A fruit native to Mexico but now grown in many places of the world, the papaya is known as the “superfruit” due to its abundance of healthy vitamins, minerals and enzymes. With a vast range of health benefits and a low sugar content, this sweet tasting fruit will leave anyone wanting more, especially your dog!
Any responsible dog-owner prior to feeding their dog a new food will inevitably ask themselves, “Is this safe for my dog?”. The answer would be yes. Papayas can prove to be a very beneficial nutritional supplement that will likely improve your dog’s quality of life in many aspects. Just like any human food fed to dogs, moderation and correct preparation is key.
Health Benefits Of Papaya Consumption
Despite its sweet taste, papayas have a surprisingly low sugar content, which already makes it a safer option for your dog compared to other fruits. Excess amounts of sugar are not common in a dogs diet, and could potentially leave them with an upset stomach. The low sugar content also makes it a safer option if your dog happens to be diabetic!
Packed with Vitamins A, C, E and K, papayas are an excellent source of food to boost your dog’s immune system, while ensuring the proper functioning of internal organs.
The fiber content of papayas is very rich, and will assist in your dog’s healthy bowel movements with proper clearing of the gastrointestinal tract. The fiber it contains will also help deter obesity by improving digestion.
With 100% of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin C in one papaya, this fruit will help ward off arthritis in your dog, or even help ease the pain and discomfort they experience if they are already dealing with arthritis.
The minerals Potassium and Calcium are found in this fruit, and these can promote healthy bone growth in dogs of all ages, as well as assisting in proper heart functioning.
The beta-carotene pigment in papayas is a powerful antioxidant that converts to Vitamin A in the body. This antioxidant will help keep your dog’s eye, skin and immune system health in check.
Proper Way To Feed Your Dog Papaya
Two main principles to always keep in mind when preparing a papaya snack for your dog is; peel the skin, remove the seeds. These two steps are very important, as seeds can pose a choking hazard, and the skin will not digest properly in their system, likely passing through undigested. This could lead to an upset stomach, vomiting and appetite change. Both are nonessential components of the fruit that your dog does not need to eat.
Preparing the papaya by cutting it in small and reasonable sizes, pertaining to your dogs size, is the best course of action. Your dog does not need to take on the risk of eating a whole papaya at once. This is because an excessive amount is not necessary, as they only need a small amount to reap the benefits. Abundant amounts of Vitamin A can become toxic in some cases.
The idea of drying and dehydrating the fruit before feeding it to your dog is relatively popular, but this is also not necessary, as the dried fruit raises its overall sugar content. As mentioned, sugar is not common in a dogs diet, so dehydrating the fruit and raising its sugar content would not be recommended.
Freezing small pieces of papaya before feeding can help deter the dental decay your dog may experience due to some of the acidic properties found in papayas.
Always remember; your dogs papaya and human-food consumption should never take up more than ten percent of their overall daily diet. Many of the vitamins and nutrients they need should be readily available in their commercial or home-cooked meals.
Prepare Correctly, Realize Benefits!
As you can see, papayas offer a vast range of health benefits that can contribute to the quality of life in both humans and dogs. Packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, the papaya fruit almost seems too good to be true. Be sure to keep in mind; always prepare the fruit correctly before your dog’s consumption, observe how they react to it, and adjust accordingly! If fed in a moderate and responsible manner, papayas will prove to be a very nutritious supplement your dog will go crazy for!
Jha, Sameer. “11 Health Benefits of Papaya.” 11 Health Benefits of Papayas, 2015, www.msn.com/en-in/health/nutrition/11-health-benefits-of-papayas/ar-AA2bCze.
Newman, Tim. “What Is Beta Carotene? What Are the Benefits?” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 14 Dec. 2017, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/252758.php.