Bach Flower Therapy for a Fearful Dog

Fear is one of the basic emotions that every living organism experiences and our beloved pets are not an exception to it. Though dogs are known for their courageous attitude, some dogs do face situations where they exhibit signs of fright, requiring a professional handling.

Unlike human beings, who are able to express their emotions in a refined manner, dogs can’t communicate their feelings in an explicit way, but a close observation of their behavior can lead us to significant information about their mental state. A dog may display his fear in varied ways: he may try to escape from the room, or may stay motionless, or can become intensely restless, or can soil the room by submissive urination, or might just bark/growl at the fear-object. In extreme cases, he can even become destructive.

Bach Flower Remedies:
Bach Flower Remedies are a collection of 38 plant and flower-based remedies discovered in the 1930s by Dr Edward Bach, a Harley Street physician. Each Bach remedy deals with a specific negative emotion, so we can select and take one or more remedies to match the exact emotion or reactive pattern. These remedies can help our animals get over their own emotional difficulties. They are completely natural and harmless. Flower remedies help to restore the peace and harmony among the negative behavior of our pets.

The Treatment:
Though indicated as the behavioral patterns of the fear, as a part of treatment, it is extremely essential to get the dog examined by a veterinarian, to rule out any signs of organic disease, which might manifest in the similar manner. Once it’s confirmed to be only a fear, it’s worth giving a well-suited Bach Flower Remedies.

The selection of the remedy (-ies) is very simple and is based on the reaction pattern of the dog. Here are the most commonly used remedies for the fear seen in dogs:

Mimulus: Mimulus deals with fear of known causes. If you can identify the fear-object of your dog, he may need Mimulus to get over it. The commonly seen fear of loud noises or crackers in dogs can be relieved with Mimulus. Few dogs are afraid of water being poured on them, which calls for Mimulus.

Rock Rose: Rock rose will also show fear but in an extreme manner – in a state of Panic. Thus an intense fear of known or unknown reason, but manifested in a state of panic calls for Rock Rose. The state where the dog takes the whole house on toes with his frightful behavior, can be easily relieved with Rock Rose. The key is the intensity of the fear reaction.

Star of Bethlehem: This remedy relieves the state of sudden shock or trauma. A puppy, who has seen an accident and gets into attacks of fright, or a dog who was mishandled by his previous owner, or the one who has escaped a situation of great danger needs this remedy to get over the state of shock or emotional trauma.

Walnut: Walnut is the remedy for adaptation. If a puppy brought from a breeder or your friend’s house, shows signs of fear in the process of getting used to the new environment, he needs Walnut to aid in the adaptation. A dog separated from his mother and exhibiting fear will get relieved with Walnut.

Rescue Remedy: This is not a different remedy but a mixture of five remedies that are used in the state of emergency. This can be used if you can not decide which remedy to be selected or if the state of your dog is of an intense one, like the one of emergency. The unique formula contains Star of Bethlehem for shock, Rock Rose for terror and panic, Cherry Plum for lack of self-control, Impatiens for agitation, and Clematis to counteract faintness and bemusement.

The Dosage:
Two drops of the selected remedy (-ies) can be added to the watering bowls or food, that the dog will drink regularly. Otherwise, two drops (each) of the remedies can be added to a 30 ml bottle containing water and four-six drops from this treatment-bottle can be administered to the dog on regular basis (at least four times a day).

It can also be put directly in the mouth of your dog, if he allows. One can also drip few drops on the nose of the dog so that he can lick it off. In case of emergency, where it is not possible to make the dog drink the medicine, few drops can be applied onto the back of the ears (being a sensitive skin area) which can get absorbed through the skin.
The remedy combination should be repeated until required. There would be no harm if you select an incorrect remedy or continue to administer the remedies even after their need is over. If any other pet drinks water from the same bowl, it should be fine, since the remedies do not modify healthy emotions.
If you would like to learn more about the application of Bach Flower Remedies email Amit Karkare, a Homeopathic Consultant & Certified Bach Flower Practitioner who treats Pets’ emotions with his flower essences