Bach Flower Essences for Fear in Animals

As a Flower Essence Animal Therapist, I am often called to work with animals that have fear issues. Listening to each case, I am able to unravel the story behind the emotions. A lot of the cases I am asked to work with are often termed “Fear Aggression”. To the owner, their animal will appear aggressive to other animals, other people, even aggressive to a change of circumstances, when in reality, he is only exhibiting fear.

Understanding Fear in Animals

The word “fear” actually originates from the 12th century English word “feren”, which when translated means calamity and danger. On the positive side, fear enables the animal to anticipate danger and employ means to avoid it, thereby guaranteeing the survival of their species. It is an innate behaviour that is programmed into every animal and human. The amount of risk versus fear that animals will take is also dependent on their species. For example prey animals are most likely to take the least amount of risk, as they are genetically pre-set with a survival instinct, as past generations would have been picked on, and eaten by the predator animal. Fear initiates the flight response for the animal to flee to a place of safety. The predator is built with stealth speed, agile body and big shiny sharp teeth. It too is born with the innate behaviour to chase down, catch and to eat the prey animal.

Therefore to understand your animal in “fear” terms, you have to understand what “fear” personally means to them.

Cats

Cats are very interesting as they hold the title of being both a prey and predator animal, but they still have things to fear, which can contribute to the various behaviours that your cat may exhibit.Fear in animals: Cats

Cats need a lot of socialising so they are able to deal with the big wide world. When they are pushed into a state of fear and have to get away, they tend to find somewhere high up to hide. They sometimes learn that to fight can equally get them out of a difficult situation. The most important thing to remember is that it is motivated by fear and not aggression.

Your cat may show displacement behaviour such as licking, blinking and grooming. As this is so subtle, it is important to understand when it is normal behaviour or when it is stress. Cats love to feel surrounded by their own scent and will constantly rub their body and head up against you, the furniture in fact any object. If a cat’s security is compromised perhaps by another cat, this is usually when they start to mark or spray. By marking or spraying they are marking over the other odour therefore increasing their own scent.

Flower essences that can help a fearful cat:

  • Indoor marking – Mimulus, Rock Rose, Honeysuckle, Cherry Plum
  • Spraying – Chestnut bud, Aspen, Mimulus
  • Phobias – White Chestnut, Cherry Plum
  • Aggression – Cherry Plum, Honeysuckle
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorders – Crab apple, White Chestnut
  • Eating Disorder – Crab Apple, Chicory, Heather
  • Redirected Behaviour motivated by Fear – Cherry Plum, Impatiens
  • Territorial Behaviour motivated by Fear – Mimulus, Chicory
  • Maternal Aggression motivated by Fear of losing their kittens – Red Chestnut

Dogs

Dogs in a state of fear can exhibit many behavioural issues; one of the more well known is “Separation Anxiety”. This is a really difficult behaviour to treat and can be caused by lack of socialization. But it is usually a Fear in animals: Dogscombination of a few life events that a dog may encounter. A puppy that is taken away from their mother too soon will not have learnt the correct skills of how to be a dog. They will naturally attach themselves to a member/s of the new family, but this attachment will be at a high level. Initially it seems as sweet behaviour but as time unfolds the puppy becomes hugely dependent on the human. Add in a sprinkle of genetic makeup where perhaps the puppy’s mum was insecure, shake it all up and you can end up with a very anxious out dog. Due to the fact that they have not learnt the skills to interact with other dogs, they soon learn that it is easier to be aggressive. They are then labelled an aggressive dog but it is actually fear that drives them.

If you treat the fear with flower essences you are able to minimise the aggression. Once they are less fearful, their confidence increase and they are able to be brave in situations that would have otherwise been very stressful for them.

