Can You Give Dogs Olives?

by Naomi Millburn
    Olives are not toxic to canines, so relax.

    Olives are not toxic to canines, so relax.

    Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

    Dogs usually aren't too shy about begging for a taste of something you're eating, whether it's a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or an olive from your garden salad. However, not everything Fido wants is necessarily suitable for him. Thankfully, olives are not toxic to members of the canine species!

    Safety

    In their natural state, olives are safe and harmless to canines, according to Safety Paws. A single plain olive should not pose a health risk to your pet. Pickled and canned varieties, however, may be a different matter. High levels of sodium just aren't appropriate for doggies, so keep pickled and canned olives out of your cutie's mouth no matter how persistent he is about having a taste. Make sure the olives are pitted, too. Pits can be a major choking hazard to your little one, so be careful and keep them far away!

    Moderation

    Excessive amounts of natural olives may be potentially harmful to canines. If a dog has nibbles on one or two plain olives, that's one thing. If he consumes a handful of them, you have a different matter on your hands. Olives have a relatively high fat content, and too much fat and dogs definitely don't mix well. Feeding your dog a fatty diet may trigger the development of pancreatitis, which is a disease that involves pancreatitic inflammation. Although pancreatitis is possible in both dogs and cats, it is especially prevalent in pooches, so be very careful.

    Dietary Disruptions

    Consumption of new and unfamiliar foods may lead to digestive distress in canines, whether olives, apple slices or anything else for that matter. If your dog eats a single olive and experiences a bout of tummy pain and diarrhea later on, don't let him eat olives again. It's simply not worth your precious pet's discomfort.

    Balanced Canine Diet

    Keep the occasional olive -- and any other treats -- rare for your dog. The ASPCA urges doggie owners to make sure that the bulk of what a dog consumes daily comes from a balanced, dog-specific wet or dry food. When it comes to treats, make sure that they comprise 5 percent maximum of what your pooch takes in every day. Treats are in no way a suitable replacement for nutritionally balanced and well-rounded canine meals.

    Hazardous Vegetables and Fruits

    Although olives may be non-toxic, that in no way means that all fruits and vegetables are harmless to dogs. In fact, some of them are actually poisonous. According to the Humane Society of the United States, grapes, avocados and onions are all toxic to pets. Never give your dog any "people food" unless you have the prior approval of your veterinarian. Since all dogs are different, speak to your vet regarding the safety of your specific pet eating olives.

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    About the Author

    Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.

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