Holistic Care For Our
Animal Companions




Dr. Larry A. Bernstein

Introduction to
Holistic Care For
 Your Animal Companion



Larry A. Bernstein, VMD.




As many more people embrace holistic medicine for themselves, they also realize how helpful it can be for their animal companions. Over the years, there has been an explosion of interest in the natural healing arts for dogs, cats, horses and even rabbits, birds and ferrets.


Also known as Alternative Medicine or Complementary Medicine, Holistic medicine is an umbrella that encompasses many different disciplines. There are the formal branches of alternative medicine such as chiropractic, acupuncture, homeopathy, herbal therapy and nutrition. There are also many related fields such as massage therapy, Shiatsu, Reiki, Contact Reflex Analysis, Kineseology, NAET and dozens of other, more esoteric fields. We will concentrate on the main four areas, chiropractic, acupuncture, homeopathy, herbal and nutrition.


All of these disciplines believe that the body contains a central, controlling life force or energy that keeps it in balance, protects it from external pathogens and allows it to heal. When an animal (or person) is injured, gets sick, gets vaccinated, starts to age, or gets stressed,  this force can become weakened and the body becomes unbalanced. Think about the number of things that can happen to our animal companions in everyday life. We carry our dogs and cats around, they jump from heights, they run and twist. We challenge their immune systems with repeated vaccinations and we medicate them. We feed them commercial food that contains byproducts and preservatives. We stress them emotionally with our own problems and lifestyles.


Some of these things cause reactions that we notice right away but many chip away at their reserves and manifest in more subtle ways. Consider the dog that never was afraid of things and may be getting more and more fearful. Consider the cat that vomits "hairballs". Consider the dog that gets diarrhea if the food is changed or it eats something different. Finally, consider the cat that is getting thirstier and thirstier. All these are signs of a deeper, underlying imbalance we call chronic disease.


The full scope of the imbalance known as chronic disease is beyond this overview but suffice to say that it is present in all animals to some degree. It may be latent or under control but it is ready to spring forth when the life force is stressed in some way. That is often why one injury or insult to the system seems to cause such monumental destruction. We have seen "healthy" animals have horrible reactions after one vaccination or antibiotic injection. The effects of that one injection, in itself, were not massive. The underlying imbalance was just below the surface and all it took was one more thing to reveal it in all its menacing glory. Conversely, the animal can improve and then look fine with symptomatic treatment. Do not be fooled into thinking that this is health. Often the disease state has just returned to its latent form or lurks just below the surface and it takes a trained eye to see the signs of its presence.


Some common signs that there is underlying disease are:


Eye discharge

Nasal discharge

Dull or greasy coat


Food sensitivities

Too thin or too fat

Upset stomach at the change of food

Loose stools or constipation

Excessive grooming

Excessive thirst

Temperature intolerances

Reactions to medications

Gum and teeth problems

Bad breath

Emotional problems

Compulsive behavior

Inappropriate fears or behavior








There are more foods, diets and regimens than one can count out there in the pet world. Everyone has their plan and many are good. We feel that an excellent level of nutrition is paramount. You need to prepare or select foods that are balanced, preservative free and are made from the highest quality ingredients rather than the discards so common in pet foods.  As you improve the quality of  nutrition in your animals, you will see an improvement in every other aspect of the health. Their coats are shinier and more lustrous, the joints are more flexible, there is a glint in the eyes and even their concentration seems to improve.


Please look at our Nutritional Primer for more details on this important modality.





Homeopathy is the treatment of disease with minute quantities of substances to trigger the body’s intelligence to fight that disease on its own. Homeopathic physicians have discovered over the centuries that the body can recognize microscopic amounts of different materials. These materials or “remedies” are matched to the symptoms and can have remarkable effects. True homeopathy is a very pure science and is practiced on animals by veterinarians trained in the classical approach. It is one of the most powerful of the alternative therapies and has successfully treated everything from fears to cancer. It also effects the body’s vital force and help balance and adjust it. . The Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy (www.theAVH.org) is the organization that certifies and monitors classically trained veterinary homeopaths. It is important to have a consultation with someone trained in this discipline to realize the full benefit of homeopathic treatment


Please look at our Homeopathic Primer for a more in depth overview and explanation of homeopathy or visit our website at www.naturalholistic.com for an interactive introduction to homeopathy.





Acupuncture began almost 4000 years ago in China and has survived to this day. In Chinese acupuncture, specific points through out the body are stimulated or sedated to produce a local or generalized effect. These points are treated with needles, massage, heat and even lasers. The choice of points depends on the meridians that need calmed or stimulated to balance the body’s energy and promote healing. Modern scientists have studied acupuncture and feel that it causes the release of hormones, cortisone, natural painkillers, endorphins and many other substances that account for its incredible effects. Acupuncture also stimulates the local tissues to respond and the blood supply to increase. It is nice to have a “conventional” explanation to help understand how acupuncture may work but it is important to remember that traditional acupuncture deals with energy and balance.




