Can My Dog Eat Papaya?
Your pup's in luck with this sweet treat.
Papaya is a tasty fruit to eat, especially during its peak season of early summer and fall. But is this sweet treat a safe and healthy fruit snack for your dog to enjoy, too?
We reached out to Dr. Megan Conrad, a licensed veterinarian with Hello Ralphie, and Samantha Henson, a certified clinical pet nutritionist with Next Generation Pet Wellness, for more insight. If your pup has ever seemed curious about this tropical fruit, read on to see if it’s a safe option for snacktime.
Can dogs eat papaya, and if so, how much is a safe amount?
Yes! Papayas can be a tasty addition to your dog’s diet if fed properly. As for the amount of papaya your dog can enjoy, as with most foods, moderation is key.
“Dogs can safely eat fresh papaya from time to time,” Dr. Conrad told The Dodo. “As with any fresh fruit, it does contain natural sugars, and too much of it can cause stomach upset. Fruit in general also contains natural fiber, which can be overdone and cause stomach problems. As with all good things, a few bites of papaya for a treat once in a while is best.”
What part of the papaya is best for dogs to eat, and should you avoid anything?
As you’re cutting up a fresh papaya to share with your dog, you’ll want to avoid the skin and seeds, as papaya seeds contain trace amounts of cyanide, and papaya skin can cause intestinal blockage if ingested.
When it comes to preparation, Henson confirmed, “You want to make sure to avoid the skin and seeds, and just offer the orangey-pink fleshy part of the fruit. Typically I recommend a half ounce for every 30 pounds of dog. A little goes a long way!”
Will eating a papaya offer any health benefits to my dog?
Papayas offer a range of health benefits to both humans and their pets. While many fruits have a high sugar content, papayas are not one of them.
Henson said, “The papaya is touted for its high fiber, low sugar content, digestive enzymes, and its team of antioxidant-loaded vitamins. Dogs also happen to really like the flavor.”
When it comes to combating a dog’s health issues the natural way, papayas can be a great resource. “I love using papaya for my patients with damaged gut microbiomes, yeast issues, diabetes and obesity,” Henson added. “Surprisingly, a papaya’s sugar content is even lower than some berries.”
What if my dog has existing health issues? Can dogs eat papaya if they have stomach issues?
It’s always a good idea to consult your dog’s veterinarian when introducing new foods to your dog, especially if he has any existing stomach problems.
“If your pet has a sensitive gastrointestinal tract, is predisposed to GI diseases like pancreatitis, or has other chronic diseases, such as diabetes, consult your veterinarian before sharing a papaya with your dog,” Dr. Conrad said. “And if feeding papaya, stick to fresh fruit and avoid other preparations such as dried, canned or juices as these often have higher sugar content or additives that can be dangerous, such as xylitol.”
So, the next time you see a fresh, ripe papaya at the market, bring one home to share with your pup. Eaten in moderation, this fruit can be a delicious choice to add to your dog’s diet. But remember, snacks, whether papaya or your pup’s favorite treat, should only make up 10 percent of what your dog eats, according to Dr. Conrad.
Just don’t blame us if eating a papaya puts you in the mood for a tropical beach vacation (one that’s dog-friendly, of course)!