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Hypnotherapy for Your Pet

By: Mike Watson - Updated: 1 Mar 2019 | comments*Discuss
Hypnotherapy Hypnosis Hypnotist Pets

Hypnotherapy and hypnosis for animals is a curious phenomenon likely to be consigned to the annals of folklore or quackery, unless one delves deeper.

It seems that the basic mechanism underpinning the human brain also underpins the animal brain. In fact, arguably, animals broadly share the unconscious part of the human brain which a hypnotist appeals to whilst the conscious logical outer cortex is only a feature of the human brain.

Forms of animal hypnotism, though not undertaken by a hypnotist, have been used to calm and control animal for centuries, particularly for agricultural purposes. This type of animal hypnosis, far from being the kind of illogical pre-scientific ritual you might imagine were actually effective means of persuading animals to stay in one place, to sleep, and so on. For example, chickens were trained by having small objects, such as wood shavings tied to their beak, thus inducing the kind of hypnotic stare characterised in films as the hypnotist dangles a watch in front of a hapless patient!

Of course, animal hypnosis had other applications and was used to entertain people in zoos and travelling circuses. It also had scientific value as evidenced by ‘Pavlov’s dog’.

Pavlov was an early 20th Century Physician who stumbled upon hypnosis as field of enquiry when he discovered that you could induce a dog to salivate just by making hand gestures. If an edible treat is given to a dog, he discovered, they will salivate before even eating it, accompany that with a hand gesture and they will soon salivate upon seeing the hand gesture, even when there is no food present. The implication for the pet owner is that certain gestures can influence the subconscious animal mind and body in ways that can be invaluable when controlling animal behaviour.

Hypnosis and Your Pet

Before getting the watch and chain out and dangling it in front of your dog or hamster, it is worth considering that many hypnotists believe that animals (and children, incidentally) experience what would, for an adult, pass as a hypnotic trance at many points in a day. This makes animals very impressionable to hypnosis and hypnotherapy, as can be seen if you try and train your pet or play games with it. You will find, for instance, that your animal is very susceptible to key words (such as ‘Dinner’ or ‘Garden’ or ‘Walkies’, if it is a dog). You may also have noticed that you pet is most susceptible to suggestion and influence when distracted or sleepy, or when very relaxed.

Hypnosis can be used to gently coerce your pet, but should never be used just for your own entertainment. With some ingenuity and a basic grasp on hypnotism it should not be difficult to get your pet exhibiting bizarre and comical behavioural traits, but wouldn’t it be better using Pavlov’s discoveries to get your dog to cross the road safely, than to make it do back-flips at the site of a doggy treat?

Hypnotherapy For Your Pet

Though it is not possible to speak of medical hypnosis for your pet as such, the benefits of hypnosis and similar treatments on animals, including pets, can be seen by owners and farmers alike. Hypnotherapist Robert McGowan argues that alternative treatments such as hypnosis can be used effectively to treat pets.

Being as medical hypnosis had only been recently recognised by the medical community as effective for humans it may be some time before hypnosis is recommended by veterinary surgeons for pets. However, methods not dissimilar to hypnosis are routinely used to calm animals (such as when a trout farmer tickles a trout to send it to sleep)

Of course, one has to beckon caution when seeking treatment for your animal, and it is worth consulting a veterinary surgeon before approaching an alternative healer, the latter being, in any case, relatively hard to come by. If you do seek the help of an alternative animal healer, ask yourself first if it is the animal that you are seeking help for or yourself (that is to say, are you choosing as a result of you own bias)? Of course, there is no risk in choosing hypnotherapy for your pet, but do remember that in the case of severe illness it is worth doing this in tandem with the application of more traditional methods.

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Hi Is it any hypnotherapist for my dog Bichon Frise cross Poodle who have very bad anxiety including separation anxiety? I live in King’s Lynn, Norfolk.
Siska - 1-Mar-19 @ 11:18 PM
Do you know of anyone in the Cumbria area who could help with my Scottish Terriers 'Scotty cramps' it seems stress brings this on when out walking. I wondered if hypnotherapy would help as he can't walk far before this happens and he is becoming very unfit?
Anxious pet owner - 5-Oct-18 @ 2:25 PM
Hi just wondered how much it cost for hypnotherapy treatment on dogs on biting etc
NA - 8-Mar-17 @ 5:10 PM
I have a very nervous German shepherd who is nearly 2 years old. We are based in Edinburgh and seek help particularly with visits to the vet. A very gentle passive dog, he is petrified and routine treatments are becoming impossible. I am a clinical hypnotherapist myself, so understand the process. Any help or advice would be most welcome.
Polly - 2-Sep-16 @ 8:53 AM
I don't reside in Europe, but I would like to know if hypnotherapy would work on my gluttonous cat to get her to stop overeating. She ALWAYS wants to eat more food than she actually needs, and in some cases, this has led to her regurgitating her food, and occasionally going back to EAT IT. It's disgusting and I want her to stop doing that. It's not a problem with the food; it's a problem with her out-of-control appetite.
Curious bloke - 14-Apr-16 @ 11:10 PM
Can you help? I am looking for a dog hypnotherapist in or near Honiton, Devon. EX14 2RR
Claire - 4-May-15 @ 6:31 PM
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