Traditional Chinese Veterinary Food Therapy is based on Food Energetics. Food Energetics describes the thermal energetic properties of food and refers to how the food affects the digestive, metabolic and physiologic functions of the body. For example, some foods may be warming to the body and can be helpful to patients with cold conditions such as arthritis that is worse in winter, whereas other foods have cooling affects that can be useful for pets with hot conditions such as hot inflamed skin as seen in allergic conditions. Some foods may energetically act to calm the mind, and others are supportive of digestion or improve natural energy.
Good nutrition is the foundation of good health. No medication or treatment out there can replace the benefits of a good diet. Commercially prepared diets are well balanced diets for dogs and have improved the health of dogs with many decades of research. They have made feeding our pets inexpensive and convenient. However, these diets are heavily processed, which can affect the positive thermal energy of the food and over long periods of time can be damaging. The nutrient profile looks great on paper, but the unseen energy of fresh and wholesome food is missing. Most of us can relate to being in college or another situation where you live for months off of macaroni and cheese and other boxed meals. Think of how nice it was to get a home-cooked meal after eating processed or fast food, and how it affected you both physically and mentally. Think of how a fresh piece of watermelon can be so refreshing and cooling on a hot summer day, or how a bowl of squash soup is so calming and warming in the winter. As pets get older or become ill, fresh and wholesome foods are often helpful or necessary to counteract the disease process.