You know that aloe vera offers a range of health benefits for humans, but what about aloe vera for dogs? Does this soothing plant have healing properties for your pup, too?
As it turns out, your dog can enjoy the positive effects of aloe, and you’ll be surprised to see just how versalite this little cactus can be for your dog’s different ailments. But, before you fill your home with aloe plants, you should also know about the potential risks of aloe.
In this article, we’ll talk about the good and the bad of aloe, and what your veterinarian has to say about giving this plant to your dog.
Health benefits of aloe vera for dogs
What makes aloe vera such a wonderfully healing plant? Let’s take a look at what’s going on chemically inside this succulent:
- Aloe helps to inhibit an enzyme called cyclooxygenase. Don’t worry, you don’t need to be able to pronounce cyclooxygenase in order to know that this is a crucial enzyme in inflammation. Despite the bad press, inflammation itself is an important way for the body to heal from injuries and prevent infections. But, too much inflammation can cause chronic pain and undue pressure on the body’s organs. Aloe vera works to , like cyclooxygenase
- Aloe contains a very special polysaccharide called acemannan. If you’re looking for a plant that fights microbes, viruses, and free radicals in the body, you want one that is full of the acemannan polysaccharide. This special carbohydrate has been shown to boost the immune system, fight the development of tumors, encourage wound healing and more
- It’s also a great source of key vitamins and minerals. As Dog Owners, you’re always looking for food ingredients that are high in the vitamins and minerals your pupper needs to run, jump, and rest most effectively. Aloe vera has vitamins A, B, C, and E as well as calcium, copper, magnesium, potassium, zinc and more
- Aloe may aid in digestion. Anthraquinones are another type of hard-to-say compound found in the aloe plant. Not only are anthraquinones antibacterial, but they also work as natural laxatives to boost digestion
As you can see, there are many medicinal benefits of the aloe vera plant, some of which are still being discovered! Scientists are interested in learning more about how the chemical compounds in aloe may improve brain function and fight against certain types of cancer.
Risks of aloe vera for dogs
Given how many health benefits aloe vera has to offer, you might be tempted to head to your local nursery and stock up on this special succulent! But, when it comes to giving aloe vera to your dog, you should know that the plant itself could pose a health risk.
Most of the amazing benefits of aloe vera come from the gel of the plant. When you slice open an aloe vera leaf, you’ll see a clear gel as well as a yellow liquid called the latex. While the gel is perfectly safe to administer to your dog both topically and internally, the latex is mildly toxic to your dog.
Dogs who are exposed to aloe latex may experience stomach cramps, diarrhoea, vomiting and dehydration. Some may require veterinary care to prevent serious health outcomes.
The aloe vera plant also protects itself with ridges of spikes along its leaves. These could be painful to your pup if they decide to try a taste of the aloe vera plant.
Remember that aloe vera isn’t a miracle plant!
In addition to some of the potential dangers of the aloe vera plant, there’s another reason why your vet may warn against using this plant as a cure for your dog’s ailments. Simply put, home remedies are not as reliable as medical treatment from a professional veterinarian, and it could be very dangerous to forgo medical treatment in favour of giving your dog aloe vera.
Whether you think that your dog is suffering from dermatitis, parasites, inflammation or anything else, your vet is the best person to diagnose and put together a treatment plan for your dog. It’s always a good idea to get a professional diagnosis first and then ask your vet whether aloe vera could be helpful during the healing process.
How to prepare aloe vera for dogs
If your vet has given you the go-ahead to use this healing plant on your dog, your next step is to learn how to administer aloe vera for dogs. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- If you’re going to use fresh aloe, separate the gel from the latex. The best way to prepare fresh aloe is to allow the latex to drain from a cut leaf for about 10 to 15 minutes. The gel that’s left in the leaf is what your dog can consume
- Consider using dog-friendly aloe vera gel. If you’re worried about handling fresh aloe, you might be able to find a dog-friendly gel at your local pet shop. An aloe vera dog shampoo, for instance, can be helpful in soothing your dog’s itchy skin
- Give your dog a few sips of aloe vera juice. If you want your dog to enjoy the full range of health benefits, you might consider sprinkling their dog food with aloe vera juice. You don’t need much more than about a spoonful, otherwise your pup may not enjoy the flavour
- If your dog doesn’t like aloe vera, consider some other health-boosting lifestyle changes. Overall, if your doggo doesn’t want anything to do with aloe vera, that’s okay. While this plant does offer some impressive benefits, the fact is, a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to include aloe vera. Make sure that your pup has some daily exercise, such as a brisk walk with their favourite Dog Walker, a healthy diet, and plenty of restful recovery.
Will you try aloe vera on your dog?
If you’re a proponent of this powerful plant, you might be excited to share aloe vera with your dog! In this article, we’ve discussed some of the potential health benefits of aloe vera as well as a few important considerations for your dog’s safety.
To be sure, it’s always best to consult with your vet when introducing a new item to your dog’s healthcare routine. And remember that while this plant offers many advantages, aloe vera for dogs should be considered just one part of your dog’s overall healthy lifestyle!