Applied Zoopharmacognosy Practitioner Dip.IAZ  

Applied Zoopharmacognosy is based on science and observational research. 

        Introductory Canine Practical Workshop


Zoopharmacognosy refers to the process by which animals self medicate and naturally forage plants and their essential oils, algae, clay and other natural minerals.

All animals have an innate ability  to prevent disease.  The word Zoopharmacognosy was coined by Dr. Elroy Rodriguez a biochemist at Cornell University.  The word derived from the ancient greek  'Zoo' (animal) 'pharmaco' (remedy) and 'gnosy' (knowing)

I trained with Caroline Ingraham the founder of Applied Zoopharmacognosy at the Ingraham Academy.  

Applied Zoopharmacognosy is the art of enabling domestic and captive animals to self medicate effectively in environments without therapeutic plants.

Offering appropriate secondary compounds (such as essential oils) for self medication allows the animal to be in control of its own health.

As a Full Practitioner of Applied Zoopharmacognosy I work with emotional, physical and behavioural conditions in canines.  Also palliative care.

Please contact me for further information about Applied Zoopharmacognosy.

Holly recovering from surgery.

The practice of Applied Zoopharmacognosy is not intended to replace veterinary care.  If you dog is exhibiting any symptoms of concern you should consult your veterinary surgeon.


Last year one of my 3 dogs was given a fatal diagnosis. Until  then Cassie (10yr old Rottweiler X had been a very happy healthy dog giving much pleasure to everyone she knew.
A hemangiosarcoma was found lodged onto the right atrium of her heart. Along with the bad news, my vet informed me that no symptom control was appropriate, withdrew all medication and advised a very short prognosis. I left the surgery with Cassie in the mindset that after a weekend of quality time, I would be returning Cassie for euthanasia. In addition to a bloated abdomen, she had noisy breathing and a rasping cough. 
Within hours of informing my close friends, Karen Webb telephoned me and offered to introduce me to zoopharmacognosy. I was aware of Karen’s interest and involvement and had brief conversations about the concept of animals self medicating. I was not anticipating a magical cure but thought if this was a way of managing symptoms, I was prepared to accept Karen’s offer. The outcome was indeed magical in terms of the quality of life that ensued.
The concept of selecting and rejecting oils was not only clear to see, it was mind blowing. During a 3 hour session  I saw the sparkle return in Cassie’s eyes, her breathing quieten and by the end of the session she was wagging her tail. Within days I realised that I hadn’t heard her cough. 
Karen left me with the selection of oils that Cassie had chosen . These were impregnated on cloths and stored in polythene pouches. I continued to use them and integrated new ones that Cassie chose during 2 subsequent sessions

Cassie  enjoyed almost a month with a quality of life that I could otherwise not have imagined.  
We had several visits to our favourite beach. The first time I did not want to risk her on the steps down to the beach so we sat on a seat overlooking the sea. Cassie was interested and playfully approached one or two dogs returning from the beach. Because she was so alert and playful on our next visit with Ben her companion of 8 years, we went onto the beach. I let go her lead and  she wandered quite a distance paying attention to Ben and clearly enjoying herself. She did however struggle up the steps and her cough was present on the return trip. Once home I had the confidence to allow her to select oils, knowing that she would soon settle and she did! On subsequent outings, I reduced the distances she walked and enjoyed rest times with her and on return home her oils were made available to her.
The most frequent comment from visitors was that only her bloated body gave the clue of how unwell she was. Eventually about  a month after diagnosis, Cassie spent a disturbed night clearly disorientated. She readily accepted oils that produced calming and sedative effects, and was beautifully peaceful when the vet arrived in the morning to help her on the final phase of her journey. I could not have wished for a more peaceful end for my lovely dog.

Cassie   2003 - 2013

Whilst Cassie was Ill, Tess a second dog collapsed and died suddenly l0 days before Cassie. Life for me and Ben, my remaining dog changed radically over a very short time. Having witness such fascinating outcomes with Cassie and knowing that Ben was completely bereft, I engaged Karen to help him work through his grief.
Ben a 10yr old Staffordshire Terrier X had been a steady companion for Cassie. Both Rescue  dogs, I  had little choice in Ben coming to live with me. They bonded almost immediately when they first met, and were a team throughout their life together. In public, Ben had a history of guarding me and Cassie. In the car, he was restless and constantly whined. Earlier in his life had had a very traumatic confrontation with another dog leaving him with nasty scars on his legs and from time to time he has a noticeable limp. Following Cassie's death, he was listless and uninterested on walks.

After  two sessions during which he was very focused on oils that produce calming effects,  help release past traumatic emotions, and relieve pain and inflammatory effects, I have a very happy, confident dog, who when out on walks is socialising with other dogs and has given up his guarding response. Before car journeys I offer him his chosen remedies which has helped stop the restlessness and he is amazingly quiet. We continue to use his chosen oils on a regular basis.

Into my life on a foster agreement, has come Ria an 8 yr old x breed. In a kennel environment she was extremely stressed  - the pads on her paws were raw from jumping at her kennel door. She had no concentration or recall and was constantly barking whenever humans were near. Having previouly lived with another dog, she had become snappy with dogs in the kennel environment.

Ria has been introduced to Zoopharmacognosy.  Ria's  choice of oils focused on those that release emotions associated with past trauma and separation anxiety. During her first session, she slept deeply for 50 mins  in response to her oils and during her sleep her emotional release was characterised by changing  facial expressions,  whimpering  sounds  and body shaking, then deep snoring which resolved into a very calm peaceful sleep. 
Within a few weeks Ria has grown into a very happy, people friendly and playful dog. She is remembering much of her basic training: has almost perfect recall and 
anxiety at being left alone is resolving. On walks she is approaching and playing with other dogs. She seldom barks and only when a situation needs attention.

Throughout the time between and following sessions, Karen is a tower of strength helping and gently reminding me to allow the dogs self medicate. Handing over control to the animal is perhaps the hardest bit about the process. However the rewards, and the bonus effect of the wonderful aromas that permeate the house during and after sessions with the dogs cannot fail to bring associate benefits to the owner.

Margaret Kindlen
Ria has since been successfully rehomed. She is now settled into her new home and enjoying life.
From Ria's mum Bekki...... " She's settling in lovely, and still loves to sit with the oils and relax in her bed. She an amazing , lovely little dog and seems to be getting calmer and calmer by the day!  We're working on her behaviour with other dogs on walks".