The Pet Owner's Guide to TCVM Veterinary Food Therapy

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Qi. Subtle energy. It's what makes the body work. It's the difference between a good day and a bad day. It's the difference between health and disease. 

Welcome to a new way of thinking about pet food and pet health! You're about to elevate your pet's health to a new level. And you'll use a simple household item: FOOD.

A few small changes for you, but a huge health difference for your pet. We are going to teach you how to heal your pet with food!

By combining ancient Eastern knowledge with Western nutritional science, you'll feed your pet both physically and energetically. "Both physically and energetically" may not make sense to you yet, but it will soon.

Bottom line is, you'll feed real food to contrast and balance your pet's individual physical and energetic bodies, bringing your pet into harmony.

Using food therapy puts you in control of your pet's health.

You'll be in the driver's seat, altering foods through your pet's life changes, maintaining harmony and health along the way. 

Pet parents worldwide use TCVM veterinary food therapy to improve their pets’ lives. We provide all the tools you need:

Read on and learn how to get started. We're here with you every step of the way!

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TCVM Food Energetics - The Basis of Veterinary Food Therapy

Hippocrates once said: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

Nowadays, we don't utilize "food as medicine" in the same way. Around every corner, we see fast food, processed food, and modern pharmaceuticals. We're rushed. We don't have time to eat right.

Ancient cultures thrived on the concept of food as medicine and medicine as food. Food was important to both health and survival. Ancient cultures were very in tune with their food. So in tune, in fact, ancient  Easterners understood how different food sources had different effects on the body. Different foods had different physiologic and metabolic effects on their bodies when eaten. Food energetics originated then and grew to be a way of life in Eastern cultures. Even today, food therapy is a very important aspect of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

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Our Story

Before you take the time to learn all about how food therapy works, you're probably asking "Why?" and "How?"

  • Why is food therapy important?
  • How will food therapy help my pet?

Here's a little story about how PET | TAO got started to answer your questions.

Believe it or not, co-founding veterinarians, Dr. Marc Smith and Dr. Casey Damron actually stumbled upon food energetics. After years of clinical practice, the doctors realized some pets just didn't get well. After exhausting all medical avenues, they ran out of treatments. Nothing worked. Searching for alternative therapies to help, the doctors attended the Chi Institute. At Chi, they studied Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM).

Through their studies, Dr. Smith and Dr. Damron learned about how "everything is energy" and the body is "an incredible energy machine". They studied acupuncture, electro-acupuncture, Tui-na, Eastern herbal remedies, Eastern food therapy, and even a little qi-gong and tai-ji.

Armed with an arsenal of new-found Eastern knowledge, the vets returned to Tennessee eager to sharpen their skills and enhance their practices. The doctors implemented programs of acupuncture and Eastern herbals. Using TCVM food therapy principles, they created unique pet food recipes. Both doctors began blending previous knowledge of Western veterinary medicine with newfound Eastern philosophy in their daily practices.

Then something subtle, yet amazing happened. A gradual shift occurred. Chronically ill pets started feeling better. Dr. Smith and Dr. Damron rehabilitated pets they could not help before. Clients loved the results! The PET | TAO philosophy flourished from there and continues to grow.

PET | TAO evolved through Dr. Smith's and Dr. Damron's practical use of thousand-year-old Eastern knowledge. Chinese food therapy works with the subtle energy effects of food on the body. All naturally occurring foods have predictable physiologic and metabolic actions when consumed. Western nutritional science provides a diet based on nutritional ratios. PET | TAO provides a perfect balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals. Combine the two, and amazing changes transpire! If we didn't know better, we'd call it magic.

Experience the perfect blend of East and West, providing harmony and health for your pet! Give Eastern Food Therapy a try!

Try a Recipe    See Dr. Smith's Practice     See Dr. Damron's Practice
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TCVM Warming vs. Cooling Foods

Food energetics is not a Western concept. In fact, it's a totally different way of looking at food and the body than what Westerners are used to. Rather than using food merely as "fuel for the machine," Eastern theory classifies food according to its effects on the body after consumption.

According to Eastern theory:

Each naturally occurring food source, such as meat, plants, nuts, and fruit, has an innate energetic quality—either warming, cooling, or neutral.

The terms warming, cooling and neutral in food energetics are not about temperature. Food energetics explains the effects of food on the animal's subtle energy after consumption. Not caloric effects, but physiological and metabolic effects.

Warming foods increase metabolism and create energy flow. Cooling foods calm the body and absorb some of the body's excess heat.

