How can Animal Herbal Choices help my pet?
Updated: Apr 15
So, what is this animal self-selection you may be wondering? How does it work and how can it help my pets? It is a method of offering your pets the opportunity to selecte their own remedies. This may sound a bit strange but all animals have a natural instinct of selecting the right plant or mineral in their environment to heal themselves. If your dog or cat eats grass, that is a simple example of self-selection in action. Taking this a step further, if you provide an animal with a larger range of plant extracts, they use their advanced sense of smell (olfactory system) to select which extracts will benefit them. It is driven by their bodies' reactions, via their hormones and neurotransmitters, so a subconscious choice (very loosely speaking it is similar to when you have a craving for something
To give you an example, I worked with a client dog who had joint pain and also a tendency to get anxious and nervous. After being introduced, I began the herbal choice session by offering her nutritive powders and calming floral waters to gain her interest and help her relax. I proceeded to offer her a variety of different oils with properties for joint support, pain-relief, stomach support, and to ease anxiety. She didn't show interest in many. However she suddenly became very interested in the ginger, hemp and vanilla essential oils I offered to her. She took several big sniffs of each and licked a few drops of vanilla oil from my hand. Vanilla was her favourite by far.
We checked the properties of each of the essential oils she had selected. Ginger helps support the stomach (which can be affected by anxiety) as well as very warming for the joints. Hemp essential oil is calming so often selected by animals with nervousness and anxiety. Vanilla essential oil, her top choice, is also a calming anxiolytic and has pain-relieving properties. My client dog had made her perfect choice for her own need.
Her owner found the session “very interesting and really happy with the results.” She continues to offer the vanilla oil and other selected oils to her dog to inhale, particularly when anxious, and apparently it calms her down and makes her happy.
In my experience, every animal makes a unique choice of extracts. No two animals are the same, they are as individual as people are, and it is fascinating to see what they choose. Their choices always make perfect sense - they really do know what is best for themselves.