Do you live with a hot dog or a dog who runs cold? Traditional Chinese Medicine(TCM) says knowing the answer to this question is important because hot dogs and cold dogs need different diets. While every pet owner knows their dog needs a healthy diet, TCM maintains that not every food is good for every dog.
The principle explains that each food has properties that either maintain balance in a dog or disrupts it. When dogs eat foods that keep them in-balance, it can be just as powerful as adding supplements or medication to their diet. And when dogs ingest foods that upset their Yin and Yang, they are at-risk for getting sick.
Dr. Chris Bessent, DVM and founder of Herbsmith® has been educating pet owners and veterinarians about the balance (Yin and Yang) of pet food for decades. It is a fascinating subject, but first you have to determine if you have a hot dog or one who runs cold.
Dr. Bessent’s definition of a 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 kerosene 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 grains. For example, some great cooling fruits and vegetables are apples, bananas, oranges, pears, tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce and mushrooms.
Dr. Bessent’s definition of a 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 fecal 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 feeding 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.
Hot dogs do best eating a diet rich in foods that cool them down or have a neutral effect on their body. Cold dogs benefit from eating warm and hot foods.
The 4 food groups of Chinese medicine.
Cool Foods – have a Yin or quiet quality. Yin foods produce coolness and are best served to hot dogs.
The foods include: Duck, rabbit, clam, cod, scallops, crab, whitefish, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, apple, banana, cranberry, kiwi, barley, buckwheat, millet, flax seed oil, peppermint, tofu and yogurt.
Warm Foods – These are Qi foods that allow the body to develop warmth. Qi deficiency is seen as general weakness, fatigue, poor appetite, muscle atrophy and incontinence.
The foods include: Chicken, chicken liver, ham, pheasant, turkey, anchovy, lobster, mussel, prawns, shrimp, black beans, squash, sweet potato, cherry, date, peach, oats, sweet rice, chestnut coconut, walnut, basil, cinnamon, clove, dried ginger, nutmeg, rosemary, thyme and turmeric.
Hot Foods – have a Yang quality of being outward, hot and flaming. Yang foods are best served to cold dogs whose balance needs heat.
The foods include: Lamb, mutton, sheep kidney, venison, trout and cayenne pepper
Neutral Foods – These foods are good for both hot and cold dogs. They can be used to lessen the effects of the other food groups.
The foods include: Beef, beef liver, goose, pork, quail, tripe, bison, carp, catfish, herring, salmon, sardine, tuna, aduki bean, beet root, cabbage, carrot, green bean, kidney bean, pumpkin, pea, potato, yam, papaya, pineapple, pomegranate, raspberry, brown rice, lentils, rye, white rice, cheese, chicken egg, cow’s milk flax seed, peanut and sesame seed.
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You can get the complete list of the 4 food groups on the Herbsmith website. Herbsmith uses the best in natural herbal blends and Traditional Chinese theory to make a variety of supplements for dogs, cats and horses.
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