I always thought that Aloe Vera was safe for dogs and cats, but it turns out that it can be toxic, especially the yellow aloin and the saponins. Some parts of the plant are safe to use topically and sometimes in small amounts internally, but you must be careful and follow these guidelines. Most important is to use Aloe with a basically healthy animal. If your dog's or cat's health is impaired, aloe could aggravate symptoms. Read up on potential side effects so you can watch for any your companion may develop. (See articles below for more details.)
Before using aloe topically or internally with your animal, do not take any chances. Please consult with your holistic vet first.
Using Aloe Topically
1) When using a leaf from the plant, cut it and let it rest to allow the yellow/orange lining of the leaf to drain out. This is the aloin latex that is not safe for animals. Alternately, carefully scoop out the clear gel and mix with a bit of coconut oil to apply to irritated skin. Aloe relieves itching, is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anti-fungal. NOTE: Be sure to test a small area of skin to be sure your animal does not have a bad reaction.
2) Avoid commercial gels as they may be made from the whole plant. Always choose organic, food grade aloe and juice.
Giving Aloe Internally
1) Consult with your holistic vet before using aloe juice internally with your dog or cat. Pure, organic Aloe juice made only from the clear pulp of the plant can be helpful for a variety of issues: IBS, constipation, ulcers, colitis. It can support the immune system, alleviate asthma. However, again, be sure you're giving it under a vet's supervision to determine safe doses for your animal.
Aloe vera is a miracle plant and has been used by humans for thousands of years. Remember that just because a plant or herb is safe and excellent for humans, it is not necessarily so for your animals. (Remember how true that is for essential oils...) As always, I encourage you to do your own research to be sure you're making the best decisions for your beloveds.
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