Your Pet Swallows the Olive From Your Holiday Cocktail! What Should You Do? | PetFirst
Pet Care & Health

Your Pet Swallows the Olive From Your Holiday Cocktail! What Should You Do?

by PetFirst Pet Insurance
1 month ago

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 humans6.

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 bodyweight7.

Risks of Olive Consumption by Pets

While the olive itself does not contain toxins, the pits can result in choking or obstruction hazards8.  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.

Here at PetFirst1, we know accidents and illnesses can happen to all pets – even during the holidays. PetFirst Pet Insurancecan help cover unexpected vet visits2 and can provide peace of mind. PetFirst Pet Insurance1 has cat and dog insurance policies2 to fit every budget. 

Consider getting pet insurance for your furry friend today.


 Denise Fleck is the Pet Safety Crusader™ having personally taught more than 20,000 humans to rescue Rover or help Fluffy feel better.  Her mission is to help YOU make a difference in the life of an animal through Pet First-Aid, Senior Pet Care and Disaster Preparedness classes, her “The Pet Safety Bible,” and the dozen other books she has penned.  Learn more at www.PetSafetyCrusader.com

1PetFirst Healthcare, LLC (“PetFirst Pet Insurance” or “PetFirst”) is the program administrator authorized to offer and administer pet health insurance policies underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company, a Delaware insurance company, with its main office at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, or New Hampshire Insurance Company or The Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania, each with its main administrative office at 500 West Madison Street, Suite 3000 Chicago, IL 60661. For costs, complete details of coverage, and a listing of approved states, please contact PetFirst Healthcare, LLC.

2Like most insurance policies, insurance policies offered by PetFirst Healthcare, LLC contain certain exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force.

6 “Olives 101:  Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits,” Healthline.

7 “8 Benefits of Olive Oil for Dogs,” August 4, 2020.

8 “Can Dogs Eat Olives?” by Anna Burke, American Kennel Club

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