerous part, but it’s enough of a concern that you should probably keep the olives away from your pup.

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