My Pet Swallowed an Olive

2 min read
Jan 17, 2022

Olives, the oval-shaped fruit, are known for their zesty taste, being rich in vitamins A, E, and K and containing high amounts of minerals and antioxidants. Besides being a condiment loved by many, the good fats found in olives aid digestion, reduce inflammation, and may even soothe allergic reactions in humans.

Although olives are safe for human consumption, are pets safe if they get ahold of them?

Moderation & Recommendations 

Olives can actually boost your dog’s immune system, lower the risks of certain cancers and heart disease, and improve bone and eye health.  They contain the best type of monounsaturated fatty acids, which help the canine body break down fat cells to maintain a healthy weight and can promote healthy skin and coat.

Olives Also Nourish Brain Function

Green olives are picked earlier than black olives, but there is no difference in their nutritional content yet. Green olives, as well as Kalamata, have a slightly higher sodium content than their darker counterparts. 

The key to feeding olives to your dog is moderation, and the olive must be properly cured, plain and unsalted.   

Not toxic to dogs in small quantities, there are risks to be aware of in terms of olives. Your veterinarian may recommend better snack choices for your canine pal that offer the same benefits. While the oil from olives provides many positive health benefits, moderation is again key to effectiveness. Dogs should be fed no more than one teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil per 20 lbs. of bodyweight.

Risks of Olive Consumption by Pets

While the olive itself does not contain toxins, the pits can result in choking or obstruction hazards.  If the pit gets stuck in your pet, it can block his or her airway or lodge in your pooch’s intestinal tract.  Additionally, pits can crack teeth!

Olives are too bitter to be eaten directly from the tree, so they typically go through a curing process to make them edible. To accomplish this, salt and seasonings are added to the olives, and too much salt can cause dehydration and raise blood pressure in our companion animals. Typically, canned or pickled olives contain excessive amounts of sodium. 

Additionally, some olives are stuffed with garlic, jalapenos, pimentos, anchovies, or blue cheese, all of which are not good for dogs.

Also, it is important to be aware of olives that have been marinating in a cocktail as the alcohol ingested could be harmful to your pet if he or she consumes several olives. However, the greatest danger is the toothpick the olive was attached to!

What to Do?

If your canine best friend consumes a quantity of olives, contact your veterinarian at once. Provide as much information to your vet as you can as to whether the olives contained pits and what other ingredients are listed on the label.

Dogs may experience digestive upset, stomach pain, or diarrhea from consuming too many olives. While other ingredients may cause complications too. The lesson is to read labels carefully and limit your pet’s intake of, or prevent altogether, anything that may cause harm.  However, accidents happen, in which case having an active dog insurance policy may be able to help. 

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Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.


1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.

2 Provided all terms of the policy are met. Application is subject to underwriting review and approval. Like most insurance policies, insurance policies issued by IAIC and MetGen contain certain deductibles, co-insurance, exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force. For costs, complete details of coverage and exclusions, and a listing of approved states, please contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC.