If you often enjoy exotic fruit and you are the kind of pet owner that shares all the delights with your four-legged companion, it is good to know which fruit is safe for your dog and which isn’t.
Today, we have papaya on our menu! We will answer the question can dogs eat papaya, and tell you everything you need to know about this juicy and delicious fruit.
You will find out whether or not papaya is beneficial for both you and your canine friend too. Stay with us to the very end; you will not regret it! After all, we are both on the same side – fighting to keep your pet as healthy as it can be!
A Word Or Two About Papaya
Papaya or Carica papaya is often called papaw or pawpaw too. It is a fruit that belongs to the plant family Caricaceae.
The papaya plant is a tree that can grow up to 26 feet tall (8m). It is crowned by deeply lobed leaves and male and female flowers. The fruit itself is in the form of a cylinder, similar to a pear, and can weigh as much as 2 lbs (11kg).
The succulent papaya fruit is mostly cultivated in the warmest regions of the tropical world. It is slightly sweet with a pronounced musky tang.
The flesh of the papaya fruit is usually deep yellow or orange and has a lot of wrinkled black seeds in its center. It is very juicy too.
Papaya is a popular breakfast choice all across the globe. You can also cook it or use it in a salad or a pie. If you prefer fruit juices, you can add papaya to orange juice in the morning or make sherbet.
While unripe, the papaya fruit has a milky juice that contains the protein-digesting enzyme papain. This enzyme is almost the same as the animal enzyme pepsin. Therefore, this unripe papaya juice is used to make remedies for indigestion as well as to produce meat tenderizers.
Is Papaya Healthy?
Yep! The tropical papaya fruit can be highly beneficial for both humans and animals. Here are some of the benefits of this delicious fruit:
1. Papaya Is Highly Nutritious
One small papaya has around 60 calories and contains:
|Vitamin C||157% of the RDI|
|Vitamin A||33% of the RDI|
|Folate (vitamin B9)||14% of the RDI|
|Potassium||11% of the RDI|
There are also trace amounts of calcium and magnesium as well as vitamins B1, B3, B5, E, and K.
2. Papaya Has A Strong Antioxidative Effect
The most valuable and healthy compounds in papaya are antioxidants known as carotenoids. Thanks to the lycopene your body absorbs when you eat papaya, you’ll be better equipped to fight off disease-causing free radicals.
Free radicals play an essential role in preventing cancer and aging-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, of all the fruits and veggies with known antioxidant properties, only papaya has a confirmed anticancer effect on breast cancer cells.
3. Papaya Can Improve Heart Health
Lycopene and vitamin C work together to protect your heart by reducing inflammation and boosting the effects of “good” HDL cholesterol.
4. Papaya Can Help Fight Chronic Inflammation
Many diseases are the result of chronic inflammation. Our poor choice of lifestyle and diet only speeds up the downfall. Luckily, antioxidant-rich fruits such as papaya can reduce inflammatory markers.
5. Papaya Boosts Digestion
As we have already mentioned, unripe papaya fruit contains the papain enzyme that helps us digest proteins. It is thus often used as a cure for constipation of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
The high fiber content is also helpful.
6. Papaya Can Make Your Skin Look Better
Free radicals are the main culprits for wrinkled and saggy skin, as well as most skin damage that comes with age. Papaya is rich in both vitamin C and lycopene and can thus help your skin and make it more youthful.
Is Papaya Good For The Dogs Too?
We have determined that papaya is highly beneficial for us humans, but what about our canine friends? Can they eat papaya too? Is it good for them as much as it is for us?
Feel free to share papaya with your family dog. It is perfectly safe for him or her as long as you give it moderately. In fact, papaya can be a healthy addition to your pet’s regular diet when given in moderation.
How To Give Your Dog The Papaya Fruit?
It will be best to peel the fruit, cut it in half, and remove the seeds. The seeds can be toxic to your dog so never skip this step! You can dice the flesh and give it as a treat or simply sprinkle the small papaya pieces over your dog’s favorite meal.
During hot summer days, frozen papaya cubes can be a great refreshing treat for your furry companion. Make the cubes small, or they can be a choking hazard. The smaller the dog, the smaller the cubes should be!
Be careful when you first introduce papaya, or any other fruit or vegetable, to your canine best friend. Dogs can have allergies, just like humans. Besides, some of them can be more sensitive to a particular food and have digestion problems such as an upset stomach, diarrhea, or vomiting.
The first papaya portion you give to your pet should, therefore, be small. You should also observe him or her to see if there will be some reaction and how they will handle this new food. Once you are sure papaya sits well with your pet’s stomach, you can gradually increase the portions. Please do not overdo it, though; too much of any fruit will make your dog unwell!
There is one more warning for you to remember. Even though papaya is often sold as dried fruit, the dehydrated fruits are not suitable for our canine friends. Dehydrated papaya is very sweet, and dogs should avoid sugar, especially if they have diabetes.
There are supplement forms of papaya fruit too. If they are made for the dogs, they are probably safe for your pup as well. They are usually the papaya enzyme tablets that are meant to improve your dog’s digestion, just like the fresh fruit. Always check your dog’s weight and adjust the dosage accordingly. If you are not sure, consult your vet.
What Are The Benefits Of Papaya Fruit For Our Canine Friends?
Just like papaya helps us humans stay healthy and good-looking, it can help our dogs as well. The vitamins and minerals we have already listed are highly beneficial for your four-legged friend. They will enhance your puppy’s growth and help him or her stay healthy.
The papain enzyme can help your pet resolve indigestion issues such as bloating and flatulence. Papaya can be an excellent remedy for minor digestive problems, but anything more serious should be discussed with the vet.
Your pooch will also feel more energized if he eats a few papaya bites every day. The immunity of your dog will be stronger, and you can even hope to prevent heart problems and atherosclerosis.
The Bottom Line
Our dogs can live without fruits and veggies, but that does not mean that they should not have any! Fruit, papaya included, can help boost our dogs’ digestion and make them feel more energized.
The good news is that papaya is safe for dogs; you only need to peel and deseed it. Never overfeed your canine friend with papaya or any other fruit or veggie. If you do that, your dog can have an upset stomach or even diarrhea and vomiting.
A few icy papaya cubes on a hot summer day or a couple of papaya treats here and there will be a healthy addition to your dog’s regular diet! It doesn’t take too much work, so why not try it?