Essential Oils to Calm Dogs and Cats vs. Flower Essences

There is a lot of misunderstanding about the differences between flower essences and essential oils. Both essential oils and flower essences can be a solution if you’re looking for how to calm a dog with anxiety or how to calm a nervous cat. But AnimalRx Essences strongly believes that flower essences are superior to essential oils for calming dogs because of their permanent or semi-permanent calming effects.

People generally assume that flower essences are used for their smell, like essential oils and many times will open a bottle to see what the essences smell like and are surprised that there is no strong smell. Because flower essences are about the energetic imprint of the flower and because they are generally preserved in brandy with spring water (or glycerin or traces of other alcohol or vinegar) there is only a mild smell of the substance that preserves them. If the flowers used in the essence did have a scent, it has been long gone with the method of preparation.

Flower essences are not like essential oils whose function is to affect the limbic system; the system that controls heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, stress levels, memory and balance. Essential oils are valued for their smell and their other potential healing characteristics as plant derivatives. However, flower essences can change unneeded or potentially handicapping emotional or physical patterning. For instance, a small dog is afraid of larger dogs when given an essence for fear of something known, will recover from their fear of bigger dogs. If one essence doesn’t calm a nervous dog, another will. It is important not to give up!

In order to understand the difference between essential oils and flower essences, it is important to examine the way each of them are made. Essential oils are created through a distilling process using large amounts of the original plants: flowers, leaves, seeds, roots or bark depending on where the volatile oil being harvested are located in the plant. The essential oils are specifically harvested for their fragrance. Because of their origins, concentration and intrinsic nature, many essential oils are toxic to animals and humans. In order to make them easier to use, they are often diluted with another neutral oil such as jojoba oil. Unlike flower essences, most essential oils should never be ingested. Flower essences are prepared in a completely different way and are made with flowers which are floated on a bowl of water, exposed to the sun for three hours (solarized) and then the water is typically mixed with brandy for stabilization. The solution is then diluted a couple of times to make a remedy. This is a very environmentally friendly preparation, not requiring heat or steam and electricity or power of any kind. Flower essences are not toxic in any dose and can be safely ingested by companion animals and humans.

Most dogs or cats will lick their fur, so it is important to avoid putting essential oils on an animal, unlike flower essences which are non-toxic and can be directly applied to your pets’ ears or paws or fur. Neither flower essences nor essential oils are recommended to be used around the eyes but flower essences can also be sprayed into the air around your pet and be as effective as a direct application.

When looking for the best essential oils for calming dogs, opinions and experience is key. Many people use lavender for both humans and animals and there are numerous other oils/scents available. At AnimalRx Essences, we recommend Be Here Now instead of essential oils to calm dogs. Be Here Now has been used successfully to calm dogs with anxiety, to calm nervous cats in general and it has been used to calm dogs with separation anxiety.

Another great choice is Crisis Cooler which can be used when the stress is current or anticipated.

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