Have you ever used flower essences for dogs and cats? Do you think they’re effective? Or is this “woo-woo” stuff just a hoax that works, if at all, with a placebo effect?
I’m sharing this information from my FLOWER ESSENCE entry from Cat Facts, The Series 6 (F): The Pet Parent’s A-to-Z Home Care Encyclopedia which includes these topics:
False Pregnancy, Fear, Feline Hepatic Lipidosis (FHL), Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP), Feline Ischemic Encephalopathy, Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV), Feline Panleukopenia Virus (FPV), Feral, Flatulence, Fleas, Flower Essences, Food, Food Additives, Food Supplements, Fracture, and Frostbite
I’ve broken the massive CAT FACTS book into catnip-size alpha-chapter sections. Folks can choose which ones they most need. Each chapter will release every week or so, but ONLY for subscribers on my Amy’s Newsletter Of course, you can still get the entire CAT FACTS book either in Kindle or 540+ pages of print.
WHAT ARE FLOWER ESSENCES FOR DOGS AND CATS
Flower essences are a type of “vibrational therapy” made from the essential oils of wild plants, trees, and bushes said to offer benefits to the emotional state of pets. Several brands are available. One of the best known, Bach Flower Remedies, consists of 38 individual essences made by infusing spring water with wild flowers either by steeping in the sun or by boiling.
TREATING DOG AND CAT EMOTIONS?
You’d think such things must come from a “new age” mentality, but Bach Flower Remedies were created by British physician Dr. Edward Bach in the early 1900s. He believed disease to be a physical sign and end product of unhappiness, fear and worry, and identified twelve “pathological emotional states” in people that the essences are designed to treat:
- mental torture or worry
- indifference or boredom
- doubt or discouragement
- pride or aloofness
We can’t know with certainty that pets feel the same emotions as people do, but holistic veterinarians have used the remedies with success, by attempting to identify the emotional state in dogs and cats.
BUT ARE THEY SAFE?
The great thing about Bach Flowers is they can be used safely by anyone. Even if you use the wrong remedy, although it may not help it won’t cause problems. The essences are easy to use. They don’t work in all cases, but when they do, they tend to work very quickly. You can combine them, but will get the best results by limiting to no more than three at a time.
Each individual flower essence treats a specific type of anxiety. They won’t cure behavior or health problems by themselves, but can help when used alongside other techniques. Occasionally more than one flower essences is combined into one remedy. The premixed Rescue Remedy, for example, contains the essences of Impatiens, Star of Bethlehem, Cherry Plum, Rock Rose, and Clematis. Rescue Remedy is considered an “emergency remedy” good for any kind of sudden stress or shock.
HOW TO USE FLOWER ESSENCES FOR DOGS AND CATS
While you can take the remedies undiluted, it’s best to prepare a treatment bottle from the full-strength glass “stock bottle” you purchase.
- Obtain a glass 30 ml (1 oz.) dropper bottle and fill with spring water (not tap water).
- Add two drops of your chosen Remedy to the new bottle of spring water. It’s best to limit this to three Remedies in the same bottle.
- Shake well, at least ten times (practitioners call this “succussing”).
- Store the stock bottle and treatment bottle in a dark, cool place. The stock bottle should last for a very long time in this way.
TREATING CATS AND DOGS WITH FLOWER ESSENCES
To treat your cat or dog, use the treatment bottle and shake it each time before putting three drops in the water bowl for Kitty and Fluffy to sip all day. It won’t hurt if the other pets also drink. Alternatively, you can mix the drops into a teaspoonful of plain yogurt for the cat or dog to take as a treat.
Since it’s a vibrational energy medicine, practitioners say that simply dripping the two drops on the pet’s forehead or a paw also works. Don’t let the dropper touch the skin, fur or mouth or you’ll contaminate the bottle. Holistic veterinarians usually advise giving three drops, one to four times a day as needed, until your pet acts like she feels better. More is NOT better—Bach Flower Remedies work best over a longer period of time.
So…is vibrational energy a bunch of hooey? And just for the sake of argument…if it IS a kind of placebo effect (can pets have a placebo effect???) what’s wrong with that if your cat and dog feels better?
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Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified cat & dog behavior consultant, a consultant to the pet industry, and the award-winning author of 35+ pet-centric books and Thrillers with Bite! Oh, and she loves bling!