Can dogs eat papaya? Papaya is an acquired taste, it’s definitely not for everyone because of its distinctive flavor, but for those who enjoy papaya, they love it and tend to eat a lot whenever they get the opportunity.
But have you thought about sharing a piece of cold juicy papaya with your furry best friend? Or do you hesitate because you’re wondering can dogs eat papaya? Is there a possibility papaya might cause some digestive issues for your dog?
Being wary of feeding your dog human foods is sensible and by far the wisest option because some food we regularly eat and think nothing of it can have detrimental effects on your dog’s health. For example, think about chocolate, grapes, raisins, certain nuts, and onions, to name a few. None of these foods harm humans unless you have nut allergies or count putting on weight by overeating chocolate, which is another story altogether.
Yet each of those foods I have listed, plus plenty of others, can have severe repercussions for your best friend’s health.
In this article:
Can Dogs Really Eat Papaya?
So, the question you want an answer to is, can dogs eat papaya? Yes, they can, now you know there’s a “but” coming, and that’s what we’ll discuss in this article.
We’re going to cover a lot of information in this article about papaya because it’s rarely just as simple as a yes or no answer, and that’s it, just go ahead and feed your dog as much papaya as you like.
In addition, I know there’s typically a whole host of questions associated with papaya that dog owners would like answering. For example, can dogs eat papaya skin? Are papaya leaves poisonous? Is unripe papaya bad for dogs? Are there any benefits of papaya for dogs?
Those are just a sample of the questions that a dog owner will typically ask when they think about feeding their dog an untried food choice.
We will cover these topics and more in this article, so if you want answers, continue reading.
Can I Feed My Dog Papaya?
If you’ve never given your dog papaya in the past and you would like to offer them some, then test the waters first. Give your dog a minimal amount and keep watch for any adverse reaction. It’s essential to start this way with any type of food your dog hasn’t sampled before because your dog may have an allergic reaction or a digestive issue.
It might be best to look for any signs of vomiting or diarrhea; if these occur, avoid providing papaya to your dog.
There are some excellent nutritional benefits to feeding your dog papaya, which we’ll cover in the article’s next section.
Remember, I mentioned papaya has a distinctive taste; if you’ve eaten papaya, you know what I mean, so even if your dog’s fine after eating a piece or two, they might not like the taste.
Is Papaya Healthy For Dogs?
Papaya has some excellent nutritional benefits for dogs including, minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and a lot of fiber, which is why you need to keep an eye on your dog’s toilet habits after they eat papaya.
What are the specific benefits of papaya for dogs:
- Papaya contains minerals such as magnesium, calcium, folate, and potassium.
- Papaya has plenty of Vitamins A, C, E, and K, which can provide energy and strengthen the dog’s immune system.
- Antioxidants a dog’s body uses to help prevent damage to cells by free radicals.
- Fiber is essential for a healthy digestive tract and to keep your dog’s bowels movements regular. However, as mentioned, too much fiber can cause digestive issues, mainly diarrhea, so it’s something to consider.
- Papain is a digestive enzyme that assists in the breakdown of proteins. It’s highly doubtful that dogs receive as much of this enzyme as they should because it’s heat-sensitive. Manufacturers use heat when they make commercial dog food, so if you feed only kibble, your dog might not get to see the benefits of papain. However, papaya fruit does contain papain, and should you provide your dog small amounts of papaya regularly, you are supplying your dog with enough papain to help their digestive process.
- Lutein is a carotenoid and helps to prevent macular degeneration. There’s also research into lutein as a means to prevent age-related cognitive decline. So if you have a senior dog, there might be some benefit there from papaya.
Papaya is a tropical fruit, and generally, they are much sweeter than other types of fruit. A typical medium-sized papaya contains 30 grams of carbohydrates and 18 grams of sugar, plus 5 grams of fiber, and has 120 calories. Of course, you’re not going to feed your dog a whole papaya, even a medium-sized one, but it’s something to bear in mind. That’s quite a lot of carbs and sugar.
Papaya does contain flavonoids which are antioxidants that might help regulate blood sugar levels. Papaya is also a medium GI (Glycemic Index) fruit. I mention this because more and more dogs are obese and suffer from diabetes, like humans. So while papaya might be okay in small amounts for your dog if they have diabetes, if your dog is overweight and you’re trying to count calories, papaya might not be the ideal choice because of the carbs and calories.
