Papaya comes amongst the summer-favorite fruits which have soft, buttery, and creamy flesh. It is a tropical fruit which is also known as Pawpaw or Papaia. It is rich in anti-oxidants and a lot of nutrients including Vitamin A, C, and E. The fruit contains enzymes that offer a lot of health benefits like promoting healthy digestion as well as reduction of inflammation inside the body. But, can your rabbit enjoy the same benefits from this fruit as humans do? Can rabbits eat papaya?
The answer is Yes. It is safe for rabbits to eat papaya as it does not contain any type of toxicity. This fruit is not just beneficial for human health, but also advantageous for rabbit’s well-being too. It aids in boosting the skin and fur health of the bunny and also helps in relieving the symptoms of inflammation and upset stomach. You can also find papaya as an ingredient in several commercial rabbit treats and pellets. But, it should be fed to rabbits in moderation because of the high sugar content in it.
Let’s learn more about the nutritional value of this fruit and also its benefits and effects on rabbits.
Is It Safe To Feed Papaya To Rabbits?
Yes, it is completely safe to feed this summer bounty in small quantities to rabbits. It works as a healthy treat better than commercially sold treats. The good thing is, papaya flesh is not at all toxic to our little furry pals. So, you can consider giving your rabbit a taste of this creamy fruit without putting your bunny’s life in danger.
This tropical fruit is not just a sweet treat, it has the capability to give a boost to your bunny’s overall health. It is because papaya is rich in a variety of vitamins, minerals, as well as antioxidants. This makes this fruit nutritionally adequate for rabbits to eat. The nutritional content in 1 cup or 100g of ripe raw papaya is:
- Vitamin A – 152mcg
- Vitamin C – 60mg
- Calories – 43
- Carotenoids – 1679mcg
- Fiber – 2 grams
- Folate – 37mcg
- Potassium – 140mg
All these vitamins and minerals are necessary and beneficial for the overall well-being of a rabbit. In addition to these, this yellowish-orange tropical fruit also contains an appropriate amount of micronutrients, such as Pantothenic Acid, Choline, and various other antioxidants.
So, if your bun loves the taste of papaya, you can add some of it to your rabbit’s diet. It will work as a healthy supplement.
However, papaya is not an alternative to the main diet of rabbits. It can only be served as a treat in small quantities. Overfeeding papaya to rabbits can result in some health complications as the fruit has sugar and calorie content in it.
Health Benefits Of Feeding Papaya To Rabbits
Papaya is a tasty fruit, but it is also full of disease-fighting nutrients. Let’s see some of the benefits of feeding papaya to rabbits:
Papaya is rich in antioxidants, such as Vitamin C and beta-carotene. These antioxidants work as a protector of body cells against volatile particles (Free Radicals). Free radicals naturally develop in the body due to natural bodily functions and are known to be partially responsible for diseases, such as arthritis and cancer. Hence, a diet rich in antioxidants is beneficial for rabbits and papaya can help in providing these antioxidants.
Papaya is also known to be good for heart health. It helps in the prevention of the oxidization process of cholesterol in the blood. The oxidization of cholesterol is what makes it sticky. It then sticks to the walls of arteries causing atherosclerosis. All this can further result in heart attack and stroke.
The chances of heart diseases are less in the case of rabbits. It is because rabbits are herbivores and their regular diet, i.e. hay or grass, does not contain cholesterol or saturated fat. But papaya is beneficial for bunnies with great cardiovascular health, too. The anti-inflammatory properties of papaya help in relieving the inflammatory symptoms of diseases like arthritis.
Papaya, by itself, cannot cure any disease. But consuming it can provide some relief and decrease some symptoms like reducing inflammation in the body, improving joint mobility, and calming swelling and pain.
Papaya is also effective in decreasing the risk of infections in rabbits by improving their immune system. The presence of Vitamin A and C in papaya can support the immune health of bunnies.
Papaya is a healthy alternative to sugar-loaded commercially sold junky pet treats.
Feeding a teaspoon of papaya flesh to rabbits once or twice a week can solve the issue of hairball in rabbits. This tropical fruit contains digestive enzymes which make the digestive function better. This helps in dissolving the hair strands in the stomach making the furball smaller so that it can easily pass through the gastrointestinal tract.
What Happens When You Overfeed Papaya To Your Rabbit?
It is fitting that papaya offers a plethora of health benefits to rabbits. But, it does contain some amount of natural sugar and calories. A rabbit’s body does not require many calories and its delicate stomach finds it difficult to digest sugary foods. Additionally, overeating papaya means high sugar intake which can result in the growth of bacteria in the gut leading to gastrointestinal complexities. Also, consuming too much papaya can lead to various stomach problems such as:
- Pain in the stomach,
- Irregular stool,
- Bloating, and
- GI Stasis.
Not only this, the sugar content in papaya can make your rabbit gain weight resulting in obesity. So, if you are treating your rabbit with papaya, make sure to serve only a teaspoon or two of it once in a while.
Can Rabbits Eat Papaya Skin/Peel?
Papaya skin does not contain any toxic content. But, still, we do not recommend feeding it to rabbits as it does not have much nutritional value and is not tasty too. When you peel the skin of papaya, a latex-like-looking sap comes out of it. It is a sticky compound that is not at all tasty and messy too. If it sticks to the rabbit’s fur or face, it could be really daunting to clean up this mess. If by chance it comes in contact with your bunny’s eyes, it can cause irritation. To clean this latex-like substance from your rabbit’s fur, soak it in some mineral oil and then clean it using some soap water.
Can Rabbits Eat Unripe/Green Papaya?
Green unripe papaya is popularly used in Asia as a vegetable rather than a fruit. It is either be consumed cooked or uncooked.
It is cooked to mainly remove its astringent taste or sometimes lime is added to it to make it tasty. The same latex-type substance comes out of the unripe papaya too. All in all, green papaya is a vegetable that doesn’t taste good and is, therefore, not advisable to be given to your rabbit. Just stick to the yellow ripe ones to feed your rabbit.
Can Rabbits Eat Papaya Seeds?
You will find hard black seeds at the center of papaya fruit. These are average-sized seeds that are completely non-toxic. But, rabbits have small throat and, if consumed, these seeds can get stuck in the throat and choke it. It can affect breathing and if extended for a longer time, can result in the death of the rabbit. So, whenever you give a slice of papaya to your little furball, make sure you remove all the seeds from it.
There you have it. Now you know the answer to the question: can rabbits eat papaya? Papaya is completely safe and healthy for the rabbits to eat. Just be mindful about giving only a small amount of it once or twice a week. It has the capability to deal with digestion issues, improves cardiovascular health, has anti-inflammatory properties, and is a storehouse of essential nutrients. so you can go ahead and give your bunny this tasty summer treat.