As responsible pet owners, you’re always thinking twice about giving your dog something new to eat. The ingredient in question today is aloe vera. We all know the power of this plant in our skincare routines, but what about in our dog’s diet?
While there’s plenty of debate around giving your dog this succulent plant, aloe vera is not poisonous when prepared correctly for dogs. In fact, it can have many benefits for our furry friends, from their skin to their stomachs.
But before you rush to your garden to pluck some aloe for your pup, know that there are important precautions to take. Luckily for you, we cover everything you need to know about feeding your dog aloe vera below!
Table of Contents
- 1 Is It Bad for Dogs to Eat Aloe Vera?
- 2 What Happens if a Dog Eats an Entire Aloe Vera Leaf?
- 3 The Benefits of Feeding Your Dog Aloe Vera
- 4 How To Incorporate Aloe Vera into Your Dog’s Diet Safely
- 5 FAQs
Is It Bad for Dogs to Eat Aloe Vera?
Before you assume you know what aloe vera is, know that there are over 500 different species of this plant and only one is the edible kind. Aloe vera is a perennial, succulent plant from the Liliceae family, and the most edible one for us and our furry friends is aloe barbadensis. You’ll know it by its long, triangular-shaped leaves with serrated edges.
So, is it safe for a dog to eat aloe vera? Well, it is and it isn’t. Let us explain. The answer comes down to the anatomy of the aloe vera plant.
Firstly, you – or better yet, your pooch – won’t want to take a bite out of a raw aloe leaf. Those barbed leaves on the rind are painful and actually serve no nutritional value. Directly under the rind is the yellow layer called aloe latex or aloin, which contains mildly toxic compounds like saponins and glycosides – something you don’t want your dog to eat either.
But don’t go tossing out the idea of feeding your dog aloe vera yet. Your furry friend can still reap the benefits of this medicinal plant. The part of the aloe plant that your dog can eat is the raw aloe vera gel.
To put it plainly, you’ll want to avoid the outside and the yellow latex layer of an aloe leaf and go straight for the good stuff in the center.
What Happens if a Dog Eats an Entire Aloe Vera Leaf?
If your dog ate and ingested aloe vera, it’s important to monitor them closely for any signs of discomfort or illness. As mentioned previously, the toxic part of the plant is the latex found in the inner leaf. This can lead to aloe vera poisoning in dogs.
Symptoms of aloe vera poisoning in dogs are:
- Loss of appetite
- Low blood sugar
- Urinary changes
If you suspect your dog has aloe vera poisoning or are even slightly concerned your dog ate a piece of the plant, take them to the vet immediately.
It’s always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to your dog’s health. Keep a watchful eye on them and take preventative measures to ensure they don’t have access to any toxic plants that may be harmful to them and lead to plant poisoning.
The Benefits of Feeding Your Dog Aloe Vera
We all know the power of aloe, especially when it comes to catching too much sun on a vacation. Well, that aloe juice that’s so great for irritated, flaky skin is also completely safe for consumption! And it comes with many benefits.
Here are some excellent health benefits of aloe in your dog’s diet:
Relieves skin irritation and rashes
One of the most obvious benefits of aloe gel is its ability to help soothe inflamed skin. If you’ve got a pup with a pesky rash, you can apply some aloe gel to their skin.
The cooling properties of aloe can help soothe skin irritation and the antimicrobial powers help fend off harmful bacteria. Plus, acemannan (a sugar in aloe vera) can be especially helpful if your dog’s skin is prone to allergies or infections.
You can find multiple aloe vera products for dogs on the market, from creams to shampoos. Many of these are enriched with other great ingredients like flaxseed (another excellent food supplement for your pooch) and oat protein.
Aloe vera is basically nature’s hydration saver – its gel is made up of 98% water. This can be great for keeping your dog hydrated, especially in hot weather. This high water content, along with the digestive enzymes found in the gel, work together to promote digestive health and improve nutrient absorption – all good news for your pup’s tummy!
Soothes the intestinal tract
Inflammation in the gut, such as leaky gut syndrome, can cause all sorts of problems for your dog. Luckily, aloe vera has some pretty cool anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe the intestine. This is thanks to a substance called mucin, which can protect the intestinal lining and prevent nasty bacteria from getting through.
What’s more, the anthelmintic properties of aloe vera can help expel parasites from your dog’s body too!
Promotes joint health
If your dog suffers from joint pain, such as arthritis, aloe vera may be able to help. Its anti-inflammatory properties can help ease joint pain and stiffness, meaning better mobility for your dog.
Helps manage diabetes
Perhaps one of the most fascinating health benefits of aloe vera is that it can be a helpful addition to a treatment plan for dogs with diabetes. Studies have shown that aloe vera can help lower blood sugar levels.
Of course, it’s best to work with your vet to manage your dog’s diabetes, but adding a little aloe vera to their diet could be a helpful addition.
How To Incorporate Aloe Vera into Your Dog’s Diet Safely
When using aloe vera on your canine companion, remember not all aloe vera products are created equal. It’s essential for you to take extra care when buying or preparing aloe for your dog.
Remember to start with small amounts of aloe vera mixed into your dog’s food and to monitor any adverse reactions. This is essential with any new ingredient you are feeding your dog.
If you’re cutting your own plant, here are some simple steps to follow to safely prepare aloe vera gel or juice for your dog:
- Give the leaf a good wash and cut off the serrated edges.
- Peel off both sides to reveal the gel. This part will be slimy – completely normal!
- Make sure you remove all the green peel and yellow latex – this is the part you do not want to feed your dog.
- If the layer between the yellow latex and the gel is too thin or you’re unable to distinguish between the two, best throw that leaf out. Better safe than sorry!
- Cut the gel into one-inch pieces and use it right away or store it in the fridge for up to three days. You can also freeze it for later use.
You can turn those aloe gel cubes into juice if you wish. Here’s how:
- Add two tablespoons (or two one-inch cubes) of the gel into a blender.
- Pour in 16 ounces of water.
- Blend it all up until the gel dissolves into the water and pour it over your dog’s food.
Who knew aloe vera could be such a game-changer for your furry friend’s health? If you’re curious to learn more about what’s a plus or a no-go to your dog’s diet, be sure to visit our homepage!
Is aloe poisonous for dogs?
While not a poisonous plant for humans, the entire aloe vera plant can be mildly toxic to dogs if ingested in large amounts. The yellow part of the aloe plant underneath the skin is what can cause aloe vera poisoning in dogs. The inner leaf gel or juice of the aloe vera plant is completely fine for your dog to eat.
However, if your dog has ingested a large amount or the entire aloe leaf, contact your vet immediately.
What happens if my dog has aloe vera poisoning?
If you suspect that your dog has aloe vera poisoning, signs will include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and loss of appetite. In this event, call your vet right away. Your vet may suggest bringing your dog to the clinic to induce vomiting. Don’t try to take matters into your own hands; the best thing to do for your dog is to seek medical attention.
How can I give my dog aloe vera?
You can give your dog the gel of aloe vera topically or internally. The topical application of gel is great for soothing skin issues in dogs while internal administration in their food can help with digestive support.
Remember to always consult your veterinarian before giving your dog aloe vera and keep indoor plants out of reach – if your dog eats the whole leaf they can get seriously unwell.