It’s great to take your dog exploring. Nobody wants to go on the same walk every day … not even your dog who loves checking out neighborhood smells. So it’s fun to go on a new adventure sometimes … whether a hike in the country or just a walk somewhere further away from home than usual.
But if you’re adventuring away from your neighborhood, it’s a good idea to be prepared with some first aid for dogs. You can be ready for emergencies with a few simple remedies that you can carry in your pockets or a small waist or day pack.
In warmer months, it’s best to go out when the sun’s low, and remember to bring plenty of water. And if you’ll be gone for a few hours, carry some treats for your dog along with your own snacks.
First Aid Kit For Dogs
Here are a few essentials for a first aid kit for dogs if you’re out and about away from home.
#1 Arnica Montana For Injury Or Trauma
The homeopathic remedy Arnica Montana an essential remedy in any first aid kit … for dogs or people. It’s the first remedy to give your dog for any trauma or injury. It’s also great if your dog gets sore from overexertion, especially in his muscles and soft tissue.
Pick up the remedy at your local health store in either a 30C or 200C potency. If your dog gets an injury or soreness on a walk, give a dose of a few pellets immediately and then repeat every 15-20 minutes for an hour or so (3-4 doses).
The quickest way to dose is to twist the container until 2-3 pellets fall into the cap, then pull the corner of your dog’s lower lip out and tip the pellets into his cheek. The exact number of pellets doesn’t matter … so don’t worry if you drop one or give an extra pellet or two.
#2 Ledum Palustre For Insect Stings
Ledum is another homeopathic remedy that’s really useful in first aid for dogs. If your dog gets an insect bite or sting, Ledum almost always helps. It’s also great for any kind of puncture wound if your dog steps on something sharp.
Again, you can buy a 30C or 200C potency at most health stores. For bites, stings or punctures, especially if they’re swollen or painful, 3 or 4 doses of Ledum in the first hour will bring down swelling and relieve pain. Dose as described above for Arnica.
#3 Calendula For Cuts Or Scrapes
Whether it’s a cut or abrasion or even an insect bite, the herb calendula is known as the ultimate healer, soother and antimicrobial. Carry a small bottle of calendula tincture or spray so you can apply it directly to small cuts or abrasions.
Calendula is a very safe herb, but avoid using it for pregnant animals, cats or open wounds that need to drain.
#4 Aloe For Sunburn And Skin Irritations
Aloe vera is well known for soothing sunburn or other skin irritations. Aloe will soothe itches and sore spots, and it’s also antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory as well. Find aloe that is at least 99% pure, organic, free of preservatives, sweeteners and flavorings, human- and food-grade, and also important, make sure it contains the inner leaf juice or gel only, and not the whole leaf.
#5 Rescue Remedy Flower Essence Blend For Stress
Flower essences are very gentle and non-toxic. They work energetically on an emotional level. Rescue Remedy is an emergency blend of 5 flower essences (Clematis, Cherry Plum, Impatiens, Rock Rose and Star of Bethlehem) that can relieve many stressful situations, including if your dog gets injured and becomes scared or anxious. If this happens, try giving him a few drops of Rescue Remedy. Put 2-4 drops of the remedy straight in your dog’s mouth (or on his nose, where he will almost certainly lick it off) … or on a treat if necessary. Repeat as needed … you can’t overdose flower essences. You can buy Rescue Remedy at any health store.
#6 Gauze And Bandage For Cuts
Another useful item in a dog first aid kit is a small elastic bandage and a gauze pad. If your dog gets a cut or wound on a paw, you may need to cover it to stop bleeding or keep it clean. You can use calendula or aloe to wipe it clean before covering it with a piece of gauze and wrapping in a bandage.
#5 Insect Repellent
If you’re going somewhere there might be ticks or mosquitoes, it’s a good idea to spray your dog with a natural insect repellent before you go …. and if you’re out for a while, carry extra in a small spray bottle so you can top ir up if the bugs start pestering him.
#7 Tick Removal Device
If you have a light colored dog, you might spot a tick walking on him before it burrows into his fur and disappears from view, so you can grab it right away. But more likely, you’ll find a tick that’s already bitten and attached to his skin. To avoid tick disease, the sooner you can remove ticks the better. Carrying a pair of tweezers or a device like a tick key doesn’t take up much room in your pocket or pack, and can help you get ticks off your dog before they cause any harm. Grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible with tweezers, and tug gently until it detaches. Or slide a tick key over the tick and gently pull it out.
Bonus Tip: Plantain Leaf
Plantain grows just about everywhere so this is one you don’t even need to carry with you. It’s known as the Band-Aid plant because you can use it to help stop bleeding or irritation and itchiness from scratches or insect stings. Pick a leaf and chew it until it forms a pulp, then place it on your dog’s wound.
As you can see, it’s not hard to be ready for emergencies with a few of these items. And you can use them on yourself as well as your dog!