Discover Your Pet’s Constitution: A Quick Guide to The Five-Element Theory and How it Relates to Your Pet
What does the word “constitution” mean in the context of your pet? How does your dog act? Is your dog timid? Is your dog fearful? Does your dog act confident or lack confidence? Is your dog happy and healthy? All these personality traits are what we term “constitution.”
Introducing the Five-Element Theory
The Five-Element Theory explains the relationships between elements in the environment. The Five-Element Theory is one of the two fundamental theories of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM).
The Five-Element Theory also explains the following:
- Our connection to the natural world
- How all things relate
- How elements and organs exert control over one another
- The dynamic relationship between naturally occurring events
The theory organizes the repeating pattern of naturally occurring phenomena into five distinct groups:
Each Element Relates to an Organ
In TCVM, the Five-Element Theory explains the intricate relationships between the five naturally occurring elements in the environment. These relationships also exist in the body as each organ system corresponds to one of the five elements. When applying this theory to foods, one can control how organs function in the body.
These organs act independent of one another yet also dependent on one another in promoting and maintaining health. Maintaining all elements in balance promotes health and harmony.
The five major organs of the body and their corresponding elements:
Each of the five groups contains sub-categories such as season, direction, organ, emotion, and taste. For example, the Water element corresponds to the kidney, the north direction, the season of winter, and the emotion of fear.
Fire burned and created earthen ash which gave rise to mountains containing metal; which parted making way for the water; which gave nourishment to the wood; which continuing the cycle kindled the fire.
A simple example of applying the Five-Element Theory in practice would be considering the dog with heart disease. According to the Five-Element Theory, a dog with heart disease needs to strengthen the heart. Strengthen the heart by consuming heart, and by choosing acupuncture points and herbal prescriptions strengthening the heart’s function.
Every Pet Has a Constitution
To learn about your pet’s constitution, count how many characteristics relate to your pet from each category. At the end, see if your pet has more FIRE, WOOD, EARTH, WATER or METAL characteristics. Knowing your pet’s constitution can help you assess their dietary needs.
- High energy
- Strong body
- Bright eyes
- Trouble sleeping
- Separation anxiety
- Excessive heat
- Rapid heart rate
- Cardiovascular disease
- Dominant, confident
- Quick, alert, responsive
- Athletic, high stamina
- Large eyes
- Thin body
- Hypertension, stroke
- Eye and/or ear problems
- Nail and foot problems
- Liver problems
- Anal sac issues
- Responsive to food
- Sturdy body
- Serene, easy going
- Nurturing, supportive
- Cautious, careful
- Thin, middle size body
- Big eyes
- Likes to hide
- Easily disciplined
- Good haircoat
- Good vision
- Dry skin
- Sinus problems
- Frequent colds
- Skin lesions
Which Element Summarizes Your Pet’s Constitution?