In part I we talked about the benefits of food therapy so now we will discuss how to incorporate these principles into your daily routine.
Some things to remember :
A good base diet consists of 30% grain/starch, 40% protein and 30 % veggies plus supplements like sardines, hard boiled egg, flax based supplements, herbs and spices. You can pick and choose a neutral, warm or cool diet from the chart below.
Suggestions for a dog with a Qi and Yang deficiency during the winter months would be 30% brown rice, oats and/or sweet potato, 30% chicken, beef, beef liver, venison and/or lamb and 30 % dark green leafy veggies like chopped spinach, kale and kelp. Other veggies you might try are green beans, carrots and green and yellow squash.
For a dog with a Blood deficiency (dry flaky skin, itching and general weakness and malaise) choose a neutral diet of ground beef and kidney beans with carrots and peas but add in foods that Tonify the Blood like liver. Sardines and hard boiled eggs also Tonify the blood and are high in omega 3 fatty acids.
For a dog with a Kidney Qi deficiency choose a base diet like sweet potato, turkey, spinach and kale and add in foods that will help the kidney like lamb's kidney, kelp, kidney beans and black sesame seeds.
As a general rule I add turmeric paste (see recipe below), fresh ginger, salt and local honey to each meal and then top it with a splash of apple cider vinegar and either a sardine or hard boiled egg.
Here is an example of how I make a base diet for my dogs at home :
Then at each feeding I add some turmeric paste, a splash of apple cider vinegar, any herbs or supplements they may taking and either a half a sardine or half a hard boiled egg with the shell. Big dogs can have a whole sardine or whole egg. I add a little warm water to dissolve the turmeric paste, give it a stir and it's ready to eat.
One of the roadblocks to start home cooking is the worry that your dog will not have a balanced diet. With lots of variety, a balanced diet over time is easy to achieve but you can always add a high quality supplement to be sure. I like Platinum Performance CJ. It is a flax based supplement made in the USA and developed by veterinarians. You can order this from our website or from platinum performance directly. http://www.platinumperformance.com/platinum-performance-canine-cj-supplment
As with any food change start very slowly and discuss it with your veterinarian first. If your dog has been on kibble his whole life, changing to home cooked food can be very hard on his stomach. Start with a few bites of home cooked food on his regular food and slowly incorporate more over a month's time. Some dogs love their kibble or 100% home cooking is not an option and that is ok. You can just top your dog's food with some home cooked food and he will still get the benefits of fresh food and omega 3 fatty acids.
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