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What Element Is My Dog?

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, there exists a framework to understand the primal forces around each human being. And this concept applies to our animals also.

Each animal has an energetic model of how energy pulsates through them.

We’re familiar with the concept of archetypes in the Western world, and so something similar applies in the Eastern world as well. And it’s called the Five Element Theory which outlines the relationship between the different elements in nature and the life force, or “qi,” that flows through them.

The five elements are Earth, Metal, Water, Wood, and Fire.

Each element is then linked to an area of health in the body and to certain organs and has a circadian rhythm:

  • EARTH – The Mother
    • Linked to digestion
      • Yin: Spleen / Pancreas (11am)
      • Yang: Stomach (9am)
    • Body opening: mouth
    • Body part: muscles
    • Season: late summer
    • Climate: humid
    • Odor: sickly sweet
    • Emotion: sympathy
    • Sound: song
  • METAL – The Organizer
    • Linked to respiration and elimination
      • Yin: Lung (5am)
      • Yang: Large Intestine (7am)
    • Body opening: nose
    • Body part: skin
    • Season: autumn
    • Climate: dry
    • Odor: rotten
    • Emotion: grief
    • Sound: weeping
  • WATER – The Philosopher
    • Linked to plumbing
      • Yin: Kidney (7pm)
      • Yang: Urinary Bladder (5pm)
    • Body opening: ears (with fire element)
    • Body part: bone, marrow, teeth, genitals, (with liver element) urethra
    • Season: winter
    • Climate: cold
    • Odor: putrid
    • Emotion: fear
    • Sound: groaning
  • WOOD – The General
    • Linked to toxic processing
      • Yin: Liver (3am)
      • Yang: Gall Bladder (1am)
    • Body opening: eyes
    • Body part: tendons, ligaments, nails, genitals
    • Season: spring
    • Climate: windy
    • Odor: rancid
    • Emotion: anger
    • Sound: shout
  • FIRE – The Emperor
    • Linked to circulation of the blood
      • Yin: Heart (1pm) / Pericaardium (9pm)
      • Yang: Small Intestine (3pm) / Triple Heater (11pm)
    • Body opening: ears (hearing)
    • Body part: palate, tongue
    • Season: summer
    • Climate: heat
    • Odor: scorched
    • Emotion: joy
    • Sound: laugh

Working With A Holistic Vet

A holistic vet that is versed in TCVM (Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine) can help evaluate your dog. Because even though it might be tempting to categorize your furry best friend as one element, they probably have a dominant one is an amalgam of all five elements.

A practitioner has studied TCVM for over five years and is also a veterinarian and is truly the only one who can give a qualified diagnosis.

And even though that vet will be skilled in this evaluation, you can bring this language into your awareness so that you can better provide the information that the vet will be asking of you.

I’ve worked with Dr. Katie Kangas here in San Diego. She helped me heal Maggie when she had allergies as well as Orbit when she had very bad yeast. This was back in 2018 and I haven’t had to see her since. Today she is quite busy as her services are in high demand.

And so the universe has brought me in contact with Dr. Dennis Thomas who is also a Holistic Vet well skilled in TCVM and available for online ZOOM consultations.

I’m also part of his Heart 2 Heart community. I have the utmost respect for Dr. Thomas. He is many years of experience and if a buddha ever came back to earth as a veterinarian it would be Dr. Thomas. You can find his website on elements HERE.

Additional Reading For TCM

Dr. Judy Morgan has the most digestible book available when you’re first starting to learn about TCM for animals and the energetics of food.

Note: Some links in this article are affiliate links (Amazon Associates or other programs I participate in). At no charge to you, as an affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.  

Yin & Yang Nutrition for Dogs: Maximizing Health with Whole Foods, Not Drugs

Once you’re ready to dive a little deeper, the next book I recommend by Dr. Cheryl Schwartz goes into more detail on energy meridians, food therapy and more.

Four Paws, Five Directions: A Guide to Chinese Medicine for Cats and Dogs

And then although this book is tailored to humans, it’s still a solid addition to your library as it will dive deeper into how to heal through whole foods.

Healing With Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition

Final Thoughts

It can be overwhelming to decide what to feed our dogs especially if they have an imbalance in their body.

You may have all the information you can access in the world about nutrition and ingredients but deciding what is best for YOUR dog is where the work happens.

Sometimes stepping back and looking at it from the Eastern perspective might shift the problem so that it’s a little more clear and give you a pathway in how to navigate what ingredients to select when making their food.

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