Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Food therapy in Traditional Chinese medicine

Here in Walnut Creek, we are lucky to have a great little pet store called  "Wags and Whiskers."

The owner really understands the nutritional needs of dogs.  I took Bailey and Chloe in tonight (they are open until 7pm) and after feeling them, she concluded that they were on the "hot" side.

Eastern holistic medicine is taken into consideration in their recommendations of your dog's food requirements.  You can feel the real joy they have for our animal charges and their health.

I find this interesting.  And yes, we do live in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Horse meat just won't do.

Their website:

One of the articles recommended:

By Dr. Connie Clemons-Chevis • McClatchy

 November 4, 2009

Many of us have heard the saying “We are what we eat.”

This is so true when evaluating and treating animals through Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine, or TCVM. Food therapy in TCVM is the art of selecting food ingredients based on the constitution of the pet, their age, species, geographic location and the current imbalance.

In TCVM food can be used as a therapy to cool, warm, tonify or sedate an animal. Some foods are reinforcing for a constitution while others are detrimental.

Foods have thermodynamic energy and can make your pet cooler or warmer. For example, if you ate a jalapeno pepper, you would feel hot, if you ate watermelon, you would feel cool.

All foods can be categorized as cold/cool, hot/warm or neutral. Turkey, whitefish and duck are in the cool/cold category and should be fed to dogs that show signs of heat such as panting, red tongue, red skin, hot ears and body.

Lamb, chicken and venison are in the hot/warm category and should be fed to animals that have cold signs such as cold body, pale tongue, and cold ears. On the other hand, hot or warming foods should not be fed to an animal showing hot signs or cold or cooling foods fed to an animal showing cold signs. Food therapy can be used to help cancer patients, renal failure, diabetes and other illnesses.

In TCVM food therapy, homemade diets are advocated. The foods should be wholesome and nutritious, in other words, no potato chips, ice cream, fried foods, and highly refined foods or loaded with sugar or corn syrup. Meat, grains and vegetables are selected according to the desired effect. Crock pot cooking is easy and doesn't require standing over the stove all day. A

TCVM veterinarian can evaluate your pet and advise you on the best foods to feed and may provide a food therapy chart.

Balancing the nutritional level in homemade diets to meet the basic nutrient requirement can get complicated. Attention must be paid to the calcium: phosphorus ratio and taurine levels. A safe guideline is feed at least 50 percent or more of the diet in commercial pet food and supplement with nutritious homemade foods such as sweet potato, fruits, greens (cooked spinach, turnips) and grains (brown rice, barley).

Commercial foods vary in nutritional value. In general, the cheaper the food, lower the quality.

When selecting commercial food for your pet be sure to read the label to evaluate the contents.

The first three ingredients are the most important. The first three ingredients should include a meat or meat product.

Avoid foods that include ground corn, corn gluten or wheat gluten, since these are indicative of a lower quality food. Wheat gluten was implicated in the recent pet food recall. Try to avoid foods with artificial flavors, sugars or propylene glycol.  Canned foods generally have fewer grains and are cooler.


Radar Red Dog said...

Very interesting article. As I think you know, we're big advocates of the Barf diet & using natural therapies for everything from "the boys" annual vaccinations to flea & tick treatment! Anyway, I thought you might find this website interesting:
This months e-magazine has a fascinating piece about nutritional herbs.

Anonymous said...

Interesting.. Luna is probably on the hot side (physically to me anyway) and though I meant to grab the duck version of this kibble, I grabbed lamb and she shall have to eat her way through this bag. I wanted the duck due to the higher fat level. If things ever slow down around here i may go pick up more frozen duck to mix in.