Although there is some controversy on whether dogs should ingest aloe vera, the gel of this plant can safely be used to treat certain skin problems. It can be rubbed on wounds, for instance, to help promote healing. Many pet owners have also found that aloe vera is very beneficial for other skin problems, including flea bites and allergies. Dog shampoos containing aloe vera can also be very soothing.
Ingesting aloe vera is believed to have a number of benefits for humans, as well as some animals. It contains several vitamins and other nutrients that help boost an animals immune system, making them more resistant to diseases. Some pet owners may mix a small amount of aloe vera juice in with their dogs' food.
Internal use of aloe vera for dogs, however, is frowned upon by some experts. They claim that this plant contains chemical compounds known as saponins, which are used in some detergents as sudsing agents. These compounds may make some dogs ill, especially in large quantities.
On the other hand, nearly all experts agree that the external use of aloe vera for dogs is safe. Aloe vera gel can be applied to almost any type of skin injury. Cuts, puncture wounds, and abrasions will often heal more quickly when the gel of this plant is applied to the wounded area.
Some veterinarians also recommend aloe vera for dogs after a surgical procedure. The gel can be applied to the healing surgical incision. It will help promote healing and a speedy recovery, as well as relieve some itching in the area. Small amounts of this plant extract will not usually harm a dog if it ingests it while licking the wound. Not all dogs will try to lick an incision covered in aloe vera, however, since it can have an unpleasant taste.
Certain skin disorders may also benefit from aloe vera. Fleas, allergies, and eczema can all cause intense itching in dogs. When the dog scratches, open sores, infection, and hair loss may develop. Applying aloe vera to the raw areas can often help heal the sores, and soothe the itching.
Aloe vera for dogs is available in several forms. Pet owners can break open the leaves of an aloe vera plant, or they can purchase aloe vera gels or sprays. Another popular aloe vera product for dogs is aloe vera pet shampoo. These shampoos also often contain other soothing ingredients, like oatmeal. These types of pet shampoos can be used a couple of times each week to help heal various skin conditions.