Energetics of Food …

In the West food is described by its protein, fat and carbohydrate content. By contrast, in the East food is described by the effect it has on the body when eaten, for example its temperature, flavour and route of action. We provide a quick overview of this topic.
Food Energy for Cats and Dogs

Not too hot, not too cold …

In the West, food is described by its protein, fat and carbohydrate content. By contrast, in the East, food is described by the effect it has on the body when eaten, for example its temperature, flavor and route of action.

The temperature of a food is either hot, warm, neutral, cool or cold. Chilli peppers are very hot and therefore heat us up when eaten, whereas watermelon is cooling and therefore very appropriate on a hot summer day. Likewise, root vegetable soups warm us in the winter and salads cool us in the summer.

The flavor of a food is either salty, sour, bitter, sweet or pungent. A salty food can help drain excess moisture from the body, while a sweet food will moisten and nourish the body. Is it any surprise that we find chocolate a comfort food? It is an extremely sweet food that easily provides nourishment to the body. Unfortunately, it usually provides too much nourishment which the body stores as fat.

According to leading integrated veterinarians, such as Dr Judy Morgan, every food has properties and actions in terms of how they affect the balance of the body in Chinese theory. Dogs that have a tendency to be hot in nature should be fed cooling foods, and dogs that tend to be cold in nature should be fed warming foods.

The Hot Dog

A dog that is hot will typically demonstrate it through a variety of signs. A hot dog will seek cool places, will often be hot to the touch, and may pant at inappropriate times (like at night time or while at rest).  A dog that is hot may also have red eyes or red skin and may be very restless. Dogs that are affected by allergies or that are very high-arousal are characteristically very hot in nature.

Feeding a hot dog hot foods (like lamb or venison, which are considered the hottest proteins) is like throwing petrol on the fire. Hot dogs should be fed cooling foods to dampen the negative effects of heat on their bodies. Proteins like duck, rabbit, or fish are considered cooling by Chinese theory, and are best for a dog that has allergies or is generally hot in nature. If a dog is on a raw or real food diet, you can explore other options like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. For example, some great cooling fruits and vegetables are apples, bananas, oranges, pears, tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce and mushrooms.

RabbitSoy Bean*AppleEggs (duck)
DuckSeaweedBananaFlax Seed Oil
EggplantMangoSesame Oil
LettucePearChicken Egg Whites

The Cold Dog

Alternatively, a dog that has cool tendencies should be fed warming foods. A “cold dog” may show signs like general weakness, fatigue, exercise intolerance, poor appetite, shortness of breath, slow moving, and a preference to lay around. They may also seek out warm places, have faecal or urinary incontinence, stiffness that gets worse with rest, joint pain that gets worse in the cold weather, or have coldness of their ears, back, and limbs.

All of these symptoms of coldness can be aided by fooding warming foods like turkey, chicken, squash, sweet potatoes, cherries, or oats. Similarly, a dog that is affected by arthritis tends to be cold in nature. This is why arthritis gets even worse during the winter months. For this reason, a dog that needs added joint support would benefit most from a warm diet.

LambBlack BeansCassio FruitCayenne
MuttonSquashCherryBay Leaves
Sheep KidneySweet PotatoDatesCinnamon
Chicken LiverBasil

Neutral Foods

You can never go wrong with neutral foods. Foods like beef or salmon are great for any dog. You can use neutral foods for dogs that are well balanced or to dampen the effects of hot or cold foods given as part of an animal’s diet. Other examples of neutral foods include tuna, milk, cheese, eggs, white or brown rice, potatoes, peas, carrots, or green beans.

The food we’re fooding our dogs impacts their health, their mood, and their general well-being. A dramatic improvement can be made in so many animals just by changing the foods we feed them.

BeefKidney BeansPapayaCheese
Beef LiverBeet RootPineappleMilk
GooseBroad BeansPomegranatePeanut Oil
Pork *CabbageRaspberryFlax Seed
Pork Liver *Carrots Chicken Eggs
Pork Kidneys *CauliflowerPeanut
Pork Feet *Green Beans
TripeRed Beans
BisonAduki Beans
String Beans

Additional Articles and Videos

Good reference articles & videos further reading available at:

  • Dr Peter Dobias blog post on “How to mix veggies in with your dog’s meat and bones” (Blog) ;

Energetics of Pet Foods by Dr Judy Morgan

Energetics of Pets by Dr Judy Morgan

Qi and Pet Food by Dr Judy Morgan

Blood Tonics and Pet Food by Dr Judy Morgan

Phlegm and Pet Foods by Dr Judy Morgan

Stagnation and Pet Foods by Dr Judy Morgan

Draining Damp and Pet Foods by Dr Judy Morgan

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