Dogs on a raw food diet can consume as much as 15-25% of fruits and veggies per day. Whether the dog is on a raw food diet or not, you can safely offer him fruits. One of the best fruit choices for canines is papaya.
Papaya is best known for its ability to aid digestion. It can also be a delicious treat especially when it’s ripe. Christopher Columbus named it as the “fruit of the angels” because of its sweetness and musky undertones. Learn more about its benefits for canines and the ways you can serve it to your pet.
Can Dogs Have Papaya?
Yes, papayas are definitely wholesome for dogs. They are often used as an ingredient in wet dog foods and dog chews. There are only a few brands of dry dog food containing papaya.
Too much of anything is not good so offer papaya to dog in moderate amounts. Eating too much papaya can upset your dog’s stomach and may cause bloating as well as flatulence.
Scoop out or chop the papaya in large pieces before serving it to your pet. Don’t forget to also remove the skin. If your dog enjoys frozen treats, you can mince the papaya in a food processor and put it in the freezer.
In case you are quite hesitant to give it to him, consider grating the papaya before adding it to the pet’s food. You can also use ripe papaya as an ingredient to your fur baby’s air-dried raw dog food.
For dogs with a penchant for smoothies, you can try adding the papaya into your tropical smoothie recipe. You can try a simple mixture of yogurt or kefir, raw unpasteurized honey, and papaya.
How Much Papaya Is Safe For Dogs?
For small sized dogs, the recommended papaya intake ranges from half a teaspoon to 1/8 of a cup. Their digestive systems are still developing so they can only consume a little amount of everything.
Medium-sized dogs can consume as much as ¼ cup of papaya. Large sized dogs can safely consume up to half a cup of it.
What Are the Benefits of Papaya to Dogs?
1.It helps dog’s body break down meat. Papain, a compound in papaya works like the other types of enzymes in our pancreas. It helps the body digest meat and use proteins adequately. For canines, it is the proteolytic enzyme that helps break down the protein into amino acids. But unlike this enzyme, papain does not need the presence of acid in order for it to work.
2.It helps reduce inflammation. When your pet is suffering from stiff and painful joints, giving him naturally anti-inflammatory foods can bring him relief. Papaya is known for its ability to minimize pain and swelling because the papain in it has anti-inflammatory properties. Researches have shown that consuming papaya helps people with inflammatory medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and prostate aging.
3.It prevents the growth of cancer cells. Cancer in dogs usually occurs after the age of 10. Apart from age, a dog’s breed is also one factor that affects their probability of having cancer. Breeds such as the Rottweiler, Bernese Mountain Dogs, and the Bouvier des Flandres are among those with the highest cancer rate. Cancer cells have a protective coating and the papain somehow stops their growth because this enzyme can break down proteins.
4.It is good for his eye health. As with humans, dogs can suffer from age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The macula can be found in the retina, which is responsible with sending neural signals into the brain for visual recognition. While there is no cure for AMD, there are things you can do to lower your dog’s risk of developing it. One of these things is giving your pet lutein-rich foods. This flavonoid is helpful in preventing macular degeneration. Apart from lutein, papaya also contains zeaxanthin, a flavonoid that protects the retina by filtering harmful lights.
5.It strengthens the blood. In case you haven’t heard of it, dogs are also susceptible to thrombocytopenia. This is the condition of low platelet counts. Having a low platelet count weakens your dog’s ability to control bleeding. This can lead to bruising as well as excessive bleeding. Your dog needs foods that can help purify the blood. Some dog owners even give their pet papaya leaf extract. This is known to help increase the platelet count quickly.
Can Dogs Eat Papaya Seeds?
Most people just throw away those seeds. If you’re one of those people, you might want to keep those seeds from now on. Believe it or not, they are edible! You can consume half a teaspoon of the seeds regularly.