Chiropractic offers the working dog increased flexibility and performance. It can enhance the quality of life, the level of performance and can help treat a variety of conditions now commonly treated with drugs and surgery.


Chiropractic medicine deals with the relationship between the spinal column and the nervous system and the crucial role of this relationship to the maintenance of overall health. Vertebrae of the spinal

column assist in supporting the head and provide attachment points for the muscles responsible for

locomotion. Nerve impulses travel from the brain down the spinal cord and out the spinal nerves to all parts of the body. Similarly, nerve impulses from various body components travel to the brain via the peripheral nerves and the spinal cord. The nervous system is responsible for initiating and coordinating movement and for integrating all the physiologic activities of the body.

 There are more than 100 joints in the canine spine between the base of the skull and the tail. Each of these joints has a normal range of motion. (see figure below) Maintenance of this range of motion is essential for balanced biomechanical functioning of the body. When a joint can no longer move through its full range of motion, spinal flexibility and mobility, as well as performance, are adversely affected.


Regular Chiropractic adjustments before and after a trial or exhibition can greatly enhance the dog’s sense of well being and increase the agility and performance.




Herbal therapy is probably one of our better known alternative therapies. We all are familiar with the benefits or reputation of some herbs. Chamomile in tea is calming, garlic can help fight colds, eucalyptus for a stuffy nose or in our vaporizers. These are just some of the thousands of herbal treatments that have been passed down from the ancient healers. Herbs can affect the body in many ways and should be used cautiously and with the advice of someone familiar with both their good and bad effects.




Flower Essences.


The flower essences can have profound effects on an animal. Calming Essence is a must for everyone's travel and show kit. It can steady a dog’s (or owner’s) nerves and increase the sense of well being. I suggest you test it BEFORE a show so you have a good idea of how the pet reacts so you know what to expect. There is further reading later in this packet on the Flower Remedies




Natural Feeding For
Your Animal Companion


Larry A. Bernstein, V.M.D.


How Important is Nutrition?

If we were limited to using just one modality to treat our patients, it would have to be nutrition. There is little else that can match nutrition for the immediate, significant improvements in health. We have all, unfortunately, spent a generation feeding our animal companions "pet food". Most commercially prepared foods contain byproducts, additives, preservatives and who knows what else. Unfortunately we have been indoctrinated to believe that these diets are wonderful, nutritious and balanced for our animals.  On paper they might look that way but on paper, the food from any of the fast food franchises also looks healthy. What is important is not only the amount of a nutrient but its source and bio-availability. Many commercial foods are cooked at high temperature and pressure and then extruded. This may take many of those added vitamins and turn them into toxic free radicals. Not a good thing to be feeding our animals. That is why we highly recommend that you feed as natural a diet as you can afford in both time and cost.


Our first choice for our patients is an all natural raw food diet. There are a number of books with recipes and each has their own devotees. For a starting place we recommend using one of the books listed at the end of this paper.


If you MUST feed a commercial diet, look for one that is “all natural” and does not contain Ethoxyquin or BHT as a preservative. Look at the quality of the ingredients and the palatability. Price should be a minor consideration. These diets will cost more to feed but you will use less and the improvement you see in your animal will be worth it. You may also benefit from less medical problems and less veterinary bills.


There is another popular diet called the BARF diet. This stands for Bio Active Raw Food (I used to think it was Bones and Raw Food and that also works).  This is a diet based on the book Give Your Dog a Bone by Dr. Ian Bilinghurst and has been popular since 1993. It has a large following and consists of feeding raw meaty bones and a veggie mix. Cats also like to eat raw bones (have you ever seen what they leave from a caught bird - feathers and a beak) and do well but most of my clients use it more as a supplement or treat. At the end of this article, there are a number of websites and internet lists on BARF'ing


The Raw Food Controversy

This brings us to the ongoing controversy over feeding RAW FOOD to an animal. It seems that we have been so conditioned by years of advertising that many consumers (and veterinarians) actually believe that processed, artificial, extruded pet food is healthier and safer for our animal companions than a fresh natural diet.  There is also the concern that feeding raw meat can be dangerous. If done properly I do not feel there are any unacceptable risks. Whenever we get into this discussion, the subject of bacteria, parasites and Toxoplasmosis seem to come up most often. This is for animals being fed a raw meat diet. There are steps that one takes to minimize risks. Research shows (in a personal conversation with Dr. JP Dubey),  that a 24 hour hard freeze should be just as effective as cooking to destroy Neospora or Toxoplasmosis organisms. Perhaps, the largest risk of bacterial contamination would be to the person handling the raw meat and not to the animal. It is important to practice proper sanitation when handling raw food. One should always wash their hands well and disinfect working areas just like with any other food preparation.


