Fruits and Vegetables for Dogs: Chinese Medicine

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Like proteins, fruits and vegetables are also categorized by Chinese medicine into one of the three categories: warming, neutral, and cooling. As we showed last week, there are some fruits and vegetables that are commonly used in commercial pet food recipes. Today we will look at the Chinese medicinal properties of these and other fruits and vegetables.


Cooling Fruits and Vegetables

Cooling foods are thought to clear toxins and help to dissipate the body’s internal heat. These are recommended for dogs that are dealing with inflammatory conditions, like arthritis, obesity and cancers, in order to minimize internal heating (inflammation).
cooling veggies


The cooling fruits and vegetables include some of those commonly used in commercial dog food recipes.

Cooling fruits and vegetables include green peas, spinach, apple, strawberry, alfalfa, kelp and broccoli.


Neutral Fruits and Vegetables

Neutral foods are just that: neutral. They can be used in most any case and without having a direct impact on a specific body condition, and are believed to be suitable for virtually any type of body.


Fruits and vegetables that are considered to be neutral in Chinese medicine include: carrots, most berries, potatoes, cauliflower, and pineapple.


Warming Fruits and Vegetables

Warming foods are thought to raise the energy of organs, improve circulation, and to generally raise the temperature of the body.


Some of the warming fruits and vegetables include sweet potato, squash, pumpkin, cherries, and mango. According to Holistic Veterinarian Dr. Patrick Mahaney, although warming, most of these are worth including in a diet due to their high levels of nutrients and anti-oxidants

warming veggies

Fruits and vegetables can also be used as healthy snacks or as an adjunct to commercially available foods. Carrots, apples, berries, and broccoli are great examples of foods that can be used as an alternative to those highly processed treats, and each of these can be a welcome addition to the food bowl as well, adding sweetness and a ton of nutrition. These foods can be served raw, steamed, or even pureed, depending on your dog’s taste preferences.


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  1. I didn’t know foods could be cooling or warming, interesting. I started giving Preacher different stuff as a pup so she gets used to it.
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  2. I only started learning about cooling, neutral, and warming meat protein sources earlier this year, but I hadn’t seen a classification of veggies & fruits in this way. Thank you for this! By the way, I just recently learned that veggies & fruits are best served in pureed form because dogs lack the enzyme that breaks down the cell walls of plants. Now that I’m pureeing the pups’ produce, it actually gets absorbed much better and no longer shows up in pieces in their you-know-what 😉
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  3. Wow, I had never heard the cooling term before! Great info!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!
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  4. I consulted with an Ayurvedic practitioner several years ago. They also talk about the warming and cooling properties of food as well as other things.

    In connection with that, I read about an Ayurvedic nutritionist who changed her diet to prepare for upcoming surgery to promote faster healing. I suspect a Chinese medicine practitioner could make similar recommendations. It might be a useful way to think about food when we (or our pups) need more dramatic medical interventions.

    In fact, I suspect that the reason Maggie appears to be tolerating chemo so well is because you’ve paid so much attention to her diet for so long.
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  5. I am fortunate that Bentley likes all of the “cool” proteins. He is actually cooler to the touch since he has started on mainly cool foods. This has made a major change in his overall health.
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  6. Katie happens to love apples and usually gets some apple every day. It is good to know it is good for her arthritis!
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  7. Such interesting stuff. Nutrition is SO important!!
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  8. While I already give the Boys much of what you’ve listed, I never knew about warm and cool food groups. I also keep forgetting that strawberries are good for dogs. I guess from here on in I will start sharing. Thanks so much Slim.

  9. Hi Y’all!

    Yum! My favorite is apples!

    Y’all come on by,
    Hawk aka BrownDog
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  10. This is so great to know! Luke also enjoys chomping on frozen veggies…broccoli especially. Do you know where green beans fall? Those are definitely his favorite!
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