Is Papaya Good for Dogs?
We are now up to the letter “P” in our dog food ingredient series. Today we are writing about the use of papaya in dog food.
What is Papaya?
Common names for Papaya
The most common names for papaya include melon tree, papaw and papaya fruit. In dog food we will only see either papaya or papain (an enzyme extracted from papaya) listed in some foods’ ingredients.
Why is Papaya in Dog Food?
Papaya provides many health benefits (see below) including improved digestion. It is also a flavor enhancer and source of sweetness.
Is Papaya Commonly Used in Dog Food?
Papaya or papain is in about 5.25% of all dog foods. It is far more common in wet food than in dry. 92% of the dog foods containing papaya or papain were wet, while only 8% were dry.
Common Benefits or Risks of Papaya
Papaya is a good source of fiber. Papaya is used for preventing and treating gastrointestinal tract disorders, intestinal parasite infections, and as a sedative and diuretic.
The enzyme papain in papaya can help the body break down and digest proteins.
A small papaya fruit (~150 g) contains about 70 calories and is loaded with Vitamin C. Papaya is also a source of Vitamin A and the minerals magnesium, calcium, and iron.
There are no known risks of using papaya in the food of normally healthy dogs.
Slimdoggy Ingredient Comfort Level
Papaya is a healthy ingredient to have in a dog food recipe and it gets the SlimDoggy Happy rating.
Miscellaneous facts about Papaya
Papaya plants come in three sexes: “male,” “female,” and “hermaphrodite.” The male produces only pollen, never fruit. The female will produce small, inedible fruits unless pollinated. The hermaphrodite can self-pollinate since its flowers contain both male stamens and female ovaries.
Sources and further reading
Editor’s note: to view all of the dog food ingredients we have covered, search on the tag “ingredients” or click here:
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