Can Dogs Eat Olives Safely? It Depends

Written by Kristin Hitchcock
Published: October 5, 2022
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In moderation, dogs can consume olives. However, these olives should be plain and unsalted. Excessive sodium can lead to health issues in canines – just like humans. Furthermore, dogs are also allergic to many spices and seasonings. Therefore, olives with extra ingredients are often a no-no.

However, plain olives are completely okay and can even be healthy. For instance, they contain many vitamins and minerals that your dog may benefit from.

Dog begging

Just because they want it does not mean it is always good for them.


Of course, dogs do need to eat things besides just olives. A complete and balanced diet is vital for your canine’s health. (For the best diets for your dog, check out these great dog foods.)

Allowing dogs to eat too many olives can get in the way of that, as they may fill up on olives instead of their regular dog food. Therefore, even if your dog really loves olives, we do not recommend letting it consume boatloads of them.

How Many Olives Can a Dog Eat?

Your canine can usually consume quite a few olives before it develops any issues, assuming the olives are plain and unsalted. However, the exact amount your canine can eat safely depends on its size. Chihuahuas may only be able to eat one, while a mastiff could eat a whole handful.

Because olives are non-toxic, there isn’t going to be any instant effects after your dog eats them. However, if fed regularly and in excess, olives can cause issues. They do not contain all the nutrients your dog needs, causing nutritional deficiencies. Of course, the more olives your dog eats every day, the faster these nutritional problems will develop.

Luckily, just a couple of olives as a treat isn’t going to cause nutritional issues.

With that said, this is all assuming that the olives are just olives. Other seasonings that are commonly added to olives can be toxic and cause issues much faster than the actual olive. Therefore, be sure that you’re feeding your dog only olives. Read the ingredient list.

Can Dogs Have Green Olives with Pimento?

Green olives stuffed with pimentos are a rather common find at many grocery stores. Obviously, these are not plain olives, which we’ve discussed are okay for dogs to eat. However, dogs can eat green olives stuffed with pimento if pimentos are the only things inside the olive.

Often, this isn’t the case. Instead of just pimento, these olives typically include garlic, oils, onions, cheeses, and similar additives. Some of these are toxic to dogs, such as onions and garlic.

Pimentos are fine. Olives are fine. It’s all the other stuff that’s the issue.

Why Do Dogs Not Like Olives?

While your dog could eat olives, that doesn’t mean that it will want to. In many cases, your dog will not enjoy eating these olives. For the most part, this is determined by your dog’s tastes. Some dogs like olives, while others do not.

While olives can be healthy, there is no reason to encourage your dog to eat them if it doesn’t like them. Instead, it is often best to find another healthy treat for your dog to like.

Potential Benefits of Olives

Olives and olive oil can provide a few different benefits for your pup. For one, these fruits are packed with all sorts of good fats. Omega fatty acids can help with a range of health concerns.

Olives and olive oil

Olives and olive oil, in safe quantities, can provide Omega-3 oils to dogs.

©Dusan Zidar/

For instance, studies have found that omega-fatty acids can help with arthritis and cardiovascular diseases. Of course, dogs that are struggling in these areas will benefit more than others. Larger dogs tend to get arthritis more frequently, for instance. Therefore, it may make more sense to offer them olives.

Potential Downside of Olives

However, olives aren’t only associated with good things. Sadly, there are often many other things added to the olives that can cause issues. The olives themselves are fine, but all the extras on the ingredient list are not.

For instance, olives in a jar or tin are typically very high in sodium. Humans are larger than most dogs and can safely consume much more sodium for this reason. Olives are canned for people, so they tend to include higher levels of sodium. For dogs, these levels can be troublesome, though.

Olive stones can also be dangerous. In some cases, these stones can break your dog’s teeth or pose a choking hazard. Therefore, be sure to remove the stones beforehand.

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The photo featured at the top of this post is © ConceptCafe/

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About the Author

Kristin is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering dogs, cats, fish, and other pets. She has been an animal writer for seven years, writing for top publications on everything from chinchilla cancer to the rise of designer dogs. She currently lives in Tennessee with her cat, dogs, and two children. When she isn't writing about pets, she enjoys hiking and crocheting.

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