They taste much like peppercorns, a bit strong but if you can take it then you can definitely reap the benefits. The seeds come with nutrients that are all beneficial for detoxifying your liver, gut, and kidneys.
If you want to get rid of intestinal worms the natural way, you can take advantage of the papaya seed’s proteolytic enzymes. It works well in fighting bacterial infections, too.
Now, the question is can you give papaya seeds to your dog? There are actually conflicting opinions regarding this matter, but we’ll elaborate them for your sake.
Several sources argue that papaya seeds should not be given to dogs because they contain cyanide. It’s true that the seeds contain traces of cyanide but it would take very large quantities of seeds for you or for your dog to get hurt.
On the other hand, there are people who use papaya to kill intestinal worms and parasites in dogs. Papaya seeds contain carpaine, an alkaloid that can kill worms and amoeba parasites.
How to give papaya seeds to your dog? You can crush the seeds first using a mortar and pestle or in a food processor. You can even them inside Fido’s treats so he won’t notice them.
Just a reminder, there’s a chance that the natural approach of getting rid of worms may not work for your pet. If you are thinking of using natural home remedies, consult your vet first.
Can Dogs Take Papaya Supplements?
Yes, as long as they are 100% pure then there is no harm in giving your pet papaya supplements. Just follow the instructions before giving them to Fido. Furthermore, the enzyme should not contain any fillers or additives.
While a papaya enzyme is not toxic to dogs, we strongly advise that you consult your vet before adding any new food or supplement in your dog’s diet. This is very important especially if your pet has a sensitive stomach.
Dog-Friendly Papaya Recipes
Mango Papaya Treat
This tropical treat just has all the right sweetness to entice your dog. The dried mango gives this baked treat a twist. If you’re worried about the sugar content of dried fruits, go for organic dried mango and papaya with no added sugar. You can find them in specialty stores. Follow the instructions below to make your to-die-for tropical snack for your fur baby.
- Form a batter by combining ½ cup of plain rolled oats, one egg, and ¼ cup of unsweetened applesauce. Keep mixing until you get a slightly thick consistency.
- In a food processor, add ¼ cup of unsweetened dried papaya and ¼ cup of dried mango.
- Pour the processed fruits into the batter.
- Scoop a teaspoonful of the batter onto a cookie sheet lightly greased with oil spray.
- Bake at 350°F for 5-7 minutes.
Cinnamon and Papaya Happy Breath Flapjacks
Flapjacks or pancakes are a great way to incorporate healthy ingredients into your dog’s snack. This recipe is a win-win: not only it will make Fido’s belly happy but it can also improve your dog’s breath because of the cinnamon’s antimicrobial properties. Here’s how to do this flapjack:
- In a saucepan, put 200 grams of rolled oats, 1 and ½ tablespoons of honey, 3 tablespoons of sunflower oil, 1 tablespoon of cinnamon, 6 tablespoons of chopped dried papaya, and 1 beaten egg.
- Stir on low heat.
- Scoop it out on a baking tray. Flatten it using a spatula.
- Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes.
How to Choose Fresh and Ripe Papayas
Papaya might just be your dog’s new favorite food. Just make sure that the fruit is fresh and ripe so it will be sweet and juicy. Unripe papaya can taste very bitter so your dog might just resent it.
You can use your senses to tell if a papaya is ripe or not. Press it gently and see if it yields lightly. Look for yellow or golden color. When papaya is ready for eating, it should be mostly yellow.
Ripe papaya should not feel as hard as a potato. If you happen to have hard papaya, allow it to soften at room temperature for one more day.
Avoid buying papayas with large dark bruises. They could smell or taste unpleasant because those spots indicate that the papaya has gone bad.
Papaya is no doubt a healthy option for doggies! It ranges from being nutritional to medicinal. If you’re thinking of adding it to your pet’s nutrition, you can simply give it as it is or use as a topper to your dog’s meal. Regarding supplements, we strongly recommend that you check with your vet first.