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Aloe Vera For Cats & Dogs


Aloe Vera is one of those plants that everyone should have growing in their home or at the very least have access to. Not only does it boast a huge number of healing benefits, but its ability to be applied topically or taken internally also makes it a top favorite in any first aid kit. The clear gel can be applied topically for a number of ailments whilst the juice can be fed to your pet. Avoid using the bitter yellow liquid from the base of the leaf as this has laxative properties and can be toxic to pets.

Aloe vera is native to Africa but it grows pretty much everywhere, even in cold climates you can grow it in a pot inside the home. There are a large number of different species of aloe but the aloe vera is the plant most people are familiar with and which is used in a number of beauty products and pharmaceutical products. 

The best source of aloe vera is from the plant itself, preferably homegrown. Aloe vera has around 75 active components and is a great source of natural protein, calcium, magnesium, zinc, vitamins B, A, C, and E and contains certain essential fatty acids, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.

Benefits of Aloe Vera

  • The gel if applied topically can help with wound healing and speed up healing
  • Helps with burns or sunburn if applied topically
  • Reduces the rate of infection, especially if applied to those wounds that are weeping
  • The bitter aloes, the yellow sap from the base of the leaf contains anthraquinone called barbalion, which is a strong natural laxative
  • Antibacterial 
  • Antifungal 
  • Antioxidant
  • Antipruritic, relieves itching
  • Helps stimulate the secretion of bile
  • Helps heal ulcers
  • Helps combat the irritation from insect bites
  • Helps stimulate the immune system
  • Great for skin conditions as it soothes and has astringent properties
  • If taken internally it can help with IBS, ulcers and colitis
  • The juice of aloe vera can help stimulate digestion
  • Helps with warts
  • Has natural anti-inflammatory and analgesics properties if applied topically or taken internally
  • Helps alleviate the effects of asthma
  • Aloctin A. and  Aloe-emodin in aloe are known to have anti-tumor and anti-cancer properties
  • The Aloe-emodin constituent is also known to inhibit autoimmune attack, protect the liver and help the kidneys

Is Aloe Vera Safe for Pets? 

Yes, the gel part of the leaf is safe if applied topically. A bit of the gel can also be ingested if your pet desires, but we're talking about very small amounts. Avoid using the juice directly from the leaf or the yellow juice that runs out when you cut the leaf as it contains aloes (extracted latex) as this can be toxic for both cats and dogs. 

Side Effects 

  • If your pet's condition worsens or does not improve speak with your integrative vet.
  • Can cause vomiting in some pets
  • Can cause diarrhoea
  • Avoid giving the juice directly from the plant
  • Do not give to pregnant animals
  • Do not give to breastfeeding animals
  • Do not give to animals suffering from kidney disease
  • May cause electrolyte imbalances when overused
  • Avoid using if your pet has an intestinal issue or illness unless working under the supervision of a holistic vet. 
  • May interact with some drugs

How to Give Aloe Vera to Cats & Dogs

Forms of use:
  • Gel
  • Powder
  • Tincture

Administration can be via
  • Can be given orally as a supplement
  • Can be applied topically

Aloe Vera Dosage for Pets  

Cats & Dogs

It's best to consult your integrative or holistic vet for your pet's individual health needs especially when using this as an internal supplement/medicine. As with any herb or plant, they are natural medicines so you also want to find the balance between healing or giving too much that it causes an adverse reaction. When looking to give aloe vera to your pet internally, especially to use it with acute or chronic illnesses, work with your integrative vet.

Avoid buying an aloe vera gel. The best natural source is the plant itself anything you purchase from a shop will inevitably have some other ingredients added in order to extend shelf life, and these ingredients will have contraindications that your pet's body is going to have to clean up and or, can be toxic to your pet. 

General-purpose guidelines. External Use:

You can cut a leaf from the plant, as close to the trunk of the plant as possible then leave the leaf to stand for 15 minutes so that any of the yellow juice bleeds out. For more of an emergency situation, you can use the leaf instantly. 

Cut off the base of the leaf, the spikey bits on the side, and slice the leaf open. You can rub the fleshy part of the inside of the leaf directly to the affected area. Alternatively, you can use a teaspoon to scoop out the gel from the leaf, blend it slightly so it's not in clumps and apply this over the affected area. Any excess pop into a glass jar and store in the fridge. 

A great mini cream to have on hand is to combine aloe vera gel with virgin coconut oil. The properties of these two plants work well together to spread over the affected area, especially for those dogs and cats that suffer from a lot of skin allergies or hot spots. However, remember if you're not investigating the root cause of the allergy or hotspots, topical applications will only bring temporary relief. 

You as the pet guardian need to work out the underlying cause of your dog or cat having a skin issue or bouncing between bouts of skin problems. The skin is a fantastic organ that helps the body eliminate toxins. In some instances, the skin issue can be environmental but in the majority of cases, any external issue is your visual warning/an expression that something is severely out of balance on the inside. 

You'll need to re-establish balance in your pet's body by eliminating the toxin, then begin to bring the body back into balance, which is normally through feeding a species-appropriate diet, - raw food, eliminating the use of toxic products such as chemical-based flea treatments, vaccination, etc. All these things upset the natural balance of your pet's body and put massive stress on the lymph system to clear the toxins from the body. The more you can eliminate unnatural products such as kibble the better for your pet's health and their overall longevity.

Internal Use;

As a general guide use about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of recommended Aloe Vera gel or juice product per 5 kilos of body weight daily for a few weeks, then give your pet a break for a number of weeks. For the powder form, refer to the manufacture's recommendations. 

If you are feeding juice to your cat or dog, remember less is more. Start off with a minimal amount, working up to the recommended dosage, this way you can easily monitor your pet for any adverse reactions, and their poop is the first sign something is wrong. If the stool becomes loose, back off with the amount you're is giving. Find the balance to where their poop is normal and not in any way runny. The ideal excrement is like a cigar form and not smelly. Anything away from this non smelly cigar form, means something is out of sync with your cat or dog's internal system.

However, unless under the strict supervision of your holistic vet avoid giving your cat or dog aloe vera internally especially any juices. Taken internally can irritate the digestive system, can cause vomiting or diarrhoea, or worse can send your pet into organ failure if overfed. Do not feed aloe vera juice made for human consumption to pets as it is often not 100% true aloe vera. If you are to give an aloe vera juice make sure it's been properly processed to eliminate any of the constituents of the plant that are toxic to pets. 

If your pet licks the gel you've applied on their skin, it should be fine as applying the gel from the leaf is far less toxic to your pet than the juices and the clear gel has many healing benefits. Applying the gel to the skin means the body will absorb the healing benefits and this tends to be the safest and most effective way to help your cat or dog by applying the gel topically.  Or even rubbing the gel over the tummy area can often help the benefits of the gel get absorbed into the body.

If you've opened the leaf and your cat or dog selects to eat some of the gel you've scooped from the leaf, it should be fine as your pet is regulating its own internal system. If your pet doesn't choose to eat the gel do not force it on your animal. Keep the juice part of the leaf away from your pet.

If you're wishing to feed the gel or juice to your cat or dog to help them heal from an acute or chronic health condition, do so under the guidance of your holistic vet that can work out quantities and number of times per day relevant to your pet's own individual health needs. Alternatively, you may find it easier to use a powder or tincture form of aloe vera to administer to your pet for any specific health condition. 

Always observe your pet for any changes and work in harmony with their body. This article is not meant for diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your holistic veterinarian for proper diagnosis and your pet's individual treatment plan.

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Natural lifestyle, naturally health, naturally thriving!!

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Wednesday, February 01 2023

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