Skip to content

Can Dogs Eat Olives? Safely Sharing Everyone’s Favorite Salty Fruit

Our team independently researches and recommends the best pet products for you and your furry friends. Note: This post may contain affiliate links.

Table of Contents

Is there anything quite as versatile as the olive? Except for desserts, they work with everything! You can add them to salads (of any kind). They work their way onto pizzas. Tapenade isn’t complete without an olive selection. And you can’t go into a Mediterranean restaurant without seeing olives included in the dishes. We love them! We’ll even snack on raw olives. And you’ve probably considered offering one to a curious pup. But can dogs eat olives? It just so happens they can! Those little black and green delights are safe for canine consumption – as long as you follow a few key guidelines.


Surprise! Olea europaea is a fruit! (Shocking, right?) The little plants blossom from flowers on trees. And they’re amazing. The first olive trees showed up in Asia SIX THOUSAND years ago! Botanists consider it the oldest cultivated tree – and one of the oldest trees. There’s an olive tree on Crete that’s over THREE THOUSAND years old. Today, you’ll find over 2,000 different varieties of olive. But everyone knows them as either green or black.

What’s the difference? Green olives aren’t quite ripe. They’re picked from the tree before they finish maturing. Black olives, on the other hand, are fully ripe. And while we THINK we eat the fruit raw, that’s not the truth. If you ate a raw olive, you’d find the taste horribly bitter. Olives undergo a curing process to turn them into the delectable treats we savor.

The tender fruits are small and mighty when it comes to health. They’re sugar-free (unusual in a fruit), and loaded with nutrients. A 1-ounce serving of ripe olives contains:

  • Calories: 32.2
  • Protein: 0.2g
  • Carbohydrates: 1.8g
  • Minerals:
    • Calcium: 24.6mg
    • Iron: 0.9mg
    • Magnesium: 1.1mg
    • Phosphorous: 0.8mg
    • Potassium: 2.2mg

They also contain oleate. This is a monosaturated fatty acid (these are the GOOD fats, by the way). It helps reduce cholesterol while also promoting healthy skin and hair. When dogs eat olives, they get shiny coats and improved skin. It’s a little like adding olive oil to their diet – but you’re starting from the source.

Can Dogs Eat Olives?

Seeing a lineup of health benefits, you’re probably leaning forward and asking, “Can dogs eat olives?” And the answer’s yes. This fruit provides antioxidants and low cholesterol for pups. Plus, it lacks the sugar you find in other fruit snacks. However, that doesn’t mean you should load up on olives from the grocery store. While safe for dogs to eat, olives still have a few problems. They’re NOT low in fat (0.9g) or sodium, which can lead to weight gain in canines. And if you’re not careful in the TYPE of olive you pick up, you can end up rushing your dog to the vet after you provide a snack.

When dogs eat olives, you MUST remove the pit

Precautions When Dogs Eat Olives

Olives are better than most of our guilty pleasures. They contain less sugar and fat than chocolate (which dogs can’t have, anyway). And their sodium levels don’t top those of most chips we find ourselves reaching for. They pack in important nutrients we need in our diets. But they tip the scales for canines. When dogs eat olives, they get more fat and salt than their bodies need. And if we’re not careful, we can cause our pups to choke or end up with an intestinal obstruction. Or, worse, we can end up causing them to need hospitalization. It’s important to pay attention to labels BEFORE allowing your dog an olive snack.


That simple ounce of olives contains 71.9mg of sodium. Dogs? They need 13.3mg of sodium – A DAY. So the math starts getting out of hand pretty quickly. Too much salt when dogs eat olives can lead to dehydration or severe toxicity. If you leave a bowl of olives where your dog can reach? You could find yourself rushing to the vet with neurologic signs. The body attempts to maintain a careful balance, but if your dog can’t reach plenty of water to even out the salt, things slide out of control. You’ll see lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, and collapse.

The type of olive matters, too. Green olives (which aren’t fully ripe) have MORE sodium than black olives. And kalamata olives tip the salt scales over green olives. Then you have canned versus pickled. Both versions multiply the sodium content in the processing. You MUST check the nutrition label and break out the calculator. Then keep the olive offerings to a minimum.


Natural olives contain pits. And they’re HARD. Even we don’t attempt to chew or swallow them. You can’t stop to explain that when dogs eat olives, though. Some dogs try to bite down on them, and they CAN crack teeth if the pits are hard enough. Other pits may lead to choking hazards in small dogs. If your dog ingests enough olive pits, they can end up with an intestinal obstruction. The stomach doesn’t have the ability to break down the pit. If you see vomiting or diarrhea after your dog eats olives, get to the vet right away. They’ll perform a radiograph and be able to see the pits blocking the works.


Olives often come mixed or stuffed with delicious additives. Sometimes these include various oils, seasonings, or garlic. You MUST read the ingredient label before sharing these mixtures with your dog. Many of the additives – such as garlic – are TOXIC to dogs. Dogs should NEVER receive olives that contain these dangerous ingredients. Even one can lead to health complications. Pimentos are safe, but you’ll rarely find pimentos as the only ingredient. ALWAYS read the label.

