We love slipping our dogs a bite of our snack or dinner. Many fruits are entirely beneficial to dogs – but can dogs eat papaya? Papaya is a superfood with numerous antioxidant benefits. Its high nutritional value makes it a fabulous treat for humans, but is it safe for dogs?
Your dog may be giving you puppy eyes as you sit down to eat this delicious superfood, but you find yourself wondering if it’s safe to feed your dog. Rest assured, papaya is completely safe for your dog to eat. Papaya actually yields multiple health benefits. Here’s everything you need to know about feeding your dog papaya.
Health Benefits of Papaya
Most notably, papaya contains an enzyme, papain, that helps tenderize meat. Papain also helps aid digestion by breaking down food in the gut. It’s believed it can help curb symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and bloating in humans.
One small papaya contains about 60 calories, has 15 grams of carbohydrates, one gram of protein, three grams of fiber, has an incredibly high vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B9 (folate), and potassium content. Papaya also contains an antioxidant known as a carotenoid, which is believed to help strengthen the immune system. The specific carotenoid in papaya is called lycopene. Lycopene can help better heart, skin, lung, brain, and eye function and health.
Papaya yields high antioxidant effects. Antioxidants help fight and neutralize free radical damage. The lycopene in papaya can help cleanse the body of excess iron. Lycopene can also help fight cancer. According to Healthline, of 14 fruits that were tested with known antioxidant properties against breast cancer, only papaya demonstrated anticancer properties. Papaya may also help improve heart health. It’s believed that fruits high in vitamin C and lycopene, like papaya, can help prevent heart disease and preserve ‘good’ cholesterol. Papaya is also believed to help fight chronic inflammation in the body.
Papaya is also packed with lutein, another carotenoid that’s believed to help prevent macular degeneration – an eye disorder that affects the retina. Papaya is also incredibly high in vitamin C, even higher than oranges! According to Healthline, papayas have 62 milligrams of vitamin C per 100 grams. Vitamin C helps strengthen the immune system. Papaya also contains vitamin K, a fat-soluble vitamin that helps with liver function and blood health. Papaya is entirely effective at helping with proper blood clotting.
Potassium, calcium, and magnesium, vital nutrients, can also be found in this delicious exotic fruit. Potassium helps with the absorption of other nutrients, betters neural function, promotes bone health, and aids muscle strength and growth. Calcium helps aid strong bones and teeth, helps your dog grow big and strong, and helps muscle function and growth. Calcium also helps promote strong heart and nervous system health. Magnesium, like calcium, also aids muscle function and growth, heart health, and promotes a healthy nervous system.
In topical skincare, papaya has been used for decades to help slough off dead skin cells and enhance radiance, as it’s a natural exfoliant. It promotes brightness, smooth texture, and even skin tone. It’s often used as a hypoallergenic in topical dog products. It reduces hyperpigmentation and decreases inflammation.
Can Dogs Eat Papaya?
Yes, dogs can eat papaya! Feeding your dog responsibly is the most important thing when adding fresh foods to their diet. Avoid the skin and seeds of a papaya. Papaya skin is incredibly hard to digest and can cause intestinal blockages. According to Citizen Canine, papaya seeds contain trace amounts of cyanide. Keep the skin and seeds away from your dog at all times.
Too much papaya, since it is touted for its ability to aid digestion, can cause gastrointestinal upset in large quantities, due to its incredibly high fiber content. Keep your dog’s papaya consumption minimal. If your dog is having trouble with constipation or bloating, adding a little bit of papaya to their diet, as a snack or mixed in with their dinner, can help get things moving.
Papaya is actually a lower sugar option than most fruits! It has a natural sugar content that’s lower than many other fruits. Half a small papaya only contains six grams of sugar, according to On Health. Papaya has a lower sugar content than watermelon, mangoes, cherries, pears, bananas, figs, and grapes. It falls in line with other low sugar fruits like avocado, guava, raspberries, cantaloupe, and strawberries. If your dog is diabetic or sensitive to sugar, papaya is a great option for them. Always remember to check with your veterinarian about your dog’s specific nutritional needs before introducing them to a new food.
How to Feed Papaya to Your Dog
Begin by giving small, bite-size portions to your dog to introduce them to this exotic superfood. You can even puree papaya to reap its benefits. Stick to fresh papaya and try to avoid it frozen or dehydrated, to avoid higher concentrations of sugar and choking hazards.
If your dog is acclimated to eating fruits and vegetables, then it’s probably okay to feed them fresh papaya if you have some in your home. Make sure it’s cut properly and store it in an air-tight container to avoid spoiling.
There are also tons of papaya supplements in the dog wellness and health industry! Due to papaya’s numerous health benefits, dog supplements often feature papaya enzymes to help with digestion and antioxidant protection. Papaya enzyme tablets are the most common and can be found online or at your local pet store.
In summary – can dogs eat papaya?
Overall, papaya is a wonderful, versatile, and nutrient dense superfood to feed your canine companion. Its numerous health benefits, vitamins, and minerals can help provide a dog with a well-rounded diet.
Papaya is an excellent addition to your dog’s diet, whether in fresh or tablet form. It’s been used as a natural remedy for constipation and digestion for decades. This unique superfood is sure to give your dog a yummy, sweet, and rich treat that will help them feel their best.
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