Try these flower essences for the following conditions:

  • Fear Aggression – Mimulus, Rock Rose, Star of Bethlehem, Cherry Plum
  • Barking – Chestnut bud, Chicory, Heather
  • Phobias – White Chestnut, Cherry Plum
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorders – Crab apple, White Chestnut
  • Eating Disorder – Crab Apple, Chicory, Heather
  • Redirected Behaviour motivated by Fear – Cherry Plum, Impatiens, Gentian
  • Territorial Behaviour motivated by Fear – Mimulus, Chicory
  • Maternal Aggression motivated by Fear of losing their puppies – Red Chestnut
  • Learned – Honeysuckle, Chestnut Bud, Mimulus

Horses

Foals that have been taken away from their mother very early are likely to suffer from stereotypical behaviour. This is classed as a behaviour that has “no function” but is in fact a clear sign of stress. Horses are prime Fear in animals: Horsesexamples of prey animals. In the wild, they would naturally live in a herd, hence more eyes to see the dangers. They would roam the valleys, munching on grass and forage, bond for life with a friend of their choice and in general, on a day-to-day basis, all would be good.

However as with every fairy-tale, the reality of life is much harsher. Humans with the best intentions confine them to a 12ft square stable and turn them out into the field with different social settings, so allowing no social stability to develop in the herd. Humans like to sell them like cars, as is often the case; their little children have now out grown their ponies. To top it all off, the latest craze is that they are sold for meat once they are no longer needed.

Obviously the readers of this article would have more understanding of their horses but I wanted my readers to understand that it is the majority and not the minority of the horses around the world who are subjected to this behaviour. This article is about fear and actually the horse has a high probability of being in a constant stage of fear.

Flower essences that can help your horse:

  • Wind-Sucking – White Chestnut, Honeysuckle, Cherry Plum, Chestnut Bud
  • Weaving– Chestnut bud, White Chestnut, Crab Apple
  • Phobias – White Chestnut, Cherry Plum, Rock Rose, Star Of Bethlehem
  • Food Related Aggression – Cherry Plum, Honeysuckle, Mimulus, Chestnut Bud
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorders – Crab apple, White Chestnut
  • Separation Anxiety – Honeysuckle, Mimulus, Walnut, Star Of Bethlehem
  • Maternal Aggression motivated by Fear of losing their foals – Red Chestnut
  • Fear of Stable, Saddle, Trailer – Rock Rose, Cherry Plum, Mimulus, Aspen

How to Give Flower Essences to Animals

Animals tend to like taking Bach flower essences when they are diluted. The smell of the brandy used as a preservative is off-putting for most animals and depending on the size of the animal, possibly not healthy for them. I would advise that you dilute the Bach flower essences in a 30ml (1 oz) dropper bottle of spring water, which means that the remedy will need to be kept in the fridge.

Do not give from the pipette directly to your animal as it will contaminate the remedy (and the pipette could break in their mouth).

The drops must be spaced out through the day, ideally four drops four times a day; morning and nighttime are the most important doses. Shake the bottle each time before giving as it “energises” the essences (brings the essences to life).

There are a few different ways you can give the flower essences to your animals:

  • Put 4 drops in the water dish – refresh the dish twice daily. If treating two or more animals, it is better to offer the flower essences individually via a treat or added to their dinner. But don’t worry if one of your other animals accidentally ingests the flower essences intended for someone else – is will not affect the other animal in any way
  • Put 4 drops on a treat and give to your animal
  • Add a few drops to a misting bottle with water and mist around the room where your animal sleeps
  • Add 4 drops to your hand and let them lick it off

Flower essences have a vibrational energy and will lift any negative vibrations in your animal. Imagine it to be like listening to beautiful music, how uplifted you feel. Once the music stops, you feel downbeat. Vibrational remedies work in a similar way to this. This is why it is important for the doses to be spread out. Flower essences are 100% safe and can be taken alongside medication from your vet.

Caroline Thomas
Caroline is an animal and human Bach flower practitioner, Animal PsychAromatica practitioner, Japanese human and animal Reiki Master, and a founding member, teacher and Regional Manager for Europe of the Shelter Animal Reiki Association (SARA). Learn more about Caroline
Caroline Thomas

@animalmagic382

Mum 2 2 amazing boys,loving wife, award winning Pharmacy geek, writer, holistic teacher & animal guru; Reiki, Bach Flowers, Aromatherapy. Crystals & EFT
A dragons 🐉 Grid offering healing to a lady who is fighting her third bout of cancer. Gordo and… https://t.co/uMIDt3g8oj - 17 hours ago

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