In Chinese Medicine all food has energetic properties, and can help treat disease or imbalances of the body. This is reflected in modern thinking that one’s diet affects one’s overall health.
Meat and non-meat foods are classified into cold, cool, neutral, warm, and hot, based not only on the actual temperature at which they are served, but also on the inherent energy in that food. For example, a dog with an allergy that has warm and damp skin would need cooling foods (duck, whitefish, or rabbit), or neutral foods (beef, or salmon), but not a hot food (lamb).
Foods also have “actions” that can either be supportive or be detrimental to certain organs and certain conditions. Many pet foods contain too much grain, which can have a dampening effect, leading to such diseases as obesity and diabetes. Thus, more meat and less grain is a more beneficial diet.
It is not possible to take a “one diet fits all” approach when treating pets with dietary therapy. A Chinese food therapy diet addresses the specific needs of the patient at that particular time. Each patient must be individually evaluated to determine the appropriate dietary needs, and the patient’s dietary needs may change as circumstances change.