First Aid Kit for Pets – Don’t Leave Home Without It

Jodi Ziskin's picture

Whether driving to the next town or flying halfway across the world, there is one item to pack for your pets that is worth its weight in gold; a basic first aid kit.
Begin with fundamental items including gauze pads (several of both the large and small varieties), small ace bandage made specifically for cats and dogs, like Vetrap, a roll of adhesive tape and cotton swabs. It is a good idea to include tweezers and scissors (if flying, you may have to check the scissors) as well as a thick towel and a blanket (a baby-size blanket should fit the bill).
Add some or all of the following to create an all purpose holistic first aid kit. Most items are available in small containers, usually less than three ounces.
Tea tree oil – with its anti-fungal, anti-bacterial anti-viral properties, this is a must-have for cuts and scrapes. Be careful, as direct application can be toxic for cats and some dogs. Make sure to dilute with water (15% tea tree to 85% water).
Grapefruit Seed Extract – works like tea tree oil and can also be given internally (an alternative to antibiotics).
Herbal salve – This can be used to treat superficial cuts and rashes, hot spots, sunburn and more. You can find an all purpose salve at any health food store or purchase one designed for animals, like Dr. Harvey’s Organic Healing Cream.
Rescue Remedy by Bach Flowers – a tincture that is great for calming a frightened animal and a frightened you.
Lavender oil – can be applied to burns and also calms a sick cat or dog. Be careful to dilute it with equal parts of a carrier oil, like sweet almond and store in a glass or plastic bottle in the kit.
Aloe Vera gel – for topical treatment of cuts, burns, bites and abrasions. Make sure it is pure aloe. Most commercial gels are loaded with fillers.
Ipecac – syrup used to induce vomiting.
Hydrogen peroxide – all purpose disinfectant.
Activated charcoal powder – absorbs poisons and toxins.
Dried herbs* – including cayenne (stops bleeding), comfrey (pulls toxins from bites), slippery elm bark (treats diarrhea).
Herbal tinctures* – including calendula (full strength for wounds, diluted to wash out eyes or ears) and propolis (internally to fight infection, externally to disinfect wounds, bites, etc.).
Other items to consider including in the kit: a vegetable oil soap (like Dr. Bronner’s), an herbal eyewash like goldenseal or chamomile, thermometer and activated ice and heat packs.

*There are literally dozens of dried herbs or herbal tinctures that can be used for first aid purposes. Include ones you are more familiar with. For additional information on herbs, reference Dr. Kidd’s Guide to Herbal Cat Care or Dr. Kidd’s Guide to Herbal Dog Care. Both are available at and other online sites and retail establishments.


Jodi Ziskin, our Traveling with Pets Editor, is a Holistic Wellness Consultant for Animal Companions, specializing in nutrition and proactive health. She is a Certified Pet Nutrition Consultant who also holds a Master of Science degree in Holistic Nutrition. Through her company Holistic Jodi, LLC, Jodi makes house calls throughout South Florida, helping cats, dogs, birds and rabbits be as healthy and happy as possible.

She and her husband Zach live in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with their cat, Obi (age 5).

Please feel free to contact Jodi at holisticjodi[at] or visit