Finally there is the risk of an unbalanced diet. Feeding a diet high in meat may affect mineral balances unless proper supplementation with calcium is included. All of the diets and books recommended in the reading list should take these factors into account





We do use supplements in our practice but nowhere near the deluge commonly fed. When feeding a home prepared raw diet or a combination of home prepared and high quality commercial food, we usually want to make sure the calcium balance is correct and will supplement per the recipe's instructions. A good multi-vitamin always helps and we often will add a probiotics to provide a healthy intestinal flora. We do believe in trace mineral supplementation and use these products in moderation. We use bovine Colostrum in many of our cases and this is often added to the food.



A note on water, we do not recommend unfiltered tap water. We feel that good natural spring water is much more beneficial. This does not include those five gallon jugs one gets delivered or from the grocery store. I am not sure of their quality and stay away from them. I also tend to avoid giving distilled water. I think of it as “dead” water as it seems to lack the vital energy found in the deep spring waters. There are high quality commercial filters that radically improve the quality of tap water but the best is still spring water. We have also had a number of clients using reverse osmosis water with good results.




Nutraceutical medicine is the use of micronutrients, macronutrients, and other nutritional supplements as therapeutic agents. There are many forms of nutraceuticals and they serve hundreds of purposes in medicine. Some examples are Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) an enzyme that is involved with cellular metabolism, DMG (Di-methylglycine) a natural immune stimulant and Glucosamine Sulfate – a nutrient for joints and synovial fluid. Vitamins and trace minerals are other examples of this wide class of products.



The Bottom Line

We have been moving away from commercial foods in our practice. We think that the raw home prepared diet is by far the best way to help any pet’s medical status. We also realize that the expense and time involved can make it difficult or impossible to do this every day. If you can prepare food for your dogs, DO SO! The results you see will be phenomenal. Don’t just assume that these “natural” pet foods come close to this level. They are much better than the grocery store brands but they still do not rival the results with a raw food diet. Sometimes the expense in both time and money may make this dream unreachable and then you need to either, purchase the diet already or feed a combination of home prepared and commercial.


There are more foods, diets and regimens than one can count out there in the pet world. Everyone has their plan and many are good. We feel that an excellent level of nutrition is paramount. You need to prepare or select foods that are balanced, preservative free and are made from the highest quality ingredients rather than the discards so common in pet foods.  As you improve the quality of  nutrition in you dogs, you will see an improvement in every other aspect of the health. Their coats are shinier and more lustrous, the joints are more flexible, there is a glint in the eyes and even their concentration seems to improve.


Resources For Nutritional Information






Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats by Richard H. Pitcairn, Susan Hubble Pitcairn (Preface)

Reigning Cats & Dogs : Good Nutrition Healthy Happy Animals by Pat McKay

Give Your Dog a Bone By Dr. Ian Bilinghurst

The New Natural Cat : A Complete Guide for Finicky Owners by Anitra Frazier, Norma Eckroate

Natural Cat Care : A Complete Guide to Holistic Health Care for Cats by Celeste, Ph.D. Yarnall 

Natural Dog Care : A Complete Guide to Holistic Health Care for Dogs by Celeste, Ph.D. Yarnall 


Web sites and other internet sources:


www.listservice.net/wellpet/ - a major holistic pet care site with plenty of information.

www.geocities.com/Heartland/Flats/7244/billinghurstlecture.html - Seminar with Dr Billinghurst ­ June 2000

www.egroups.com/subscribe/BARF - BARF (Bio Active Raw Food ) Diet user group 

www.geocities.com/Heartland/Flats/7244/barf.html" - BARF Frequently Asked Questions, though small, deserves a look

www.rawmeatybones.com - Dr Tom Lonsdale's Raw Meaty Bones, this is a good article with some helpful references <A

/www.critterhaven.org/critterchat/feedingnat.htm" - Feeding Naturally


A Homeopathic Primer

Larry A. Bernstein, VMD

Natural Holistic Pet Care

North Miami Beach, Florida



This paper is © copyrighted and may only be used for information purposes. It is the sole property of the author and any commercial use or reproduction without written permission is prohibited.


A description of Homeopathy and its basics is not an easy thing to do in a few words and do it well so please keep an open mind and realize that an entire discipline cannot be distilled down to a few pages.

It is important to get a brief historical and philosophical perspective from which to begin. There is a historical basis for homeopathy that dates back to the ancient Greeks and an excellent discussion of this can be found in Thorson’s Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Homeopathy by Harald Gaier and a much more detailed discussion can also be found in The Emergence of Homeopathy - Alchemy into Medicine by Elizabeth Danciger.

