How to use the remedies

Exploring Botanical Self-Healing at home with your animal, has glorious potential to help with health or behavioural problems, and to support them in on-going radiant good health.

It’s also great fun!  And it’s sometimes very moving, as you see change unfold in your animal before your eyes.

Safety first

Happily, this is a very safe process when followed correctly, so please:

  • read the important safety information page
  • read this page in full before you start
  • follow both of these pages very carefully

Get in touch

Your animal is unique.  After you’ve read these guidelines, you’ll most likely have questions about the specifics of your situation.

So before you start, please also get in touch to book a 15 minute Skype or phone session with me, and we’ll talk through how you’re going to approach your particular animal.  I will try to make myself available to you within three days.

The signals you’ll be looking for from your animal can be subtle, so do also consider booking a full Skype consultation with me, where I can support you and your animal throughout the whole process.

Get ready to be enlightened!

Once you’ve read all of these instructions, and we’ve talked, you’re ready to go…

Create a calm space for you and your animal.

For dogs and cats, a room where you’re both at ease is perfect.  For horses their stable or a small paddock are ideal, as long as your horse has freedom to move away from the remedies.

Choose a part of the day when you have plenty of time and no need to feel rushed.

Remove unnecessary distractions.  Make sure your cat has had their breakfast, your dog has had a walk, and anything else they need to help them into a relaxed and receptive state.

Have a cup of tea, a few minutes of stillness, or anything else that will help you too into a relaxed and observant state.

Make sure the space is well ventilated, and the animal has plenty of space to move away from remedies or odours if they wish to.

Make sure your animal has access to water.

Get out the remedies you’re planning to work with, but don’t open anything yet.

With absolute respect for your animal

Respecting all of your animal’s choices during this session is paramount.   This beautiful process is about the art of offering.

You are not dosing, administering, feeding or foisting anything upon your animal.

Never call your animal over to the remedies – always give them the choice to move closer or further away.  If they move away, do not follow them.

And in no rush

Always work at your animal’s pace.  This is entirely about his or her choices.

As an example, my home consultations might typically take one to three hours.  (Although this would be with a wider range of remedies than you have at home.)

Really relax

You and your animal are embarking on some very precious shared time.

Sit for a moment to digest what you have read so far.

Prepare yourself to step aside from telling your animal what to do, and get ready to listen…

What will ‘yes please’ look like?

Dogs and cats

  • going into a trance-like state
  • stillness
  • licking their lips
  • flaring nostrils
  • lying down from standing
  • sitting down from standing
  • softening of the body and face
  • stretching
  • eyes closing
  • puffing cheeks
  • yawning
  • change in breathing
  • purring
  • grooming
  • blinking


  • yawning
  • flehmen (peeling the lips back)
  • chewing
  • changing in breathing
  • sighing
  • whinnying
  • quivering chin

With the aromas of essential oils, your animal may also move away, or to find a comfy spot to process the oil, but still show an interest by facing the bottle and showing some of the responses above.

A good way to tell if they are still inhaling the aroma is to move the bottle away. If they follow it with their eyes, continue to let them inhale.

And ‘no thank you’?

If your animal

  • walks away from the remedy and shows no sign of interest
  • actively avoids and moves away from the remedy and turns their back on it

Then put the lid back on or close the packet.  That remedy is not for them.

But bear in mind that sometimes your animal may remove themselves temporarily, while they process the remedy they’ve just sampled.

If they walk away, give them a few minutes to see whether they return, before deciding that they’ve finished the session.

One thing at a time

Work with one remedy at a time.

If your animal gives a clear no, close that remedy and move onto the next.

If he or she shows interest, let the animal enjoy that remedy for as long as he or she wants to, before moving onto another remedy.

If he or she shows interest in two similar remedies, for example two oils or two herbs, it can be helpful then to revert back to the earlier one, and see if your animal has a clear preference for one over the other.

The art of offering: essential oils

Hold the bottle firmly in your hand.  (Some overzealous animals may try to grab the bottle, and some horses and dogs like to mouth the remedies that they’d like to ingest).  Hold glass bottles completely so they can’t nibble the top.  If you’re in a stable, don’t leave bottles lying around as horses can be curious.

For cats, make sure the whole bottle including the top is covered by your hands, so there is no chance of the essential oil rubbing onto their coat.

