Can Dogs Eat Papaya?
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Papayas (Carica papaya) are tropical fruits also known as papaws or pawpaws. Native to Central America, these fruits have become very popular around the world because of their sweet taste, bright color, and a number of health benefits. Because of the high nutritional value of this tropical fruit in the human diet, you may wonder if dogs can eat papaya. In fact, it is a fruit that is suitable for dogs and provides them with numerous health benefits. However, before including it in our pets' diets, we need to make some considerations to avoid unwanted effects on their health.
In the following AnimalWised article we will explain everything you need to know about papaya for dogs, its health benefits and possible contraindications.
Is papaya good for dogs?
Papayas not only have numerous nutritional benefits, they are also free of toxins and are highly prized by dogs for their sweet taste and firm texture when ripe. However, before adding this fruit to your dog's diet, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, you should remember that, like any other fruit, it should be offered only in moderation. Additionally, although the pulp is edible, the seeds and the peel can have a negative impact on your dog's health. In the following sections, we explain in more detail what effects papaya seeds and peel can have on dogs.
If you want to learn more about what kind of natural food, such as a fruits or vegetables, you can include in your dog's diet, do not miss this article on a natural diet for dogs.
Benefits of papaya for dogs
As we have already mentioned, papaya is a fruit that provides dogs with a number of nutritional benefits. Here are some of the most important benefits that papaya can offer dogs:
- A papaya is a low calorie fruit because it has a low carbohydrate content. For this reason, it can be offered to animals that need an energy-reduced diet, such as overweight dogs.
- Like most fruits, papaya is a good source of fiber. Although dogs cannot digest fiber, it is an essential part of their diet. Foods containing fiber add volume to the diet, create a feeling of satiety, regulate intestinal transit, promote the growth of a beneficial microbiota, and help control stool consistency.
- This fruit has a high content of vitamin C, even higher than that of some citrus fruits such as oranges. Vitamin C reduces oxidative stress, promotes collagen production and contributes to the formation of the skeleton of the bone.
- Payayas are a good source of minerals, they contain calcium, magnesium and potassium. They also contain an enzyme called papain, which aids digestion and counteracts stomach acid. For this reason it can be beneficial for dogs suffering from gastritis.
How to feed papaya to your dog
The best way to give papaya to dogs is to offer it in its natural state. So avoid giving them frozen papaya, as this could cause choking. Also, try to avoid dehydrated papaya as they have a high sugar content.
The first thing you should do is to pick the right fruit at the right stage of ripeness. Make sure the fruit is firm but has a soft texture and a yellow or orange color. Once you have selected the right fruit, make sure to remove the peel and seeds to prevent them from having harmful effects on your dog.
Once the pulp is removed, cut it into cubes and feed it directly to your dog. However, you should offer papaya in moderation, just as you would any other fruit for dogs. You can have it as an occasional treat, but it should not be a regular part of your dog's diet.
In case you notice a different color in your dog's excrement, and you wish to know why, do not miss our article on my dog has yellow poo.
Contraindications of papaya for dogs
Papaya is a suitable fruit for dogs. However, there are situations in which its administration may be contraindicated:
- A dog with food allergies must not eat anything outside its diet to avoid hypersensitivity reactions.
- Dogs suffering from diseases of the digestive system, such as inflammatory bowel disease, food intolerances, or who are very sensitive to dietary changes.
- Although the effect on pregnant dogs has not been studied, it is advisable to avoid this fruit during pregnancy, since papain, also known as papaya proteinase, can trigger uterine contractions and cause abortion.
If you want to learn to tell if your dog is having an allergic reaction, then keep reading this article on dog food allergies.
What happens if my dog eats papaya peel?
Swallowing papaya peels can cause several problems for your dog:
- Because of its texture and hardness, the peel can be a choking hazard.
- Dogs cannot digest the rind, which can lead to gastrointestinal problems manifested by diarrhea, vomiting or abdominal pain.
- In addition, since it cannot be digested, it can cause intestinal obstruction.
If you are interested in learning what to do in case your dog suffers from food poisoning, do not miss out on this article on dog poisoning and learn what to do in this situation.
What happens if my dog eats papaya seeds?
Researchers have shown that papaya seed powder may have a natural antiparasitic effect, especially against coccidia and helminths such as Toxocara. However, your dog's health may be affected by the raw seeds in the fruit:
- Since dogs' digestive systems are unable to digest them, they can cause intestinal obstruction.
- Papaya seeds can also be toxic because they contain chloroform extracts.
- Over time, they cause a significant decrease in sperm concentration and motility in dogs.
- Papaya seeds damage Sertoli cells and alter the environment of the epididymis.
For all these reasons, before you feed papaya to your dog, it is important to separate the pulp from the peel and seeds. This way, you will prevent your dog from suffering unwanted side effects.
Have you ever wondered if dogs can eat other tropical fruits, such as bananas? Then do not miss this article on can my dog eat bananas?
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Juarez, IE (2013). Carica papaya: a plant with a therapeutic effect. Sanitary horizon; 12(2): 35-36
Ortega, A.; Jiménez, M., Acosta, KY, Guzmán, E., Gutiérrez, E., Luna, W., Zavala, M.A., González, A. (2011). Effects of papaya seeds extract on the sperm characteristics of dogs. Animal Reproduction Science; 129:82-88
Salazar, J.S. (2021). Use of papaya seed (carica papaya) and paico (chenopodium ambrosoides) as a natural antiparasitic in dogs in the city of Latacunga. UTC; 110