There’s a simple way to look at your dog’s food – through Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) food energetics. Food energetics are used to look at how food affects our bodies from a neutral, cool and warm standpoint. So instead of evaluating foods based on protein, calories, and carbs like Western culture does, TCM looks at vitamin and mineral content in addition to the sensations foods have on our bodies. For dogs suffering from allergies or inflammation – warm and hot foods must be avoided. When you look at your dog’s behavior and then pair it with TCM food energetics I bet you might see some ways you can improve your dog’s diet.
Start by using the descriptions below of a neutral, cool or warm dog and then match it to the infographic I made! For example, if your dog runs cool then you would incorporate warm or hot foods into their diet. Or, if your dog runs hot you would incorporate cool foods into the diet. Neutral foods can provide balance to a hot or cool dog. Then start incorporating those foods into your dog’s diet. As with any new food being introduced to your dog, take it slow!
Neutral Dog: The Yin and Yang of your dog are in balance – your dog is able to develop and maintain warmth while showing qualities of coolness by being quiet and an inward but confident dog. If you want your dog to be balanced then try using neutral foods to harmonize your dog’s body.
Cool Dog (Yin): Your dog shows signs of being cooler if they are a cuddler and seek out warmth in the bed or under blankets. Some clinical signs are fatigue or weakness. If your dog has a poor appetite or issues with diarrhea and losing weight – these can be signs of needing warmer foods and being out of balance.
Warm Dog (Qi Tonic): This is a dog who likes to lie on a cool floor and seeks out areas that are cooler. They aren’t super interested in cuddling because they get overheated. These dogs will pant, be thirsty and can be restless at night. They also might have dry skin. If a dog is running hot (yang) they are often dogs who show signs of inflammation and are overly active or outward.
I also talk about TCM food energetics in this blog post. Let me know if you feed your dog by this method – it also works for humans too!