This goes double for olives floating around in alcoholic beverages. They’re NOT safe for canine consumption.

Safe Ways for Dogs to Eat Olives

You want your dog to get a healthy treat, but you don’t want to end up rushing to the vet as a result. And dogs CAN eat olives. You just need to make sure you offer these fruits in a reasonable manner.

PLAIN, pitted olives are safe for dogs to eat. It’s okay if you offer green or black, but keep those sodium levels in the back of your mind. You only want to make this an OCCASIONAL treat, and you need plenty of fresh water close by. And keep an eye on the expiration date of the olives you’re offering. It doesn’t take much for olives to start growing mold, and dogs are susceptible to tremorgenic mycotoxin ingestion. This seizure-like reaction results from eating mold-covered food. (Also, do YOU want to eat expired olives? Probably not)

We tried offering our Greyhound olives, but she wanted nothing to do with them. We even explained they were fruits, but she wasn’t convinced. (It was worth a try)

One Pup-peroni with Olives

Olives are impressive little fruits. They keep hearts working smoothly by lowering cholesterol. And they DON’T have any sugar to worry about. As long as you mind the sodium – and remove the pits – there’s no reason dogs can’t eat olives. You just need to keep those safety worries in the back of your mind.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Andria Kennedy

Andria Kennedy

Andria grew up in a pet-friendly household. On weekends, the family made trips to zoos and aquariums in the area. So it wasn’t a surprise when she gravitated toward a career with animals.

After six years working among the background operations at the Philadelphia Zoo, she gained a unique insight into the veterinary world. The vet staff provided her first lessons in terminology, the identification of medical equipment, and glimpses of radiographs (x-rays). She also enjoyed plenty of opportunities to talk with everyone, including the veterinary technicians. And they offered an alternative for someone NOT interested in surgical pathways: Namely, their course of study.

Andria enrolled at Harcum College. Philadelphia boasts two programs for vet techs, but only Harcum works with the Ryan Veterinary Hospital and New Bolton Center (University of Pennsylvania’s small and large animal facilities, respectively). Harcum’s vet tech students receive six months of hands-on teaching and experience alongside Penn’s vet students.

With the opportunities and connections available with one of the top veterinary schools, the decision was easy for her to make.

New Bolton Center: Large Animal Medicine
Andria ended up trudging through snow up to the knee and shivering in subzero temperatures during her winter semester, but she wasn’t disappointed with her choice. New Bolton provided a thorough grounding in large animal medicine. A horse-lover as a child, the experience renewed those old emotions.

And a few memories stood out and remained to this day:

  • Standing alongside a Clydesdale and feeling TINY
  • Holding the reins of a horse galloping at top speed on a treadmill
  • Nursing tiny foals through the first days of their life

Ryan Veterinary Hospital: Small Animal Medicine
Veterinary students can legally work at a practice while studying. Andria took advantage of the opportunity, gaining “real life” experience while attending class. It provided a slight advantage when she entered her three months at the small animal hospital.

However, as Ryan Veterinary Hospital offers treatments unique to the veterinary community, she continued to gain valuable experience. For instance, she spent a day working alongside their Chemo Team. The positivity of everyone she encountered – staff, clients, and patients alike – left a lasting impression.

Additional standout moments included:

  • An afternoon spent with the head of the feline kidney transplant program
  • A day serving as the anesthesia technician in their new radiation unit
  • Recognizing a radiograph of a giant elephant shrew (applying her previous zoo knowledge)

Emergency/ICU Veterinary Technician
Accompanying her Associate of Science in Veterinary Technology, Andria received a passing score on the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE). The two led to her certification/license as a veterinary technician – first in Pennsylvania (CVT) and later in Virginia (LVT).

Emergency medicine appealed to her from the beginning. The flux of ailments, injuries, and even species kept her mind sharp at all times. The knowledge required to handle cats, dogs, exotics, and even wildlife is highest in an ICU setting. When a vet tech never knows the patient’s stability coming back to the treatment area, skills and the ability to respond in an instant always stay in peak shape.

With treatments evolving at a constant basis, Andria sought out the best Continuing Education opportunities. She attended the International Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society (IVECCS) Conference whenever possible. This allowed her to discuss the latest wound treatments, medications, and advancements in diet formulations.

Cardiology Veterinary Technician
With the increased knowledge and experience, Andria noticed gaps in her abilities. Her grasp of cardiology remained at the basic level. She wanted to boost her skills and understanding as much as possible, improving her patient care. When an opportunity within the practice arose to move into the cardiology department, she accepted.

She sharpened her ability to read ECGs, recognizing arrhythmias of every type. Speaking with the cardiologist, she learned to read echocardiograms, picking out the most common disease processes. And, courtesy of her position in the department, she took in everything she could regarding the grain-free diet concern.

And throughout her ten-year career, she built her store of client interactions. She learned stories of heartbreak and hope. In the middle of the night, she shared touching and humorous conversations. Every moment taught her to engage with people. And the skill blended into her writing ability, capturing the interest of pet-lovers everywhere.

Check out Andria’s LinkedIn here

No comment yet, add your voice below!

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *