A pet first-aid kit is an excellent idea that can save the lives of our pets in case they suffer unexpected injuries. If you prefer a more natural solution, homeopathic remedies and herbal medicines can be added to the kit to help treat everything from burns and cuts to nausea and anxiety.
Denise Fleck is a Career Technical Education Animal Care Instructor at the Burbank Unified Schools District. She is a CPR and pet first aid speaker. Homeopathic remedies are often used in conjunction with traditional treatment to achieve better results.
According to Fleck, homeopathic remedies are commonly administered to pets in the form of tinctures (a liquid herbal extract) and sugar pills. A drop of the remedy can be placed onto the pill, which is then given to the dog or cat.
It takes some time to put together a natural and homeopathic first aid kit but can help you treat minor injuries before visiting the veterinarian. I always reach first for natural remedies and they have worked well,” Dr. Judy Morgan says. She uses both traditional Western medicine, as well holistic treatments like herbal therapy and chiropractic care, on her patients.
Every natural first aid kit must contain the following basic herbal and homeopathic remedies. Consult your vet before giving any new remedies to your pet.
Strains and Bruises
Morgan says that Arnica can be used to treat muscle pains, spasms, and bruises in animals. Morgan says that Arnica can be applied as an oil or cream diluted with a little water or taken orally. For oral treatment I use 30C Pellets–one to two pellets every four hours at first for 48 hours, and then every eight.
Arnica can be a useful addition to first aid because, not only does it relieve pain but reduce swelling as well, says Dr. Carol Osborne DVM. She is an integrative vet and was the first veterinarian to receive certification from the American Board of Anti-Aging Medicine in humans. Osborne recommends giving two pellets an hour for up to four hours to reduce swelling.
Morgan says that the plant-based treatment is also an option for animals with intervertebral disk disease (IVDD). Morgan explains that owners can administer the pills if their pet appears to be in pain due to IVDD, while they wait for their vet.
Cuttings and Abrasions
Calendula is an herb and homeopathic medicine that belongs to the sunflower family. Morgan explains that it can be used as an ointment or a tea to treat wounds, abrasions, and rashes. Calendula is known to speed up healing and reduce pain and inflammation. It also has antimicrobial properties that help prevent infection.
Osborne recommends mixing two teaspoons of Calendula water with six drops of tincture. Osborne says to apply the tincture to the area, then cover it with gauze and tap the tape to the skin. This will reduce pain.
Calendula can be used internally due to its antifungal qualities. Morgan says that one tablet, taken twice a day can control the yeast growth in your bowels and aid healing following a bout with colitis.
The Insect Bites & Stings
Osborne says that nettle oil is one of the easiest natural remedies to use for bites and stings. Osborne advises that you can apply a drop of nettle leaf oil directly to the sting for relief. Morgan says that Calendula is a good option. It has been used for centuries as a botanical to heal wounds and reduce inflammation.
You can use an ice pack to reduce swelling or inflammation. Fleck says to remove the cold pack from your pet’s body every 3 minutes and replace it again. A small towel placed under the ice packs will help to prevent damage caused by excessively low temperatures.
Morgan says that tea tree oil has antibacterial, antibiotic, antifungal, and antiviral properties, is insect repellant, as well as anti-inflammatory. Morgan explains that it can be applied as a diluted spray or cream to wounds and irritated areas of skin. It also helps with ear infections if diluted in virgin oil.
Fleck warns that while humans tolerate 100 percent tea tree oil, pets must have it diluted. It can be dangerous to cats and small dog breeds. Never use 100 percent tea tree oil on your cat or dog. Consult a vet to learn the correct dilution technique.
Burns and Wounds
Morgan says that aloe vera is the best first-aid treatment for wounds and burns. Morgan says that aloe vera is soothing, and cooling, and increases blood flow to the affected area. It also has antibacterial and antibiotic properties. You can easily pack it in your kit and take it anywhere. Pet parents must never let their cats or dogs eat or lick aloe Vera. The gel or plant leaves may cause stomach upsets or toxic effects if consumed in large quantities. When applying aloe vera topically to your dog or cat, be sure to watch to make sure they are not licking it.
According to Fleck, calendula is also effective as a sunburn salve. It can relieve rashes and insect bites. Fleck says that it can stimulate the immune and reduce inflammation.
Diarrhea, Nausea, and Vomiting
According to Osborne, the best thing you can do to treat vomiting or diarrhea is to stop eating and drinking for 4 to 6 hours.
You can purchase slippery elm powder in many health shops. Morgan says that she makes slippery elm by mixing 1 teaspoon of powder with one cup of warm water. Then, give the pet one teaspoon for every 20 pounds, 3 times per day. You can find it in pill form as well, but Fleck prefers that. Fleck says that slippery elm can be used to treat irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, and diarrhea.
Stress and shock
Bach’s Rescue Remedy, is a homeopathic remedy that can help pets deal with stressful situations. Morgan says that it is ideal for use during trauma such as accidents, trips to the veterinarian, surgeries, or thunderstorms.
Rescue Remedy is a blend of five flower essences: Impatiens (Imparantus), Clematis, Rock Rose, and Cherry Plum. It can help calm your dog down so that he will be more open to receiving help. Osborne says that you can use a few drops of the remedy in your pet’s food, water, or mouth. You can also rub the product on your dog’s sensitive areas: inner ears and groins, particularly if your dog is not hairless.