When we speak about aloe vera, we think of everything around beauty, health, natural properties, and even food. But can dogs eat aloe vera? Is it healthy or a toxin?
No, dogs cannot eat aloe vera, but it can be used in several ways for your dog!
Seeing how refreshing it looks, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that your doggo might be curious to taste those long-green-leafy-tentacles!
Learn everything about the ways to feed your dog aloe vera safely.
Why Aloe Vera?
Aloe vera is a plant known for its medical and skin care properties. It is widely used by humans but can work differently with animals, in our case, Dogs. Packed with fatty acids and minerals, it has been around for centuries curing diseases and spreading its magic (study).
We get the hype of aloe vera! It even has anti-aging and antiviral properties. And NO, that is not all!
Aloe vera has more reasons for you to love it, like
- It is rich in antioxidants, meaning it reduces the risk of catching diseases.
- It has vitamins A, C, E, and B12.
- Aloe vera also has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, which help in reducing skin problems.
- Hydration is another important perk!
- It has healing properties and can protect from sunburns.
Why Aloe Vera is Good For Your Dog
Despite aloe vera having all these magical powers, it is NOT so good to be consumed as food. It can be included in your list of human foods that you should avoid feed your dog. Although, there have been research that claim aloe vera has enzymes and minerals that are actually beneficial to your dog (study).
Let’s bring in the upgraded version of aloe vera—the aloe vera juice!
As aloe vera is not good to be consumed in high amounts, 5 ml for every 10 kg of weight is an acceptable deal. In dogs, aloe vera juice helps to build immunity and give relief to acidic stomachs. Moreover, If your dog doesn’t like the taste of aloe juice, you can simply mix the required amount into their food. This way, they will get the goodness of aloe without having its horrible taste!
Besides balancing the acid levels in urine, aloe vera juice also helps in making antibodies and reducing inflammation. Now even though aloe juice is good for your dog, it DOES NOT have to be a part of their meals! Ingesting aloe vera comes with risks, especially when it comes to your furry friends.
What Can Happen if Your Dog Eats Aloe Vera: Symptoms and Risks
If you are wondering, “What is the worst that can happen?”
Suppose your little pooch decides to munch on a whole leaf of aloe vera. In that case, it can show signs of gastrointestinal problems like vomiting, diarrhea, and digestive issues. If so, you should immediately consult your veterinarian.
As aloe vera consists of glycosides, which increase mucus production in the body causes the following:
- Digestive problems
In addition, aloe vera and other plants also have saponin and aloin in them; they are toxic substance that disturbs dogs’ health. This is the same toxin that is also found in onions (article). These toxins attack your pet’s digestive system and make them sick.
When Should You Worry About Poisoning?
For aloe vera to be poisonous and fatal, your dog needs to consume it in high amounts.
So, suppose your pet dog is showing symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting even after having one leaf of aloe vera. In that case, you should take them to a vet. If they ate more than that, it is advisable to give your dog a lot of water and consult your veterinarian asap.
However, to break the myth bubble, aloe vera is not toxic, but latex is!
When you cut open the aloe vera leaf, it’s all gooey textured gel, with a layer of whiteish or yellowish layer, which is the latex. All these problems are caused by ingesting huge amounts of latex or if your pet dog is intolerant of aloe vera plants.
But there must be a safer way to do this, right?
How to Safely Feed Aloe Vera to Dogs?
Knowing the benefits of aloe vera in your dog’s diet, you might want to add them to the menu. If so, Don’t worry; you can get the paw-sitives of eating aloe vera in safer ways!
1. Remove the latex
The real evil is not aloe vera but latex!
Latex has toxins that can be fatal if consumed in large amounts. It causes diarrhea by emptying the intestines, while your dog suffers from stomach aches and pain (study). To prevent this, once you peel the skin off the aloe, you can take off the poisonous layer of latex, so when your dog eats aloe vera, they do not consume the toxins or the latex.
2. Wash the aloe vera
Once you have removed the latex, it is time to wash the aloe vera. You can scoop out the aloe chunks, dip them in lukewarm water, and wash them to ensure it has no poison. This way, if there are any leftovers of latex in or around the aloe vera corners, it will be washed away too.
