As a responsible pet owner, it's important to have a basic first aid kit on hand in case of pet emergencies. Of course, it's always best to contact your veterinarian as soon as possible if your pet becomes ill or is involved in an accident; but a well-assembled first aid kit can allow you to treat minor ailments at home and administer care until you can reach a veterinarian.
In today's post we'll show you how to build a basic first aid kit to treat some of the most common pet illnesses and injuries. Keeping reading for a rundown of our favorite tried and tested herbal and homeopathic remedies that are natural, effective, and safe to use with your pets.
1) Homeopathic Remedies
When used correctly, homeopathic remedies can be a safe and effective alternative to conventional medicines. They are also inexpensive and easily available online or from health food stores and supermarkets.
Arnica montana is a popular remedy that is especially effective for treatment of bruising, muscle soreness, pain, and inflammation. It is available in different forms such as tablets, gels, and creams. Always read the label carefully to make sure that you administer the correct dosage.
Arsenicum album is a great remedy for digestive disorders such as food poisoning – especially when accompanied by vomiting and diarrhea. Give one dose of between 6c and 30c potency twice an hour. Stop when you see an improvement in symptoms.
Aconitum napellus is a homeopathic remedy used for the treatment of stress, shock, and anxiety. It's also effective for pets suffering from a high fever. For acute situations, give your pet a dose with a potency of 30c a few times a day.
Nux vomica is a homeopathic treatment for clearing the body of toxins. Use this remedy when your pet has ingested spoiled food or a toxic substance. Nux vomica is an especially useful remedy to have on hand over the holiday season when pets can get their paws on food that's not meant for them. Symptoms of overindulgence include flatulence, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation. A single dose of 30c is usually sufficient for treating these symptoms.
Rhus tox is a widely known homeopathic remedy for treating arthritis and joint pain. It works best for pets that experience pain and stiffness when they rise, but loosen up with continued movement. This remedy is also good for itchy skin and inflammatory conditions. A dosage of 30c to 200c potency is recommended for treatment of acute conditions.
This guide from Animal Wellness has more information on giving homeopathic remedies to your pet.
2) Calendula Cream
Calendula is a wound healing botanical that is widely available as a cream. It is useful for treating skin injuries such as cuts, scrapes, burns, and inflammations. When applied to a pet's damaged skin, the cream speeds up the healing process and relieves pain. It also has antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties that prevent infection.
3) Slippery Elm
The inner bark of the slippery elm tree is a medicinal herb that can be used to treat digestive conditions such as diarrhea, stomach irritations, and constipation. If you buy it in capsule form, give a ¼ capsule twice daily for small dogs, a ½ capsule twice daily for medium dogs, or one capsule once or twice daily for large dogs. If the slippery elm is in powdered form, give a ¼ tsp powder for every 10 lbs of body weight – this dosage applies to both dogs and cats. Mix the powder or capsules into your pet's food for best results.
4) Flower Essences
Flower essences can be used to treat a range of pet health issues. We've found the following remedies to be particularly effective:
Bach Rescue Remedy for Pets
Bach's flower remedies are designed to treat common negative emotions in pets such as trauma, fear, and hyperactivity. The remedy comes in liquid form, and can be added to your pet's drinking water. Visit Bach's website to find out more about treatment and dosages.
Jackson Galaxy Solutions Happy Tummy
Happy Tummy is formulated to help pets cope with the stress and energetic imbalances that often accompany chronic stomach conditions such as colitis, constipation, and IBD. It can be applied topically or added to your pet's food or drinking water. Visit the Jackson Galaxy website for more information on this product.
5) Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal is used to absorb toxins and induce vomiting in cases of accidental poisoning. It can be administered by mouth or syringe in emergency situations, and is an essential item for any pet first aid kit. This article from Dogs Naturally has more information on using activated charcoal for accidental poisoning.
6) CocoTherapy Therapeutic Grade Coconut Oil
It goes without saying that we're huge proponents of the health benefits of therapeutic grade coconut oil. But what makes it such a great addition to a pet first aid kit?
CocoTherapy therapeutic grade coconut oil is an anti-inflammatory that helps speed up the healing process of common injuries like cuts, wounds, insect bites, and burns. When massaged into wounded skin, the antibacterial properties of the oil help damaged tissue to regenerate and heal while also preventing infection.
The high lauric acid content in therapeutic grade coconut oil is responsible for its antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties that fight infection throughout your pet's body. Use both topically and orally to ward off common infections caused by viruses and overgrowth of yeast or bacteria on your pet's body.
What's in your pet's first aid kit? Let us know in the comments.