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Papain For Dogs: This Enzyme Could Give Your Pup A Health Boost!

Written by: Molly Weinfurter
Molly Weinfurter is a writer for iHeartDogs, and she’s passionate about helping animals in need. She volunteers for Bailing Out Benji and a local dog rescue.Read more
| Published on April 13, 2022

If your dog faces problems with its digestion or immune system, life can be uncomfortable. Sadly, many dogs face internal discomfort without showing obvious symptoms. While manageable, these issues are the easiest to avoid if they’re prevented in advance. So, many dog parents are using enzyme supplements to keep their pups in tiptop shape. These supplements include lots of beneficial enzymes like papain for dogs.

It’s never too early to start learning about enzymes that can improve your dog’s health. No matter your furry friend’s age, they may be able to feel healthier with a special probiotic supplement.

Dog with anxious expression

What is Papain?

Papain is a canine-friendly enzyme that’s extracted from raw papaya. It’s known for breaking down proteins into smaller pieces. So, papain is commonly used for digestive purposes, but it can also be used as a meat tenderizer. It has a wide range of health benefits for both people and animals.

Humans and canines can both reap the benefits of papain by eating raw papaya or taking a supplement containing papain. Papain has been used for a variety of health conditions, including inflammation, allergies, and diarrhea. So, it’s a great way to potentially boost someone’s overall health!

Is Papain Safe for Dogs?

Yes, papain is a safe enzyme commonly used in canine supplements. Yet, like all ingredients, it could affect certain dogs differently. So, if you’ve never given your pup an enzyme supplement before, talk to your vet about it first. They may be able to give you advice based on your dog’s specific needs.

Can Dogs Eat Papaya?

Yes, dogs can also get papain from papaya rather than through supplements. Papaya is packed with vitamins A, K, C, and E. It’s also high in fiber, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. It’s safe for dogs to eat about a half gram of papaya for every pound of body weight.

Certain fruits and vegetables can be healthy for dogs in moderation, but they shouldn’t become an everyday snack. Like most fruits, you should avoid giving your dog papaya seeds. It’s also a good idea to chop the fruit up into smaller pieces before serving your dog.

Scooping out papaya seeds

What Do Enzymes Do?

Every enzyme is different, but they’re important for dogs because they can help speed up metabolism and chemical reactions in the body. Then, your dog may feel healthier and recover faster as a result. Enzymes can build up good substances and break down unnecessary ones. Papain and bromelain are just a few digestive enzymes that can give dogs a health boost.

Related: The 10 Best Calming Supplements for Dogs

Benefits of Papain Enzyme for Dogs

Papain has a wide range of benefits for dogs, but it’s most commonly used for aiding digestion. Here are a few details about how this enzyme can help different areas of your dog’s body.

Reduces Digestive Problems

Like similar enzymes, papain can help with your pup’s tummy troubles. Papain helps dogs digest food and absorb nutrients better, so the risk of diarrhea, vomiting, loose stools, and other digestive issues is reduced. According to a 2013 study, papaya helped lessen constipation and bloating in humans with digestive issues, so your dog is expected to have similar results when consuming papain.

Papain may even be able to help dogs with more severe digestion issues, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Long-term use of digestive enzymes can help reduce symptoms of IBD. Papain is a good alternative for dogs who often have unusual side effects when taking drugs. However, you should always consult your vet before choosing a natural remedy over a prescribed medication.

Has Soothing Properties

In addition to easing tummy troubles, papain may also be able to reduce pain in other areas of the body, such as joints. Dogs with arthritis could experience less inflammation when taking papain. Dogs with allergies may also notice less skin irritation when exposed to allergens. Papain seems to remove the chemicals in your dog’s body that lead to the irritation of allergies, joint pain, and other conditions.

Its anti-inflammatory properties can also help pets heal faster after surgeries. Reducing inflammation isn’t this ingredient’s primary purpose, but it’s an added benefit that your pup will appreciate.

