Aloe vera is a common household plant not because it’s easy to grow and attractive but for its health benefits for humans. Aloe Vera extract is used in a variety of cosmetic products and for the treatment of many human ailments. But what about guinea pigs? Can guinea pigs eat aloe vera plants?
No! Guinea pigs cannot eat aloe vera plants. It is poisonous for them.
You may think that why is it that aloe vera is not only safe but also medicinally beneficial for human beings but toxic to guinea pigs. Well, guinea pigs and humans are made very different. Both have very different nutrient requirements, and different sensitivities. Therefore, many things that are perfectly safe for human beings could be toxic to guinea pigs.
If you have an aloe vera plant in a pot in your home, you must have thought about offering it to your guinea pig or applying its extract to soothe your piggy’s skin. DON’T!
Try to keep the aloe vera plants out of your guinea pigs reach; perhaps, on the refrigerator or top of a bookshelf. If you are still confused, continue reading as we are going to discuss all about aloe vera and guinea pigs.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Aloe Vera Plants?
No, guinea pigs cannot eat aloe vera plants. It is toxic to them. Where consumption of aloe vera may cause stomach upset, diarrhea, and drowsiness in guinea pigs; its application to the skin results in immediate irritation and itch, causing guinea pigs to scratch like crazy.
Aloe vera is toxic to guinea pigs. Whether they nibble on the aloe vera plant, consume aloe vera gel, or take a sip of aloe vera juice, guinea pigs are going to get sick. Aloe vera is bad for guinea pigs in all forms.
Why Aloe Vera Plant Is Bad For Guinea Pigs?
Aloe vera is bad for guinea pigs as it contains too many laxatives, which could lead to diarrhea in guinea pigs.
1. Toxins in Aloe Vera
Aloe vera plants contain many toxins like anthracene and glycosides. The symptoms of aloe vera poisoning will be mild unless your guinea pig has eaten aloe vera in a large amount. Given the small size of guinea pigs, consumption of more than a nibble or two will be considered a large amount.
Another toxic chemical present in aloe vera is saponins. It causes gastric upset, loss of appetite, tremors, and a change in guinea pig pee color.
2. Too Many Laxatives
Aloe vera leaves, also known as latex, are loaded with anthraquinones, which are natural laxatives. The anthraquinone compound present in aloe vera leaves is aloin. Aloin is a very effective laxative agent and is thus used in the pharmaceutical preparations of many laxatives to help people with constipation.
Where the laxative properties of aloe vera leaves might help people with constipation by inducing bowel movement, eating even a tiny piece of aloe vera leave could upset guinea pig stomach. It could lead to lose poop in guinea pigs and eventually diarrhea. Check out our guide on Guinea Pig Poop Chart: Types of Guinea Pig Poop With Meaning And Pictures.
3. The Choking Hazard and Thorns
Aside from the toxicity, gulping a large piece of aloe vera could make guinea pigs choke. The texture of aloe vera leaves makes it harder for guinea pigs to chew. Also, keep in mind that Aloe vera leaves are a bit thorny. The ingestion of a thorn could hurt your guinea pig’s internals.
4. Skin Irritation
Where ingestion of aloe vera is harmful, coming in contact with aloe vera gel or water seeping out is also bad for guinea pigs. It results in immediate soreness and itching, making your piglet scratch like crazy. Skin irritation is unpleasant for guinea pigs. So, if not addressed immediately, guinea pigs could scratch themselves openly, allowing infectious agents to settle in.
What to Do If Guinea Pig Has Ingested Aloe Vera?
You should try to keep aloe vera plants away from your guinea pigs’ reach. But if somehow, your guinea pig found its way to the aloe vera plant and eats some, here is what you can do.
Before you start panicking, check how much your guinea pig has actually consumed. If he has only ingested a little bit of aloe vera, you probably have nothing to panic about. However, you should still closely observe your guinea pig for any signs of sickness. In case, any signs of sickness prop up, you should get your piggy friend immediate vet’s attention.
In case, your guinea pig has consumed aloe vera in a large amount, you should immediately rush to a nearby emergency.
Don’t make the mistake of trying to make your guinea pig vomit. Guinea pigs are physically unable to vomit so you would be making things worse for your guinea pig.
Final Verdict: Can Guinea Pigs Eat Aloe Vera Plants?
No! Aloe vera is poisonous to guinea pigs as it contains many toxic compounds such as glycosides, and anthracene. Its consumption would upset the guinea pig’s stomach and lead to cancer in long run. Application on the skin would lead to immediate skin irritation, and itch, making guinea pigs scratch themselves like crazy.
Check out other guides to what guinea pigs can or cannot eat: