One of the main reasons people will take their dog to the vet is their dog has had an allergic reaction to something.

It’s upsetting to see as often we don’t know what caused it and certainly don’t know how to help.

Meet Bumble, or Mr Bumble, as he’s affectionately known.

Bumble came back from his usual walk one day and developed bumps all over his body. He’s no stranger to self-medication as his mum called me out as a Zoopharmacognosy practitioner when she first rescued him from Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary . It really helped him to help him settle into his new home and to feel more relaxed.

If you are new to what self-medication is and how it can help your dog, click here. 

Please note this is NOT a substitute for vet medicine. It’s complementary.

Sorrowful Staffies

So when Tanya called me out to come and see Bumble and Henry, their other Staffordshire Bull Terrier who had also been under the weather, I had an idea how he would respond.

Very clearly!!

Both dogs were in the room together and they were able to move freely around the room and to leave at any point. This is extremely important in self-medication as the dogs know what they need. So respecting their choice to move away and process what they’ve taken is one of the keys to success.

Better out than in. Stomach relief

Both dogs were really interested in Ginger water. In fact, it was one of the first remedies I offered as they had both been under the weather and thrown up the night before.

So when Henry, let out a huge BELCH, I knew that things were shifting already!

I also offered German Chamomile essential oil, which is the main remedy selected by animals who have had an allergic reaction. Henry wasn’t interested, but Bumble, perhaps due to his allergic reaction, showed a strong interest, licked a little and lay with his nose by the bottle.

Henry, following his belching incident, had taken himself off into the garden to enjoy the sun.

On his return, I went on to offer the other essential oils often selected by animals with an iffy stomach.

Namely,  fennel essential oil, Ginger essential oil (Henry’s other favourite stomach remedies), Black Pepper essential oil, Peppermint essential oil (Bumble’s other favourite, Orange Sweet essential oil and Angelica Root essential oil

A remedy to keep the Vampire’s away.

I always offer essential oils which have a high concentration of anti-bacterial properties, particularly if there is a presenting skin or stomach problem. (Thyme, Garlic, Clove, Tea Tree and Yarrow)

Well, Garlic essential oil was a hit! Thankfully also a hit with Tanya, their owner. She would be the one living with the oil until they no longer showed any interest.

Both dogs inhaled and air-licked the volatile aromatic molecules of the essential oil as they were released from the bottle. They both immediately calmed down. They would move away to process and then return to inhale some more.

dog with allergies My Animal Matters


Taking out the trash – Liver support

Whilst Henry had decided the session was over for him, Bumble was still searching for something else.

The liver is a vital organ in the body responsible for ‘taking out the trash’. It filters and processes blood as it circulates through the body. It also metabolizes nutrients, detoxifies harmful substances, makes blood clotting proteins, and performs many other important functions in the body.

So if an animal is ‘sick’, has allergies, joint problems, stomach issues, it’s important to offer remedies to support the liver (Click here for ideas)

Bumble spent some time inhaling the Lime essential oil and then moved towards the seaweed and nibbled at the bottle.

This was his way of saying, “I’d like to ingest some please!”

Seaweed extract is highly concentrated in vitamins, minerals, iodine and other good stuff which can help draw heavy metals out of the body (a great one to offer post vaccination or post op).

Even licking just a small amount will take the concentrated extract into the blood stream via the blood vessels in the tongue and the mouth.

Bumps be gone.

The session lasted about 2 hours and by the end of this time, the bumps on Bumble’s body had significantly reduced.

The body is great at healing itself, but sometimes, it needs a little helping hand from nature.

I left their chosen remedies with Tanya so she could continue to offer each of them daily until the dogs no longer showed an interest.

Happy Staffie mum

Here is what Tanya wrote following a couple of days after her session:

“Poor Henry and Mr Bumble have both been a little under the weather. Runny, gungey eyes and sickness. Plus poor sweet Bumble came up in terrible lumps.

Yesterday we had a visit from the wonderful Rachel Windsor-Knott of My Animal Matters.

Within 24 hours both boys are feeling much better and Bumbles lumps have gone.

Another great result for Applied Zoopharmacognosy. Big name, big results!”


If you have a dog with skin problems, get in touch to book a consultation or take a look at our starter kits which come with details on how to offer the remedies

Note: This is not a substitute for veterinary medicine. All of the remedies should be offered for self-selection only, not added to their food or forced on the animal. Every animal is unique. There is no ‘one size fits all’ remedy. It’s individualised medicine to suit the animal’s unique physiology and life experiences.

About Rachel

Rachel Windsor-Knott’s goal is for the beautiful process of animal self-medication to become a natural part of sharing your life with your animal.  She is a qualified practitioner in Applied Zoopharmacognosy, a Dog Behaviour Therapist and a Canine Communication Coach.  She runs regular workshops, speaks at events and offers consultations in person and by Skype.  Her online shop has natural remedies and starter packs for your animal.

Click here to explore the on-line shop and new starter kits.