We strongly believe that we are what we eat. Hippocrates stated long ago to “let food by thy medicine and let medicine by thy food”. That’s been our philosophy at Four Muddy Paws from the first day we opened our doors. Better understanding how we can use food to bring our pets into a healthy balance is key to living long and happy lives together.

Traditional Chinese Medicine uses a system of food energetics to create a way of understanding that every food has certain properties and actions that affect the body and that can be used together to bring the body into a healthy balance. They divide every food into one of four basic categories: Hot Warm, Neutral and Cool. Understanding what combination is right for your pet is important in allowing your pet to thrive.

Each of our pets also falls into really one of three categories: Hot, Neutral, or Cold. We must first identify which category our pet fall’s into to understand how to address their issues with food. While we’re addressing this more in terms of our dogs health this applies equally to both dogs and cats.

Dogs that Are Hot

Our dog Salem was a hot dog. He was a dog that searched out the coolest places in our home. The hot dogs are resting on the floor rather than on a dog bed, sleeping against the door to the outside in the wintertime and panting when it’s not necessarily hot out or it seems inappropriate. They may have red and itchy eyes, allergy issues, and skin issues like hot spots or rashes. They may be more easily aroused or restless.

If you’ve got a Hot Dog at home you’ll want to make sure you do two things: (1) avoid any Hot Foods – that’s like turning up the stove on a boiling pot of water. Stay away from the Hot Foods like Lamb, Venison, Mutton and Trout. (2) Feed a Cooling diet featuring proteins like Rabbit, Duck, or Whitefish.

Dogs that are Cold

On the opposite side of the Hot Dogs are the Cold Dogs. These are the dogs that search out the sunshine, they search out the warmest places in the house, and they may have joint or other inflammation issues. They may have a poor appetite, lack of general energy and may even have a cold nose or ears. Some cold dogs also have urinary or other digestive issues.

If you’ve got a Cold Dog at home you’ll want to concentrate on the Warming Foods like Turkey and Chicken.

Dogs in Balance:

If you’ve got a Neutral Dog at home then they’re probably already in balance and they can benefit from feeding a more neutral diet like Beef or Salmon. Another strategy is feeding your dog on a seasonal basis which plays opposite the outdoor temperatures. In this strategy you would feed a Warm or Hot diet in the Winter months and feed a Neutral to Cooling Diet in the Summer Months.

Feeding a high quality diet and moving toward a raw, less processed diet is important but also keeping in mind Food Energetics can go a long way in healing your pet through the power of food.

Our Team at Four Muddy Paws can help you find the right food combination to help your pet find their balance and live a long and happy life.

For a great chart on the Food Energetics of Meats, Fruits, Vegetables and Grains check out Herbsmith.