Using the concept of Yin and Yang, diseases can be classified as warming or cooling. If a dog is “hot”, it will often be warm to the touch and may seek out cool places to sleep and rest. They may pant even when resting, show signs of anxiety and the eyes and/or skin may exhibit redness or irritation. TCM would characterize a dog that is anxious or reactive and those with chronic allergies as “hot” dogs.
A “cold” dog may show signs of weakness, sluggishness, general fatigue, shortness of breath or exercise intolerance. They may look for warm spots and often want to cuddle. These dogs may have incontinence and joint pain. They also tend to be relaxed and calm. If you touch a cold dog you might find the ears, limbs and back feel chilled to the touch.
So how does all of this relate to nutrition? Traditional Chinese Medicine views food, as well as herbs, as medicine and that foods have different energies. Foods can be classified as Warming, Neutral or Cooling. If you have a “hot” dog and feed them foods with hot or warming properties it can be like throwing gas on a fire. An allergic dog may benefit from a food that has more cooling properties. On the other hand, a “cold” dog may benefit from eating foods with warming properties.
Proteins - Rabbit Duck, Clam, Cod Crab, Scallop Whitefish
Vegetables – Yellow tomatoes, Soy Bean, Bamboo, Broccoli, Celery, Cucumber, Eggplant, Kelp, Lettuce, Mushroom, Seaweed
Fruits – Apple, Banana, Cranberry, Kiwi, Lemon, Mango, Orange, Pear, Strawberry, Tangerine, Watermelon
Grains – Barley, Buckwheat, Millet, Wheat, Wild Rice
Miscellaneous – Duck Eggs, Flax Seed Oil, Marjoram, Peppermint, Salt, Sesame Oil, Tofu, Yogurt, Chicken Egg Whites
Proteins – Beef, Goose, Pork, Quail, Tripe, Tripe, Carp, Catfish, Herring, Mackerel, Salmon, Sardines, Tuna
Vegetables – Black Soy Beans, Kidney Beans, Beet Rood, Broad Beans, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Green beans, Peas, Red Beans, String Beans, Pumpkin, Potato, Shitake Mushroom, Yams
Fruits – Papaya, Pineapple, Pomegranate, Raspberry
Grains – White Rice, Brown Rice, Rye, Lentils, Corn
Miscellaneous – Spirulina, Tofu, Goat’s Milk, Yogurt Cheese, Chicken Eggs, Cow’s Milk, Duck Eggs, Honey
Proteins – Turkey, Chicken, Pheasant, Ham Sturgeon, Lobster, Mussel, Shrimp, Prawn Anchovy
Vegetables – Black Bean, Squash, Sweet Potato
Fruit – Cherry, Date, Peach
Grains – Oats, Sorghum, Sweet Rice
Nuts/Seeds – Chestnut, Coconut, Pine Nut, Walnut
Miscellaneous – Bay Leaves, Brown sugar, Cinnamon, Ginger, molasses, Goat Milk, Tumeric, Binegar, Basil, Clove, Dill, Dried Ginger, Fennel Seed, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme
Proteins – Lamb, Sheep, Venison, Goat, Trout
Miscellaneous – Cayenne
If your pet has conditions that may benefit from changes in the diet, work with a holistic veterinarian or nutritionist to develop a diet plan to bring the body into balance. Even if your pet does not have specific issues, having a knowledge of food energetics can help you balance the foods you are feeding to keep their body in balance.