Take the lid off, holding the bottle 1-2 metres away from your animal.

Remember your animal’s olfactory system is far more powerful than yours.  The molecules are volatile so as soon as the lid is removed, the molecules are already in the air for them to smell.

Wait to see if they respond.   Respect a ‘no’ response at any time and remove the remedy.

If there’s no ‘no,’ slowly move the bottle closer and observe again if there is a response.  If he or she turns their head away, stay where you are.  This is their optimum dose.

If your dog or horse licks at the bottle, add one drop to the palm of your hand and allow him or her to lick it.  (But NOT for cats, always remember the important safety information.)

The art of offering: floral waters

Hold the bottle firmly in your hand and take the lid off, holding the bottle about a metre away from your animal.  Or, put a little in your palm.

Wait to see if they respond.   Respect a ‘no’ response at any time, and remove the remedy.

If there’s no ‘no,’ slowly move the bottle closer and observe again if there is a response.  If he or she turns their head away, stay where you are.  This is their optimum dose.

If they lick at the bottle, pour a little into the palm of your hand and let him or her to lick it.  If your animal rubs their head on the bottle, or your palm, go ahead and let them rub the remedy onto their coat.

Cats may lick, roll in, inhale floral waters freely as there are no chemicals in them. Cats love floral waters.

The art of offering: fats and macerated oils

Offer these by hand or on your finger and let the animal choose to inhale or lick the remedy.

Wait to see if they respond.   Respect a ‘no’ response at any time, and remove the remedy.

If they lick it all up, offer more, and let your animal decide what dose of the remedy it would like.

Dogs & oils

Do not offer any fats or macerated oils to dogs if they have a history of pancreatitis.

If your dog is wanting to take a lot of coconut or rice bran oil, it’s possible they may need to purge to rid toxins or they simply need a higher dose. This can initially lead to them cleansing their gut through loose stools or vomiting.

Always offer a fat such as Rice Bran oil or coconut oil alongside the macerates to check that they aren’t just needing the fatty content.

If you have any worries, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me to book a Skype consultation and talk it through together.

The art of offering: dried herbs and powders

Offer these in your palm and let the animal choose to smell or lick the remedy.

Or, take three or four of these remedies and place a little of each in front of them, for them to select their favourite.

Wait to see if they respond.   Respect a ‘no’ response at any time, and remove the remedy.

If they lick it all up, offer more, and let your animal decide what dose of the remedy it would like.

Your dog or horse may not like to consume powders.   If they show no interest in a powder while it’s dry, you can also try a little mixed in water, or in oil, to see if that turns it into a ‘yes.’  The ideal oil for this is rice bran oil.

If the oil turns the remedy into a ‘yes’ then it’s worth checking that it’s not the oil itself they’re after!  Try also offering only the oil.

Putting your new knowledge into practice

Now that your animal has selected the remedies that they feels they need, you can offer those remedies daily, or even up to three times a day.

With essential oils you could put a few drops on a cloth somewhere for them to visit as they wish.

Your animal will continue to select their chosen remedies for as long as they need it.  This can be a day or two, or can be months.

With essential oils or floral waters, your animal may only be interested in using these remedies once or twice.  So, you may want to check their interest level again before ordering more of these remedies for them.

Or, it can be that they’ll select a remedy only on the days when they’re feeling in need, for example if they’re anxious that day.

Again, no feeding or dosing, or administering, just offering.  Separately from food.

And continue as long as your animal continues to say ‘yes.’

Every animal is different and will respond uniquely.  Your animal’s healing may be immediate, gradual, or over a few days.

A herb garden for your cat

Once your cat has chosen its remedies, if they include a dried herb, you can create a herb patch for them indoors.

In a quiet safe place, put a towel or bathmat on the floor, and sprinkle on some of their chosen herb.

Most likely they’ll slope off to their new herb garden to roll in, inhale or ingest the herbs whenever it takes their fancy.

Share the joy


Do drop me an email, or share your happy animal photo on the MyAnimalMatters Facebook page.

I’ll be thrilled to hear how it went.  And to answer any questions.

Need a little more help?

These are simple general guidelines.

If you’re feeling unsure about anything and you’d like a bit more support in the process, please book a Skype consultation with Rachel for guidance on how to offer the remedies to your own animal, or contact your local Zoopharmacognosy practitioner.