Most companion animal caretakers have been educated to believe that a highly-processed cereal product called “pet food” is adequate food for their beloved animals. But in our hearts we all know that eating wholesome fresh food is what has kept each of us healthy for the life of our species. Thus the question is, if we elect to begin either feeding fresh, wholesome foods to our companion animals or adding such foods to their current diet, how do we choose what is correct for them?
Just as there is no one “perfect” diet for all humans, there is not one for dogs and cats either. We know that there are differences in our personalities, body shapes and sizes, energy levels, ages, and, in our companion animals, breed differences as well. How do we sort through these differences to determine that best diet for each individual at every life stage?
Fortunately, Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) has well-developed strategies to develop the proper diet for our companion animals. The TCVM examination will determine if your animal is Excess or Deficient, Hot or Cold, or Damp or Dry. Further, whenever your companion animal suffers from a medical problem such as cardiovascular disease, seizures or behavioral disorders, the TCVM examination can point to the disharmony that may then be treated with acupuncture and herbal medicines and further supported with the appropriately designed diet.
TCVM has discovered that foods have certain “energetic” properties. For example, when you eat a hot pepper, you begin to feel hot, sweat, and your superficial blood vessels dilate so that your skin appears redder. The opposite effect is found by eating a piece of watermelon. TCVM would classify the pepper as “Hot” and say that it “releases the exterior” and watermelon as “Cold” and say that it “reduces excess heat” in the body. Every food may be classified as having various properties. Some Tonify Qi, Blood, Yin or Yang. Some foods Circulate Qi, Circulate Blood, Dry Damp, Drain Water, Clear Heat, Warm the Cold, or Reduce Toxicity.
When an experienced TCVM practitioner makes a diagnosis for your companion animal, they can then recommend foods that facilitate healing in each individual. And the foods that are recommended will be wholesome foods such as you might feed yourself. There are quick and easy methods to prepare these foods for those of us who live full and busy lives. It is also commonly possible to add simple additions to your companion animal’s current diet in order to help them continue on the path to good health and longevity. TCVM Food Therapy is an integral part of an ancient and well-researched system of health and healing.