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Can My Cat Eat This?

Can Dogs Have Papaya?

Who knew papayas could be such a sweet treat for pups?

by Daniela Lopez
Updated September 1, 2020
A black lab sitting outside eating a squash treat.
Photo: V Pictures / Shutterstock

Your pet wants you to read our newsletter. (Then give them a treat.)

Can dogs eat papayas? Yup, dogs can safely eat papaya when fed in moderation. This fruit native to Mexico is a good source of essential fiber, vitamins and minerals. But, like other overly sweet fruits (pineapple, anyone?), papaya contains a lot of natural sugar, which can cause a mild stomach upset if your pup overeats. So don’t go overboard. How much papaya depends on the size of your dog — a few bites are more than enough. Papaya is best served to dogs fresh, so steer clear of dehydrated and freeze-dried, which are overly concentrated in sugars.

Benefits of papayas for dogs.

If you’re looking for a sweet summer treat for your pup, this tropical fruit also has plenty of nutritional benefits too. Like other fruits, papaya is loaded with fiber (see you later, constipation). They’re also a good source of beta-carotene (vitamin A), which the body can use as an antioxidant and vitamin C which benefits a dog’s immune system. Here’s a breakdown of the benefits of papaya for dogs:

  • Vitamins A, C, K, and E support your dog’s immune system and help build proteins.

  • Fiber aids in digestion and supports the gut biome, reducing the risk of chronic diseases.

  • Minerals like calcium and potassium ensure strong bones and muscle function.

  • Digestive enzymes help break down nutrients from food, providing optimal absorption.

Can dogs eat papaya skin and seeds?

Avoid feeding your pup papaya skin which is much too thick to properly digest; it could cause a mild stomach upset or, worse, potentially lead to intestinal obstruction. Similarly, papaya seeds are generally not recommended for dogs because they could cause stomach irritation and contain trace amounts of cyanide. Not good for pups.

How should papayas be served to dogs?

When it comes to papayas, fresh is best. Remove the skin and seeds, leaving only the fleshy orange meat. Cut it into small chunks or include it in a dog treat recipe like the one below.

If your pet has any gastrointestinal issues, is sensitive to GI conditions like pancreatitis or has other health conditions (like allergies or diabetes), don’t serve your dog papaya. As always, before introducing any new food, consult your veterinarian with any questions or concerns.

Homemade Papaya Fricassee Dog Treat Recipe

Home cooking helps you feed ’em well for less.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb. ground meat (beef or turkey with moderate fat content)

  • 1 10 oz. package frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed dry, or 1.25 pounds fresh spinach leaves

  • 1 cup cooked brown rice or barley

  • 2 Tbsp. fish, safflower or olive oil

  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, mashed

  • 2 ripe papayas, peeled, cored, mashed (may substitute canned pumpkin if papaya is unavailable)

  • 1 tsp. iodized salt

DIRECTIONS

1. Mix ingredients in a large bowl.

2. Line a 9" baking pan with waxed paper

3. Put the mixture into the pan.

4. Bake in a preheated 325°F oven for one hour.

Cool before serving.

Nutritional Information

Yields approximately 6 cups, which feeds a medium-sized dog for about 1.5 days at 4 cups per day. Serving size: 2 cups.

Per Serving

  • Energy: 730 calories

  • Protein: 52 grams

  • Carbohydrates: 58 grams

  • Fat: 32 grams

  • Omega-3 fatty acids: 1 gram

  • Dietary fiber: 14 grams

  • Calcium: 180 mg

Important: Many veterinarians, while acknowledging that pet food recalls and the poor quality of some pet foods are causes for concern, still feel that homemade dog food diets, when fed exclusively, may result in nutritional imbalances and vitamin/mineral deficiencies that may pose threats to canine health. Therefore, if you choose to feed your dog homemade dog food, it is important that you understand and provide what your dog needs to stay healthy; veterinary nutritionists can assist in developing suitable homemade diets. While caution was taken to give safe recommendations and accurate instructions in this article, it is impossible to predict an individual dog’s reaction to any food or ingredient. Readers should consult their vets and use personal judgment when applying this information to their own dogs’ diets.

This homemade papaya fricassee recipe for dogs comes from pet nutritionist Roschelle Heuberger, PhD’s article on how to save money with homemade dog food.

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daniela lopez

Daniela Lopez

Daniela Lopez is a digital media specialist and long-time contributor to The Bark.