The next supplement in our Getting to Know Supplements series is Natural Science Papaya Support.
Natural Science Papaya Support is designed to support your small pet’s digestive health but differs from Natural Science Digestive Support in its ingredients and physical format. While both supplements are all-natural and timothy hay-based, Papaya Support uses active enzymes from natural sources rather than the types of herbal ingredients used in our other Natural Science supplements. These enzymes, papain and bromelain, are found in papaya and pineapple and have several benefits including the breakdown of proteins to aid in digestion as well as anti-inflammatory properties.
Why Isn’t Natural Science Papaya Support Baked Like the Other Supplements?
The active enzymes (papain and bromelain) in Natural Science Papaya Support are not able 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 to Determine If My Pet Could Benefit from Papaya Support
The digestive system is vitally important in the health and well-being of small mammals. Issues or disruptions in digestion or digestive tract motility can lead to not only nutrient imbalances but serious overall health concerns such as gastrointestinal stasis as well as impacts to the immune system. Additionally, many potential health issues can manifest as digestive issues including stress and parasitic infection.
Some signs and symptoms to look out for that indicate your animal may be having digestive issues include:
- Reduction in food or water consumption
- Changes in animal weight or body condition
- Fecal changes
- Any change in consistency, size, or frequency of stools
- Large amounts of visible fur in the stools
- Reduced activity/lethargy
- Odd postures
- Abdominal stretching
- Changes in normal behavior
- Diagnosed or observed hairball issues
Because any of the above symptoms could be indicative of other, larger issues, it is important to visit (or minimally call) your veterinarian as soon as possible to discuss your observations and determine the best next steps. Upon a full examination, your vet may suggest additional diagnostics and/or therapies including Papaya Support as part of your animal’s treatment plan.
How is Papaya Support Different than Digestive Support?
Both Papaya Support and Digestive Support are designed to aid in the process of digestion and promote digestive tract function and health via natural ingredients. Digestive Support utilizes plant-based herbal ingredients while Papaya Support utilizes active plant-based enzymes which break help down proteins. Protecting these important active enzymes is the reason for the differences in format, mentioned above. Papaya Support is highly palatable and a good option for pets struggling with GI issues and sensitivity to hair intake, as the proteolytic action of papain and bromelain help break up accumulations of hair and other materials within the GI tract.
How to Choose Between Papaya or Digestive Support?
Natural Science Digestive Support and Papaya Support can work synergistically to support the digestive health of small pets when fed according to directions. With the input of your veterinarian, both Papaya and Digestive Support should be considered for your pet with digestive concerns.
Every animal and clinical situation is unique, and you may discover that Papaya or Digestive Support works better for your little one, while other pet parents may observe that offering both supplements at the same time is ideal for their individual. The choice between these supplements should be dictated by your animal’s specific needs and the input of your veterinarian.
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 offer relief for omnivorous species experiencing digestive troubles. As with any supplement, it is important to first consult your veterinarian before adding a supplement to your pet’s diet.
Fiber plays a key role in the digestive health of all species, both herbivores and omnivores included. 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 Grass||Insoluble Fiber||Promotes gut motility and a healthy gastrointestinal tract.|
|Papaya||Natural source of papain||Plant-based proteolytic enzymes that break down proteins to aid in the digestion process; anti-inflammatory to help to reduce digestive tract inflammation|
|Papain||Papain (active enzyme)|
|Pineapple||Natural source of bromelain|
|Bromelain||Bromelain (active enzyme)|
Daily Feeding Recommendations
- Herbivores including rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas:
- 1 to 2 tabs per day
- Omnivores and other small animals including rats, mice, hamsters, and gerbils:
- 1/2 tablet per day
When considering adding supplements to your pet’s diet there are a number of questions to work through with your veterinarian. General health status, previous issues/conditions, and existing medications are just a few factors to be considered. To help with the decision to add Oxbow’s Natural Science supplements either for short or long-term use, we’ve created a list of FAQs to help answer some common questions.