Is Aloe Vera Toxic to Cats and Dogs?

Aloe Vera – Safe or Toxic?

Earlier this week a friend asked, “Is aloe vera toxic to cats and dogs?”’  She was considering buying a product that had aloe in it, but she wanted to be sure it was safe to give it to her pets.  Since other people have also asked about the safety of aloe vera, I thought it would be a good idea to write a short article about the topic.

Is aloe vera toxic to cats and dogs?

Aloe has so many wonderful benefits for dogs and cats, but the aloe vera plant does have a component that can be toxic to a cat or dog if ingested. So to play it safe, you just need to make sure any product containing aloe does not contain that part of the plant.

Avoid the part of the aloe vera plant containing aloin:

When you open an aloe vera leaf, you will see that it has a clear center which is the aloe gel.  The plant also has a white or yellow colored substance located around the edges, beneath the aloe leaf’s surface. This portion of the plant is the aloe latex, and the latex contains a natural chemical named aloin.

When you open an aloe vera leaf, you will see that it has a clear center which is the aloe gel.  The plant also has a white or yellow colored substance located around the edges, beneath the aloe leaf’s surface. This portion of the plant is the aloe latex, and the latex contains a natural chemical named aloin.

Aloin can be toxic to animals. It has a laxative effect, so it can cause diarrhea and irritate the intestines, leading to electrolyte loss. Also, if an animal has a latex allergy, aloin can cause skin irritation. When this occurs, the skin will turn red after coming into contact with the aloin.

To reap the benefits and avoid any possible toxic effects, pet owners just need to make sure
the latex part of the aloe vera plant has been removed during processing.

How do you make sure the aloe vera product is free of the aloin component?

To ensure a product is free of aloin, the label should state that it contains only the gel of the aloe vera plant.  Avoid labels stating “whole leaf” since products would then include the latex substance that contains the aloin.

Fortunately, most products on the market have removed the latex part of the plant.

What are some of the benefits of the aloe leaf gel?

  • Aloe contains acemannan, a polysaccharide immune stimulant.  So it can stimulate the immune system and may help pets who suffer from skin infections, allergies, cancer, and other diseases. Also, veterinarians use it as part of the therapy for treating fibrosarcoma tumors in cats.
  • It soothes, cools and softens the skin, so use aloe for flea bites, poison ivy, and sunburns.
  • Aloe vera contains prostaglandins which may lessen inflammation and hasten the healing of minor scrapes and other wounds.
  • Aloe has antibacterial and antifungal properties.
  • It relieves bladder irritation and sensitivity.
  • Many believe aloe relieves acute arthritic pain caused by gout in dogs.

To summarize, aloe vera is a very beneficial plant for dogs and cats. Of all the herbs, it is actually one of the safest and most reliable.  Just avoid the latex containing part of the plant, and aloe will be a safe and healthy substance to give to your beloved pet!

Our favorite aloe-vera containing products:

These are some of our favorite products containing aloe vera. They’re great for both pets and people!

  1.  Pet Scents Herbal Shampoo and Fur Foam Waterless Pet Shampoo

    Fur Foam Waterless Pet Shampoo contains soothing aloe vera. It saves time, Gets Rid of Fleas & Ticks, and Soothes & Heals the Skin

    Fur Foam Waterless Shampoo

  • Aloe soothes and heals the skin.
  • NO harmful chemicals!
  • Rids of fleas, mites, and lice.
  • Helps to heal hot spots, scratches, and flea and insect bites.
  • Thoroughly cleans, but protects skin’s natural oils.
  • Leaves a light pleasant scent.

 

2. George’s Aloe Vera Supplement

We love George’s Aloe because it’s tasteless!  There is no bitterness, it doesn’t contain citric acid, and there’s no need for refrigeration.

You can read testimonials and learn more by clicking here.  In addition to the Aloe Vera Liquid Supplement, George’s also has aloe sprays and topical gels.Dosage:  Aloe liquid can be ingested to help an animal having digestive tract irritations and minor problems.   Start slowly so that your pet can get used to the taste, but this really shouldn’t be a problem since George’s is tasteless.

For general maintenance: one teaspoon of aloe vera liquid daily per 10 pounds of body weight.

For serious illness:  Increase the daily dosage up to 1 tablespoon per 10 pounds of body weight.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *