Hot and Cold Theory
Do you notice that your dog pants all the time and seeks out shade or cooler places? Does your cat constantly lie in the sun and curl up under blankets?
Your animal may be indicating what kind of temperature their body maintains naturally. Feeding the opposite type of protein to their temperament can help their body maintain balance.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), there is an internal balance of yin and yang throughout our bodies. This can be balanced through a diet tailored to meet specific needs.
According to this theory, an excess of Yin (cold) will present itself as a sluggishness, while Yang (hot) will present through a restless energy/irritability.
The idea is that every food contains specific energies that when eaten in the correct combinations will help balance your body, and the same is true for our pets.
Animals that "run hot" may display the following:
- seeking out cool places to sleep and rest
- panting while resting
- anxious in general
- hot to the touch
- sensitive/irritable skin
- allergy prone
Animals that "run cool" may display the
- seek out warmth (sun beams, heaters, human warmth)
- relaxed/chill personalities
- a certain amount of sluggishness throughout daily activity
- avoidance of cooler environments (such as playing in the snow)
Food is more than just fuel to make it through the day. What we eat affects our mood, productivity levels, focus, and digestion. The digestive system contains over five pounds of beneficial bacteria that help break down food and utilize nutrients.
When your pet is reacting negatively to a food, their body is working overtime to try and digest it and get any amount of nutrition. Often allergic reactions manifest themselves on the skin because the toxins are literally being pushed out. Dogs and cats thrive on protein-based diets, which can be categorized into cooling, neutral, warming, and hot proteins.
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Some proteins such as turkey are considered cooling, neutral, or warming depending on the source of your information.
Allergic reactions or food sensitivities can often cause the body to overwork itself and run hot. When dealing with an allergy, many pet parents will try a novel protein in order to eliminate any outside contamination.
If your dog is running hot, its coat may be dry and flaky, and you may notice it drinking more water. A cooling protein, such as rabbit, may help balance its body and help prevent overheating.
"Novel" proteins are considered such because they have not been fed at high rates throughout history. Usually, these meats have less of a history within the animal's bloodline and they will not have a resistance to it. These proteins include rabbit, venison, kangaroo, and alligator.
Theory vs. Practice
There are multiple theories out there about what and how we should feed our pets. We have complete control over their diets and should take many factors into consideration when feeding them.
This is one of many theories on helping our pets attain a balanced diet and could help aid in easier digestion. For pet parents struggling to find a food that works, alternative theories could be the solution they have been waiting for.
Interested in learning more about Food Energetics? The links below will take you to a few more in-depth articles: