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for your pet's wellbeing

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Welcome to the ANT Blog 


For sharing news, information, updates and tips that I have found helpful for my pets. I hope you find this blog informative, fun, and useful for your own animal companions.

By ritalymboura, Mar 29 2019 08:15PM

Had the absolute pleasure of meeting and working with this little fellow today. Meet Percy, a young pig at the National Animal Welfare Trust. Such a character, he is a little star!

When I arrived within 2 minutes he managed to undo the clasps on my case! So very clever. He enjoyed selecting dried herbs and floral waters. His favourite was rosehip shells, plus barley grass and wheatgrass powders. He also enjoyed sniffing various floral waters sprayed onto a blanket.

Adorable little chap.

By ritalymboura, Oct 13 2018 10:38PM

Come along to this introductory talk on Herbal Self-Selection for Pets by Rita Lymboura

Tuesday 20th November 2018

7.30 – 9.00 pm

Hosted by Laceys Yard

Chesham Town Centre, 2 Laceys Yard (by Cox the Saddler at 23 High Street)

To book your seat call: 01494 771324

Learn about herbal remedies and self-selection for pets with animal therapist Rita Lymboura.

Rita will be explaining how animals self-select plants for their well-being by a process called applied zoopharmacognosy. This behaviour-led method can aid animals on both a physical and emotional level.

Using a variety of herbal extracts including powders, floral waters, infused and essential oils, Rita will explain how to offer them safely to benefit your pets at home.

[Note: Due to venue restrictions animals are not permitted on the premises]

Hosted by Laceys Yard

Chesham Town Centre, 2 Laceys Yard (by Cox the Saddler at 23 High Street)

To book your seat call: 01494 771324

Cost: £12 (limited spaces available)

By ritalymboura, Sep 24 2018 10:56PM

The days are getting shorter, the temperature is dropping, and the leaves are turning rustic shades of red and gold – Autumn is here! With it comes firework season, from Diwali celebrations to Guy Fawkes night. Very exciting for us but quite distressing for our pets. Many dogs and cats find it hard to cope with the sudden explosive bangs which must sound even louder to their extra sensitive hearing.

However, there are ways to help them cope and it is best to prepare from now. My approach is to use a combination of creating safe spaces where they can hide and feel secure and offering them herbal extracts via self-selection to promote calm.

Find a quiet area to put your pet’s safe space, where they can retreat and hide away. A safe space can be an ‘igloo’ style pet bed, or a crate containing a bed and covered with blankets to make a den. Even a cardboard box turned on its side with an inner cushion is a cheap and easy safe space that cats can use. Or they may simply prefer to lie under a table or bed.

On the night of the fireworks, keep your pets indoors with windows closed and curtains drawn. Having the TV on or playing soft music can help lessen the noise impact. If your pet is getting anxious or panicky, remain as calm as possible and reassure them.

There are herbal extracts you can offer on a self-selection basis if you are familiar with zoopharmacognosy (if you are not, feel free to contact me for guidance or to book a session). Note that essential oils are safe for dogs, but for cats I would recommend offering floral waters or dried herbs which are safer for non-practitioners to offer.

I would begin with extracts that allay fear, such as frankincense, valerian and violet leaf. These herbs contain phytochemicals that when inhaled will affect the brain chemistry and promote calm. Rose water can help reduce adrenaline as well as being a lovely scent to work with. Lavender is another herb noted for its calming properties. Angelica root can help promote a sense of peace and is also available as floral water or the dried herb. Chamomile, cornflower water and vanilla are also comforting extracts to try.

Once your pet has self-selected their remedies, start to offer them daily in the run up to the fireworks. The animal will begin to associate that aroma with calmness, so when they are exposed to scary noises, that scent can bring them a sense of security. The herbal extracts can be sprayed or dropped onto cloths, and the cloth placed near their safe space where they can access it. Always allow your pet to walk away from the scent when they have had enough, and never force an extract on them. Self-selection works by letting the animal choose which herb and how much they need. Allow them to guide you – their nose knows!

Wishing you all a happy and peaceful autumn season!

By ritalymboura, Jan 29 2018 11:24PM

We have all seen how cats love dried catnip. But did you know they also enjoy other dried herbs?

Try creating a cat herbal mat for your feline companion to enjoy. Just place a selection of dried herbs on a mat or towel. Try rose petals, calendula flowers (english marigold), chamomile flowers, mint, lavender, valerian root (very popular with cats - though smells rather unpleasant to us!), and of course cat nip.

They may sit, sniff, nibble, or start rolling around on the herbs. Just give them space in case they become a bit frenzied with the enjoyment.

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