Most of us as companion animal caretakers have been educated to think that a highly processed grain-based or cereal diet is known as “PET FOOD” is adequate, even superior sustenance for our beloved pets. We also intuitively know that eating wholesome fresh foods over a monotonous processed diet is what keeps us healthy. If we elect to begin either feeding fresh, wholesome foods to our pets or adding these foods to their current diet, how do we choose which foods are right for them?
There is no single perfect diet for all humans, and similarly, there is no single perfect diet for dogs and cats. We all have different builds, energy levels, ages, and personalities, just like our pets who even have breed differences. These differences must all be considered to determine the best diet for each individual at every life stage.
Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) has well-developed strategies to design the proper diet for our pets. Food Therapy is one of the five branches of TCVM. It is a practice of healing using natural foods along with other therapies such as acupuncture or herbal medications or even conventional medicine.
To best utilize food therapy, the TCVM exam will determine if your pet is Excess or Deficient, Hot or Cold, or Damp or Dry. The exam may also uncover disharmonies leading to medical problems such as heart disease, seizures, or behavior problems that can be treated with acupuncture or herbal medications and supported by the appropriately designed diet.
TCVM has established that every food has certain “energetic” properties. For example, eating a hot pepper makes you feel hot and dilates your superficial blood vessels so that your skin flushes and you sweat. The opposite happens when you eat watermelon. TCVM would classify the pepper as “Hot” and the watermelon as “Cold”. Every food is classified with various properties. For example, some tonify Blood, Qi, Yin, or Yang. Further, some may dry damp, clear heat, reduce toxicity, or circulate Qi and Blood.
In this way food therapy can be utilized many ways:
Health promotion and prevention– to build and maintain health on a regular basis, and prevent seasonal or climatic related problems.
Disease treatment- to treat clinical problems
Adjunct therapy – to complement your pets’ existing conventional treatment.
During your Food Therapy visit at Animal Healing Center, our experienced veterinarians will make a TCVM diagnosis for your companion animal, and then recommend foods that facilitate healing for that pet. The recommended foods will be wholesome foods that you might feed yourself. For those of us who live busy, full lives, there are quick and easy ways to prepare these foods, and we can show you how. It may also beneficial to include simple additions to your pet’s current diet to help them continue on the path to good health.
If you’d like to help your pet experience better health thru TCVM Food Therapy, call A.H.C. today to set up a consult.