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What Is My Pet's Constitution?

Discover Your Pet’s Constitution: A Quick Guide to The Five-Element Theory and How it Relates to Your Pet

What is your pet’s constitution?

Also, 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. 

In addition, The Five-Element Theory is one of the two fundamental theories of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM).

The Five-Element Theory 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 likewise organizes the repeating pattern of naturally occurring phenomena into five distinct groups:

  • Wood
  • Fire
  • Earth
  • Metal
  • Water

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.

The organs all act independently of one another yet are 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.

The fire burned and created earthen ash which gave rise to mountains containing metal; Metal parted making way for the water; Water gave nourishment to the wood; Wood 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 the 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. 

In 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.


Normal expressions of a Fire constitution include:

  • High energy
  • Strong body
  • Curiosity
  • Bright eyes
  • Communicative
  • Affectionate

On the other hand, abnormal expressions include:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Separation anxiety
  • Restless
  • Excessive heat
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Cardiovascular disease


Normal expressions of a Wood constitution include:

  • Dominant, confident
  • Quick, alert, responsive
  • Strong
  • Athletic, high stamina
  • Large eyes
  • Thin body

On the other hand, abnormal expressions include:


Normal expressions of an Earth constitution include:

  • Sociable
  • Responsive to food
  • Sturdy body
  • Loyal
  • Serene, easy going
  • Nurturing, supportive

On the other hand, abnormal expressions include:


Normal expressions of a Water constitution include:

  • Cautious, careful
  • Thin, middle size body
  • Big eyes
  • Quiet
  • Slow
  • Likes to hide

On the other hand, abnormal expressions include:


Normal expressions of a metal constitution include:

  • Confident
  • Independent
  • Easily disciplined
  • Good haircoat
  • Good vision
  • Intelligent

On the other hand, abnormal expressions include:o

  • Asthma
  • Dry skin
  • Sinus problems
  • Cough
  • Frequent colds
  • Skin lesions

Which Element Summarizes Your Pet’s Constitution?

Using the above info, were you able to figure out your pet’s constitution?

What did your pet get?

  • Fire
  • Wood
  • Earth
  • Metal
  • Water

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