Dogs with minor anxiety and situational phobias may need some intervention, but perhaps a prescription medication like Prozac or Zoloft will be a bit too much. If you’ve been trying to alleviate your dog’s anxiety with behavior modification but you feel like that isn’t quite doing the trick, a natural remedy might be just what your dog needs.
What is Rescue Remedy?
Rescue Remedy is a concoction made of all natural ingredients that each serves a different purpose. The manufacturer recommends the product for dogs that are fearful, traumatized, or are experiencing minor anxiety. Rescue Remedy combines five different flower remedies to help balance your dog’s behavior, reduce their anxiety, and calm them during frightening situations.
What’s in Rescue Remedy?
Rescue Remedy is comprised of five different flowers, all of which have their own purpose to create a sense of well-being in your dog.
Impatiens is effective for dogs who seem to be irritable and impatient. If you have a dog that gets extremely worked up before a car ride, whether they’re anxious or simply overwhelmed with feelings, this aspect of Rescue Remedy will soothe them enough to make the situation more bearable for both of you.
Star of Bethlehem is added to ease trauma and shock. Trauma can be recent or from years ago. This isn’t an effective remedy for severe trauma like abuse, but it is suitable for minor traumas like a fear of fireworks or loud noises. Holistic medicine believes the Star of Bethlehem flower teaches dogs how to cope with trauma by inducing a sense of serenity.
Cherry plum is intended to reduce a lack of self-control. If your dog barks excessively, destroys your belongings out of anxiety or fear, or has obsessive behaviors like licking or tail chasing, this part of the medication will slow down the part of the brain that triggers this lack of self-control
Rock rose is present in the medication to help with panic and terror. These are the two biggest problems when a dog has anxiety. When an animal of any kind panics or feels terror, their survival instincts take over and all logic disappears. If you’ve seen your dog in the midst of severe anxiety, you know how difficult it is to bring them back down and calm them down.
Clematis helps ground your dog and allow them to become attentive again. Whether they’re anxious, agitated, or overwhelmingly excited, this flower extract combines with the other ingredients and gives them the ability to focus on your commands again.
Rescue Remedy Dosage
Dosing your dog is easy. The product comes in two forms: liquid or a spray. If you’re administering the liquid, you simply put four drops into their food, water, or mouth as needed. If you purchase the spray, put two sprays onto their tongue.
Treating an “Acute” Situation
An “acute” situation is something like a vet or groomer’s visit, an impending thunderstorm, or a 4th of July fireworks show. You can apply Rescue Remedy directly to their tongue or gums so it’s absorbed immediately. You may also put it into a small treat if they don’t like the taste of the medicine. If you don’t see any improvement within 20 minutes, you can safely administer another four drops.
Treating a Chronic Condition
Rescue Remedy isn’t suitable for severe anxiety, fear, or aggression that has become a chronic problem. If your dog’s anxiety-related issues are affecting their quality of life, it’s time to consult with a veterinarian to talk about behavior modification and prescription anti-anxiety medications. Alternatives include SSRIs (Zoloft, Prozac), benzodiazepines (Xanax, Valium, Ativan), or tricyclic antidepressants (Clomicalm or amitriptyline).
Side effects are minimal because it’s a homeopathic and fairly weak medication. Some dogs experience vomiting and diarrhea. The drug doesn’t have a sedative effect like prescription anti-anxiety drugs do, but some dogs (especially older and very small dogs) may seem sleepy or groggy.
Rescue Remedy isn’t recommended for dogs with existing health conditions, especially liver or kidney disease, blood disorders, or a history of seizures. It’s important not to introduce homeopathic remedies to dogs with health issues because you can risk exacerbating their disease.
Rescue Remedy is a decent and safe option for treating minor anxiety and situational phobias in dogs. While it isn’t suitable for dogs experiencing severe anxiety, it can help in a variety of specific situations. Always talk with your veterinarian before you give any type of medication to your dog no matter how natural it claims to be.