Our pets, like us, can suffer from stress, anxiety and trauma. Unfortunately, just like with people, these experiences can be debilitating. Whether it is from separation, being attacked, visits to the veterinarian or groomer, loud noises, loss of a companion, or shock and physical injury, there is nothing more heartbreaking then seeing an emotionally distraught pet and feeling helpless to relieve their anguish. With Bach Rescue Remedy®, you no longer need to feel helpless.
Rescue Remedy® is one of 38 flower remedies developed by Dr. Edward Bach in England in the 1930’s. Dr. Bach was a renowned British physician who felt a negative state of mind was at the core of many illnesses. His holistic approach to treating disease involved treating the body, mind and spirit. Treatment with flower remedies is especially appropriate for addressing stress related emotional imbalances. While the Bach Flower Remedies were originally developed for people, Dr. Bach also found them to be very helpful with animals.
Rescue Remedy® is a combination flower remedy formula created specifically for addressing stress in emergency or crisis situations. The individual remedies used in this formula help with trauma and shock (Star of Bethlehem), terror and panic (Rock Rose), hysteria or loss of control (Cherry Plum), impatience and agitation (Impatiens), and faintness and stunned feelings (Clematis). This combination can help after an accident or in any situation that causes extreme anxiety, nervousness or even terror. Rescue Remedy® often has an immediate calming effect. It may be taken as often as needed without fear of overdosing: it is safe, gentle, and non-toxic.
Rescue Remedy® is not a magic, instantaneous solution for long standing behavior problems. While it can be helpful in reducing the stress and anxiety of a timid dog, it will not make them into a gregarious, “gotta love everybody” dog. Nor will Rescue Remedy® remove your pet’s natural instincts, although it can help your pet to adapt those instincts to its environment.
I have known Rescue Remedy® to be effective with pets suffering from fear aggression, separation anxiety, fear of thunderstorms and general anxiety. It also seemed effective in helping our Cairn Terrier recover more quickly after he had a seizure. Many veterinarians will routinely use Rescue Remedy® with pets before examination and surgery. Used topically or in its cream formula, Rescue Remedy® can also help alleviate hot spots and promote the healing of wounds. I cannot guarantee it will work for your dog or cat, but suggest that it is worth a try.
Rescue Remedy® is available in 10ml and 20ml stock bottles for people or pets. Any of those products may be used with pets as can the 20ml spray bottle. Rescue cream can be used for external application. Do NOT use Rescue Pastilles with pets as they contain the artificial sweetener Xylitol which is toxic to pets.
When dealing with sudden behavior changes, you should arrange for a complete medical evaluation by your veterinarian to rule out any physical or medical reasons for the behavior change before trying Rescue Remedy®. Physical injuries which cause pain are often a reason for sudden aggression and other changes in behavior.
Do NOT try to treat your pet yourself if they are displaying any form of aggression, destructive behavior or any behavior that can cause significant damage to others, themselves, or property. These issues need to be addressed with your veterinarian and a qualified pet behavior consultant. Green Acres would be happy to assist you in finding someone qualified to help you.
How to treat your pet with Rescue Remedy®
It is important to understand that Bach Flower Remedies are not a substitute for medical or veterinary treatment.
Do NOT use Rescue Pastilles with pets as they contain the artificial sweetener Xylitol which is toxic to pets.
Rescue Remedy® is usually administered by mouth, diluted in water. A little goes a long way, because you do not need to use it directly from the stock bottle you purchase. When you purchase a stock bottle, also buy an empty 30ml eyedropper bottle to be your treatment bottle. To prepare the treatment bottle for use with your pet, do the following:
- Fill the treatment bottle ¼ full with vegetable glycerin, brandy, or vodka as a preservative.
- Fill the remainder of the bottle with spring water, not tap water.
- Put 4 drops of Bach Rescue Remedy® in the treatment bottle. You will treat your pet from this bottle.
If treating for an acute condition or emergency:
An acute situation might be a visit to the veterinarian or groomer, a thunderstorm, a car accident, a dog fight, or a seizure. It is something that happens suddenly which rapidly affects your pet.
Place four (4) drops of the mixture from the treatment bottle on your finger and then touch your pet’s gums or tongue. Do not put the glass dropper anywhere near your pet’s mouth. Alternatively put 4 drops on a treat or small piece of bread and feed your pet. Lastly, you may apply the mixture to the paw pads, nose, belly, or ears. The remedy will be quickly absorbed from these areas. If you cannot get near enough to your pet to administer Rescue Remedy® in this fashion, you may use the treatment bottle solution in a mister bottle, and spray the area around your pet. Rescue Remedy® is also available in a spray bottle for this purpose.
If you see no improvement in 20 minutes, administer an additional 4 drops.
