Flower essences for your dog

Flower essences are a gentle and profound way to ease anxiety, depression, grief and other negative emotions in our animal companions.

If you’re familiar with flower essences, then you know the name Bach. During the early 20th century, in his quest for a natural way to address emotional problems in his patients, physician Dr. Edward Bach formulated 38 original flower remedies and his trademark Rescue Remedy. Derived from wildflowers, these vibrational remedies proved a gentle and profound way to ease anxiety, depression, grief and other negative emotions.

Dr. Bach met with a lot of skepticism among his contemporaries. But he wasn’t the only one ahead of his time. In the 1930s, while looking for someone to help him make and sell his now-famous remedies, he approached a company called Nelsons, which is still going strong today as an international manufacturer and distributor of high quality natural medicines. “Our roots go back to 1860 with the opening of Nelsons Homeopathic Pharmacy,” says Lynn Federico, Associate Product Manager of Nelsons’ U.S. office in Andover, Massachusetts.

Nelsons agreed to Dr. Bach’s request, and to this day has been distributing his remedies around the world – not just for people but for animals too. “Although developed for humans, Dr. Bach recognized they were also appropriate for animals,” Lynn explains. “He used the remedies on his spaniel Lulu and his colleague’s cats.”

Rescue Remedy is probably the most famous Bach product. “It’s a blend of five of the original remedies and formulated to calm and reassure in stressful situations. It’s well established as the leading natural stress reliever worldwide for human use. Over the last 70 years, it has also been used by veterinarians, groomers and others as an all-natural solution for stress relief in animals. In fact, about half our consumer calls are related to questions regarding the proper use for Rescue Remedy with animals.”

Seeing a growing demand for an animal-specific formula, Nelsons recently developed Rescue Remedy Pet. It’s made from the same blend of five flower remedies as the human formula, but is preserved in a glycerin-based formula for animals sensitive to alcohol. “Animals experience anxiety from time to time. This remedy has an immediate calming effect without being a sedative.” It can be used with any animals including dogs, cats and horses, as well as reptiles, birds, fish and rabbits.

Lynn and her colleagues do more than sell Bach remedies. They also use them. “Our president Cynthia Batterman uses Rescue Remedy Pet with her horses for trail riding and before a show. And another employee uses it on her dog to help with separation anxiety.” Dr. Bach would be proud.


Ann Brightman is Managing Editor for Animal Wellness Magazine and Integrative Veterinary Care Journal. A lifelong animal lover, she has also been a writer and editor for over 25 years. Ann is a member of the Professional Writers Association of Canada and is also a Tai Chi instructor.