Is Papaya Toxic To Dogs, And Will It Make My Dog Sick?
Papaya isn’t toxic to dogs. I look at toxic as meaning if my dog ate some, then my dog might die. According to the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), when we talk about toxic foods for dogs, they classify several foods as toxic, including chocolate, alcohol, grapes and raisins, macadamia nuts, xylitol (sweeteners), and yeast dough.
However, overfeeding a dog any kind of food can certainly make them ill and feel off-color for some time. You probably know yourself if you eat something that disagrees with you, just how poorly you can feel vomiting and having diarrhea for several days takes it out of you.
Unless your dog has a very sensitive tummy or is allergic, then feeding small amounts of papaya is not going to make your dog unwell. As I mentioned earlier, test with tiny pieces first and give it time to ensure your dog suffers no adverse reaction. If you see anything that might be an allergic reaction, contact your vet immediately and get their advice.
Can Dogs Eat Papaya Seeds?
I wouldn’t deliberately feed my dog papaya seeds. While a few might not be an issue, it’s just something I’ve never done and wouldn’t advise any dog owner to do either.
The seeds in papaya are very bitter tasting, and they contain trace amounts of cyanide. Your dog would need to eat hundreds if not thousands of seeds to get cyanide poisoning, but I don’t see the point of taking the risk. In addition, seeds like these can be challenging to digest, and they might cause intestinal blockages.
There is some information out there that claims air-dried Carica papaya seeds can kill human intestinal parasites. If you’ve heard about this and wondering if it works on dogs, I believe the trials involved only humans.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Papaya – Does It Have Side-Effects?
So far in this article, we have only been talking about dogs eating raw papaya, so yes, dogs can eat papaya raw. However, we will be discussing homemade dried papaya for dogs later in the article.
As we’ve mentioned, there shouldn’t be any side effects unless your dog happens to be allergic to papaya. Avoiding a severe allergic reaction, if one should occur, is why we say feed only tiny pieces, to begin with, and to test the situation. When your dog first tries a small amount of papaya, you might choose to stay home for an hour or so afterward.
Can Dogs Eat Papaya Skin?
Once you remove the fruit from the papaya, you’re left with the skin, which has a leathery texture. You might get the occasional dog that is happy to have a go at chewing on it, but the taste is very bitter, and it’s doubtful any dog is going to give it more than a cursory sniff and a few nudges with their nose.
While it tastes icky, there’s nothing there that should make a dog ill or give them a tummy upset. As I said, the texture is pretty leathery, so if a dog were to swallow some, I would be more concerned about an intestinal blockage than any toxicity.
Naturally, you should remove the skin before you feed any papaya to your dog.
Can My Dog Eat Papaya Whole?
If you were to feed your dog a whole papaya, that would include the seeds and the skin, and I have spoken about why both of those are bad for your dog. So the answer to this question is no, never feed your dog a whole papaya.
Surprisingly, papayas can be pretty small and yet ripe to eat. So it’s not inconceivable to feed a dog a whole papaya, and if the dog is big enough, they will be able to attempt at least to eat it whole.
Should you go to the store and pick up some small papayas, make sure you store them well out of the dogs’ way so they can’t reach them. The papaya shape and color might attract your dog’s attention, especially the fully ripe yellow/orange ones.
Are Papaya Leaves Poisonous?
Scientists conducted an animal study on rats to discover if papaya leaves were poisonous. The results showed there was no toxicity even at high doses. Of course, the study was on rats and not dogs, but it does imply if your dog did eat some papaya leaves, other than a possible mild stomach ache, toxicity or poisoning shouldn’t be an issue.
However, dogs shouldn’t be fed papaya leaves deliberately. The leaves are very fibrous, and as well as a stomach ache, your dog may suffer from vomiting and diarrhea.
Some supplements contain papaya leaves, but these are medications purely for humans. There’s absolutely no reason to feed human supplements to dogs.
Is Dried Papaya Good For Dogs?
