I love fruits and my dog loves any food I am eating. So, we have shared apples, bananas, and pears. But I have not yet tried to share tropical fruits with my dog, nor have I shared my favorite fruit, which is papaya.
Fruits are generally good for people and dogs alike. There are some fruits dogs should not eat and the pits are always a problem. For the most part, fruit is healthy and full of vitamins and minerals, good for us all. Many fruits, however, are not good for a dog, can be fatal in fact. So, can dogs eat papaya?
Can Dogs Eat Papaya?
It might surprise you to hear that the answer is an overwhelming yes! Papaya is a terrific fruit with many vitamins, antioxidants, and healthy fats. Does what apply to humans in this case also apply to dogs? Can dogs eat papaya?
Additionally, the papaya is juicy and delicious. The caution, as usual, is how much of it your dog should eat? If you feed papaya in moderation, your dog will not have an adverse effect.
Test your dog by giving a small piece. Watch your dog to see if it likes it or if it has any adverse effects from fruit. If your dog likes the flavor than there is no reason why she can’t have some when you are eating it. Dogs don’t need papaya so remember it is a treat.
Benefits of Papaya Healthy Factors
It is not dangerous for your dogs to eat papaya, but is it actually beneficial for them? The papaya is a very healthy fruit with minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber. All of these components are helpful for your dog’s health. Specifically, what benefits do papayas afford to your dog?
- Minerals potassium, magnesium, folate, calcium – positive for your dog’s healthy growth.
- Vitamins K, C, E, A help prevent atherosclerosis and strengthening of the immune system. Increases energy.
- Antioxidants – immune strength.
- Fiber – Papaya has a good amount of fiber that can help your dog’s digestive tract to do its job. Your dog will feel full from the fiber so it can prevent obesity. Papaya is recommended if your dog has a stomach ache or heartburn. It can be beneficial if your dog has any gastrointestinal issues that are minor. It can also help to prevent bloating. Anything serious, you should see your vet. If your dog has ongoing minor digestive issues, give a few bites of papaya every day.
Potential Problems and Can Dogs Eat Papaya?
Feeding papaya to your dogs is not without its perils. There are some potential problems that can occur. These include:
- Allergies – a dog can have an allergic reaction at any time. Skin problems or itching can occur, loose stools, even vomiting. It can be different for different dogs.
- Seeds – like the seeds of most fruits, papaya seeds can be toxic to dogs. Do not let them swallow the seeds. They can also cause intestinal blockage.
- Peel and Leaves – may be poisonous because of the parasites and pesticides that may be on them that your dog would digest. The peel is also very difficult for your dog to digest.
- Limit amounts – too much at any one time can cause your dog to have intestinal issues, loose stools, digestive issues, and diarrhea. So, you shouldn’t give more than four slices per day depending on the size of your dog.
If you are going to give your dog papaya, there are a variety of ways you can serve it and it is important to give it in moderation. As long as your dog is not allergic, you can give up to four slices a day for a medium to large size dogs. When you first begin allowing your dog to eat papaya, give a cube or two until you see if the dog likes it and if it tolerates it without an allergic reaction.
Make sure the papaya that you serve to your dog is ripe. It should not be too fresh and not should it be overripe. It should be green turning to yellow in color and softening in texture. Remember, you need to remove the peels, the leaves, and the seeds before you give it to your dog. There is also a core as an apple has a core and you do not want to let your dog eat that part either.
You can serve papaya to your dog in three forms. It can be fresh, dehydrated and frozen.
- Fresh – this is the best way to serve it. All the benefits of papaya are available to your dog in its natural, fresh form.
- Dehydrated – in this form, papaya has a lot of concentrated sugar which is not as good for your dog as the fresh fruit with less concentrated sugar. In this form, it can raise the blood sugar level of your dog very quickly. It is not good for dogs with pancreatitis, arthritis or diabetes.
- Frozen – The only real difference here is the temperature. It might be good on a hot day or not good if your dog has sensitive teeth.
Your best choice is to serve your dog fresh papaya whenever you can.
Once you start giving your dog papaya and you know that it is not allergic to the fruit, you can increase the amounts. Go with bite-size cubes, depending on the size of your dog, and give about three to four of these a day, to begin with. If you give more than that it might cause loose stools or an upset stomach.
It also might not be a good idea to give your dog papaya every day. Once they have had a few days with three to four cubes, you might want to back off to only three or four days per week. Then you won’t have to worry about loose stools, diarrhea, vomiting or excessive gas.
So, use fresh papaya when possible and if not, choose frozen papaya. If it is fresh, you should peel it, take out all the seeds, and cut it into cubes that are bite-sized for your dog. Don’t make the cubes too large or they could become a choking hazard for your dog. Remember, the size of the cubes depends on the size of your dog. The bigger the dog, the bigger the cubes. The smaller the dog, the smaller the size of the bites. Don’t give your dog more than about five percent of the food intake for the day in papaya chunks.
Can dogs eat papaya? Yes, and it has some beneficial properties for them. Papaya is delicious. It is juicy. You love it and so will your dog. After all, our dogs want to eat what we are eating, and papaya is certainly better than ice cream or potato chips as a snack or treat.
Remember to try out your dog’s reaction to papaya with just a small bite. See if it has any allergic reaction, any bloating or itching. If it does, don’t give any more papaya. But if it doesn’t then you are free to give him more. Just give it in moderation. Don’t give too much at one time.
Benefits of papaya for your dogs include the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are in the fruit. It is low in calories and high in fiber. It can help your dog to clear the digestive system if given in moderation. It can help to prevent cardiac diseases as well. All those vitamins and minerals can’t hurt, that’s for sure.
If you are giving it to a puppy the vitamins and minerals can help with his or her growth. Just be sure you moderate the amount given even more for a puppy. It is best to give fresh or frozen. However, if your only option is dehydrated that has benefits as well. It also has a lot of sugar so don’t give dehydrated papaya to a dog that already has diabetes or might be considered pre-diabetes, as in an obese dog.
Remember to watch out for bloating, itching or extreme diarrhea. These are signs that your dog is allergic to papaya and you should stop giving it immediately. Watch for choking hazards in the size of bites you give your dog and remember they cannot eat the peel, the core, the seeds or the leaves. Be safe when you are treating your dog with papaya.
There are papaya pills available, but since you are giving your dog the fruit as a tasty treat, it makes little sense to give them a pill. There are not enough benefits in papaya to make it worth the cost and difficulty of giving your dog pills.
So now you know the answer to the question, “Can dogs eat papaya?”. As with most things in life for humans or their animal companions, if the answer is yes, then the next word is moderation. Don’t overdo it but do enjoy a healthy snack with your canine friend.
Victoria Nelson is a lifelong animal lover. She grew up in a small farm with a wide variety of pets that included dogs, cats, cows, fish etc. A published author since 18, she loves writing, and nothing makes her happier than writing about animals and sharing useful animal care tips.