It is a member of the lily family. There are about five hundred species of it, the most common of which is known as aloe vera. The plants are native to southern and/or eastern Africa but there are also some strains in the West Indies. Read more.
In North America and Europe, among other locales, aloe is used in landscaping to spruce up the appearance of a yard.
Aloe is best used for digestive, skin and lmyph problems. The most common use of aloe vera for dogs is as a topical skin application, as you’re probably familiar with. Either fresh juice from aloe or a gel that has been commercially prepared features a pile of minerals, proteins, enzymes, and other goodies. The inner fleshy leaf is where all the nutrients are found for both internal and external use.
Directions for using fresh aloe: Cut a leaf from the bottom of the plant and squeeze out the juice as shown in this example. Be careful NOT to contaminate the juice with the latex part of the plant.
- Aloe vera is used to soothe the skin and soften it, helping treat minor scrapes, burns and other wounds your dog may encounter.
- Fleabites, sunburns and poison ivy harm can often be treated with aloe due to its cooling effects, while it is also sometimes applied topically after surgery to help treat incision areas and so on.
- It’s also believed it may play a part in cancer prevention.
- Aloe is believed to be one of the better herbs for relieving acute arthritic pain in older dogs due to gout (metabolic disease).
- Relieves bladder sensitivity and irritation when the urine has a high acid count.
- For dogs who’ve had any kind of surgery, application of aloe vera gel can work wonders by reducing a great deal of irritation and inflammation. Dogs should be prevented from licking off any of the gel because it should be left on the wound or problem area as long as possible. SEE THE PRECAUTIONS BELOW.
We LOVE George’s 100% ALOE VERA FOR INTERNAL USE – It’s ALL NATURAL, TASTELESS, CONTAINS NO CITRIC ACID, NO REFRIGERATION NECESSARY
Plus, it’s made from the same variety of aloe plant that the Road Runner bird (not the cartoon) prefers to drink from, and we all know that our animal friends have a little more insight into what’s good and what’s not!
You can learn more here and check out testimonials from others. George’s also has topical gel’s and sprays as well.
- Dosage: Aloe juice can also be used internally as a way to handle irritations and minor problems along the digestive tract. You want to start it slowly so that your dog can get used to the taste, but the brand that I recommend above is tasteless. I use this myself. General maintenance dosage: 1 teaspoon of George’s Aloe Vera Liquid per 10 pounds of body weight daily.
There may be cases in which some dogs have allergic reactions to aloe. Side effects include reddening of the skin or the formation of some sort of allergy rash. For this reason, it’s best to test any aloe gel on a small area of the skin first to see what, if anything, develops.
For the most part, however, aloe is considered safe for dogs. What dog owners do need to be aware of are the topical creams and other products that claim to use “aloes” (not “aloe”).
Aloes represent a sticky sort of latex extracted from the skin of aloe leaves. This material has been linked to digestive issues, including severe diarrhea.
Look for products that use the INNER FILLET ONLY like George’s and do not contain the latex part of the leaf, which is not recommended for your dog.
Reasons to Use
As covered above, there are a number of topical and internal applications for aloe. It is a generally safe option for keeping the skin free from irritation and mitigating the effects of rashes and other concerns.
The internal properties have also proved beneficial, with some owners using a bit of aloe juice for irritations of the digestive tract (nausea, diarrhea), bladder irritation, cancer prevention and the pain of arthritis.
Of all the different herbs, aloe is one of the safest and most reliable for dogs. Its applications are significant and its benefits are considerable, making it a terrific option for your four-legged friend.
References: Herbs for Pets by M.L. Wulff-Tilford and G.L. Tilford & Natural Remedies for Dogs and Cats by CJ Puotinen