Flower Power: Natureís Solution to Behavioral Problems
by Dr. Lisa S. Newman, PhD,
Pet owners are concerned about their animalís inappropriate or anti-social behavior. On a stormy night, many dogs escape to the farthest corners of their homes at the crack of lightening and quiver under the roar of thunder. Other dogs pull at their leads and lunge towards strangers with ferocious barks making walks an unpleasant and dangerous task. Some cling to their owners, often underfoot, and fall apart when left alone, even becoming destructive. They may have been abandoned and now canít form human attachments. The good news is that examples of behavioral problems that flower remedies address can be endless. Flower remedies are a safe, natural and holistic way to supplement your behavioral modification program, often quickly working on their own, even without the training!
Flower remedies are sun-infused flower and water formulas (like making sun tea) which have been proven to help balance the brainís perception of its situation. Flower remedies allow the brain to change cellular memories. It takes the dog out of his intense behavioral response (fear, neediness, obsession, aggression, jealousy, abandonment, etc.) and into a place of learning and paying attention. A dogís brain can only focus on one thing at a time, flower remedies help shift the focus away from the negative behavior so the dog can learn proper behavior and often, he or she simply stops the unwanted behavior after a few doses. This especially happens when homeopathically potentized flower remedies are used.
When the sun-infused formula is potentized into a homeopathic flower remedy it increases its effectiveness and overall benefits. If a low potency such as 30C is used this addresses more current issues of todayís behavioral trigger, while a higher potency like 200C addresses chronic behavior of yesterday when the original situation happened that created the behavior. Using a combination of both will address both; therefore, it is not vital that you know exactly what caused the behavior to begin.
The most effective flower remedies for pets come in alcohol but are administered a few drops at a time, so the alcohol content the pet might be getting is minimal and quite safe. Glycerol bases actually coat the mouth and can make it difficult for the remedy to work properly.
The most successful way to use flower remedies are with intent. Know what behavior you are trying to create and be ready to show your dog this new behavior when you give him a dose of his flower remedy. For example, your dog is obsessed with licking his foot and your vet has ruled out any medical reason such as allergies or structural problems - youíve tried scolding, taping his foot, even the dreaded Elizabethan collar and nothing works! He just keeps worrying that raw spot. Several flower remedies work on obsessiveness, some products even use these together as combinations which are more effective. The point is to give a few doses of the remedy while distracting your dog from his foot, possibly with a new toy. You will find that it will now be easier to engage him and he will be more willing to focus on the toy instead of his foot. After several days of this behavioral modification combined with a remedy you will find the obsessiveness more manageable and the wound beginning to heal.
The beauty of flower remedies is that there is no placebo effect with pets! It is extremely easy to apply a few drops directly into the mouth or in the water dish. There are no side-effects and they are safe to use with ANY pet, at any age.
Sadie, a 10 year-old poodle I worked with, went from terrorizing her family with unwarranted nips and growls to the point they were going to put her to sleep, for fear that she would bite one of the grandchildren, to being a loving and trusted member of the family in only a few short weeks. Her owners used an aggression formula and saw almost an immediate positive change in her growling. It has been four years since they used the remedy and her behavior has stayed loving and calm. This is not an uncommon occurrence since flower remedies are truly one of natureís gifts.