Olives are not only becoming increasingly popular on domestic plates – more and more olive trees are also appearing in gardens and on balconies, which some dogs do enjoy nibbling on. Dog owners who normally don’t spoil their darlings with olives ask themselves, with good reason, whether this could even be harmful to dogs.
Can dogs eat olive ?
Yes, dogs that like and tolerate olives are also welcome to eat them. Unseasoned, pitted olives are quite healthy, but because of their fat content, they are also high in calories. For dogs without weight problems, olives are a healthy snack. This also applies to olive oil.
Can dogs be allergic to olives?
Allergies to the fruits of the olive tree themselves are rare. But they are possible without a doubt. Allergies to the pollen of the olive tree are, however, quite common. The pollen of the olive tree is as common as an allergy trigger in the Mediterranean area as that of the birch or the hazel bush in this country.
Maybe you even have a dog that is from the south, then the chances are higher that it will not tolerate olives well. It’s hard to predict, just take good care of him if he ever gets olives.
Salicylates in Olives
Salicylates are found in many plants and, like the acetylsalicylic acid known from painkillers, have anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. Green olives contain a lot of it, black a little less.
This in itself pleasant effect disappears very quickly, because salicylate intolerance is not uncommon.
The phenomenon has been known in human medicine for around a hundred years but has hardly been researched to date. With regard to dogs, it can be assumed that the processes involved in intolerance in the organism are comparable.
If your dog reacts to olives (especially green ones) with a runny nose or cough and even has recurring nasal polyps, then he is probably not allergic to olives, but rather has a salicylate hypersensitivity or intolerance.
Now you might think that wouldn’t be a problem, then the dog won’t get any more olives. So far this is of course correct, but when a dog reacts to olives in this way, it is an alarm signal. Because then it is quite likely that he will not tolerate almost all pain and inflammation relieving drugs.
Unfortunately, this also applies to the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that are particularly important for joint problems. If your dog has already reacted to olives with respiratory problems, you should investigate and discuss the problem of salicylate intolerance with the vet.
Whether and how a therapeutic effect can be achieved with olives is difficult to assess. Because the salicylate content of olives is changeable and subject to considerable fluctuations.
Important nutrients in olives for dogs
Vitamin A is found in olives, which is especially important for your dog’s eyesight. In addition, there are almost all vitamins of the B group, which active dogs, in particular, can always use for their nervous system and metabolism.
Vitamin E in olives supports the immune system and protects against cell aging. In addition, there is vitamin K, which is important for blood clotting – and thus for wound healing.
The special composition of minerals and trace elements in olives is healthy for dogs. In addition to sodium and potassium, they contain magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus in a very favorable ratio for dogs.
The calcium content corresponds to about five times the phosphorus content. Olives are therefore suitable for balancing the calcium-phosphorus ratio of a dog, which is always unfavorably shifted in the direction of phosphorus due to a meat-based diet.
The magnesium in the olive not only ensures healthy dog muscles but is also involved in the fact that olives have a strong alkaline effect on the digestive system and are therefore very healthy.
The essential fatty acids it contains also contribute to the high nutritional value of the olive. Essential fatty acids are the fatty acids that are essential for life and cannot be produced by the organism itself. For dogs, these are fatty acids Omega 3 and Omega 6. Both are abundant in olives.
My dog ate olive oil – How healthy is olive oil for dogs?
The oil is obtained by pressing olives. This creates a concentrate from the ingredients that survive the pressing. Some vitamins and minerals are lost in oil production.
What remains are vitamins A and E, a little potassium and magnesium, and a little phosphorus. The nutritional content of olive oil is therefore somewhat less valuable for dogs than that which the olives originally contain. Salicylates are also retained and are found in significantly higher concentrations in the oil.
The fat content of the oil is, of course, considerably higher and with it the proportion of essential fatty acids. Olive oil contains around 1% omega-3 fatty acids and 12% omega-6 fatty acids.
However, carnivores rarely suffer from a lack of omega-6 fatty acids. The focus of a dog owner should therefore be on the supply of omega-3 fatty acids. The relationship between the two fatty acids is also important.
Because omega-3 fatty acids are also required to regulate a harmful excess of omega-6 fatty acids. It is therefore very unfavorable if food has a higher proportion of omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids.
Feeding both fatty acids in the right proportions is very important because they demonstrate the same digestive mechanisms. If you are busy with an excess of omega-6 fatty acids, the more important omega-3 fatty acids cannot be digested.
Olive oil has an intermediate value in terms of the ratio of the two important fatty acids. This makes it not particularly healthy for dogs, but it is also not nearly as unfavorable as other types of oil. However, it is not suitable as a permanent food supplement.
What about pickled and seasoned olives?
In principle, nothing speaks against herbal olives. Depending on how they are prepared, some olives may be less recommendable. Olives naturally contain a lot of sodium. If olives are also heavily salted, it can simply be too much salt in large quantities.
Olives that are very hot or seasoned with a lot of garlic can cause digestive problems that are more unpleasant for the owner than for the dog.
Even if garlic in large quantities is not healthy for dogs, a critical limit is unlikely to be reached with garlic olives.
Other oil plants
Sunflower seeds are very similar to olives as food for dogs. They are well suited as a treat from time to time and provide essential fatty acids and important nutrients.
Sunflower oil, on the other hand, is not at all suitable for a healthy diet. It contains around 60% omega-6 fatty acids and only 0.2% omega-3 fatty acids.
Rapeseed shows the opposite sign. The kernels themselves are not suitable as food, but the oil is healthy for dogs with 10% omega-3 fatty acids and only 22% omega-6 fatty acids.
Is there dog food with olives?
So far, no feed manufacturer has a ready-made feed with olives on offer. However, food with olive oil is available. A manufacturer has brought Mediterranean cuisine to the dog bowl.
All products in the Exclusion Mediterraneo range contain olive oil as well as various Mediterranean ingredients.
If the dog likes them, give him olives!
Dogs who have taken a liking to the taste of olives can enjoy them without hesitation. The best thing to do is to make sure that your dog can tolerate them, and of course, olives without stones are preferable. Otherwise, there is a risk of embrittlement with the olive stones, especially with small dogs!
The stones don’t do any harm, but it cannot be completely ruled out that a dog could injure itself if it bites the stone.
Even if your darling is nibbling on the olive tree, you don’t need to worry.