Monday, 25 November 2013

Fresh Papaya for Dogs and Cats – Healthful Dietary Supplement, Nutraceutical

 In this article...
    1. History of Papaya
    2. Health Uses, Benefits of Papaya for your Dog and Cat
    3. Selecting and Use
    4. Preparing the Papaya
    5. How to Add Fresh Papaya to Your Dog’s, Cat’s Daily Diet
    6. Daily Dosage

1.0 History of Papaya
The papaya tree is a tropical plant that is native to Central America. The early Portuguese and Spanish explorers are responsible for the introduction of the papaya tree to other subtropical locations such as Africa, India and the Philippines. Papaya trees have also been introduced to the warmer parts of North America such as Florida and Hawaii, and countries such as Mexico and Puerto Rico. The papaya is the fruit of the tree.

2.0 Health Uses, Benefits of Papaya for your Dog and Cat

The enzymes in papaya contain properties that are very beneficial…
  • Anti-inflammatory;
    • Papaya contains papain and chymopapain – two unique protein-digesting enzymes  that help to reduce:
      • Inflammation;
      • Improve healing from burns;
    • The high levels of vitamin C, E and beta-caratene also help to reduce inflammation;
    • These anti-inflammatory qualities are helpful in treating inflammatory conditions such as:
      •  Asthma;
      •  Cancer;
      • Osteoarthritis;
      • Rheumatoid arthritis;
  • Anti-fungal
    • Natural treatment for ringworm;

  • Antioxidents
    • Papaya is a rich source of antioxidents including:
      • B vitamins;
        • Carotenes;
        • Beta carotene is used by the body to make Vitamin A;
        • Vitamin A is required to support healthy bones, cells and skin;
      • Flavonoids; 
        • Such as Lycopene; 
        • Lycopene is thought to reduce the risk of 
        • Cancer; 
        • Heart disease, and; 
        • Macular degeneration; 
        • Yellow fleshed papaya contains no lycopene; 
        • Red-fleshed Papaya contains a high level of lycopene; 
        • Folate; 
        • Vitamin A, C and E; 
        • Papaya has one of the highest concentrations of Vitamin C found in fruits; 
        • Vitamin C enables the body’s production of collagen – an essential for the health of bones, gums, muscles and teeth; 
  • Minerals: 
    • Magnesium; 
    • Potassium; 
      • Essential to keeping blood pressure at a normal level;
  • Cancer protection;
    • Colon Cancer:
      • Papaya helps provide protection against colon cancer;
        • The fibre in papaya helps to bind to cancer-causing toxins in the colon, thus protecting healthy colon cells from damage;
        • The high levels of Vitamin C, E and beta-carotene also help to protect against colon cancer;
    • Prostate Cancer;
      • Adding papaya and green tea (use decaffeinated green tea only for dogs and cats) to the daily diet can significantly decreases the risk of prostate cancer;

  • Cardiovascular Health;
    • Papaya promotes the health of the cardiovascular system;
      • The carotenoids help prevent the oxidation of cholesterol – which…
      • Aids in the protection of:
        • Atherosclerosis;
        • Diabetic heart disease;
      • Supports cardiovascular health by enabling a healthy heart beat.

  • Dewormer
    • Parasite remedy, natural dewormer
      • Papaya helps to irritate and destroy worms in the Gastrointestinal Tract (GI Tract);
      • Read more about natural dewormers here;
  • Digestive health;
    • The enzyme papain aids in the digestion of proteins and also helps alleviate allergies;
      • Papain is similar to Bromelain – a digestive enzyme derived from pineapples which is also to aid digestion, treat allergies, muscle, tendon, ligment injuries and trauma;
    • Papaya is an excellent source of fibre.;

  • Eye Health;
      • The high levels of vitamin A, C and E and carotenoids found in Papaya help to prevent against:
        • Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), and;
        • Neovascular ARMD (associated with complete vision loss);
          • For more on natural support for eye health you can read here;

  • Immune System Health
    • The high level of vitamin A and C are immune system supporting and can selp in the fight against:
    • Colds;
    • Flu – canine influenza;

  • Muscle Health
    • Supports healthy muscle development and maintenance;

3.0 Selecting and Use

  • As always, organic is always best;
  • As noted above the red-fleshed Papaya has more health promoting properties than the yellow-fleshed papaya;
  • Look for Papaya’s that are slightly soft to the touch as papayas that are very hard will remain relatively hard and will not develop the same moisture rich flavour as a softer papaya;
    • Hard papaya is also lower in antioxidant content;
  • Leave the papaya out at room temperature until it starts to soften;
  • Once ripe store in the refrigerator and within a few days of ripening prepare as follows…

