With summer right around the corner, I’ve been searching for some nice cool treats that I could make for Sherman and Leroy.
While they both would be happy with a few plain ice cubes during the day I like to try and give them something that’s has a little more nutritional value to it.
That sounds a lot easier than it is since Leroy has IBD. It’s actually not a good thing to give him too much variety in his diet because any small change can throw him into a flare-up.
That means I have to be super careful and make sure that it’s introduced slowly to him and that it’s something that is easy and beneficial for his GI system.
Last year we tried frozen cucumber and watermelon frozen treats and since both these foods are mostly water, it went over well and Leroy loved them.
This year I’ve decided to try papaya.
Papaya was actually talked about in the IBD group that I’m apart of on Facebook and after some research, it seems as though some internal med vets recommended this fruit for dogs with gastrointestinal issues, such as IBD.
What is papaya?
Papaya is a fruit that grows on a tree-like plant. The fruit is shaped like a sphere or a pear and it can be as long as 20 inches.
Papayas that are commonly found in the store are usually about 7 inches long and weigh about one pound. The flesh is a rich orange color with either yellow or pink hues. A papaya that is not ripe will have a green flesh.
Papaya has a soft, butter-like consistency and a deliciously sweet, musky taste. Inside the inner cavity of the fruit are black, round seeds
Papayas seeds should not be consumed to dogs as they can cause an intestinal blockage and contain trace amounts of cyanide.
The fruit, as well as the other parts of the papaya tree, contain papain. Papain is an enzyme that helps digest proteins. Papain is extracted to make digestive enzyme dietary supplements and is also used in many dog foods, especially wet dog foods.
Nutritional Values of papaya
Papaya provides many health benefits including improved digestion. It is packed with fiber and contains rich sources of antioxidant nutrients such as carotenes, vitamin C and flavonoids; the B vitamins, folate, and pantothenic acid; and the minerals, potassium, copper, and magnesium.
Papaya contains several unique protein-digesting enzymes including papain and chymopapain. These enzymes have been shown to help lower inflammation.
In addition, the antioxidant nutrients found in papaya, including vitamin C and beta-carotene, are also very good at reducing inflammation.
How To Give Papaya To Dogs
We always recommend checking with your vet before introducing any new food to your dog and if they give you the go ahead you can slowly start introducing it into their diet.
After removing the seeds and the skin you can cut papaya up in bite size pieces and give them to your dog or you can pop some pieces in the blender, add some water and make nice, cool frozen papaya treats for your dog in the summer.
You can even mash it and mix it in their food.
Papaya should always be given in moderation or it could cause diarrhea and GI upset in some dogs.
Where to buy papaya
Purchasing papaya will depend on where you live. The local grocery stores in my town did not have papaya but I did find them at Costco. They varied in size and some were huge. They also were green so it took a few days for them to ripen.
How to make frozen papaya dog treats
Making frozen papaya dog treats are about as easy as it gets once you locate the fruit.
I bought 2 papayas, one large-about 10 inches, and one average size.
Cut the papaya in half.
Scoop out the seeds with a large spoon.
Peel the skin.
Cut into small-medium size pieces.
Place in blender
Blend until smooth
Pour into molds.
Freeze overnight or for about 6 hours.
I made half like this for Leroy and the other half I layered the top of the mold with fat-free Greek yogurt for Sherman.
I used half of a large papaya and 1/2 cup of water to blend to a nice consistency and it made 10 paw prints, 18 small bones and there was a little left over.
Next, I placed the frozen papaya treats in a freezer bag and they should stay good for about 10-12 months if sealed properly, however, ours will definitely not last that long because the boys love them!
- (1) Large Papaya
- Fat-free Greek yogurt
- Cut the papaya in half.
- Scoop out the seeds with a large spoon and discard.
- Peel the rind.
- Cut into small-medium size pieces.
- Place in blender
- Add water
- Blend until smooth
- Pour into molds.
- Freeze overnight or for about 6 hours.
*Optional fill mold 1/2 way with blended water and papaya. Freeze for about 3 hours and then top with fat-free Greek yogurt and freeze for another 3 hours.
Give treats in moderation to avoid GI upset