Can Dogs Eat Papaya?

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I was eating cantaloupe for breakfast the other morning, and my mom’s dog Gussie was over.

She loves cantaloupe, so I shared a bit with her.

Gussie particularly enjoys sweet fruits such as bananas and melon, but I wasn’t sure if she had ever had papaya.

Being that I was also eating papaya, and not knowing if it was safe for dogs, I googled it real quick and was happily surprised by what I found.

Papaya isn’t only safe, but it also has several amazing health benefits.

I tried offering it to all my dogs and only my puppy Mirabelle considered it. And, really, she more played with it than ate it.

I know puppies tend to grow into sweeter foods as they get older, so I will likely offer it to her again in the future since it is such a healthy treat I would love to add it to her diet.

Can Dogs Have Papaya?Are papaya seeds safe for dogs to consume cyanide poisoning danger choking hazard

Yes, dogs can safely eat papaya since it is not toxic.

However, the seeds and exterior skin should not be fed to your dog.

The seeds have trace amounts of cyanide and can be a choking hazard.

Not all fruits are safe for dogs to eat. Did you know that grapes are dangerous to dogs?

Is Papaya Good for Dogs?

Papaya is good for dogs since it is rich in vitamins and minerals such as:

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  • Vitamin K – Prevents bleeding issues and promotes blood clotting
  • Vitamin E[1] – Defends the body against free-radicals
  • Vitamin A[2] – Aids in promoting healthy skin, coat, muscles, and nerves
  • Vitamin C – Promotes a healthy immune system
  • Potassium, Folate, Magnesium, & Calcium – Helps puppies develop strong muscles and bones
Papaya digestive enzyme supplement for dog GI health digestion
Papaya is an ingredient in some dog digestive enzyme supplements

Plus, papayas have natural enzymes that promote good digestive health by reducing bloating, flatulence, and indigestion.

In addition to those benefits, papayas can aid in reducing heart disease and give your pup an energy boost.

Finally, papayas are rich in antioxidants, which help boost your dog’s immune system.

Papaya Supplements

Since papayas are so healthy, the pharmaceutical companies have come out with a papaya supplement, so you can receive all of the health benefits in pill form and without all of the extra sugar.

If you feel your pooch would benefit from a papaya supplement, be sure to contact your vet first.

Should Papaya Be Added to Your Dog’s Regular Diet?

Since papayas are such a healthy fruit, it stands to reason some may believe adding a regular helping of papaya to your dog’s daily diet would be beneficial.

However, if you are feeding a nutritionally balanced diet, your dog should not need papaya added to their regular food regiment.

Papaya good ingedient for dog treats high in vitamins safe to eat
You can find dog treats with papaya already include, such as these Coconut Crunchers!

That all being said, adding papaya in as a treat is a great way to add a nutritional boost to your dog’s diet.

Most often, store-bought treats are fine but don’t carry a lot of nutritional value, so feeding papaya as a treat instead would provide more enormous health advantages than the average treat.

Remember, there are times you can have too much of a good thing.

Though vitamins and nutrients help keep our dog’s bodies healthy and strong, you can provide too much of certain vitamins, resulting in a negative effect.

Some people supplement their dog’s diet with coconut. Should you do this, too?

Possible Dangers of Papaya

Though there aren’t many dangers to papayas,there are some:

  • Allergies – There is always a possibility that your dog may be allergic to papayas, so always start with only tiny bite until you are sure it’s safe
  • Seeds – The seeds of the papaya could cause choking, intestinal blockage, or a low-level toxicity danger. The seeds do contain a small amount of cyanide[3], and depending on the size of your dog and how much they consume, it could cause your dog to become sick. So, if your dog eats the seeds, be sure to call your local vet to see if you should bring them in.
  • Skin – The papaya skin is not toxic, but due to pesticides, it may cause stomach upset if eaten. Additionally, the peel of the papaya is challenging to digest, so that too could cause GI upset.
  • Quantity – Though papayas are good for digestive health, they are also high in fiber, so they may also cause the opposite effect if too much is consumed, resulting in diarrhea.
  • Sugar – Papayas are high in sugar so they are not an ideal treat for dogs with diabetes or weight issues.

The Best and Safest Ways to Give Papaya to Your Dog

Dehydrated Papaya

Can dogs eat dried dehydrated papaya high in sugar bad for diabetic pupsDehydrated papaya isn’t toxic, but it is high in sugar, especially if the manufacturer added sugar during the dehydration process.

If your dog does not have diabetes, dehydrated papaya is fine.

But keep in mind dehydrated papaya is more concentrated, so you will want to feed less dehydrated papaya than you would feed in its raw form.

Frozen Papaya

Freezing papaya is the second-best way to serve this sweet treat to your pup.

The nutrients in papayas are retained during the freezing process helping to maximize its health advantages.

Plus, frozen papaya makes a fantastic summer treat to help keep your dog cool in the heat.

Canned Papaya

Canned papaya is not toxic, but can contain other ingredients such as syrup or other forms of sugar.

Since dogs don’t need the added sugar and because papayas are already naturally sweet, it is best to stay with fresh papaya instead.

Though many fruits are safe for dogs to eat, canning them often adds too much sugar for dogs. It’s the same way with pears, too!

Fresh Papaya

Best ways to serve papaya to your dog fresh frozen dehydrated cannedLike with most fruits and vegetables, serving them fresh is the best method.

Fresh papaya retrains its vitamins, nutrients, and fiber content making it the ideal way to feed it to your dog.

Always be sure the pieces are cut up small enough for your dog to easily eat.

Fun Ways to Add Papaya to Your Dog’s Diet

Papaya can be made into fun treats for your dog, and some treat ideas include:

  • Frozen – Puree and mix with water then put into ice cube trays or silicone paw print molds to make frozen treats
  • Puree and use in biscuits, cookies, or cakes. Papaya makes a great sugar substitute for dog treats

It should be noted that the nutritional content will decrease due to the baking process, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use it.

How Much Can You Feed Your Dog

You can feed your dog small amounts of papaya, but like I mentioned earlier, start out with a small piece to be sure your dog doesn’t have any allergies.

After that, you can feed your dog papaya in moderation as a treat or food topper, but be careful to introduce papayas slowly into your dog’s diet.

Ultimately, the amount your dog can eat without adverse impact is dependent on each dog individually.

Conclusion

Although my pups didn’t love the fruit itself, I do plan on making some dog treats both of the frozen and baked varieties to see if they enjoy them. I don’t think it’s the taste they are opposed to as much as the texture.

Though I feed a balanced diet, I don’t think it hurts to add superfoods to their array of treats.

I prefer to feed my dogs a healthy treat like papaya for the extra nutritional and antioxidant boost versus the store-bought dog biscuit.

Plus, since Sophie and Cal suffer from GI issues, giving them a treat that will promote better GI health is always a good thing.

Resources

  1. https://www.petmd.com/dog/nutrition/vitamin-e-good-dogs
  2. https://nasc.cc/pet-university/vitamin-deficiency-dogs/
  3. https://www.quora.com/Why-do-so-many-fruits-have-seeds-that-contain-high-levels-of-cyanide?

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