Dogs are always curious to see what their owner is doing. Especially when you are having a snack or are preparing something in the kitchen they could hardly be more interested in what is happening. Everyone who ever had a dog place a plaintive paw on their knee during dinner knows how hard it is to say no to them and forbid them human food! Since fresh papayas are delicious, juicy, as well as unprocessed, and healthy you might think that what is good for you is, in this case, also good for your dog. But is that true? Can dogs eat papaya? And is papaya good for dogs? Let’s explore how to share papaya with your dog while keeping their health and enjoyment in mind.
Can Dogs Have Papaya?
Yes, they can! But since fruit, in general, is not a natural part of a dog’s diet. Make sure to only feed your dog a few bites of papaya only once in a while. Dogs literally cannot stomach too much fruit as the fruit’s fiber and sugar content can upset their stomach when too much of it is consumed. Therefore, it is important that you keep in mind that dogs do not need to have papaya. Instead, it should be served only as a treat from time to time.
Can Dogs Eat Every Part of a Papaya?
Papaya does not only consists of its appealing orangey flesh. So what about the other parts of the papaya? Can dogs eat papaya skin or the seeds? Unfortunately, they cannot eat any other part than the flesh.
The skin of the papaya is not something you should feed your dog. Aside from the fact that the skin can be really difficult to digest, there is also a chance that the skin has been treated with pesticides.
Be especially careful not to feed them papaya seeds, since they contain small amounts of cyanide, which is toxic. The seeds can also cause an intestinal blockage. While there is a trend in alternative medicine for humans to use papaya seeds as a cleanse to get rid of parasites, definitely do not try this with your dog! Papaya seeds are poisonous to dogs.
The Benefits that Eating Papayas Has For Dogs
The benefits of papaya fruit for dogs are that it is low in calories and high in fiber and enzymes, which makes it very good for your dog’s digestion. Provided that it is consumed in moderation. Fiber will also help with minor gastrointestinal issues like heartburn or upset stomach and it can help prevent bloating. If your dog has ongoing serious problems with digestion, though, a few bites of papaya will not do the trick and you should rather talk to your vet.
In fresh papayas, there are also a lot of vitamins, namely vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin K. All of which will increase energy, is good for the immune system, and prevent atherosclerosis, which is the build-up of cholesterol, fat, and other substances in the artery walls. The antioxidants contained in papaya also work to strengthen your dog’s immune system.
Papayas further contain folate, which is important for producing red and white blood cells. Potassium, which is good for the function of the muscles and the heart. And calcium, which is also beneficial for the heart as well as the immune system.
As you can see, there are a lot of benefits for dogs when eating papaya. All the more reason to share this tasty and healthy treat with your dog!
Problems That Can Occur When Dogs Eat Papaya
It is always possible that your dog can show an allergic reaction to something it has never tried before. Symptoms can include itching, skin problems, vomiting, bloating, or loose stool. When you notice any sign that your dog is not feeling well after eating papaya, it is always best to check in with your vet.
If your dog eats too much papaya at once, this can lead to intestinal and digestive issues. Such as excessive gas, or diarrhea. The general rule of thumb is to not give your dog more than four slices of papaya a day. But it will depend of course on the size of your dog. If in doubt, it is always better to be safe than sorry.
How to Serve Papaya Fruit to Your Dog
When you are serving your dog this tasty treat for the first time, give them just a couple of bite-sized pieces of papaya or two. Wait for a while to see if your dog enjoys it and whether they have any allergic reaction to it. Be sure the pieces are small, as larger pieces could become a choking hazard. The papaya should be ripe, but not overripe. Look for a fruit that is green turning to yellow in color and softening in texture.
The best way to serve papaya is when it is fresh. Frozen papaya can be a special treat for hot summer days, but if your dog has sensitive teeth this can be quite painful. If you are not sure how sensitive your dog’s teeth are, keep an eye on them when they consume very cold food like frozen fruit and take them to the vet when they appear to be in any pain.
Papaya is also sold in dehydrated form. So can dogs eat dried papaya? Well, they can, but while this is not downright dangerous, it is also not very good for them. Dehydrated fruit has a lot of concentrated sugar and is as such not as good for your dog as fresh fruit. It can raise the blood sugar levels of your dog very quickly and is especially bad for dogs that suffer from arthritis, pancreatitis, or diabetes.
As you can see, when you keep a few things in mind, papaya can be a delicious treat for your dogs that has also a lot of health benefits. Just remember to only serve the orangey flesh, use fresh or frozen papaya, instead of dehydrated papaya, and let your dog enjoy this tropical fruit from time to time. And only in moderation. On those days which you do decide to feed papaya. Make sure that it’s not more than about five percent of your dog’s food intake that day. If you are ever insecure about whether your dog’s reaction to papaya is normal, or when your dog has any illnesses that can influence their dietary requirements, check-in with your vet first.