Obesity is one of the most prevalent diseases in dogs and cats in our time and can lead to serious and life threatening conditions such as pancreatitis, kidney and liver disease, diabetes and cardiovascular strain as well as skin and coat ailments and gastrointestinal disturbances. Once medical reasons such as hypothyroidism have been ruled out, we must look deeper for a cause and solution to this health jeopardizing condition.
In my practice as an animal communicator and spiritual counselor to people and their animals I have developed some ideas on this growing health challenge that may prove useful to both people and the animals in their care.
Because animals often mirror human emotional states and physical disease it is important to look first at the phenomena of obesity in human beings. In human beings, given that physical causes have been ruled out, overeating at its core is often an attempt to fill the self with something that is perceived as missing some substance that will fill that "empty place" inside of us and make everything alright. The missing ingredient is often a feeling of lack of being loved and nurtured and if one looks deeply enough it can be seen that at its core this lack of feeling loved is really a feeling of separation from God the source of all nourishment. Once this is insight is gained, healing begins and the physical and emotional systems start to come into harmony and balance.
As a natural function of physical and spiritual evolution, domestic animals take on human characteristics over time and can come to feel separated from God which is the source of their nourishment also. The unconscious hunger for reunion with God when not properly understood can be misinterpreted as physical hunger in both human beings and animals.
Often a people who feel unhappy, unloved and undervalued and who don't know how to nourish themselves properly will overly dote on an animal companion with food. The animal then becomes the surrogate recipient of nourishment for the person.
Animals come into our lives to be not only our companions but also to support our spiritual growth. When an animal overeats of its own accord it is important to look beneath the surface of things. Have we become distracted or overwhelmed with busyness to the point that we are not taking quality time for ourselves every day? If we are not take time for ourselves, it is likely that we are not giving quality time to the animals who share our life either. Constant pleading for food may be the animal's attempt to elicit attention from us. The animal may feel starved for something that has nothing to do with food at all. My own cat Lily, tends to become overweight easily and will often beg for a treat every time I enter the kitchen. If I am particularly distracted with work or overly busy her pleading becomes all the more intense. If I take the time to pick her up and cuddle her for a few minutes, play with her, take her outside or even put on some soothing music, her hunger subsides. I feel that it is not simply that I have distracted her, but that I have "filled" her with a deeper kind of nourishment.
Here is another pointer that may be useful in regulating your own or your animal's tendency to overeat and gain weight. Scientist have found that the need for water is often misinterpreted by the body as hunger. Make sure you drink enough water. Make sure your animal has clean, fresh water and experiment with offering water to your animal at times instead of food. Many animals resist drinking water that is not absolutely fresh. Adding flower essences to the animals water will often increase their water consumption and dampen the appetite by offering their soul a higher vibration. You might try Anaflora's Return to Joy, Special Stress, Tranquility, Loneliness or Essence of Nature Formulas.
As well as drinking plenty of water yourself and offering plenty of fresh water to your animal friend, remember that you both need exercise every day. It is so easy with our busy lifestyles to let days at a time go by without remembering to go out for a walk. Perhaps you can forgo that addictive television program and take a walk with your animal friend at sunset every evening. Your bodies will become slimmer over time and your souls will be nourished by taking part in the beauty of the closing of the day.
It is my feeling that all challenges to the health and well being of our animal companions are gifts from the animals themselves, whether consciously or unconsciously given. Through our love of our animals we are drawn not only to find solutions to their problems, but in so doing we are enlightened as to our own deeper needs as well. In this way a state of harmony and health is created for animal and human alike and we are drawn closer to God - the Source of all Nourishment.
Flower Essences to Balance Over-eating
Flower Essences can be very useful in returning an animal or human being to a healthy state of emotional and spiritual equipoise. When this occurs, there is less of a craving for food at inappropriate times. At Anaflora, we recommend Return to Joy Formula for several weeks followed by Special Stress, Christ Consciousness, Loneliness or any other formula seems appropriate. If you and your animal companion both have a weight challenge you can take the formulas together. For animals, five drops in water bowl each time water is replenished. For people, three drops under the tongue three times daily.
For more useful information on nourishing the spiritual lives of animals see the article The Care And Feeding of an Animal Soul.