You have maybe seen this green, cactus-looking plant that sits out in your home or garden (or maybe the one of a friend) and wondered... if aloe vera is so good for skin woes, wouldn't it be the same for your canine companion?
Aloe Vera is a valuable tool for dealing with a variety of human skin irritations like rashes, burns, frostbite, and psoriasis. And since it works wonders for humans, pet parents may be tempted to give aloe vera to their furry companions as well.
The good news is, depending on how it is used, Aloe Vera can be very beneficial to dogs. If you’re not using Aloe Vera for your dog, you could be missing out on some very important benefits.
Aloe Vera: The plant of immortality
The Aloe vera plant has been known and used for centuries for its health, beauty, medicinal, and skin care properties.
2000 years ago, Greek scientists regarded Aloe Vera as the universal panacea, and the Egyptians called Aloe “the plant of immortality.” Today, it is being used for multiple purposes in dermatology and there are millions of products containing Aloe Vera.
There are about 500 species of this medicinal plant. The most common variety is Aloe Vera Barbadensis. It’s recognized for its long triangular, fleshy leaves with serrated edges, and it contains 75 potentially active constituents: vitamins, enzymes, minerals, sugars, lignin, saponins, salicylic acids, and amino acids. But as good as Aloe is for human skin (and digestive system), is it the same case with pets?
Is Aloe Vera Safe For Dogs? Symptoms of Aloe Vera Poisoning in Dogs
According to the Animal Poison Control Center, the Aloe Vera leaf has mild to moderate toxicity for dogs, but only when the whole leaf is ingested. Aloes contain anthraquinone glycosides, which are purgatives (medications that encourage bowel movements). When ingested, it can result in vomiting and diarrhea.
Can Aloe Vera kill dogs? Unless ingested in large quantities, Aloe Vera will not kill your dog, but you should contact your veterinarian because it still is toxic for our pups if they ingest the actual plant leaves. Side effects may include vomiting, lethargy, depression, tremors, and change in urine.
This means that we need to be very careful with the Aloe Vera leaves so that our furry friends don't eat them. But what could happen if we apply aloe vera juice on dogs' skin?
Benefits of Aloe Vera For Dogs
The therapeutic and safe part of the Aloe plant is the inner leaf juice or gel. This part is safe for external use on your furry friend. Natural Aloe Vera juice or gel is a powerful anti-inflammatory, and antifungal, and can heal all kinds of abrasions: burns, wounds, eczema, lesions, and rashes. It contains vitamins A (beta-carotene), C, and E, which are important antioxidants. All of these can contribute to wound healing when used topically.
How To Use Aloe Vera on Dogs
Can you put Aloe Vera on dogs' wounds? The answer is yes. Aloe Vera gel or juice can be directly applied to wounds including hot spots to help promote healing and soothe the itching. Many pet owners have also found that applying Aloe Vera can be very beneficial for other skin problems, including flea bites and allergies. If your pooch has a dry nose, flaky skin, eczema, or bug bites, you can apply a thin layer of the sticky gel to or “mist” a layer of aloe vera juice on their skin.
If your dog licks aloe vera gel or juice, don't panic! Small amounts of this plant extract will not usually harm a dog if he ingests it while licking the wound. Not all dogs will try to lick an incision covered in aloe vera since it can have a bitter and unpleasant taste.
If you are hesitant to work with the natural gel directly from the plant, just purchase a pet-safe product that contains it. Many Aloe Vera products for pet care are perfectly safe for dogs, such as dog shampoos, lotions, sprays, and liquid products that work just as well and do not contain the Aloe latex found in the leaf.
Can you Put Aloe Vera on Dog's Paws?
Definitely, YES! Aloe Vera can be a safe and effective natural topical remedy for soothing dry, cracked dog paws.
When treating your dog’s dry or cracked paws, first use a damp washcloth to wipe dirt and debris from their paws or to gently clean away any grime.
You can then mist Dog Love Oils' Aloe Vera & Essential Oils Paw Cleanser on your dog’s paws and gently wipe with a soft cloth after going to the park or taking a city walk.
Why Do We Love Aloe for Dogs
A dog's skin requires special nutrition, just like that of a human. Aloe Vera contains vitamin B12, folic acid, and choline, plus a variety of beneficial enzymes and minerals. When formulated into properly designed pet care products, Aloe Vera can treat, soothe, restore, and provide extraordinary nutrition to your furry companion's skin and hair. The hydrating power of Aloe Vera, combined with its soothing and antibacterial properties, can help reduce itchiness, and it can also work wonders as a conditioner, leaving your dog's coat silky and glossy.
Don't be dissuaded from using the Aloe Vera plant as a complement to your pet's health regimen. Using the right part of the plant, in the proper form, will allow your four-legged companion to benefit from the use of this miraculous succulent.
Just remember not to give your furry friend the whole leaves of the Aloe Vera plant!