Creating Harmony In Your Dog's Diet Using Food Energetics
What is Food Energetics And How Does It Relate To Picking Proteins For Your Pets?
Food Energetics is a principal of traditional Chinese medicine that relates how specific proteins, and other foods, affect the body. Some proteins, like Rabbit, Duck, and Cod (AKA “whitefish”) are known as “Cooling Proteins” which help to lower the body’s temperature and can also help with symptoms like seasonal allergies and excessive panting. Other proteins, like Chicken, Turkey, & Venison are known as “Warming Proteins” and can help with issues like fatigue and loss of body weight.
In similarity with other principals of Chinese medicine, food is treated as medicine and a way to create harmony within the body. The goal is not to be completely hot or completely cold, but to find a balance within the two that is different for each individual. To help reach this happy medium, there are also proteins that are considered to be ”Neutral”. The list of neutral proteins is much longer than either of the cooling or warming proteins and includes - beef, goose, pork, quail, & tripe.
So how can you use food energetics to help treat your pet’s symptoms?
The first step is to identify what side of the spectrum your pet is currently on - be it hot or cold -
so you can then start tailoring their meals to better suit their needs.
Your Dog Needs Cooling Proteins if-
They are consistently seeking cool places- such as tile floors.
They pant often- particularly at night.
They may have excessive thirst, red eyes, or dry skin.
Your Dog Needs Warming Proteins if-
They seek warmth- often laying in the direct sunlight.
They may have urinary or digestive issues.
They may have joint issues, lack of appetite, and/or lethargy.
Once you’ve determined where your dog (or cat) falls within the spectrum, you can the start choosing proteins that will help their body reach neutrality.
Neutral Proteins are helpful to include variety into the diet as well as dilute the concentrated effects of feeding warming or cooling proteins. They can be fed to dogs and cats experiencing both hot or cold signals.
(barring any specific protein allergy, of course).
It’s important to remember- when trying new proteins, it’s a good idea to stick to one at a time. Give each new protein a roughly 2 week window so if any new symptoms present you’re clear on what is causing it.
Once you better understand where your pet is at currently, you can adjust their menu options accordingly. But there’s no need to dive in head first with feeding 100% strictly warming or cooling proteins only- you can also incorporate neutral proteins and the occasional guilty pleasure (if it doesn’t fall within the new feeding plan).
Keep in mind, there are always variations within suggestions from person to person and website to website. Some schools of thought may classify certain warming or cooling foods as neutrals and vice versa. And, in the end, every dog and cat is different with different needs and different reactions to foods. You are already going above and beyond as a pet parent to provide fresh, healthy food and are obviously doing your research to create a diet as high in nutritional benefit as possible. Don’t let minor setbacks get you down, keep trying and eventually you’ll find that perfect combination for your pet’s unique needs.
Be sure to also take a look at our Deconstructed Raw section, where we share all the amazing cuts of meat that we just couldn’t pass up from our hand selected suppliers. All single protein snack options, we offer a large selection of warming and cooling proteins for those looking to DIY their pet’s food.