Foods and Moods
Food has a massive effect on your dogs health, however, we rarely consider how it impacts their behavior.
Usually when selecting food for our dog we choose based upon age, breed, health, (allergies, weight), level of activity, and price, but rarely on behavior.
What you feed your dog directly and indirectly affects their physical mental and emotional health.
We have been programed to believing that anything other than commercial pet food is both dangerous and inadequate. Processed commercial dog food usually comes in a bag formed into brown pellets often called a kibble. However, common scene tells an educated pet parent that whole foods are more nutritious than processed food.
Based upon Harvard researchers both the brain and gut are linked via the Vagus Nerve, which sends information between the gut and the brain. They estimate around 90% of the body’s serotonin (contributes to happiness, wellbeing) is made in the gastrointestinal tract. So essentially, what affects the gut will also impact the brain and ultimately how your dog behaves.
Cooling foods help to bring yang excessive conditions into balance.
- Meat, dairy, seafood: Rabbit, Duck White Fish, Eggs, crab, clams, yogurt,
- Vegetables: lettuce, mushrooms, bitter gourd, broccoli, eggplant, celery, green leafy vegetables, asparagus. spinach, Swiss chard, alfalfa sprouts, cauliflower, cucumber, dandelion, asparagus, alfalfa, bok choy.
- Grains, legumes, seeds: whole wheat, buckwheat, tofu, mung bean, soy bean, millet, wheat bran, barley
- Fruits: mangosteen, apple, watermelon, strawberry, persimmon, pear, lemon, orange, kiwi, banana, grapefruit
Yang dogs can suffer from excessive itching, rashes, hot spots, skin infections, ear infections, bladder infection and excessive thirst. Arthritis, GI Track, Allergy, Anger.
Use Cooling foods to balance Excessive Yang Dogs. Warm paws, hyperactivity, inability to focus, sensory overload, constipation, aggression, red tongue, red eyes. These dogs prefer to rest on tile floors, shaded area, may pant excessively, avoids heat and dislike warm weather.
Now neutral foods are those that do not have yin or yang properties, and so are perfect for all types of constitutions, such as:
- Meat, seafood, dairy: Beef, Tuna, Mackerel, herring, sardines, quail, pork, oysters, fish, cow’s milk, duck, pork, scallop
- Vegetables: Chinese cabbage, potato, white fungus, black fungus, carrot, corn, beets,
- Herbs: Parsley, Hemp,
- Grains, legumes, seeds: white rice, yellow soybean, kidney beans, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, cauliflower,
- Fruits: goji, berries, olive, lemon, figs,
A dog food having above 35 percent sugars from carbohydrates may affect the number of amino acids that block brain function which activate hyperactivity.
Overly processed dog foods contain high concentration of carbs, sugar, and additives these can be linked to behavioral issues.
Warming foods help to bring Yin deficient conditions into balance.
- Meat, seafood, dairy: Chicken, Goat, Pheasant, mutton, lamb, ham, prawns, trout.
- Vegetables: brussel sprouts, fennel, kale, squash, mustard greens, leek, pumpkin, squash
- Herbs garlic, cumin, black pepper, clove, fennel seed, cinnamon, rosemary, basil, ginger, oregano
Grains, legumes, seeds: glutinous rice, walnut, pistachio
- Fruits: durians, jack-fruit, apricot, raspberry, chestnut, coconut meat, guava, cherry
Use Warming foods to balance Deficient Yin conditions. Cold paws, lethargy, diarrhea, pale tongue and weakness.
Yin Conditions include Old age, chronic illness, heart failure, watery diarrhea. Kidney Failure
Dogs prefer to be near fireplace, heating vent, sunbath, be under covers. Dogs experience anxiety, fear, grief, tremble, are shy, timid, hide.
The spleen plays an important part in the body’s immune system and acts as a blood filter, removing old blood cells, bacteria, and impurities from the body.
Emotions: Excessive mental work such as worry, dwelling, or focusing too much on a particular topic
- Spleen function: Food digestion and nutrient absorption, helping in the formation of blood and energy and keeping blood in the blood vessels; connected with the muscles, mouth, and lips; also involved in thinking, studying, and memory
- Symptoms of spleen imbalance: Tiredness, loss of appetite, mucus discharge, poor digestion, abdominal distension, loose stools, diarrhea, weak muscles, pale lips, bruising, and bleeding disorders
- Sweet foods balance worry carrot, eggs, oars, pumpkin, beef, squash, yams. Be carful too much sweet causes obesity, headaches, lethargy or fatigue.
The lungs bring oxygen into the body and remove carbon dioxide. In TCM, Lung is associated to the emotion grief and the following conditions:
- Emotions: Grief, sadness, and detachment
- Lung function: Respiration brings energy from the air and helps to distribute it throughout the body; they work with the kidney to regulate water metabolism; they are important in the immune system and for resistance to viruses and bacteria; they regulate sweat glands and body hair and provide moisture to the skin
- Symptoms of lung imbalance: Shortness of breath and shallow breathing, sweating, fatigue, cough, frequent cold and flu, allergies, asthma, and other lung conditions, dry skin, depression, and excessive crying or whinning
- Pungent foods balance grief. Cloves, ginger, mint, garlic, fennel, celery, and water cress.
Digestion and the processing of nutrients are primary functions of this vital organ. The liver is associated with anger, depression, and the below physical symptoms:
- Emotions: Anger, resentment, frustration, irritability, bitterness, and “flying off the handle”
- Liver function: Involved in the smooth flow of energy and blood throughout the body; regulates bile secretion and stores blood; is connected with the tendons, nails, and eyes
- Symptoms of liver imbalance: Breast distension, menstrual pain, headache, irritability, inappropriate anger, dizziness, dry, red eyes, and other eye conditions, and tendonitis
- Sour Foods to strengthen Yin and should be used in times of emotional stress, anger, or upset.
- Lemon, apple Cider vinegar, crab apple, azuki beans,
- Use sour foods along with cooling Yin foods.
The heart pumps blood throughout the body. In TCM, this organ is linked with joy but the imbalance of joy is expressed as either too much (agitation or restlessness) or too little (depression). Below, are the mental and physical ailments linked with the heart:
- Emotions: Lack of enthusiasm and vitality, mental restlessness, depression, insomnia, and despair
- Heart function: Regulates the blood circulation and blood vessels; responsible for even and regular pulse and influences vitality and spirit.
- Symptoms of heart imbalance: Insomnia, heart palpitations, irregular heartbeat, excessive dreaming, poor long-term memory.
- Bitter foods to help balance Joy, Basil, chicory, parsley, lettuce and asparagus
The kidneys remove waste and excess fluid to make urine. In TCM, the kidney is related to fear, which can manifest as chronic fear or anxiety when out of balance, as well as result in:
- Emotions: Fearful, weak willpower, insecure, aloof, and isolated
- Kidney function: Key organs for sustaining life; responsible for reproduction, growth and development, and maturation; involved with the lungs in water metabolism and respiration; connected with bones, teeth, ears, and head hair
- Symptoms of kidney imbalance: Frequent urination, urinary incontinence, night sweats, dry mouth, poor short-term memory, low back pain, ringing in the ears, hearing loss, other ear conditions, premature gray hair, hair loss, and osteoporosis.
- Salty Foods can help balance Fear. Kelp, barley, duck, oysters, salt, clams. Too much salt can cause dehydration in the body and damage bones.