For our purposes we will jump to the late 1700’s and the teachings of Dr. Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843). He is considered the modern founder of homeopathy and was a physician who studied in Austria. He became more and more distressed and disillusioned over the barbaric medical practices of the time. Please remember that this was a time when it was common to use things as bloodletting, oral heavy metals like mercury, poisons like arsenic and violent purgatives. The venereal diseases of Syphilis and Gonorrhea were also rampant in Europe.

Hahnemann began to look for a gentler, more natural method of curing the patient and came to realize that symptoms are merely an expression of the underlying disease and not the disease itself.  He wanted a way of stimulating the body to heal itself. We will go into this in more detail later. He wrote what is still the definitive work on homeopathy, the Organon of Medicine in 1810. He then added five more editions, volumes of cases, lesser writings, practiced and taught until his death. His students expanded his work and carried on his teaching. That is why names like Herring, Boenninghausen and Kent are synonymous with homeopathy.

The basic principle of homeopathy is called the Law of Similars, that “like cures like”. It means that a substance that can cause symptoms of disease at normal doses can stimulate the body to FIGHT those same symptoms at homeopathic doses. The other important thing to remember is that all the symptoms a patient exhibits are a reflection of an imbalance in that patient’s inner force. It is all one picture! Classical homeopathy calls this inner force the VITAL FORCE and we will use that term. Understanding these concepts is a major step in understanding homeopathy and holistic healing in general.

This vital force is responsible for maintaining the body’s state of health and balance. It is constantly assaulted. Some examples of things that can wreak havoc on the body are; poor nutrition, toxins, vaccines, allopathic medications, pollution, radiation and of course, emotion upheaval or constant stress. Homeopathy tries to strengthen the vital force and the body. It is also very important to eliminate as many obstacles to this cure as we can. We do this by stopping medications and therapies that may interfere with the healing, by feeding wholesome diets and by using other supplements to enhance the effect of the homeopathic remedy.

The vital force tries to protect the body from disease processes and the signs of this battleground are SYMPTOMS. These symptoms can bee expressed at many different levels. It may be only a skin rash or it might go deeper and present as asthma , arthritis or chronic intestinal problems. As the disease moves to a deeper level and the vital force must concede more territory in its battle for optimal health, these symptoms move into the mental and emotional plane and can exhibit as emotional imbalances like inappropriate fears, aggression, compulsion or even dementia. As time goes on and the process goes unchecked, the vital force is weakened by both the chronic disease and the suppression of more superficial symptoms. As it weakens, it must express itself on a more core level and may even progress to cancer.

It is crucial to remember that every one of the symptoms is an expression of the imbalance of the vital force as it tries to compensate for the underlying chronic disease state. Dr. Herring taught us that the body heals from the inside out and the top down. This means that a tumor or abscess on an internal organ is more severe that a rash on the skin since one is exterior and one is interior. If the vital force does not have the energy to express itself on the exterior it resorts to an interior symptom (and this is usually more serious) to handle the imbalance. The usual progression of chronic disease is from outside to inside. This is an important concept to understand the effects of suppressing a symptom. The vital force uses these as safety valves and tries to put the problem where it will do the least damage. That is why the skin is considered so superficial. Usually skin problems are uncomfortable but one does not usually die from them. As we tell the vital force that these skin symptoms are not allowed by suppressing them with steroids and antibiotics, the vital force still must try to isolate the imbalance and it finds a new, more interior way of doing this. Perhaps the patient now starts with incontinence or prostate problems or asthma or arthritis. Now we suppress this reaction and the vital force may move deeper to find relief. The patient may start with strange behavior or become unpredictable or violent.

The depth, number and strength of the symptoms is directly related to strength of the vital force. A strong vital force may show very strong symptoms on a surface level. The vibrant puppy that receives a vaccination and immediately breaks with a skin rash and fever is an example of a strong vital force. On the other hand, we see so many cases of animals presenting with advanced cancer and the guardian often states “He has always been perfectly healthy (no symptoms) and now he has cancer”. The fact that he has had no symptoms would usually indicate a weak vital force that could not produce visible symptoms and everything happened under the surface.

Once you accept the premise that there is an all-pervasive underlying vital force then the next important term we need to understand is SUPPRESSION. We touched on this earlier.

In allopathic medicine a symptom is usually thought of as the patient’s real disease and the goal is to hold back, decrease or eliminate this symptom. This is often done without addressing the underlying cause. If your tooth hurts and we inject a local anesthetic, the pain goes away but that does not mean the problem is gone!  If we use medications to suppress these symptoms then the vital force tries to create new symptoms to compensate for the imbalance that is still there. If the vital force is strong then the original symptom may return. Otherwise, it may be unable to express on the same level and create a symptom that is more interior and could be much worse per Herring’s Law of Cure.