It might be better if I phrased the question, “can dogs eat dried papaya?” That’s because there’s a massive difference between the question, is something good for a dog as opposed to can a dog eat something. Dogs, by their nature, tend to eat most things put in front of them and many other things they scrounge for themselves. There’s a considerable amount of substances that a dog will willingly eat that do them no good whatsoever.
We’ve mainly talked about fresh papaya in this article, so the health benefits we’ve also listed refer only to fresh papaya and none other.
Dried or dehydrated fruit of any kind, not just papaya, is a great deal sweeter and contains more sugar than the fresh variety of the fruit. If your dog is overweight or suffers from diabetes, then dried papaya is undoubtedly harmful to your dog. Even fresh papaya would be a fruit to avoid under those circumstances.
I wouldn’t feed anything to my dog that I knew would spike their blood sugar because diabetes is an illness that is gathering so much momentum right now; it’s not worth feeding high sugar items to your dog to put their health at risk down the road.
It’s perfectly accurate that papaya has a host of health benefits, but those are in the form of fresh, healthy fruit, not dried or dehydrated.
Papaya Leaf Juice For Dogs
Papaya leaves are said to contain many medicinal properties, the same as the fruit itself, and include vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber in abundance. So making a juice from the leaves makes sense because proponents of the juice say it seems to work for several ailments such as dengue fever, is beneficial for the liver, improves skin and hair, controls diabetes, and boosts digestion.
How much of these claims have any scientific evidence behind them, I’m not sure, but one thing’s for certain there have been no studies about the effects of papaya juice on dogs.
Before you give any human medication including, papaya leaf juice or extract, to your dog, I would discuss the situation with your vet.
Unripe Papaya For Dogs, Is It Safe?
Many Asian people add unripe papaya into food dishes, especially spicy salad dishes. So it’s safe to eat, even though it might taste pretty sour. It wouldn’t be a good idea to feed it to your dog because, for one, it’s unlikely a dog would appreciate the sour taste. Secondly, if your dog ate unripe papaya, it could give the dog a bad stomach ache and possibly diarrhea.
Does Dog Food Contain Papaya?
Commercial dog foods don’t contain papaya as a general rule. There might be an odd manufacturer that includes a small amount of the fruit in their recipe. However, the goodness from papaya comes from the fresh fruit itself; it’s highly likely the manufacturing process would destroy the nutritional benefits of papaya.
When Should Dogs Not Eat Papaya?
Some medical conditions make it inadvisable to feed a fruit such as papaya to dogs. Overweight or obese dogs should have their carbohydrate and sugar intake monitored correctly so they can reduce weight. Diabetes in dogs is another severe medical condition where the dog’s blood sugar has to be controlled. Even though the sugar content in papaya is natural, there’s still a high enough sugar content to initiate blood sugar spikes which can be dangerous.
If your dog is diabetic, it’s always the more sensible route to discuss with your vet any new treats or food you’re thinking of giving to your dog.
Feeding even small amounts of papaya can upset your dog’s health, and without knowing the exact amount of papaya you can safely feed your dog, you are not helping the dog’s medical condition.
How Much Papaya Can My Dog Eat?
You will only feed your dog papaya as an occasional treat, and all treats you feed your dog should be no more than 10% of the dog’s daily calorific allowance.
So using that as a guideline, plan out what treats your dog gets during the day and substitute papaya for some of those treats. You’re probably better off not replacing the whole 10% for papaya, maybe only half.
Yes, undoubtedly, papaya is suitable for your dog in small amounts, only after you have proceeded slowly and there hasn’t been any adverse or allergic reaction. There are also some medical conditions that we have discussed where it’s better not to feed papaya to your dog. At the very least, speak to your vet first before you offer papaya to your dog.
Papaya is best served fresh, and to make it even more satisfying, make sure the papaya is nice and cold; the fruit holds its shape and texture better, especially very ripe papaya.
You shouldn’t feed the skin or seeds to your dog; they have no nutritional benefit, do not taste good, and potentially could make your dog ill.
Never overfeed papaya, and always count what you give as part of the overall 10% total of daily treats. Because there are health benefits to the fruit, it doesn’t imply the more you give your dog, the more help they get.
If you like the idea of feeding your dog tropical fruits as a treat, you should read about the Jackfruit in this article.