Can dogs eat papayas? Is it safe to allow your dog to eat them? Should you be concerned if your dog eats papaya by accident?
Food and diet are important subjects to me where my Misty is concerned. As a consequence, I have a growing section of posts devoted to foods dogs can and can’t eat (I’ve even posted recently about house plants that are poisonous to dogs… in case dogs eat them by accident).
In this post I’m looking at papayas, which appear to be increasingly popular in homes across the world. Since they’re more available to dogs as a result, it makes sense to understand if papayas are good or bad for dogs to eat.
As such, I’ll be focussing on the following topic areas:
Table of Contents
- What Are Papayas?
- Can Dogs Eat Papayas?
- Are Papayas Good for Dogs?
- The Nutritional Benefits of Papaya
- Is Papaya Bad for Dogs?
- How to Include Papaya in Your Dog’s Diet
- Preparing Papaya for Your Dog
- Related Posts
What Are Papayas?
Papaya, also known as pawpaw, is a relatively large fruit that comes from a tree native to Mexico and Central America (but now grown in many parts of the world). Despite its size (between 15cm to 45cm or 6″ to 28″) it’s actually classed as a berry!
Papaya has an orange to yellow skin, and when ripe its soft edible flesh has a sweet taste. At its centre it has a cavity that contains a number of black seeds.
Alongside its appealing flavour, papaya offers a variety of potential health benefits, which make it an extremely popular fruit these days. Indeed, it’s often marketed as a superfruit!
Can Dogs Eat Papayas?
Yes, dogs can eat papayas. Papaya offers a range of potential health benefits to dogs… in small doses.
As with anything you give to your dog as a treat, too much is not good (see “Are Papayas Bad for Dogs?” below).
Is Papaya Good for Dogs?
Principally, papaya is a good source of fibre and vitamins… in particular vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant.
Fibre supports healthy digestive function and is important to avoid constipation, which can result in problems for dogs.
As with all antioxidants, vitamin C helps fight against “free radicals”, which cause inflammation and contribute to diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
However, as with all fruit, just because dogs can eat papayas, it’s wise not to overhead them: as with all treats, moderation is important.
The Nutritional Benefits of Papaya
According to the US Department of Agriculture, papaya contains the following nutritional values per 100g:
|Total lipid (fat)||0.26g|
Are Papayas Bad for Dogs?
Papayas are not considered a foodstuff that constitutes a dog’s natural diet… and although they can eat them, dogs shouldn’t eat papayas in excess.
It’s true that they’re lower in natural sugar than many other fruits… but papaya still contains natural sugars (glucose and fructose). An excess of sugar in a dog’s diet can lead to canine obesity and a range of associated health problems.
Additionally, even though fibre plays an important role in digestive health, feeding your dog too much fibre can actually lead to digestive issues such as bloating, gas and stomach pain.
While dogs can eat papaya flesh, the skin and seeds can be harmful. While not toxic, papaya skin is difficult for dogs to digest and can cause stomach pain. Furthermore, the skin may be a choking hazard and can block the digestive system.
Papaya seeds too have the potential to cause a blockage, especially in smaller dogs. The seeds also contain trace amounts of cyanide, which may be harmful in large doses.
How to Include Papayas in Your Dog’s Diet
Like humans, dogs need a very specific mix of vitamins and minerals to remain healthy and happy. Most quality dog food producers adhere to formulas that are nutritionally balanced to ensure optimal canine health.
Assuming you give your dog complete and balanced pet food, as a rule you do not need to subsidise your dog’s diet with any other food.
Of course we all like to give our dogs treats and so this is perhaps where papayas could make an appearance in your dog’s life. However it’s worth noting that treats should not make up a substantial part of your dog’s daily diet.
The American Kennel Club recommends that treats make up no more than 10% of your dog’s daily calorie needs.
Assuming you obey this guideline, giving the occasional morsel of papaya to your dog to eat ought not to cause harm… and your dog will likely enjoy the treat!
Preparing Papaya for Your Dog
- Firstly, prepare your papaya by washing the skin to remove any dirt and germs.
- Once cleaned, slice the papaya in half and remove the seeds from the centre.
- Cut the flesh into treat-sized chunks, making sure to remove any skin.
- Only let your dog eat a small amount of papaya initially to ensure it doesn’t have a negative reaction to it.
Assuming your dog enjoys papaya and it doesn’t give it a tummy upset, you might consider giving it the occasional chunk as a treat… but always remember never to over-feed and always stick to the 10% rule as advised by the American Kennel Club.
Summary: Can Dogs Eat Papayas?
Dogs can eat papayas and many will really enjoy their flavour. Of course, individual dogs may react negatively to papaya, so you should test how your dog responds to it with a small piece initially before giving it as a regular treat.
Remember though that some parts of the papaya are not good for dogs to eat: do not let your dog eat the seeds or skin.
As with all treats, papaya should not form the majority of your dog’s diet. The nutrients your dog needs should be delivered in the form of a complete and balanced food from a reputable producer.
Does your dog eat papayas as a treat? Or perhaps you have questions about the foods dogs can eat? Please leave your thoughts or questions in the comment section at the bottom of this page.
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