Herbal first aid for dogs. You read that right … you can make a first aid kit out of nothing but herbs.
Herbs can be so powerful and effective, they’re a great addition to any dog’s first aid kit!
And the best part is, unlike the usual antiseptic, antibacterial, immune-suppressing products found in most first aid kits, these amazing herbs will help your dog out not only in the short term, but they’ll protect his immune system from the long term damage those harsh products can cause.
So are you ready to to learn about the herbs you’ll want to carry in your non-medicine cabinet?
I thought you might be!
Here are the top five essential topical herbs you should have in your canine first aid kit.
Herbal First Aid For Dogs
Before you build your kit, consider what trouble your dog can get into. Things you might want to prepare for include:
- Cuts and scrapes
- Insect bites
- Muscle aches and pain
- Bleeding and bruises
Your herbal first aid kit can handle more than just cuts and scrapes, so why not be ready for other common issues too? This way, if something does come up you’ll find it easier to avoid chemical-based products.
Here’s a list of all-natural, safe and effective herbs you’ll want to have in your kit.
Calendula (Calendula officinalis)
Calendula heals skin fast! It helps regenerate skin and can even prevent scarring. It also has antibacterial, anti fungal and antiviral properties, to make sure the wound stays clean and pathogen-free.
Apply calendula as a salve or tea to cuts, burns, bites, scrapes, abscesses and fungal infections. Just be careful if applying it to open wounds that look infected. Calendula is such a good wound healer, it can heal infected wounds like abscesses so quickly that the infection can’t get out. So just make sure the wound isn’t draining before using calendula.
Comfrey (Symphytum officinale)
Comfrey is well known as “bone knit.” It’s earned this name because of its great affinity for fast tissue healing, including skin, muscle, tendons and even bones.
You can apply comfrey topically on the affected area as a salve, poultice or tea to speed the healing process for sore joints, burns and swelling. You can also use dried comfrey as a styptic to stop bleeding – just apply the dried herb directly to the skin … and make sure you have it on hand when cutting nails!
Plantain (Plantago major)
Plantain is a common weed that you can find almost anywhere in North America. It likes to grow alongside paths and roads. Plantain is a great wound healer and anti-inflammatory and you can use it to treat insect bites and stings, poison ivy and burns. It can even work as a drawing agent, pulling foreign bodies out of paws and ears.
You can use plantain directly on the affected area as a poultice. To make the poultice, just chew up some leaves (look down, they’re everywhere!) and apply them right to your dog’s skin! Plantain works great for bug bites.
Aloe (Aloe barbadensis)
Aloe vera is renowned for its ability to soothe irritated skin. Naturally it makes a great dog ointment. It’s an easy-to-grow potted plant that many people keep in their homes for the treatment of burns. Aloe works great for healing burns and relieving the pain and inflammation they cause, especially when applied right away. Aloe can also promote wound healing in soft tissue; it reduces inflammation and increases blood supply.
Aloe works best if you just apply the fresh plant, because bacteria can grow in commercial aloe products or juices. Avoid using aloe on deep or infected wounds, or severe burns.
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
Yarrow is a great addition to your first aid kit. Use it as a salve or poultice, or just use the fresh plant.
Yarrow is anti-inflammatory, helps builds new tissue and stop bleeding, so it’s most effective when used to treat bruises, sprains and strains. Yarrow also protects against bacteria and fungi, so it’s also a great choice for cuts, bites, burns and stings. Use it as a salve, poultice or tea.
Home Remedies For Dog Wounds
Preparing A Homemade Herbal Salve
Here’s a dog salve recipe that’s very easy to prepare and contains three basic ingredients:
- Herbs (8 to 10 oz)
- Coconut Oil (2 to 3 cups)
- Beeswax (1 oz )
You can make your salve with just one herb or several herbs. Try to find organic herbs whenever possible and buy the herbs ground … the finer they’re ground up, the more healing properties you’ll get in the salve. If you’re using whole herbs, then just grind them up into a fine powder in your coffee grinder, Vitamix or Magic Bullet before using for your salve.
Place the coconut oil and powdered herbs in a small crockpot. Set it to low or warm, a dehydrator or double boiler set to very low (shoot for 100 to 140 degrees). Let them warm for a day or two.
The coconut oil will soon take on the color of the herb you’re using, which means that the herbal properties have transferred to the oil. Once your oil has reached this color, place a strainer and a few layers of cheesecloth over a bowl and strain the herbs from the oil.
Take the bowl of strained oil and mix in 1 ounce of beeswax for every 8 ounces of strained oil. Put the beeswax and oil back into your crockpot until the beeswax melts into the oil, then remove it from the heat.
Pour the salve into a wide jar and store it in a warm cupboard, the you have it when you need it!
Preparing A Topical Herbal Tea
To prepare an herbal tea, place 8 tablespoons fresh herb or 4 tablespoons dried herb in a teapot. Add a quart of boiling water.
Allow it to steep for 20 minutes, strain out the herb and allow the water to cool.
Allow the tea to cool, then pour it into a spray bottle. Spritz it on your dog’s affected skin three to five times a day.
Keep the remaining tea in the fridge, where it will keep for a few days.
Bonus Recipe: Herbal Flea Rinse
Use this rinse to keep the fleas away.
All you need is one part each of yarrow flowers, leaves and stems, celery seeds (freshly ground), feverfew flowers, mullein flowers.
Add the herbs to a teapot and cover with boiling water. Allow to stand until it is cool and strain before use.
That’s it! Five simple, easy herbs for herbal first aid for dogs!