Can Dogs Eat Olives? Are Olives Good for Dogs?
Before you feed your dog anything, it is important that you know what sort of effect it is likely to have on them – and whether it is safe to offer in the first place. This is especially the case when you are offering ‘human’ food such as olives, which are going to be the focus of this blog post. So, can dogs eat olives?
Dogs and Olives
Before we go any further, it is worth reiterating that dogs are carnivores, and this means that their ideal food source comes from meat and other animal parts rather than grains or fruit. But it is true that dogs can obtain vital nutrients from other sources such as vegetables. As we know, olives come in both green and black varieties. The sole difference between the two is the time that they are harvested. As you may have already guessed, green olives are harvested first. But since both come from the same plant, they also have the same contents. So, we can essentially treat the two of them the same when asking can dogs eat green olives or can dogs eat black olives.
Are Olives Poisonous to Dogs?
The first point to make is that olives are not directly poisonous to dogs. However, you shouldn’t treat this as saying that they are totally safe to give to your pooch either. The main issue is the pit of the olive, which presents an obvious choking risk. This is a greater threat to smaller dogs than larger ones, but it is a risk nevertheless. No matter what, it is worth removing the pit as your dog is not going to know that they are supposed to spit it out.
Are Olives Good for Dogs?
Now, we come onto the question of whether olives are beneficial to dogs. Well, they mainly consist of fat, with some carbs and protein included as well. One of their most celebrated qualities is that they contain plenty of vitamin E, which is essential to canines. A deficiency in vitamin E has been linked to plenty of problems such as the development of retinopathy, which can lead to an impairment in vision. It could also mean that their immune system does not work at its fullest capacity. Also, the fats in olives are what are commonly known as ‘healthy fats’. While too much fat is obviously a bad thing as it can lead to obesity, and all the negative traits associated with this, sugar is commonly being linked to being a culprit for overweightness. Also, dogs take a good percentage of their energy from fats, which means that a certain amount is necessary.
Are There Any Negatives to Feeding Dogs Olives?
While there are certainly some positive aspects to feeding dogs olives, there are also some downsides which are worth noting. Firstly, olives are known to contain high quantities of sodium. While this is necessary for the regular functioning of dogs, too much can be serious. A couple of consequences of too much salt intake include salt poisoning and water deprivation. So, it is worth only offering olives to your dogs in small quantities as a supplement to their regular diet rather than a main part of it. You should also ensure that your dog has plenty of access to fresh water to stave off dehydration. There are few signs of sodium-induced dehydration which you should be aware of. Firstly, it can lead to excessive thirst, diarrhea, and vomiting. In more serious situations, it can result in your dog becoming confused, seizures, and even comas occurring.
You should also be wary of olives which contain other substances such as oils, garlic, or other seasonings. Also, be careful that any olives offered haven’t been soaked in alcohol as this is toxic to dogs.
Overfeeding your dog with olives is certainly a possibility – and something that you should be looking to avoid. Olives contain high levels of saturated fats, which can negatively impact the kidneys and pancreas of your pooch.
How Many Olives Should You Feed Your Dog?
If you take the decision to feed olives to your dog, it is important that you don’t overdo it. To begin with, you should only offer a small amount as they may not even appreciate the taste. After all, many humans don’t like the taste of olives so why should it be any different for canines?! Also, it may depend on the individual personality of your dog. While some adventurous pooches are happy to try new foods, others prefer sticking to what they already know best. Giver a small piece and see how they respond to the taste. If they don’t enjoy it, there is not really much point in continuing.
Another reason to start slowly is that you don’t know how the olives are going to affect your dog’s digestive system. Start off with one and see the response of your dog’s body, being watchful for any signs of stomach upset such as diarrhea and/or vomiting. Don’t continue feeding them if your pooch is having an adverse reaction.
Olives shouldn’t be an everyday thing, and a couple at a time is enough. Don’t give your dog a large amount as this is likely to be harmful to their overall health.
While olives are a safe occasional treat to offer to your dog, too many can be harmful, which means that they shouldn’t form a central part of their diet. There are some health benefits which we have already discussed, but they can also be problematic in high quantities. Little and often is a good rule of thumb to follow. And when you are introducing your dog to a new foodstuff such as this one, you should do so slowly, being careful not to upset the balance of your dog’s digestive system. Any olives offered should be fresh and without any extra flavors or preservatives which could prove to be harmful to your four-legged friend.