When it comes to a yeasty dog I want to remove any food that triggers a reaction, feed food to strengthen the immune system, and not feed any food that weakens the digestive system.
And it is with the third point that I don’t feed cold food to a dog with yeast because it weakens the spleen which is connected to the digestive system
The spleen, from an anatomical perspective, is responsible for the production of white blood cells but when I use it in the context of how this applies to nutrition, I’m referring to the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
In TCM, the spleen (yin) and the stomach (yang) is where digestion starts.
Together the spleen and stomach take in the food that is ingested to digest it and then transport it to the rest of the organs in the body.
This energy is life force or “qi” (pronounced “chee”).
Spleen qi ascends as it distributes to the heart and lungs and to the rest of the body. Conversely, stomach qi descends to facilitate the digestion process and excrete the undigested food out of the body. The two are yin and yang and balance each other out.
In TCM this area is called the center burner and while I’ve only mentioned the spleen and stomach, this also involves the pancreas.
For the spleen to work well, it loves warm and dry. When dampness accumulates it becomes stagnant. It may result in sloppy stools and in the cases of our dogs this internal dampness is often tied to yeast.
Certain foods are thought to make the symptoms worse such as:
- High histamine foods
- Green tripe
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Fermented dairy
- Fermented vegetables
- Canned foods
- Most Citric Fruits – kiwi, lemon, lime, pineapple, plums
- Cold Food
Why Does Cold Food Weaken The Spleen
The easiest way to explain this is to look at the spleen and stomach like a kitchen.
If the pot on the stove is warm, and food that is ingested is room temperature or warm, it has an easier time digesting and turning that food into qi to transport it throughout the body.
When the food is cold, it has to work harder and it weakens the spleen. And this is why I don’t feed cold food to a dog that has a weaker spleen or a dog that is presenting itself with yeast.
This Also Depends On The Dog And The Season
This belief will vary from dog to dog and things may change based on the season.
For example, a yeasty dog might be able to handle cold and raw food very easily in the summer but not so well when the seasons change and will need warmer food in the fall and winter.
This Is Just One Aspect When Approaching A Dog With Yeast
There will never be ONE thing that heals a dog with yeast.
Rather there is a combination of things we do to cleanse the yeast from the system while supporting the dog’s body to strengthen its spleen and get its gut back in balance.
Yin Repletion And Dampness
Yin repletion is often caused by a poor diet.
Feeding too many yin foods cools the body, harms spleen qi, and causes dampness (yeast).
Yin foods; damp foods, dairy, high histamine, raw foods, too much fat, excess sweet energetic foods.
Moderately warming foods and cooking methods. If there is dampness then feed food that has bitter-warm flavors.
- Sweet-hot, sweet-warm, sweet-neutral
- Neutral and warming
- Poultry (don’t feed chicken if your dog has a chicken sensitivity, feed duck or turkey), poultry broth, lamb, beef, beef stock, venison
- Trout, salmon, tuna
- Sweet apples
- Broccoli sprouts, cabbage, pumpkins, carrots, turnips, sweet potatoes, endives, dandelion greens, rutabagas
When a dog has yeast we want to support them heal by supporting their spleen.
Feeding foods that weaken the spleen are both those that have high histamine and foods that is too cold in temperature.
Feeding a supportive diet, at the temperature that the body prefers can help warm and dry the spleen and conversely help get rid of their yeast.