In my last article I wrote about Chinese food therapy and how foods have innate warming, cooling, or neutral effects on the body. We can use these food properties to balance an animal’s energy system. “Hot” pets (those who seek coolness, overheat easily, are experiencing inflammation, or are in a hot climate) can be fed cooling foods. “Cold” pets (those who seek heat, or are in a cold environment) may benefit from warming foods. Animals whose temperatures are balanced should be fed neutral foods.
Here are some examples of Chinese food therapy temperatures.
|Warming foods: Beef kidney, Chicken, Chicken egg yolk, Chicken liver, Goat milk, Ham, Lamb kidney, Lamb liver, Mutton, Pheasant, Prawn, Shrimp, Venison, Apricot, Basil, Blackberry, Cherry, Chestnut, Chives, Clove, Coconut, Coriander, Fennel, Ginger, Garlic, Hawthorn, Horseradish, Mustard, Nutmeg, Papaya, Peach, Pepper, Plum, Pumpkin, Quinoa, Raspberry, Squash, Sweet Potato, Sunflower seed, Tangerine, Thyme, Turmeric, Walnut
|Cooling foods: Alligator, Clam or Mussel, Cod, Conch, Crab, Duck, Duck egg, Egg white, Herring, Rabbit, Scallop, Turkey, White fish, Yogurt, Alfalfa, Apple, Amaranth, Banana, Bitter melon, Blueberry, Broccoli, Celery, Cucumber, Eggplant, Gingko, Kelp or Seaweed, Kiwi fruit, Mango, Mushroom, Orange, Pear, Persimmon, Spinach, Strawberry, Tomato, Watermelon, White radish
|Neutral foods: Beef, Beef liver, Bison, Catfish, Chicken eggs, Flatfish, Goose, Mackerel, Milk (Cows), Pigeon, Pork, Pork kidney, Pork liver, Quail, Salmon, Sardines, Tripe, Trout, Tuna, Wild rabbit, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, Date, Figs, Ginkgo, Grape, Lemon, Lotus, Lychee, Pineapple, Potato, Radish, Sweet Potato, Shiitake mushroom, Yam
The Chinese also considered that how a food is prepared affects its temperature. Raw foods are very cooling, foods that is steamed or boiled are more neutral, foods that are grilled baked or fried are warming, canned pet food is hot, and dry pet food is off the scale hot.
If your pet is hot, choose a diet made with cooling foods or feed cooling foods as treats and avoid processed foods. You may also want to add some of these cooling spices to his food – Mint, salt, honey, flax/sesame/soybean oils. If your pet is cold, feed warming foods and avoid totally raw diets. You might also want to try some of these warming spices – Chives, clove, ginger, garlic, horseradish, mustard, nutmeg, pepper, thyme, turmeric, olive oil, rice wine vinegar.
Are you ready to apply TCVM food therapy?
So on a raw diet — how would say a chicken back be classified vs say a duck neck? How would they rate on the scale of warming to cooling? Would they both be cooling? Is it the fact of how the food changes when heated determines its “heat” or just the food itself?
That is a great question Mark. My understanding is that the rawness trumps the inherent food energetics. Raw meat is cooling no mater what the meat is. My personal opinion is that the food therapy rules came form data from human consumers. Dogs evolved eating raw and that’s what their genetics are geared for. I think raw chicken is warming but not as much as cooked chicken.
Which foods are Hot?
Warming foods are hot – that’s how they warm. I would say lamb is often considered the hottest meat.
You list sweet potato under warming and neutral foods. Why is that?
Because that is the energetic effect it has on the body when eaten.
I have also seen sweet potato listed as cooling in Paul Pitchford’s work. If we try to be specific about what we are discussing, I think the exact type of sweet potato matters. Some have white centers, some yellow-orange, some red-orange. So those will have slightly different energy effects relative to each other. I looked up cauliflower and discovered there are over 11 different colored cauliflowers with the same botanical name! We need more precise language to describe the food, or we might not be discussing the same things!
I have a bichon/poodle cross, he has pink warm skin an always itching…he’s a rescue dog so he didn’t have a good start. I feed raw food ie chicken necks, lamb, lamb offal, tripe, fish. But I read you mention rabbit an beef I’m a bit scared to try red meat….I love your ideas.
Muskrat, goat, beaver, emu and alpaca…which ones are cooking and which are warming meats?
Since the Chinese who came up with food energetics did not typically eat these, nobody knows.
I see turkey sometimes under cooling and other times under warming on different lists. Can you explain why it varies?
The turkeys of today do not look much like the turkeys of ancient China so no doubt the energetics have changed. I would classify it as neutral.
On different websites, emu is hot, and so is kangaroo and likely ostrich. I can’t find info about goat anywhere, so I am assuming it is neutral unless informed by someone wiser than myself. As to “today” versus ancient China, no meat’s energetics are what they once were, so this ancient warming/cooling thing is likely no longer applicable, unless you grow your own food animals and they in turn aren’t fed hormones, antibiotics, grains, etc., and further graze on organic grasses growing in nutrient-dense soil that is not mineral-depleted. Just about all the soil in North America is depleted and contaminated. Then there’s the entire water supply problem. The fact is pretty much all of our food is fake food and empty calories and harmful “other” ingredients.
Goat is considered warming. More than chicken, less than lamb. If you are healthy, you can eat the foods and feel if you heat up, sweat, or cool off. Most game meats are energetic and Yang, thus warming. Those critters run for their lives or work for a living, so they have more Yang, warming energy.
How do you classify goat meat and kangaroo meat? These have been on the market in kibble form and canned form in recent years?
I do not classify any of these foods. The classifications have come from the ancient Chinese. Since none of them ever saw a kangaroo, nobody know what the classification would be. I have not seen goat in any of the information I’m aware of so I don’t know that one either. Given the reasoning behind the Chinese classification system I would think both of those meats would be warming foods.
Hello. My Hot dog cannot eat venison or chicken, even raw. But she can eat goat (raw). If she eats warming/hot foods she gets blisters randomly on her body, not to mention the panting and anxiety. Doesnt happen with goat. This has been happening ever since she had a rabies shot at 1 year of age. Before the vaccine she could eat anything (raw fed) . Don’t be afraid to do food trials. She is 8 now.