It’s no secret that Aloe Vera’s many health benefits have been enjoyed by people for centuries. However, few would consider using Aloe Vera for dogs – for their beloved pets to enjoy the many health benefits as they do. That is because information on the subject is misleading, or outright ominous about how Aloe Vera is ‘poisonous’ to dogs.
Is Aloe Vera Dangerous for Dogs?
The fact is that the many benefits that Aloe vera provides for humans can be used to benefit and aid in healing dogs. Whether topical applications for dry skin, cuts, infections or consuming for digestive issues, joint inflammation, or wellness, the same rules applies to dogs as humans. With regard to the safety of Aloe Vera consumption for both dogs and humans, the key is in knowing which part of the plant is safe to consume.
Aloe Vera Benefits for Dogs
Aloe vera contains minerals like calcium, potassium, iron, and magnesium; vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E; and amino acids that are essential as the building blocks of protein. The plant also has natural anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory agents, and also acts as an anti-oxidant. The gel from Aloe vera also has enzymes that reduce inflammation and boost the healing process.
Topical application of Aloe Vera gel is useful for a number of purposes:
- dry skin
- bug bites
- wounds or incisions
If necessary, the fur must be clipped around the affected areas on your dog’s body, cleaned with a washcloth, before applying Aloe Vera. You can rub the gel directly on the dog’s cuts, scrapes or other wounds. Aloe’s anti-inflammatory properties will ease the swelling, and will also sooth, protect, and moisturize, as well as act to reduce the urge to itch. Use Aloe Vera gel on flea bites, and tick and mosquito bites to give immediate relief to your dog. You can also use it on dog eczema, rashes, and dry skin, and even allergic reactions to poison ivy. For best results, simply repeat the process each day until the skin irritation heals.
Just as Aloe can be beneficial for supporting healthy joints in humans, so it can for dogs! With a number of natural compounds that help to reduce inflammation, Aloe is an excellent solution for dogs with joint pain or immobility.
Aloe Vera contains a multitude of vitamins and minerals that help support the immune system. Added antioxidant benefits make this a powerful superfood that benefits overall wellness for humans and dogs alike.
How to Give a Dog Aloe
Topical Application (Gel)
Aloe Vera gel can be applied topically to a dog’s skin as much as needed for minor scrapes, lesions, bug bites, burns, etc. Do not be concerned that your pet may lick off the Aloe Vera once applied. First of all, pure Aloe Vera gel (processed to remove Aloin) is safe to for your dog to consume. That said, it’s very unlikely that your dog will continue to lick the Aloe off because its bitter, biting, acidic flavor and aftertaste.
Oral Consumption (Extracts, Juices, etc)
The best way for your dog to consume Aloe Vera is to dilute it with a liquid such as a broth that can be mixed in with your pet’s food. Aloe Vera for dogs is perfectly safe. Its many vitamins, minerals, and anti-inflammatory compounds can aid in healing but also is recommended as a daily supplement in your dog’s diet.
Precautions: What Kind of Aloe to Use for Dogs
Aloe Vera is safe to eat and a good way to obtain its many benefits. Nonetheless, to enjoy the benefits you must know what part of the Aloe plant is safe to eat. The ill effects of consuming whole leaf Aloe Vera only occur because of aloin, which is found in the latex lining under the plant’s skin. Slice open an Aloe Vera leaf and you will see the clear, pale greenish gel that fills out the center encompassed by a yellowish sap or juice around the outer edge. That yellowish sap is the latex the plant produces and it should not be ingested by your dog.
Aloe latex consumed by humans or dogs can cause problems. Too much of the latex, its over-use, or even regular use will cause diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite and other ill side effects. The latex depletes your body of potassium and causes electrolyte imbalances. Muscle weakness, intestinal illnesses, and cardiac issues can occur. Ingestion by your dog can lead to vomiting and diarrhea, and urinary problems. Though rare, eating or drinking large quantities of Aloe latex can cause tremors in dogs.
For this reason, it is important to only feed your dog pure Aloe products that are properly processed for consumption and do not contain potentially dangerous aloin.
As always, be sure to consult with your veterinarian before adding any supplement to your dog’s diet.