Anxious dog on couch

Manages Certain Side Effects

Since papain is good for promoting healthy digestion and soothing inflammation, it can reduce side effects for some more serious health concerns, such as cancer. If your dog goes through chemotherapy or radiation therapy, they may experience less unusual symptoms after if they’re taking a supplement with papain.

Papain might also remove cells associated with tumors, causing the tumor growth in your dog’s body to slow down. Reducing inflammation around the tumor can also make it grow slower. Papain isn’t used as a sole cancer remedy, but dogs with cancer may receive a significant health boost from it.

Papain Dosage for Dogs

There is no specific papain dosage for dogs. The dosing will vary greatly depending on the supplement you choose. When you purchase an enzyme supplement for your dog, follow the recommended dosage on the container. If you’re unsure about that amount, talk to your vet about how much papain is ideal for your dog.

If you’re worried about how your dog will react to papain, start with a smaller than normal dose. Then, slowly work your way up to the recommended dose and keep an eye out for side effects.

Related: 12 Best Dog Breath Fresheners

Papaya cut open

Side Effects of Papain for Dogs

Enzymes like papain are very safe for dogs and are unlikely to cause side effects. Papain might cause digestion issues, such as diarrhea or an upset stomach, if given in too high of a dose.

If your dog is pregnant or has liver or kidney disease, you should use enzyme supplements cautiously. There’s not enough research to prove how papain will affect dogs in those situations. Contact your vet right away if your dog displays any unusual behaviors after taking a papain supplement.

Related: 10 Best Liver Supplements for Dogs

What Happens if You Miss a Dose?

If you forget to give your dog a dose of their supplement, give it to them when you remember. If you remember too close to their next dose, skip the dose you missed and wait until their next dose. Otherwise, taking doses too close to each other could increase the risk of side effects.

Are There Any Drug Interactions?

Before starting your dog on a new medication or supplement, tell your vet about anything else they’re taking regularly. That way, your vet can ensure that there are no drugs in your dog’s body that will harm each other.

Here are some drugs to avoid giving with enzymes like papain:

  • Antacids
  • Antibiotics
  • Blood pressure medications
  • H2 blockers
  • Proton pump inhibitors
  • Sedatives

If your dog needs to take any of the above substances, you may need to find an alternative to papain to ensure that your dog stays safe.

Related: 10 Best Dog Multivitamin Products

Dog howling in pain

How to Serve Papain to Dogs

Papain is most commonly included in probiotic supplements for dogs. You’ll likely find papain supplements in the form of pills or chewable tablets. Both options can be mixed in with your dog’s food, but picky dogs might eat around the supplement. So, you may need to hide the tablet in a tasty treat or pill pocket to get your furry friend to take it.

However, some chewable supplements look and smell like treats. Those types of supplements are ideal for dogs that are good at spitting out pills no matter what you try. Some dogs may even look forward to taking their supplement if they think it’s just a tasty treat.

Before you settle on an enzyme supplement for your dog, make sure it’s from a company you trust. Check to ensure that it only includes healthy ingredients your dog needs to thrive. If you’re ever unsure about the quality of a product, you can consult your vet for advice.

Related: The 13 Best Heart Supplements for Dogs

A Tasty Health Boost!

If you’re looking for a beneficial probiotic supplement for your furry friend, consider the iHeartDogs 3-in-1 Probiotic Dog Chews. These supplements come in the form of tasty, treat-like chews. They’re made to promote healthy digestion, boost the immune system, and reduce stomach pain. One of the main ingredients is papaya, which is where papain comes from.

iHeartDogs Probiotic Chews

In addition to papaya, these supplements also include pumpkin, dried bacillus coagulans, and a mix of probiotics and enzymes, including bromelain. These items work together to soothe your pup’s tummy troubles as much as possible. Plus, every bag purchased donates 12 healthy meals to shelter dogs, so you’ll be helping dogs in need while also keeping your canine in shape.

There are lots of problems that can cause your dog to have digestive issues and other internal pain. Giving them enzymes like papain can help relieve some of that discomfort to keep them feeling young. So, consider putting your pup on a probiotic supplement to give them the health boost they need!

Related: 10 Best Eye Supplements for Dogs

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