April is National Pet First Aid Awareness Month. And really, what better way is there to raise awareness than with a post about building the ultimate, all natural, first aid kit for dogs.
Like us, our dogs never try to get hurt, but accidents happen. You never want to be stuck without supplies. And yes, there are plenty of doggie first aid kits on the market, but most aren’t natural. Obviously that’s our go-to. And given that’s it’s also Earth Week this week, we want to celebrate everything Mother Nature has to offer – including exceptional natural first aid!
Whether you’re heading out on the trail, packing up the car for a camping trip, or even just to have in the cupboard at home, this simple kit has you covered!
First Aid Kit for Dogs: The Essentials
Of course you’ll want the usual suspects in there, things like:
- cotton bandages (not the sticky kind)
- tick removal tool
But beyond that? What else should you keep in a first aid kit for dogs?
For fast pain relief and to help calm a dog who has sustained an injury, we always reach for CBD oil. It is well known to have both anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. And, the calming effects can help a dog who might be nervous after sustaining an injury, or keep them collected as you administer first aid treatment. To help relieve pain and to reduce inflammation, keep a bottle of CBD in your first aid kit.
*You can also rely on the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD with a topical CBD salve.
A Herbal Tea Rinse
Several different herbal teas are effective for wound cleaning, including comfrey, St. John’s wort, and chamomile. If your pup gets a cut or scrape along the trail, rinse it well with a rinse made with one of these teas before wrapping it with your cotton bandage.
To make a rinse, brew 2 teaspoons dried herb or 2 tablespoons fresh herb per cup of boiling water. Cover and let the tea steep until cool. Strain, refrigerate, and pour into a small spray bottle for easy use. Make a new batch the night before each outing (it will keep for a few days if you’re out every day).
Calendula helps heal the skin quickly by regenerating it. It can even prevent scarring. It’s ideal for your first aid kit for dogs because it provides:
- Antibacterial support
- Anti-fungal support
- Antiviral support
To make a calendula salve, you’ll need calendula (8 to 10 oz), coconut oil (2 to 3 cups), beeswax (1 oz ).
Place the coconut oil and calendula in a crockpot set to low and leave for 24 hours. Once your oil has taken on the color of the calendula, strain the herbs from the oil and put back in the crockpot with 1 ounce of beeswax for every 8 ounces of strained oil. Once the beeswax melts, remove it from the heat, pour it into small tins or a small mason jar, let cool, then cover.
**Manuka honey is also an effective wound healer. Once you’ve cleaned the wound, apply pure Manuka honey directly to the cut or scrape and cover it with a clean bandage.
Do you apply aloe when you get a sunburn? That’s because of its natural soothing properties. Keeping some in your first aid kit for dogs is a good way to sooth burns, or even to ease itchy or irritated skin. Find a quality, food-grade product that doesn’t use the whole leaf (containing aloe latex) to avoid a laxative effect if your pet licks it. Apply it gently to the affected area, and if needed, cover with a bandage.
- Arnica is a great homeopathic remedy for muscle aches, spasms, pain, and bruising. It not only relieves pain, but also helps reduce associated swelling.
- Nux vomica is good for digestive upset or nausea, and is ideal for motion sickness.
- Silica can help expel foreign material from the body, so if your dog is romping through the field and comes back stuck with thorns, reach for this remedy.
- Cantharis is handy for treating skin conditions and burns. This one’s also convenient if your pet gets a bee sting or particularly itchy bug bite.
Start by giving one dose (3-5 pellets) and then WAIT and OBSERVE. If there’s no improvement at all within a few hours, give another dose. If, after 3 doses, there’s no change, then it’s time to try a different remedy. You want the remedy to melt on the gums, so you don’t want to add it to your animal’s food. Drop a liquid dose or pellet dose directly into your dog’s mouth. Find out more about homeopathic remedies for first aid here.
Don’t get stuck without your first aid supplies. In a pinch, these natural items cover a variety of situations! Stay safe.
The Veterinarious team is made up of pet owners, pet lovers, and pet experts from around the globe! We’ve banded together to create a community of like-minded pet people to give you the latest research and health advice for your beloved beast!