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Like other tropical fruits, the papaya fruit also packs a punch nutrition-wise. This is true for humans, but is it the same for dogs? Can dogs eat papaya?
As dog owners, perhaps you’re asking this question because you’re aware that not all human foods are safe for your canine friend. And, this is so true.
The truth is, many fruits and vegetables are fatal to dogs. When it comes to papaya, we’re here to tell you all you need to know about this delicious fruit, including its benefits, dangers, and more.
Yummy Papaya Facts
A fruit that was once considered rare or exotic, papaya, originally grown in Mexico and the northern parts of South America, is now available worldwide.
Its fairly sweet flavor, buttery texture, and vibrant color make this fruit a great addition to salads, smoothies, and popsicles.
Known as papaw or pawpaw, papaya is not only liked for its healthy fats. It is also favored for its anti-cancer properties and heart health-boosting features. What’s more, papaya can make your skin look young and supple, thanks to its antioxidant content.
Since we’re already talking about its benefits, here is a rundown of some of the good things you can expect to get from eating papaya:
- Vitamin A, C, E, and K
Can Dogs Eat Papaya?
Papaya is indeed a very healthy fruit considering all the yummy goodness humans get from it. But can dogs eat papaya? Is it safe to feed your dog papaya?
The short answer is Yes. You can give your dog papaya as a healthy treat. But just like other fruits and vegetables that are dog-friendly, feeding papaya to your dog should only be done in moderation and should not be included routinely in your dog’s diet.
Why You Should Let Your Dogs Eat Papaya
Can dogs eat papaya? The answer is yes. Now, the bigger question here is: Is papaya good for dogs? Thankfully, the answer is a resounding yes.
Yes, you can feed this healthy snack to your dog without feeling any guilt, knowing that your dog is actually enjoying a couple of health benefits. Read on to find out some of the nutritional benefits your dog can get from eating papaya.
Improves Digestive System
Papaya enzyme supplements can help improve your dogs’ digestion, but feeding your pup ripe, fresh papaya is a great alternative.
Apart from being rich in fiber and water, which promote digestive health, regular bowel movement and help prevent constipation, papaya is also loaded with digestive enzymes. These enzymes help digest food molecules properly.
Boosts The Immune System
If you think oranges are packed with vitamin C, think again. Surprisingly, a cup of papaya contains more vitamin C than a medium-sized orange.
Rich in vitamins A, C, E, and lycopene, these disease-fighting compounds neutralize free radicals and amp up the immune system lowering the risk of cancer, heart disease, and other ailments.
Promotes Healthy Bones
Bone health is one of many health benefits that papaya offers. Since it contains trace amounts of magnesium and calcium, papaya can be beneficial for both senior dogs and growing puppies. These minerals support the growth of healthy bones.
Unlike mangoes and watermelon, papaya contains less sugar. So, if your dog is prone to weight gain, you can limit your dog’s sugar intake by giving them a few pieces of papaya as an occasional tasty treat.
Why You Should NOT Feed Your Dog Papaya
Although the answer to your “Can Dogs Eat Papaya” question is a yes, there are a few things that you have to consider before adding this to your dog’s diet.
Yes, all the benefits of papaya to your dog’s health sounds so good, but keep in mind that fruit is not a natural part of your dog’s diet. As such, introducing papaya as a new food or feeding your dog too much papaya can have adverse effects. Here are a few:
You read it right. Although papaya is generally good for your dogs’ gut health, it can just do the opposite when given excessively. Remember that papaya contains fiber, and too much fiber can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, excessive gas, and GI distress.
If you haven’t noticed yet, your dog isn’t much of a chewer. And this is because they’re made that way. Since dogs tend to just bite and swallow, letting your dogs eat papaya skin and papaya seeds are not recommended.
Both the papaya seeds and skin are tough and hard to digest. Apart from the possibility of the black seeds and papaya skin obstructing your dog’s airways, the skin and papaya seeds can also get lodged in your dog’s digestive tract and cause intestinal blockage.
While most dogs would feel fine after eating a slice of papaya, some may feel queasy and under the weather. Although rare, papaya can trigger an allergic reaction.
If you know your dog has environmental or food allergies, feeding your dog large amounts of this fruit is not advised.
Watch out for allergy symptoms like itching, loose stools, skin problems, and the like. If your dog experiences any of these after feeding your dog papaya, contact your vet right away.
The Right Way To Feed Papaya To Your Dog
Yes, letting your dog eat papaya can be great for your dog’s healthy growth as long as you are giving this the right way. But before you give your dog a bite, we still encourage you to talk to your vet since they know best.
In case your trusty vet agrees, make sure to follow these sure-fire tips on how to feed papaya to your dog to avoid any unwanted mishap.
Letting your dog eat a papaya whole is a bad idea. You wouldn’t eat the whole papaya, and the same goes for your dog. All the seeds and skin must be removed, and the flesh should be cut into bite-sized pieces.
Apart from being a choking hazard, the seeds contain trace amounts of cyanide. The tiny amount isn’t really considered harmful, but your dogs would surely hate its bitter taste.
Papaya is best served in its fresh form. Exposing papaya to heat can destroy its enzymes. As such, eating this ripe, uncooked, and fresh minus any seasoning is the way to go.
On a scorching hot day, you can also feed this fresh fruit to your dog frozen. Anyway, the only real difference between fresh and frozen papaya is their temperature.
Giving your dog dehydrated papaya is a no-no. Compared to fresh fruit, dried papaya contains more concentrated sugar. Ingesting this can increase your dog’s blood sugar levels.
Always start small. This applies to any new food (including dog food) that you want to introduce to your pooch. Aside from the possible allergic reaction, your dog’s body needs to adjust since they are not accustomed to this type of food.
Give this as an occasional treat. Treats like fruits and vegetables should not be frequently included in your dog’s regular diet and should only be given occasionally. Wondering how much papaya can dogs eat? The answer here is dependent on your dog’s body weight.
Only half a gram of papaya can be given for each pound of your dog’s weight. So, if your dog weighs around 20 lbs, make sure to give your dog a maximum of 10 grams of papaya. You might need to lower this down in case your pal has already eaten other treats.