This is such a critical topic that we will look at another example. Allopathic (conventional) medicine is symptom driven. Modern medicine feels, in most cases, that the elimination of the symptom is the same as elimination of the disease. If you get a skin rash, are given cortisone and the rash disappears, they have cured your “skin” disease. Later when you start having a kidney “infection”, they treat you with antibiotics and cure your kidney disease. A year later you start getting chronic depression or fatigue they treat that with anti-depressants and cure it. Finally when you develop a serious heart ailment, they treat that as “heart disease”.

Many things are suppressive. Vaccines and medications are a major source of suppression but herbs, acupuncture and incorrect homeopathic remedies can also be suppressive.

We next need to discuss what constitutes a homeopathic remedy. Homeopathic remedies are ultra-dilute preparations of common (or even toxic) substances. They are so dilute that they have very little or none of the original item in them. The important thing is that they retain the imprint or frequency of the original substance in a more energetic form and work on a deep, energy related level.

Each step of the dilution process is accompanied by succussion. This means that each dilution is stimulated (potentiated, succussed, shaken) so it gains energetic strength at each dilution. This is why a more dilute level or a HIGHER POTENCY has much less substance but much stronger action. It is the energy. If you can accept this principle, it is easy to see how they can act with such power.

Homeopaths have found that these ultra-dilute remedies, if activated or POTENTIATED between successive dilutions, can actually stimulate the body to initiate its own healing process. It is like giving a Bloodhound the scent and sending it on its mission.

The actual mechanism for this stimulation is still undiscovered but is thought to work on an energy level. Hence the term energy medicine. This gets into the idea that there is a level of energy or reaction that scientists can’t yet quantify and is too involved for this paper. We need to stipulate the effect, as we are not here to prove that homeopathy works, only to explain its practice. Let us take the idea that it does affect the body in a predictable fashion as a given and not get into the controversy over whether it can or cannot work from a convention quantum physics perspective. There are much deeper writings that explore these aspects and to argue this defeats the purpose of this paper. One good general reference is Dana Ulman’s Discovering Homeopathy.  Suffice it to say that many of us who have seen it work have been impressed with the dramatic effects it can and does have and we will accept this effect on face value for the purposes of explanation.

Dr. Hahnemann found that a substance or remedy in minute doses the body to heal itself of the same symptoms CAUSED at normal doses. As previously stated, “Like cures like” is the basic tenet of homeopathy.

An example would be the following:

If you were to give pure arsenic to an animal or person, you would see depression, anxiety, thirst, vomiting, jaundice and diarrhea. Now suppose that a homeopath sees a case that has many of these symptoms but you know it cannot be arsenic poisoning since that is so rare and the cat lives in a penthouse and could never be exposed to arsenic. However, this case of a cat with another “illness” has many of these same symptoms. The homeopath may dispense Arsenicum-album, the homeopathic dilution of arsenic. This potentiated remedy stimulates the vital force to react to the symptoms. This is like giving the vital force a guide to the disease state so it knows how to react and start the healing.

This next paragraph contains a deeper explanation of what appears to happen when you give the correct homeopathic remedy. It is not critical you understand this but if you can, it will bring a much deeper understanding of homeopathy.

The disease occupies a place in the body on an energy level. Think of it as an inkblot on the vital force. When you introduce a homeopathic remedy that matches the pattern of the inkblot (the disease picture) at a potency sufficient to overcome the natural disease, it displaces the real disease and sets up an imitation for a few days. During this time, since it was stronger than the original disease, the remedy stimulates a reaction from the body. Since the remedy and the actual real disease are similar on a symptom level, the body is actually fighting the real disease also. The remedy disappears in a few days but the stimulation (remedy reaction) may last for weeks or even months.


Many of these remedies were “proved’ in the 1800’s by giving small doses of the diluted remedy to groups of healthy people and noting the symptoms created by repeated high doses. These were then listed in Materia Medicas. To be a good homeopath, you had to learn many of these remedies (some Materia Medicas have hundreds of pages of symptoms for each remedy) so you could recognize the “remedy picture”.

About the turn of the twentieth century, Dr. Boenninghausen and then Dr. Kent decided to analyze these Materia Medicas and try to list the remedies by the symptom they brought out during their provings. This was a monumental task considering there were no computers. Dr. Kent ended up with a thousand page book (if you get the one with the tiny type) of “rubrics”.

Rubrics are symptoms followed by a list of all the remedies found to produce that symptom during a proving and the degree to which the symptom appeared. Almost ever Materia Medica follows Kent and contains multiple sections divided by body section or problem That is why there are sections like “Mind” or “Rectum” or “Chest” or “Head pain” and each section has thousands of rubrics (or symptoms) listed.

To demonstrate an example of a rubric, we will take the case of the very thirsty dog who drinks a great deal of water at one time but does not go to the water bowl frequently.

