• Maureen Ericson, M.H.

HELPING ANIMALS COPE WITH STRESS AND TRAUMA

Updated: Oct 27, 2020


I have spent most of my life working with plants and animals. Over those years I have been truly amazed by both the animal and plant kingdoms adaptability to the world that we live in. Their homes have been plowed through, burnt, destroyed from construction and built on, their waters and soils polluted with chemicals and yet they continue to adapt to the stress that is part of their daily world. Many even thriving in their populations and reclaiming their habitats, especially the plants. Others become clever creatures that have learned to take advantage of their urban settings as they co-habitat in our urban communities. They steal from backyard gardens, bird feeders and garbage cans as they become part of the local neighborhood. Our wildlife animal brothers and sisters have learned to deal and cope with stress through adaptability to their environment. Many are very successful.


What about our domesticated animals and their ability to deal with stress and trauma? Their adaptability hasn’t been as successful. Many animals are train wrecks that have no coping skills for their stress and the trauma that it creates in their lives. They suffer psychologically from these stress factors that have created many different emotional and mental symptoms. Over the years I have seen animals with agitation, aggression, fear, grief, depression, and separation anxiety. Many of these animals eventually develop physical ailments that need veterinarian care. By eliminating these stresses we give our animals more support that leads to strengthening their immune, nervous and digestive systems instead of deteriorating them. It also helps many of our animals from being placed in shelters due to their mental and emotional disability. Many have been given up on placed in shelters, or euthanized. A calm animal is a healthy animal that is loved and cared for and stays safe within their forever home.

Here are ways that we can help our animals cope with stress, trauma and illness:


Breeding:

Helping our animals cope with stress in their lives starts at the beginning of life with healthy parents that pass on good healthy genes to their offspring. Feral communities and street animals struggle daily to find good nutrition, many are unable to pass on healthy genes. By supporting legislation that funds spay/neuter and Trap, Neuter and Release (TNR) programs we help to control these animal populations. We need more responsible breeders that will provide good nutrition and healthy stable and safe environments for young baby animals to thrive in. Not Puppy Mills that raise animals in squalor for the greed of money!!

Early Socialization:

We need to encourage more education programs for breeders and rescue groups on early animal socialization programs for ages 3-8 weeks that prepare animals for their new forever homes. Ask your breeder what early socialization and development programs they are using. If you are rescuing ask if the foster care included early socialization. Encouraging new pet owners to take training programs in the first four months that will train their animals while they are young, helping to eliminate bad habits in the future that could become animal behavior issues. This includes proper housebreaking of the animal, creating good bathroom habits. For dogs good leash habits for walks and coming when called (recalls). Cats need more socialization of the outside world on harnesses or in crates so that they are not terrified when they need to travel. Many animals end up in shelters, are lost and are abandoned due to poor socialization and training, and poor bathroom habits.

Diet and Nutrition: Good healthy species appropriate diets will give good nutrition to your animal. When food is fed properly it contains the right balance of vitamins, enzymes and minerals that build good healthy cell tissue. That food creates healthy immune, nervous, and digestive systems helping animals to stay calm and healthy throughout their life time. Without good nutrition animals become nervous, fearful and ill. They age faster and some develop behavioral issues and allergies that lead to chronic health issues that need veterinarian intervention.

Exercise: Animals that have frequent and appropriate exercise maintain healthy emotional and mental health. They are meant to run, play, hunt, climb and enjoy fresh air, sunshine and the nature around them. Exercise maintains healthy bodies and minds. Burning off all of that energy through exercise helps depression, separation anxiety and obesity. If you have indoor cats and dogs try to think outside the box for some exercise they can do inside.


Mental Stimulation: Give that animal a job!!! Domesticated animals no longer have jobs to mentally stimulate their minds and exercise their bodies. Creating problem solving games i.e.: hide and seek, find the toy, tricks and car rides all work to keep their minds sharp, stimulated and healthy. It helps to eliminate stress and is great bonding for you and your pet. Animals in zoos, wildlife centers and on farms can benefit from enriched enclosures that have toys and interaction with members of their own species do better than ones alone.

Veterinarian Care: Annual checkups with your veterinarian and using preventive care for your animals will maintain their health and well being. Catching illness early is easier to heal than a chronic illness that has been going on for a long time. Parasite infections, kidney and liver issues can be come deadly if left untreated. Elder animals should be check twice a year to maintain their health. Animals dealing with pain or chronic illness are stressed and traumatized by their body’s disability. They become more fearful, clingy and sometimes will bite more as they age. Helping them deal with their body’s changes will help eliminate their stress.



Flower Sprays: Animal Flower Essence Sprays are natural remedies created from the energetic vibration of many different flowers called flower essences. They are non invasive and provide healing on an energetic level through the animal’s energy field. These flower essences work effectively on the animal’s emotional and mental well being. They help to eliminate stress from changes, grief, separation and fear etc. They help animals deal with stress from any transition periods such as the kennel to home or home to the kennel, introductions to new roommates, or training sessions. They can be used to support service animals while they work, or help animals deal with the trauma of being abused or for PTSD. Flower sprays help the animal to release the stress and trauma by strengthening their energy field and work very quickly to give the animal the peace and calmness that they need to live stress free lives.



Once stress is eliminated the animal’s well being will provide a healthy life for them and their owners. At Flora Paws Holistic Pet Care our main concentrations are guiding pet owners, shelter and rescue centers, veterinarians and animal sanctuaries to help their animals cope with stress and their reactions to their stress. We do this through education of holistic support systems and Flower Sprays. We understand how the plant (FLORA) and animal (PAWS) kingdoms support each other physically, emotionally and mentally providing a different approach to healing. The plants work synergistically with the animals as food and medicine providing health and well being. We all want healthy pets that have no stress, trauma or illness in their lives.

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