3. Serve small amounts
To consume anything beyond the limit is a bad idea!
Even if you have removed the latex, washed it, and it’s all ready to give your doggo an aloe-fiest, YOU SHOULD START WITH SMALLER CHUNKS. Smaller chunks will ensure that your dog’s metabolism will not react badly to it, hence, will not cause health hazards.
In addition, instead of feeding chunks of aloe vera directly, you can serve them with aloe vera juice mixed in food or as a cool summer drink!
4. Ask your vet
No one knows your pet’s health better than their vet! Consulting the vet about if your pet dog can have aloe vera or not will give you answers to your questions.
Other Ways to Use Aloe Vera for Dogs
After reading all this, aloe vera must sound like a redhead and an evil villain! Although it is not suitable for your dog to eat aloe vera, it can be beneficial to your dog in several ways!
1. Healing wounds
By now, we know how woofers can easily get cuts and bruises while they are busy making a mess!
HERE TO THE RESCUE!
Famous for its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, aloe vera helps in healing sores and wounds. It decreases the histamine activity, which heals the wounds quickly (study).
If your dog has a wound, you can put aloe vera gel on that area, as it also helps with reducing the pain and irritation due to the infection.
2. Dental care
Did you know? aloe vera can also be used as a toothpaste (study) (Not the best taste, perhaps).
3. Hair care
Who does not like shiny, glossy, smooth hair?
Well, we know your dog does!
You can use aloe vera gel as a hair conditioner for your doggy’s hair. It will hydrate, smoothen, and, with its anti-bacterial properties, reduce rashes and skin allergies as well. Not just this, but the goodness of keratin ensures healthy hair growth and gets rid of dandruff effectively (article).
So next time your dog goes on a date, you will know their premium shower routine! *wink*
Aloe vera, with its antibacterial properties, prevents your dog from getting fungal infections, itching, and irritation on the skin. Especially during summer, it can help soothe the rashes in your dog caused by sweat. Applying a nice layer of aloe vera on their skin or inflamed areas can help soothe and relieve their skin.
Note: Although there is no particular research that proves aloe vera has these positive effects on dogs, it undoubtedly doesn’t cause harm.
If you want to be more sure, you can consult your vet!
To wrap it up, aloe vera indeed has properties that have taken over health, beauty, medical and other industries. However, latex in aloe vera can be as bad as being fatal to a dog.
So in the end, if you’re still wondering,”can dogs eat aloe vera?”, you should consult your vet before heading down that path. Additionally, as an added precaution, you should remove the latex, and wash the aloe vera before serving.
Even if you want to include aloe in your dog’s diet, inform your veterinarian and start small. To be on the safe side, do not give them aloe vera as big meals, but small rewarding treats instead. Understanding the benefits and risks of dogs eating aloe vera can be challenging, but do you know the best part? Now you and your dog can share skincare, too.
Frequently Asked Questions
Even though aloe vera has anti-bacterial and other beneficial properties and Vitamins, it is not suitable for oral consumption. Your dog might be allergic to aloe or, by mistake, consume latex. Latex is a deadly toxin, which, if not avoided, can cause diarrhea, vomiting, digestive problems, and even depression in dogs.
YES! Unless your pet dog is allergic to aloe vera, you can apply it on their skin and furry coat! As aloe vera has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, it helps to soothe the skin with a cooling effect. If your dog has dry skin, you can use aloe to provide more hydration and reduce rashes or irritation.
Knowing that oral or internal use of aloe vera is not a good idea is essential. It can cause problems like diarrhea, leading to vomiting and further sickness in your dog. One tablespoon is enough if you still want to add aloe juice to their diet. Please consult your veterinarian before feeding your pet dog anything new.
Licking aloe vera will not create a problem. Although, if your dog has licked latex or aloin, you can observe if they show signs of diarrhea or uneasiness. If so, immediately connect with your veterinarian. A small amount of aloe does not harm a lot, but your dog can be allergic to it, which may cause problems like vomiting and indigestion.