Noise Phobia such as fear of thunderstorms can cause such extreme feelings of anxiety and panic in dogs driving them to do the most unthinkable things. Many dogs will claw and scratch at doors and windows, others will dig, climb, howl or bark incessantly. Not only will they destroy your property but more importantly they will cause themselves physical harm. There are a lot of products on the market aimed at helping dogs overcome their fear of thunderstorms such as Thunders Shirts, Desensitising CD’s, Melatonin and of course prescription sedatives such as Valium and Zanex, but have you ever considered a more natural method of approach, something that has been tried and tested on humans and animals alike with results that are indeed very pleasing.
What I am talking about is Bach Flower Therapy, or better still Rescue Remedy a potent concoction of 5 flower essences combined together to help one deal with stress in its highest form.
Bach Flower remedies were developed in the early 1900’s by an English Physician called Dr Edward Bach. Dr Bach believed that our minds had the power to ease our suffering, so that in 1930 he gave up his practice and devoted his life in developing a new and natural system of medicine that focused on the emotional state and not the physical state. Using various plants and flowers he created remedies to aid the body in unlocking its own natural healing power.
Bach Flower therapy works on the body in ways very similar to acupuncture. They help the body to heal itself by relieving emotional, mental and physical stress, and by returning the body to its natural state of balance.
Rescue remedy simply put is a mixture of the following plants :
Impatiens – for impatience and agitation that may be associated with pain.
Star of Bethlehem – for shock, grief or fright.
Cherry Plum – for hysteria or loss of control.
Rock rose – for terror and panic.
Clematis – for faintness and ungrounded feelings.
How much Rescue Remedy you need to use depends on the size of your dog and the severity of his/her anxiety. A rule of thumb is for lighter/smaller dogs 1 drop for every 2.5 kgs and for bigger/heavier dogs 4 drops for the first 10kgs then one additional drop for every 5kgs after that, ie: for a 30kg dog you would require 8 drops of Rescue Remedy.
The method in which you administer the essence can also vary, some people like to dilute the mixture in spring water, others prefer it undiluted (be warned that the taste is quite unpleasant in order to avoid further stress to the animal my suggestion would definitely be to dilute first). Drops of Rescue Remedy can then be added to the dogs water bowl, it can be dropped directly into the mouth, or you can use it to rub over the dogs paws and face. Once again the severity of the dogs stress will determine which method you choose, in some cases it may be necessary to do all three. One thing to remember whichever method you may choose is that you cannot overdose your pet with Rescue Remedy, nor will it be harmed in any way. Rescue Remedy is safe and gentle and can be used in conjunction with allopathic drugs with no risk or fear of drug interaction.
One of the most common mistakes that people make when using Rescue Remedy is that they do not allow the essence enough time to work. If you are giving your dog Rescue Remedy in anticipation of an upcoming thunderstorm, then you need to start the treatment at least 45 minutes before hand and administer the essence once every 15 minutes.
What you can expect to see when using Rescue remedy is a much more subdued reaction to the fear that your dog is experiencing.
Rescue Remedy is available for purchase from most health food stores and pharmacies and also over the internet.