You’re in the kitchen, preparing a Mediterranean feast and there he is. Drooling at your feet. No. Not your husband, your dog. So you ask yourself yes or no? Can dogs eat olives or will they make him sick?
Drizzling olive oil over our dog’s meal has proven health benefits to our four-legged friend, but what about the entire fruit? Can dogs eat green olives? Black ones? Can dogs eat olives with stones?
Can Dogs Eat Olives?
Sorry. It’s not quite as black and green as it seems.
Although olives are not toxic to dogs, there are a few measures that have to be taken before you feed him a few of these oily treats.
Before we look further into the health benefits of olives for dogs, let’s look at some olive facts.
Olives. A Brief History
Although people think that the olive stemmed from the Mediterranean countries it was, in fact, originally native to Asia.
The olive spread from countries such as Iran and Palestine to the shores of the Mediterranean over 6000 years ago.
The Olive tree is one of the oldest known trees in the world.
Olives have been found in the tombs of Egyptians that were buried over 2,000 years ago.
The Health Benefits Of Olives To Dogs
Olives are high in vitamin E and many other powerful antioxidants.
These oval-shaped fruits are packed with good fats that can aid in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure.
The monounsaturated fat that is found in olives is said to reduce inflammation, preventing age-related arthritis in dogs later on in life.
It is also said to be beneficial to white dog breeds such as the Chihuahua who suffer badly with dry skin n their ears.
Studies also show that the oil produced from the fruit of olives is said to help lower and improve insulin sensitivity which in turn can help protect against dog diabetes. Olives also contain oleic acid, which is said to help prevent cancer.
So far so good.
So, if these tasty morsels are so beneficial why are we airing caution when feeding them to our dog?
The Dangers Of Feeding Olives To Your Dog
Have you heard people ask ‘are olives bad for dogs?’ The answer to that is yes. If you don’t heed the following advice.
Things you need to be aware of before feeding olives to your dog:
#1 Olives are high in sodium.
Avoid feeding olives to your dog that has come from a jar or tin including brine as these are extremely high in sodium.
If a dog’s diet contains too much sodium they can suffer from dehydration, seizures and pancreatitis.
#2 Dogs Can Choke On Olive Stones
If you are going to feed your good olives then make sure you take the stone out of the centre. Dogs can easily choke on these stones or break their teeth.
#3 Olives Can Be Stuffed With Doggy Poison
As tasty as they are to us, the olives that you buy from the deli section are usually smothered in spices or stuffed with a filling. The worst danger to your dog? Garlic. Garlic is highly toxic to dogs and can be fatal.
Avoid those delicious looking deli olives are stick to treating your dog with plain olives.
#4 Never Let Dogs Eat Olives (or any food) Past The Sell-By Date
Olives that are mouldy or ‘iffy’ may contain tremorgenic mycotoxins. These are highly dangerous to your dog and can cause tremors or seizures. Only feed your dog fresh olives.
Can Dogs Eat Green Olives? Can Dogs Eat Black Olives?
The difference between green olives and black olives is that the green variety is yet to fully ripen.
Apart from that, green olives and black olives are exactly the same.
If you are asking yourself if dogs should eat green olives or black olives then know that both come with the exact same set of rules. Everything that I have told you about olives applies to both the green and the black variety.
Both colour fruits has the same health benefits to dogs and both come with the same risks – in a nutshell, yes! Dogs can eat both green olives and black olives.
How Many Olives Should Dogs Eat?
The key when feeding olives to your dog is moderation.
In particular, dogs with sensitive tummies should be introduced to any new food slowly.
If, after feeding your dog one or two olives you notice a difference in bowel movement or any other change in your dog’s behaviour, then stop immediately and ask advice from your vet.
Try treating your dog to a couple of olives twice a week and see how she goes.
To Summarise: Can Dogs Eat Olives?
Yes. They can. As long as you feed them in moderation and apply the rules mentioned above.
By including a few olives into your dog’s diet you will know that he is enjoying the following benefits:
- Olives are providing a good source of protein
- Olives are rich in calcium
- Olives are packed with vitamin A, E and K
- Olives will help improve your dog’s coat condition (perfect for long-haired dogs such as the Bernese Breed)
- Olives will help improve your dog’s bone health
- Olives can help fight various forms of cancer
- Olives help fight inflammation in a dogs body which can help ward off arthritis in older dogs
- Olives are rich in the ‘good fat’ (monounsaturated fat) that can help reduce cholesterol in dogs
- Olives can help lower and improve insulin sensitivity, which in turn can help protect against dog diabetes
- Olive oil is safe to use in dogs ears
- Mix olive oil with turmeric paste to help inflammation pain in dogs
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So the next time you are in the kitchen preparing a Mediterranean feast for your family and you look down to see those “feed me” eyes staring back at you, pick the best of the bunch and treat your pooch to a few tasty olives – he will thank you for it!
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