We could look in Kent’s Repertory under the section Stomach and find the sub-heading “thirst”. We then look at the next sub-level and find “large quantities” and finally under this we would find “at long intervals. This rubric would be described as Stomach; Thirst; large quantities; at long intervals. This is an actual rubric with five potential remedies listed in the original Kent Materia Medica.

As you moved back up the chain, to the level or heading above (Stomach; Thirst; large quantities), there would be a greater range of remedies for consideration. If you move up even another level to Stomach; Thirst; large quantities you would find a list of 42 remedies. This might provide a much better chance of it including the appropriate remedy in your analysis. If you go up another level to Stomach: Thirst. Here there are 253 remedies and using this more general rubric might make it very difficult to pick the most appropriate remedy since most major remedies will show up under this rubric. You would have to depend on other more specific symptoms to narrow your remedy search.

To analyze a case, a trained homeopath takes a detailed history and then attempts to find rubrics for characteristic symptoms that are appropriate to the case on both a physical and mental level and list all the applicable remedies.  We then look for a common thread or theme to the case. We always try to use our knowledge of the remedies, our experience to this purpose. Because if the incredible number of remedies and the large amount of information on many of them, we often we have to refer back to the original writings (provings) in the source Materia Medicas. This may help us understand the true essence of the remedies and make our choice based on the ENTIRE picture.

To date, there are over 2500  “proven” remedies. These include herbs, plants, poisons, inert (when not potentiated!) substances like Silica and homeopathic extracts of actual living material like bacteria, Parvovirus etc. called “Nosodes”.

We choose the remedy and potency (always remember, the more dilute - the more activated during each stage of dilution, the more powerful) based one the case, the symptoms, the age, your perception of the level of the “Vital Force” of the animal. To get an idea of the difference in the vital force, think of the previous discussion about the puppy and the older dog with cancer. Also imagine the vitality of a six-month puppy versus an 18 year old frail cat and you can see the two extremes.

Please realize that this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many other deeper considerations in homeopathy like second remedies, aggravations, intercurrent remedies and chronic versus acute disease.

It is a complete discipline of medicine and contrary to the writings by some, it is not “harmless”.  In nature, anything with this much power to heal can have side effects and is best supervised by a trained homeopath. This is especially true in chronic, weak and long standing cases. It is especially true in cases with a great deal of pathological changes such as tissue destruction or deep lesions.


It is my hope that this will serve as an understandable introduction to the science, the art, the challenge and the wonder of homeopathy and that your experiences may be as wonderful as mine have been. It is much more than a treatment. It is a sensible way of thinking and has the power to enhance you health and life on many levels besides the physical.

This paper is © copyrighted and may only be used for information purposes. It is the sole property of the author and any commercial use or reproduction without written permission is prohibited.




Your homeopathic medicine is in one of three forms


·         Pellets in a bottle - this is for multiple doses they are usually #10 pellets and are like small grains of sand. Some are much larger (#35 Pellets)

·         A paper envelope that has one dose of pellets


·         A bottle of liquid with a dropper


Give the remedy by mouth according to the Dosage Instructions and the Preferred Method For your animal as checked below. The remedy usually tastes good and is hard to spit out so there should be no problem.  It just needs to get into the mouth or stick to the gums or lips to work. We always give much more than is needed. A few pellets will do the same job as many pellets so save the extra. DO NOT REPEAT THE REMEDY UNLESS INSTRUCTED!


WHEN TO GIVE IT: Food to water can interfere with the remedy. So do not let your pet eat or drink for at least 10 minutes either before or after giving the medicine. A good time for administration is right before bed. Your pet will rest quietly and the remedy can work undisturbed.




 Open the envelope and pour some of the granules onto a folded business card or index card. Without touching the pellets pour them onto your animal's tongue.


 Pour some of the pellets into the lid of the vial (5-10 pellets is plenty). If they are the large pellets, you will need to crush them first. Crush the pellets to a powder First so your animal can't spit them out: Crease a small piece of thick clean paper (such as an index card) down the middle. Without touching the pellets (you can contaminate them) drop them inside the fold of the card. Close the paper over the pellets. Hold down the edges to keep the remedy in place and crush the contents to a powder by hitting them through the paper with a heavy drinking glass, hammer or similar object. A Formica counter is best for this. They are very hard so do it on a hard surface. They will dent wood !  Then use the fold in the card as a “funnel" to pour the powder onto your animal's tongue.


 With a liquid, put one or two drops on the tongue. Once a remedy touches the gums, touch and lips it will work and do not have to be swallowed.


With animals that are difficult to handle or those with very painful mouths crush the pellet(s) in a clean piece of folded paper as above. Then dissolve this powder in 1-2 tsp of fresh milk or half and half. Make sure at least half is consumed. Use a clean bowl for this purpose. OR if the animal is somewhat cooperative you can just dissolve it in distilled or spring water and then give it with an eye dropper or spoon into the cheek pouch.