You can recognize predictable effects of food on the body in our everyday diets. For instance, a habanero pepper heats your body, gets your blood pumping and makes you sweat. A cucumber cools the body and regulates heat.

Sometimes we eat foods according to the seasons. For example, do you eat warming chili in the winter and cooling watermelon in the summer? The chili powder and many other ingredients in chili are considered warming. Watermelons are cooling.

The energetics of food are generally described using two ancient Eastern medicine philosophies.

The philosophies are The Principles of Yin and Yang and The Five Elements Theory.

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The Yin & Yang of the World

Yin and Yan Examples - Eastern Food TherapyThe Yin & Yang Theory is about opposites.

Every naturally occurring event has equal and opposite forces in nature. Events and forces include: hot/cold, light/dark, day/night, weak/strong, soft/hard, dry/moist, man/woman etc.

One force cannot exist without the other and often times one force is the origin of the other. These forces are in constant motion, conflict, and struggle. The ultimate goal is a balance between each opposing force.

Imbalances in Yin and Yang have certain effects on the body. For example, Yin Deficiency often leads to insomnia, overeating, weight loss, and excessive thirst. Yang Deficiency often leads to mental lethargy, bloating, sore joints, and cold extremities.

All individual food ingredients have the same Yin/Yang effects on the body:

The trick is choosing the appropriate food for the appropriate effects.

The ultimate goal is harmony or energetic balance. A body in harmony is resistant to illness and disease.

Creating energetic balance for your pet can help ease many common chronic conditions. For example, specific food combinations cool and soothe inflammation. Arthritis and chronic pain are considered "heat" in Chinese Medicine.

Other food combinations warm the body and increase stamina or boost energy. Below is an example of food therapy in action.

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TCVM Veterinary Food Therapy in Action: Rover and Max

TCVM Veterinary Food Therapy in ActionRover is an energetic, healthy 6-year old border collie. Rover has an awesome human named Max.

Max buys Rover what he thinks is the best dog food on the market.

But, what Max doesn't know is that Rover is not getting the appropriate energetically balanced foods for a dog his age. As Rover is aging, he's becoming naturally Yin Deficient.

Rover begins having Yin Deficiency complications, which is concerning to Max.  Max doesn't like watching his best friend lose weight, drink all the time, and pant and pace all night instead of sleeping. Rover seems agitated and

Rover seems agitated and Max is sad.

Max hears about PET | TAO's "Chill diet" from a holistic vet and gives it a try. Rover loves the food! To Max's surprise, within the next few weeks, Rover begins acting like his old self again.

What just happened?!?

Max used food as medicine to help Rover return to an energetically balanced state. Being balanced again, Rover feels happy, healthy and energetic.We see "miracles" like Rover's every day with the help of TCVM Veterinary Food Therapy.

If you would like to learn more about what food choices are best for your pet, take our TCVM Food Therapy Quiz for Dogs or our TCVM Food Therapy Quiz for Cats.

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TCVM Veterinary Food Therapy Charts

Eastern Food Therapy is overwhelming at first! But, it's definitely worth the trouble.

With a little time and effort, you can implement food therapy for your pet.

Your pet will love the food, and you'll love adding years of health and well-being to your pet's life. Use the tools below to start today!

PET | TAO TCVM Veterinary Food Therapy Tools:

PET | TAO makes it easy to use Eastern Food Therapy for your pet!

TCVM Veterinary Food Therapy Chart

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TCVM Practitioners

Eastern Food Therapy is only one aspect of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine. Your pet will do best with the help of a good TCVM practitioner. TCVM practitioners are holistic veterinarians with extra training in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Most TCVM practitioners offer:

PET | TAO's founders trained at the Chi Institute of Chinese Veterinary Medicine.

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Action Items

Complete the following action items, and you'll be well on your way down the path to better health for your pet!

  1. Determine if your pet needs warming, cooling, neutral or blood building food using our TCVM Food Therapy ChartTCVM Food Therapy Quiz for Dogs, or our TCVM Food Therapy Quiz for Cats
  2. Find a TCVM veterinarian near you.
  3. Try TCVM Food Therapy on your pet using our TCVM Food Therapy slow-cooker recipes or purchasing TCVM Food Therapy canned food.
  4. Learn more about Eastern Food Therapy for Pets by downloading our free ebook.
  5. Always consult with your veterinarian before making changes to your dog's diet and exercise routine.

Best of luck to you and your furry friends on your journey to better health and longevity!

If you have any questions or if we can help you in any way, just let us know!

FREE EBOOK: TCVM Veterinary Food Therapy for Pets: How to Use Food as Medicine for Health & Harmony