Getting to Know Supplements: Oxbow Natural Science Papaya Support Information

Written by Oxbow

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September 1, 2021🞄

Author: Dr. Cayla Iske, PhD

Updated: April 16, 2024


Papaya Support Information for Exotic Pets

Natural Science Papaya Support is designed to support your small pet’s digestive health. This award-winning supplement is timothy-hay based and uses active enzymes rather than the herbal ingredients used in our other Natural Science supplements.


Benefits of Papaya Support Enzymes for Exotic Mammals

Some pet parents may wonder, “how does papaya help with digestion?” Papain and bromelain, which are found in papaya and pineapple, are the active enzymes used in Natural Science Papaya Support. These enzymes break down proteins to aid in digestion, and also contain anti-inflammatory properties.


Common Digestive Issues in Exotic Mammals

The following serious digestive issues can lead to a variety of symptoms in rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, and other small exotic pets.

  • Motility issues, including Gastrointestinal Stasis
  • Gastrointestinal inflammation (also known as digestive tract inflammation)
  • Intestinal obstruction
  • Diarrhea can occur in small pets for several reasons, but two common reasons can include GI upset from sudden diet changes, or frequent access to foods that are high in simple carbohydrates. Diarrhea can quickly dehydrate small animals and lead to even more serious health concerns such as GI stasis.

Supplements cannot treat these health concerns—if your pet is experiencing these conditions they must be seen by a veterinarian. As your vet develops a treatment and recovery plan for your pet, they may determine that Papaya Support will be helpful in assisting your little one on the road to recovery.


Guinea pig hiding in Oxbow's Prime Cut Hay Hearty and Crunchy Box

How do I Determine if My Pet Could Benefit from Papaya Support?

The digestive system is vitally important to the health and wellbeing of small mammals. Issues or disruptions in the digestive tract can lead not only to nutrient imbalances, but serious overall health concerns. Additionally, many health issues like stress and parasitic infection can manifest as symptoms related to digestive dysfunction.


Signs of Digestive Issues in Exotic Pets

Because any of the above symptoms could be indicative of larger issues, it is important to visit (or at least call) your veterinarian as soon as possible to discuss your observations and determine next steps.

Upon a full examination, your vet may suggest additional diagnostics or therapies, including Papaya Support, as part of your animal’s treatment plan.


Rabbit relaxing with pet owner in a home setting

Ingredient Functionality

Fiber plays a key role in the digestive health of both herbivores and omnivores. While small herbivores require huge amounts of insoluble fiber and smaller amounts of soluble fiber in the diet, omnivores require fiber in the form of balanced soluble and insoluble sources to achieve optimal digestive health. This is why a complete and balanced diet is at the heart of maintaining healthy digestion for all species.

For herbivores such as rabbits, guinea pigs, and chinchillas, offering a diversity of free choice grass hays in addition to high-fiber, uniform fortified food is one of the best ways to ensure adequate fiber. Omnivorous species such as rats, mice, hamsters, and gerbils should have a complete and balanced food supplemented by a diversity of greens, grains, and other dietary items.

Natural Science Papaya Support was designed to accompany a complete and balanced diet to provide an extra boost of digestive aid. It was formulated specifically for small mammals, primarily containing timothy grass hay paired with ingredients contributing active enzyme activity to support and aid indigestion.

Timothy GrassInsoluble Fiber Promotes gut motility and a healthy gastrointestinal tract.
PapayaNatural source of papainPlant-based proteolytic enzymes that break down proteins to aid in the digestion process; anti-inflammatory to help to reduce gastrointestinal inflammation
PapainPapain (active enzyme)
PineappleNatural source of bromelain
BromelainBromelain (active enzyme)


Is Papaya Support Good for Omnivores?

Like herbivores, small omnivores are prone to digestive issues as well. When fed in appropriate amounts, Natural Science Papaya Support can provide benefits to omnivores such as rats, mice, hamsters, and gerbils. The insoluble fiber, as well as active papain and bromelain enzymes, can offer some relief for omnivorous species experiencing digestive troubles.

As with any supplement, consult your veterinarian before adding a supplement to your pet’s diet.


Daily Feeding Recommendations

Herbivores (Rabbits, Guinea Pigs, Chinchillas)

  • 1 to 2 tabs per day

Omnivores (Rats, Mice, Hamsters, Gerbils)

  • 1/2 tablet per day


Prairie dog with pet owner in an outdoor setting

Supplement FAQs

Should Papaya Support be fed to young, pregnant, or nursing animals?

Papaya Support is not intended for animals going through these stages of life. Please work with your veterinarian to determine best treatment steps for young, pregnant, or nursing animals who may be experiencing GI issues.


Why Isn’t Natural Science Papaya Support Baked Like the Other Natural Science Supplements?

The active enzymes (papain and bromelain) in Natural Science Papaya Support are unable to survive the high temperatures of the baking process. For this reason, Papaya Support is compressed and tableted rather than baked. This ensures these valuable ingredients are protected and available to your pets.


How do I Choose Between Papaya or Digestive Support?

For information on deciding whether Digestive Support or Papaya Support is better for your little one’s health needs, please check out our blog on choosing between Papaya Support and Digestive Support.


How is Papaya Support Different from Digestive Support?

For information about the differences and similarities between Papaya Support and Digestive Support, please visit our blog post about the differences and similarities between Papaya Support and Digestive Support.


Other FAQs

When considering supplement additions to your pet’s diet, there are many questions to answer with your veterinarian’s help. Your pet’s health status, previous issues or conditions, and existing medications are just a few factors to consider. We’ve created a list of supplement-related FAQs to help answer some common questions. If this additional information does not answer your question or concern, please feel free to reach out to our knowledgeable customer care team!


Papaya Support is an award-winning product. It won SuperZoo’s Award for Best Small Animal Product in 2018.