Precautions for Storage (if more than one dose)


Keep the container well sealed. Store any medicine not immediately used in a dark dry place at room temperature away from sunlight and strong odors especially camphor (in Vick's Tiger Balm White Flower etc.). Also keep it away from medicine cabinets, mothballs smoke, perfume and magnetic fields (near hi-fi speakers}. Do not refrigerate and do not leave it in a hot place such as a closed car or window ledge. If these precautions are not observed it is possible the remedy may become inactivated.

A History of Flower Remedies and Rescue Remedy - 5 Flower Formula


The Five-Flower Formula TI is a highly effective, synergistic blend of five different flower essences in the repertory of English flower essences. This remarkable combination was first developed by Dr. Edward Bach in the 1930's through his own practice and observation. The first three flowers, Rock Rose, Clematis and Impatiens were used for two men ship-wrecked in a gale. They had been lashed badly during the storm, and one was almost frozen and so delirious that he was foaming at the mouth. Within minutes of applying these remedies the men regained consciousness and went on to make a full recovery. Later two more essences, Cherry Plum and Star of Bethlehem, were added to this formula. Over the years it came to be known as a "rescue" combination for its remarkable ability to address emergency and crisis conditions.

Rescue Remedy is one of the discoveries of Sir. Edward Bach. (pronounced 'Batch') Dr. Bach was a respected homeopath and physician, born in England in 1886.(9/24) Independent as a child, his desire to become a physician was based on compassion felt for all life, especially those in pain or distress. During his early studies, he felt convinced that a more curative and simple method of healing must exist. He became a respected pathologist, immunologist, and bacteriologist. He developed vaccines, but was troubled by the side effects. Never satisfied with results of orthodox medical treatments, he felt they relieved symptoms, but not the underlying disease. Due to his beliefs, he began to study chronic illness.

In 1919 while at the London Homeopathic Hospital, he discovered the work of Dr. Hahnemann. (founder of homeopathy) He found that they had similar principles and philosophies. Through Dr. Hahnemann's influence, he began preparing vaccines homeopathically (Nosodes), and administering them orally. Dr. Bach continued to study disease, concluding that physical disorders were only a part of disease He felt that illness was the physical manifestation of negative states of mind-that the body was depleted-of vitality by such things as worry, anxiety, and stress, losing its' natural resistance to disease.


Guided by intuition, he turned to plants for answers, and began experimenting with preparations made from flowers. In 1930 he left his practice to continue his search. Until his death in 1936, Dr. Bach developed flower essences, and did further research through his case studies. His gentle system of healing evolved through his profound understanding of the nature of disease. By then he had characterized the 38 original flower remedies.





Original 38 Bach Flower Remedies


Agrimony: For those who hide their troubles from themselves and others, making light of inner difficulties and rarely burdening others with them. They avoid arguments and confrontations. They will avoid being alone, and may use alcohol, drugs, food, or work to escape their pain. Teaches honesty about feelings and the ability to express them.

Aspen: For those who have vague but troubling fears and anxieties which suddenly arise for no apparent reasons. These may be in the form of nightmares or apprehensions; they may also be related to religious or spiritual beliefs. Gives courage in exploring the unknown.

Beech: For intolerance of others and the readiness to find fault. Teaches one to be able to accept and look beyond differences.

Centaury: For those who always try to please others and find it difficult to say no to them, even when they are being exploited. Teaches the strength to follow one's own path in life.

Cerato: For those who don't trust the wisdom of their own judgment and always need to ask the advice and opinions of others, even when such advice is misguided. Teaches one to trust in one's inner guidance.

Cherry Plum: For those who fear losing control of their thoughts and actions and doing things they know are bad for them or which they consider wrong. Teaches trust in one's spontaneous wisdom and the courage to follow one's path.

Chestnut Bud: For those who repeat the same mistakes over and over again, never learning from past experience. Teaches one to be a good learner and to pay attention to the present.

Chicory: For those who are over-involved with and possessive of family and close friends and impose their own standards on those they love. Teaches unconditional love.

Clematis: For those who find their lives unhappy and withdraw into fantasy worlds. They are ungrounded and indifferent to the details of everyday life. Teaches one to establish a bridge between the physical world and the world of ideas; may foster great creativity.

Crab Apple: For feelings of shame, un-cleanliness, or a poor self-image. This remedy teaches acceptance of the body and the environment, and is also used as a physical cleanser.

Elm: Used when one feels overwhelmed or overburdened by responsibilities, for feeling that a task is just too difficult to accomplish. Teaches composure and the ability to see problems in an appropriate perspective.

Gentian: For feelings of discouragement and doubt which may be caused by even small obstacles. The cause of depression is always known. Teaches confidence about the ability to overcome problems.

