by guest writer Sue Reid of Animal Matters
Flower essences are a natural, easy, inexpensive and safe way to help your dog feel calmer. With flower essences there are no side effects, no contra-indications, and no risk from choosing the wrong remedy or overdosing. They can be used alone or in combination with any other therapy.
Bach Flower Remedies found to help firework fears include:
- Bach Star of Bethlehem for trauma
- Rock Rose for terror
- Cherry Plum for fear of losing control
- Walnut for protection and feeling safe during the unpredictability of the fireworks
- Elm for the feeling of being overwhelmed by the environment
Sally’s fear of fireworks was helped with Bach flower essences. My rescue Jack Russell Terrier Sally, was terrified of loud bangs – panting, climbing the walls, shaking, running, hiding. I started the essences two weeks before Bonfire Night, and gave them every few minutes while the fireworks were happening. She was significantly calmer – still anxious but not constantly panting.
To make up a flower essence combination, put two drops of each chosen essence into a 30ml bottle, add 20ml spring water, and preserve with 10ml brandy or preferably vegetable glycerine for animals. This will last up to 30 days.
Bach flower essences are very simple to give. Four drops can be given on meals and treats; four times a day is ideal but you can give them every few minutes while the fireworks are on. You cannot overdose.
If your dog is too stressed to take essences on food or treats, put 10 drops from your combination bottle into a spray bottle (100ml is fine), top up with water and spray any area he/she goes to, including beds and bedding. Spray around him/her but not at close quarters, and always avoid eyes. Or you can just put a few drops into your own palms and stroke them into the top of your dog’s head as a dual purpose calming exercise. Again, when fireworks are happening you can do this every few minutes if your dog’s ok with it.
All dogs have unique personalities, behaviours and reasons for their fears, so an individually selected combination can be ideal. You can choose these yourself. Or, if you prefer, you can consult a qualified animal flower essence practitioner – just run this past your vet first. Bach also do a range of Pet Rescue Remedy products, designed for emergency use that many people have found helpful and are easily available in most good health food stores.
And if you’re scared of fireworks or distressed by your dog’s distress – take flower essences yourself. How you feel will affect your dog – so help him by helping yourself stay calm!