If treating for a chronic condition:
Rescue Remedy is typically used for acute, emergency situations. Most pets with a chronic condition should be seen for a behavior consultation so that a specific mixture of the 38 Bach flower remedies can be determined for their unique behavioral/emotional issues.
A chronic condition might be separation issues, fear of strangers, fear of children, grieving for a lost companion, or adjusting to a new home.
For chronic situations, you will typically administer 4 drops of Rescue Remedy, a minimum of four times per day. In addition, you may put 10 drops of the prepared mixture, per gallon of water, in your pet’s water dish each time you fill it.
Continue to treat the pet in this manner until you see improvement.
Dosage is the same for all size pets as well as for people. You cannot overdose on a Bach flower remedy, but dosing more than necessary just wastes the remedy.
If treating an external area or hot spot:
Place drops of the mixture directly on the area to be treated; it will be quickly absorbed. You may also wish to consider using Rescue Remedy® spray or Rescue™ Cream. Rescue™ Cream also contains the essence Crab Apple which is for cleansing.
Continue to treat the pet in this manner until you see improvement.
Personal Success Stories with Rescue Remedy®
Pets I have seen helped with Rescue Remedy® include a dog in class that was afraid of other dogs and a dog exhibiting separation anxiety. The dog in our classes was so stressed around other dogs that all it wanted to do was bark while hiding behind its guardian. A dog that is experiencing that much stress is unable to learn. This dog was also disruptive to the other dogs in class. We gave the dog 4 drops of Rescue Remedy® on a biscuit, and within a couple of minutes the dog visibly calmed down and was able to remain in class. The guardian continued to give the dog Rescue Remedy® before every class and in other stressful situations and it did fine.
The second dog was exhibiting minor destructive behavior whenever its guardians left it alone at home. They were looking for a quick solution, so I suggested they try giving the dog Rescue Remedy directly and also including it in the dog’s water bowl. Within two days the dog was able to remain at home alone with no problems. The guardians weaned the dog off the Rescue Remedy® over a two week period and today it stays home alone with no problems and with no Rescue Remedy®.
I always reach for Rescue Remedy when I am experiencing a tension headache – the kind that starts at the base of the neck and works its way to the back of my head. My headache usually clears after I have taken 4 to 8 drops of Rescue Remedy. Applying Rescue Remedy Gel to the base of my neck also helps.
Rescue Remedy cream is great for helping minor cuts and abrasions to heal faster. I have several friends who use it as a facial cream and find that it has dramatically helped their acne.
Not all results are as dramatic as those described above and Rescue Remedy® might not be the best Bach flower remedy for your pet’s particular emotional issue. More chronic problems need to be treated over longer periods of time and some pets may require one of the other 38 flower remedies or some other combination of those same remedies. Many issues will also require a behavior modification program in conjunction with the use of flower remedies.
What if Rescue Remedy® does not help my pet?
It is important to understand that Rescue Remedy® is just one of 38 Bach Flower Remedies. It may not be the appropriate remedy for your pet’s problem. Sometimes when Rescue Remedy® works, it can reveal other issues. If you have behavioral problems with your pet, you may want to consider making an appointment with Green Acres’ Director of Behavior Counseling and Training, Don Hanson, for a behavioral evaluation of your pet. Don is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant, Certified Professional Dog Trainer and is a Bach Foundation Registered Animal Practitioner. He can work with you in developing a behavior modification program and help to select the most appropriate Bach flower remedies for your pet’s issues.
Other Information on Bach Flower Remedies
If you would like to learn more about Bach Flower Remedies and their use in treatment of pets, you may wish to read the following:
An Overview of the Bach Flower Essences – Don Hanson – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/?p=115
Bach Flower Remedies for Animals – Stefan Ball & Judy Howard
Bach Flower Remedies for Animals – Helen Graham and Gregory Vlamis
Treating Animal Illnesses & Emotional States with Flower Essence Remedies – Jessica Bear, Ph.D., N.D. and Tricia Lewis
Emotional Healing for Horses & Ponies– Stefan Ball, Heather Simpson & Judy Howard
Emotional Healing for Cat– Stefan Ball & Judy Howard
Suggested books on the Bach Flower Remedies and their use with people are:
The 38 Bach Flower Essences—Nelson Bach
The Twelve Healers & Other Remedies—Edward Bach
(available for download at: – http://bit.ly/ozN5U6)
The Bach Flower Remedies Step by Step—Judy Howard
Principals of Bach Flower Remedies– Stefan Ball
The Bach Remedies Workbook—Stefan Ball
Practical Uses and Applications of the Bach Flower Emotional Remedies– Jessica Bear, Ph.D., N.D.
Bach Flower Therapy – Theory and Practice—Mechthild Scheffer
Bach Flower Remedies for Women—Judy Howard
Bach Flower Remedies for Men—Stefan Ball
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