Can Dogs Eat Papaya?
Pet parents commonly ask their vet about the toxicity of various human foods for dogs, since internet research isn’t always dependable. Papaya is a perfect example, since various sources note it as either safe or potentially toxic. This article will shed some light on the safety of papaya for dogs and provide appropriate serving methods.
What Is a Papaya?
Papaya is a tropical tree fruit grown in South America and Eastern North America. In North America, the papaya tree is known as the “papaw” or “pawpaw” tree. The fruit is generally green when picked, but its skin turns yellow as it ripens. The center of the fruit contains several black seeds.
Papaya is a slightly sweet fruit commonly used in pies, juices, salads, and sherbets. Fresh papaya is commonly cut in half, deseeded, sliced, and served cold or at room temperature. The seeds and skin are not ingested.
When researching the safety of papaya for dogs, there are several things that need to be considered:
- First is the potential for gastrointestinal blockage from the seeds and skin of the fruit. Dogs in tropical areas where papaya trees grow have exposure to the whole fruit and can develop gastrointestinal issues and potential blockage. The same is true for dogs that have exposure to the trash and eat the skin or large amounts of seeds.
- The second danger is the risk of choking when eating the skin or large pieces of the fruit.
- The third consideration is that papaya seeds contain small amounts of cyanide, which is toxic. However, this amount is small enough to be considered insignificant. In fact, papaya seeds have many health benefits for humans.
So, can dogs eat papaya?
Yes, dogs can eat papaya. They often love the soft texture of this delicious fruit and enjoy it as a healthy snack. Vitamins and minerals are just as important for dogs as they are for humans. Papaya is a good source of water, fiber, potassium, calcium, folate, and vitamins A, C, E, and K. Papaya is also known for its digestive enzymes.
The Dangers of Papaya for Dogs
It is the seeds and peel of the papaya that are dangerous for dogs. Ingestion of large amounts of papaya skin or seeds has the potential to cause gastrointestinal blockage. A few papaya seeds are not likely to be harmful, but it is recommended to cut out the seeds before feeding to your dog. The papaya skin is also hard to digest and can cause intestinal blockage when eaten.
Although papaya is considered safe, large amounts of fruit are not a natural part of a dog’s diet and can cause gastrointestinal issues. It’s also hard to predict how your pet will react to this fruit, since all dogs respond differently to new additions to their diet.
Do Dogs Need Papaya?
The papaya fruit does not offer anything necessary to a dog’s diet. What dogs do need is a high-quality, AAFCO-approved dog food. Learn more about Nutrition in Dogs here.
Can You Feed Dehydrated or Dried Papaya to Dogs?
You can feed dogs small pieces (and small portions) of dehydrated or dried papaya. However, this preparation may not agree with some dogs and may cause gastrointestinal problems due to the high sugar content.
The Safest Way to Feed Papaya to Dogs
The safest way to give papaya to your dog is to offer small pieces of sliced papaya after you have removed the seeds and skin.