4.0 To Prepare the Papaya
  • Remove the skin of the papaya;
  • Remove the seeds;
  • Finely chop or mince by hand or using a food processor or blender;

5.0 How to Add Fresh Papaya to Your Dog’s or Cat’s
      Daily Diet
  • Mix the papaya in with your companion animal’s regular food at meal time;
  • Make a *yogurt or kefir, papaya and raw unpasteurized honey smoothie as a healthy treat for your dog or cat - simply add as a topper to his//her food or serve as a separate treat;
  • Yes the ASPCA lists dairy as bad for your dog and cat;
    • The ASPCA’s condemnation of dairy is inaccurate and incorrect;
    • Certain types of dairy products such as cheese, kefir and yogurt are very good for most dogs and cats;
    • You can read about the many health benefits and how to choose a good dairy product for your dog or cat here.

6.0 Daily Dosage
  • Small Size Dogs and Cats
    • ½  tsp to 1/8 cup
  • Medium Size dogs;
    •  1 tbs to ¼ cup
  • Large Size Dogs;
    • 2 tbs to ½ cup

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Article and graphics by Karen Rosenfeld. 


  1. Hello Karen...I was wondering, since I can't find fresh Papaya here, can I use a organic powder. The one I am thinking of is from: Navitas Naturals Organic Pomegranate Powder. Says it organic freeze dried. .100% certified organic, kosher, non-GMO, certified gluten-free, vegan and raw.. made from whole pomegranate fruit that is freeze-dried to protect the flavor and nutrients...high in vitamin C 260%....provide an abundance of potent antioxidants including polyphenols and anthocyanins. ..raw, pink powder...serving size says 2 TBS. Is this the right stuff and is 2 TBS too much. Could you please help me, as I have made you homemade food, using option 2 and I need this too, right? Thank you so much for your time and caring self to help others to get the right food, herbs, etc into their doggies life.

    1. Hi Dixie - if you are looking for digestive enzymes - pomegranate does not have that attribute. Pineapple and papaya do.

    2. OMG, I just re-read my question. I just realized I put pomegranate powder. What I meant was can I buy a PAPAYA OR PINEAPPLE ENZYME in powder form? Sorry, I know I didn't mean pomegranate, because your article is about PAPAYA. Thank you Karen, paw hugs!

    3. Hi Dixie - if it is 100% pure, minimally processed raw freeze-d powder by the same company - yes you can use it.

  2. Hello Kare,

    Can papaya be minced in a food processor and then frozen?

  3. Dear Karen, what about dried leaf powder? Is it of any good?
    Thank You,
    Sasha :)

    1. Hi Sasha, yes if it is 100% pure, no fillers, or other additives.

  4. Karen - are papaya enzymes ok? An employee at Royal Tropics (the company that makes papaya I bought) told me the skin is in the supplement but not the seed. He said they sell if to owners of show rabbits all the time but I read the skin is to be avoided.

    1. Hi Johnny, the flesh of the papaya (fresh, or minimally processed - i.e. freeze dried)only for dogs - no skin or seeds.


Important Note

1.0 Use of Foods, Herbs, Alternative Medicines:

Safe use of items and protocols in the article above, is your sole responsibility.

Foods, herbs and alternative medicines have health issue, condition and conventional drug interactions. Safe use of all substances and protocol are your responsibility.

Before you use any substance or protocol do your research. Check for cautions, contradictions, interactions and side effects. Do not use substances or protocols not suitable to your animal's individual circumstances.

If your animal has an underlying condition substances and protocols may conflict.

2.0 Definition of Holistic…

Food, herbs, alternative medicines are NOT ‘holistic’ they are a substance and MAY, or may NOT be ‘NATURAL’.

If you use a ‘natural’ substance (ie. an herb) you are using a natural substance, not a holistic substance.

Holistic is not defined by use of one or several substances. Holistic is an approach.

Definition of “holistic” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press


"relating to the whole of something or to the total system instead of just to its parts"

"Holistic medicine attempts to treat the whole person, including mind and body, not just the injury or disease."

Holistic is a way of approaching life, and within that health, and well-being.

3.0 Expectation a natural substance remedies a health or behavioral situation.

A natural substance used to treat symptoms. But, if factors causing the underlying issue remain you do not have a remedy.

Remedy requires a comprehensive approach. It is necessary to identify root cause. Remove items that trigger, cause or otherwise contribute to issues. Holistic approach includes design, implementation to treat, remedy and maintain long-term health.

4.0 Leave a Comment

I review all comments and publish those deemed appropriate for this site.

I answer questions deemed appropriate when I have time to do so.

Wishing your dog and cat the best of health!

Karen Rosenfeld
Ottawa Valley Dog Whisperer
Holistic Behaviorist - Dogs
Holistic Diet Nutrition Wellness Adviser – Dogs and Cats