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Vol 3., #1 - June 2000
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When the Family Pet Becomes the Family Pest

©2000 by Helen Graham and Gregory Vlamis

Pets are part of what makes a house a home. Animal companionship makes us feel safer and more loved, increases our playfulness, and allows us to express affection. There are times, however, when the family pet can become the family pest--when animals develop behaviors so difficult to tolerate that they can disrupt an entire household. Flower remedies are important in the treatment of animals because they restore the balance and harmony of an animal's true nature.

In the developed countries, flower remedies are used increasingly by holistic veterinary practitioners and animal behavior therapists. As a result, there is abundant anecdotal evidence to support their effectiveness in animal treatment, much of it supplied by professionals in these fields.

The descriptions of uses for the Bach remedies that follow are based on our extensive interviews of such professionals and on cases supplied by them. Our book, Bach Flower Remedies for Animals, gives more detailed descriptions of applications of all 38 of these remedies to animal treatment.

BEECH is the remedy of choice for fussy eaters and animals that are overly fastidious, becoming upset or annoyed by changes in their routines or diets. It calms down those who are intolerant of other animals, a variety of sights, sounds, or smells, and restores their flexibility and tolerance.

CHICORY is indicated for animals that are clinging or possessive, wanting continuous attention from their owners. Such animals may resort to sulking, destroying objects, soiling, or other misbehaviors they know bother their owners, simply as a way of getting attention. The remedy restores them to balance. (Editors' note: Chicory is also a big help with children who crave excessive attention. For an in-depth portrait of Chicory, see the article by Rupah Shah.)

HOLLY can help with bad-tempered animals that dislike particular animals in their environment or specific people. They may resent attention given to others or loss of their status in the home, say to a new animal or baby. They are prone to being suspicious, malicious or vengeful.

VERVAIN is excellent for hyperactive, excessively exuberant pets that overwhelm their owners with their constant energy and enthusiasm. It facilitates relaxation in high-strung, tense cats and dogs that can never be still and want to be on the go all the time. It also soothes ordinary animals that need to rest quietly as they recover from surgery or an injury.

VINE is indicated for animals that aggressively defend their territory, keeping other animals or their owners out of a bed, car, or armchair, and not allowing others to come near their food or to take food or toys from them. It would especially help cats that show aggression to other cats, animals, or their owners in defense of their territory or during play.

It would help dogs with behavioral problems involving dominance, over-protectiveness, territoriality, or non-acceptance of other animals. As an end point, it restores positive leadership qualities of natural leaders.

The following are some methods of giving remedies, depending on the individual animal's tolerance for them. The drops of a remedy can be directly applied onto or under an animal's tongue, dropped onto the animal's nose where they can be licked off, administered with food or fluids, or on treats. They should be given once or twice a day, preferably at the same time. Several drops of the remedy can be mixed in water and sprayed onto the animal's body, especially with frightened animals. Bathing or sponging the animal with water to which a few drops of the remedy has been added may also be useful.

Animals respond with great immediacy to correctly selected essences. The effects may be overnight or sooner, but may also take much longer with a chronic pattern. If the response is good, the dose can be gradually decreased and discontinued when no longer needed. If there is a relapse, which can happen under stress, the treatment may need to be administered another five days or longer. If there is no apparent change in the animal's condition, continue the essence for five days. If there is no response after five days, it is probably the wrong remedy.

EDITORS' NOTE: This article is based on excerpts from Bach Flower Remedies for Animals, by Helen Graham and Gregory Vlamis. It was reprinted with the permission of the publisher, Findhorn Press. As the authors are careful to stress, flower remedies may not "cure" a vicious, disturbed, or seriously physically ill animal, and this information is not expected to replace necessary veterinary treatment or advice. For additional articles on animals and essences, including other companies besides the Bach remedies, visit our articles index.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS: Gregory Vlamis is a researcher and author of the bestseller, Bach Flowers to the Rescue. He has been researching the life and work of Dr. Edward Bach since the early 1970s.

Helen Graham is a psychologist and since 1974 has been Lecturer in psychology at Keele University, UK. Her major research interests have been in the psychology of health and healing, notably complementary therapies. She has written ten books, most concerned with a complementary approach. In 1999, her textbook, Complementary Therapies in Context: the Psychology of Healing. was published by Jessica Kingsley, London.

Her collaboration with Gregory Vlamis stems from her involvement with animals, being the owner/breeder of one of the most well-known kennels of Saluki dogs in the world and an international championship show judge of this breed. She and her husband also own rare breeds of sheep and about 60 ornamental wildfowl from all over the world. She is also deeply involved with animal charities and with Findhorn.

ART CREDITS: This background was created by Carla's Graphic Designs. The cat animations came from a delightful collection of original animations, clipart and backgrounds at Catstuff Graphics and are used with the artist's permission.

The World Wide Essence Society does not mean to imply any recommendation of nor give certification to any individuals or companies above. This article is provided purely for informational purposes. We ask consumers to make their own determination as to quality of the services and products offered above. This article is not meant to be advice, and the information is not meant to replace medical or psychological treatment.
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