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Food & Diet

Pups and Papaya – Ya or Nah?

At A Glance

Papayas are an excellent source of vitamin C and an enzyme called papain, which helps break down protein in the dog’s food, making it easier for them to digest. That said, it is recommended to feed your dogs only the ripe flesh of the fruit and nothing else. Here are a couple of points to keep in mind while feeding your dog papaya:

  • Feed in moderate amounts, and never the seeds, peel, or stem of a papaya plant
  • Keep an eye out for adverse reaction

Last Updated on: Jul 10, 2023


As long as the ‘ya’ in papaya alludes to “yes” as a globally accepted vocal gesture, dogs can eat papaya in its ripe form.

The sweet and creamy melon-like fruit is native to Central America and Southern Mexico. Fresh ripe papayas-exhibiting shades of sunny yellow or bright red-are safe for dogs, but only in moderation. Moreover, the fruit shouldn’t replace the regularly recommended snacks for the dog.

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The “Ya” In Papaya

Papaya is rich in vitamins, namely C, A, K, and E, and fiber, which is ideal for dog health. As a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C helps fight harmful free radicals in dogs which can trigger inflammation, chronic diseases, and cognitive decline. Papaya is also rich in minerals, such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, and folate, which are beneficial to dog health.

Papaya also contains an enzyme called papain, which helps break down protein in the dog’s food, enabling digestion. Papayas can therefore be helpful for dogs with digestive issues, such as constipation or diarrhea. Also, since papaya is a low-calorie fruit, it is a good option to help maintain a healthy weight. Some studies also suggest that papayas may have anti-cancer properties.

Papaya Parts That Dogs Can Eat

Can Dogs Eat Papaya - Papaya Parts That Dogs Can Eat

You should only serve your dog the ripe flesh of the fruit and nothing else. Although dogs can consume the flesh of raw/green papaya, it isn’t sweet or soft to chew. As a result, chances are your dog wouldn’t even want to touch it.

Antoinette Martin, DVM, says, “Dogs can safely eat fresh papaya in moderation. However, it’s best to only serve your pup the ripe flesh of the fruit because the peel and seeds can upset your dog’s stomach.”

Parts of Papaya Dogs Shouldn’t Eat and Why

Skin and Peel

Papaya skin contains latex, a milky fluid produced by some plants, including the papaya tree. The papaya tree produces latex, which is a mixture of proteins, enzymes, and other compounds, as a defense against pests or diseases.

This is one of many reasons why papaya skin and peel shouldn’t be fed to dogs; it can cause severe allergic reactions.


Like apple seeds or cherry pits, papaya seeds contain cyanide in small quantities. Consuming large amounts of papaya seed could be toxic for the dog and result in intestinal blockage.


Papaya stems are a choking hazard as they are tough and fibrous, making it hard for the dog to chew and swallow. Besides, papaya stems are not known to provide any particular nutritional benefits.


Dogs should never eat papaya leaves as their bodies may fail to digest the fibrous content in a papaya leaf. Also, they taste bitter.

Can Dogs Eat Papaya Enzymes?

Can Dogs Eat Papaya - Can Dogs Eat Papaya Enzymes

Yes! As long as the pet shows no signs of an allergy to papaya.

Supplements that contain papaya enzymes contain papain. As mentioned earlier, it is an enzyme found in the fruit.

The benefits of papaya enzyme tablets for dogs include the following:

  • Easy digestion by breaking down proteins in the dog food
  • Alleviating indigestion symptoms such as bloating, diarrhea, gas, and constipation
  • Strengthening the dog’s immune system
  • Improving skin health

It’s important to note that over-the-counter papaya enzyme tablets are a big no, especially without consulting a veterinarian. Always inform your vet before giving any new food or supplement to your dog.

It is equally important to follow the extract’s dosage instructions on the label or as prescribed by the vet.

Can Dogs Eat Papaya Whole?

As you may have already figured it out, the answer is no. Put simply, the ripe flesh of the papaya is what is ideal for dogs. So, remove the skin, scoop out the seeds, and cut the papaya’s flesh into small pieces before feeding them to your dog as treats.

Steve Smith, an ardent animal lover, says, “Papaya fruit is safe for dogs. The fruit contains calcium, magnesium, various vitamins, and high levels of fiber. The papain in the fruit helps digest foods that would otherwise cause flatulence. Diabetic dogs should get tiny amounts because of the sugar content. Too much of the fruit can actually increase flatulence because of the high levels of fiber and cause sticky bowel movements, so start with small amounts.”

Additionally, Dr. Megan Conrad, a licensed veterinarian, says, “If feeding dogs 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.”

Risks of Feeding Papaya to Your Dog

Can Dogs Eat Papaya - Risks of Feeding Papaya to Your Dog

While the flesh of the papaya fruit is safe for dogs to eat, there are certain risk factors you should be aware of.

  • Some dogs may be allergic to papayas and may experience symptoms such as itching, shivers, or difficulty breathing
  • Papaya enzymes interact with blood-thinning medications. It’s therefore important to consult with your veterinarian before giving your fur babies papaya.
  • The skin, seeds, and stem of a papaya can cause digestive problems and are not safe to be fed to dogs.

Fun Ways to Add Papaya to Your Dog’s Diet

Now that you know that only the ripe flesh of papaya is safe for your furry friend, don’t hesitate to get creative.

  • Pureeing ripe papaya and mixing it with dog food can make the food more scrumptious, which can be particularly beneficial for dogs who have difficulty swallowing.
  • Blend ripe papaya with low-fat yogurt and a bit of honey, and voila! You’ve got a healthy smoothie for your doggo. You may add some ice cubes to make it more refreshing
  • Mix ripe papaya with oats, flour, and egg to make a healthy homemade dog treat.
  • Small amounts of papaya also go well with cheese, peanut butter, meat, poultry, or fish.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Dogs Eat Papaya - Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Papaya Can I Give My Dog?

As a rule of thumb, dog parents must feed half a gram of papaya per pound of the dog’s body weight. It is advised not to exceed this amount. The consumption of papaya should not make up a significant portion of your dog’s diet.

The fruit is far from being a complete source of nutrition for dogs. Papaya should be fed as a treat in moderation and accompanied by a balanced diet.

Can Dogs Drink Papaya Juice?

It is generally safe for dogs to drink small amounts of papaya juice made from nothing but the flesh of the fruits (no peels, seed, stem, or leaves). Additionally, ensure that the juice does not contain any added sugars or preservatives.

It is always a good practice to give your dog fresh water after feeding them any kind of juice.

Is Raw Papaya Bad for Dogs?

Although dogs can eat small amounts of raw papaya (flesh only), it wouldn’t be pleasant for dogs. The flesh would be harder to chew and may contain latex that can cause allergic reactions.

Moderate amounts of ripe papaya flesh are best for dogs.

Are Dogs Allergic to Papaya?

Although it is not common for dogs to be allergic to papaya, the possibility exists. Food allergies in dogs are caused by an abnormal reaction to proteins in food. Although allergies to fruits, like papaya, are rare, dogs may still have an adverse reaction to it.

It wouldn’t hurt to monitor your dog for reactions after introducing a new food. If conditions persist, consult a veterinarian.



Meet Paul, a devoted dog dad to the delightful French Bulldog, Cofi. With a flair for humor and a deep understanding of Frenchie quirks, Paul brings a lighthearted touch to his writings. His relatable stories and practical insights are a blend of laughter and valuable advice and resonate with fellow dog owners.

Through his words, Paul aims to celebrate the joys and challenges of being a dedicated pet parent, reminding you that life is simply better with a four-legged, snorting sidekick by your side.