Gorse: For feelings of hopelessness and despair. For those who give up in the belief that nothing more can be done: often in the case of chronic illness. Teaches that confidence in a solution or cure is one of the components of healing, and imparts such confidence.

Heather: For those who have a need to constantly talk about themselves and their problems, who hate being alone. Teaches the ability to listen sensitively to others.

Holly: For those who are troubled by feelings of envy and hatred because they feel they don't get enough love. Teaches one to be truly loving.

Honeysuckle: For those who dwell too much in the past, on lost loved ones, or on ambitions which were never realized. Often they never expect happiness again. Teaches the ability to live joyfully in the present.

Hornbeam: For the feeling (often experienced upon waking) that one doesn't have the strength to get through the normal activities of the day. Teaches mental liveliness and alertness, an enthusiasm for life.

Impatiens: For those who act and think quickly, and have no patience for what they see as the slowness of others. They often prefer to work alone. Teaches empathy and understanding of and patience with others.

Larch: For lack of self-confidence and the anticipation of failure. Often they make no attempt to succeed. Teaches self-confidence and the determination to take on challenges.

Mimulus: For known fears: of the dark, heights, disease, death, poverty, etc. Teaches courage and an understanding of other people's fears.

Mustard: For depression of unknown cause, a sudden gloom which descends upon one for no apparent reason. Teaches inner stability, cheerfulness, and serenity.

Oak: For those who never give up, regardless of difficulties. This remedy gives such people joy in their endeavors, and teaches them to take a break from time to time.

Olive: For mental and physical exhaustion, caused by illness or personal ordeals. This remedy assists in giving strength and vitality.

Pine: For those who are never satisfied with themselves and blame themselves for not doing better. For people who suffer from guilt and will even blame themselves for others' mistakes. Teaches self-acceptance and the replacement of guilt with regret.

Red Chestnut: For those who worry constantly about the well-being of those they love and anticipate terrible things happening to them. Teaches the ability to radiate positive thoughts to people even when they're in trouble. emergency situations and for any situation in which one feels terrified.

Rock Rose: For those who have extreme terror or panic. Fears and nightmares figure prominently in this essence.

Rock Water: For those who are excessively hard on themselves, who adopt repressive, rigid personal regimes, and deny themselves pleasure. Teaches open-mindedness and inner flexibility.

Scleranthus: For those who are often torn between two choices and can't decide between them; also for mood swings. Teaches concentration, inner balance, and flexibility.

Star of Bethlehem: For trauma and shock, whether experienced recently or in the past. Teaches the ability to recover from traumas and to integrate them into the present life.

Sweet Chestnut: For extreme anguish, the feeling that one has reached the limits of one's endurance. Teaches one to believe that change is possible, to trust oneself and the benevolence of the universe.

Vervain: For those who need to convince others of the rightness of their own beliefs and whose over enthusiasm may sabotage their good intentions. Teaches one the ability to see other viewpoints and imparts a genuine enthusiasm which inspires others.

Vine: For those who insist that others do things their way, the "boss" or "dictator" personality. Teaches one that genuine leadership means encouraging the leadership qualities in others.

Walnut: For those who are easily influenced by outside circumstances and may be detoured from the positive changes they want to make in their lives. This remedy eases all transitions.

Water Violet: For those who are independent, loners, sometimes proud and aloof. This remedy teaches them to interact with others without sacrificing their independence.

White Chestnut: For unwanted thoughts and worries which seem to endlessly recur and which can cause insomnia. Teaches a balanced state of mind and the ability to use one's thoughts constructively.

Wild Oat: For people who want to accomplish something in their lives, but who have no clear sense of purpose. They feel dissatisfied and uncertain. Teaches focus and direction.

Wild Rose: For resignation and apathy, for those who make no effort to find joy in their lives. Teaches enthusiasm and the ability to make life meaningful.

Willow: For resentment, and the feeling that life is unfair; one may also resent the cheerfulness of others. Teaches one to take responsibility for one's own life.

Rescue Remedy: Contains Rock Rose, Cherry Plum, Clematis, Impatiens, and Star of Bethlehem. This is good both for emergency situations, shock, and stress. Helps to stabilize the emotions.




Reading and Resources




Some books we like for more information:



Natural Health for Dogs and Cats – Dr. Richard and Susan Pitcairn

Homeopathy – Flat Earth Medicine - Dooley

Homeopathy for Dogs and Cats - Don Hamilton

The Holistic Puppy - Diane Stein

Reigning Cats and Dogs – Pat McKay

The Encyclopedia of Holistic Pet Care – C.J. Pouitin

Natural Cat Care and Natural Dog Care – Celeste Yarnell

The New Natural Cat – Anita Frazier

Four Paws Five Directions – Dr. Cheryl Schwartz

The Web That Has No Weaver –  Ted Kaptchuck


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