How Eastern Food Therapy Can Improve Your Dog’s Life

Based on 5,000 years of knowledge, Eastern Food Therapy has the ability to change your dog’s life, from the inside out.

The Eastern Food Therapy diet, also known as Food Energetics, sounds innovative — and to many of us, it is. But this way of eating has been around for thousands of years, making it one of the most time-tested ways to improve your dog’s health and well-being.


This ancient diet is based on the philosophy of using whole foods to balance the body. It endorses the notion that all foods are either cooling, warming or neutral, and that feeding the right combination of these can help treat nutritional deficiencies and excesses.


Just as it categorizes food, Eastern Food Therapy sorts dogs into three groups: Cool, Warm or Neutral. Practitioners will recommend foods that are cooling in nature to help patients whose bodies run too warm, and the opposite — warming foods — for those who run cool. When a body is in balance — neither too warm nor too cool — it’s said to be neutral, and practitioners recommend a diet consisting of both cooling and warming foods, as well as neutral foods.

“Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine shows that food, like everything else in the universe, consists of the two opposite but complementary life forces of Yin and Yang, says TCVM veterinarian, Dr. Marc Smith. “Yin is linked to dark, cold and negative while Yang is associated with light, heat and positive. Similarly, certain foods can be warming or cooling. To maintain balance, both energies should be in harmony with each other.”

This highly effective approach to veterinary health care can target and counteract nutritional imbalances, which puts the body in a better position for overall immune health so it can help fight off disease. Of course, the key to bringing the body back into balance is knowing which foods run warm, cool and neutral, and how to assess which diet a dog needs.

Cooling diets

Dogs that run “warm” will benefit from nutrition that helps “cool them down”. If your dog pants or itches excessively, has seasonal allergies, regularly seeks out cold places to lie down, and/or has a bright red tongue, he may run warm. Warm dogs tend to have a Yin Deficiency so cooling them down through diet helps to restore their Yin/Yang balance.

A cooling diet can help:

  • Counteract dry heat and inflammatory conditions
  • Reduce and alleviate itching, panting and scooting, and
  • Clear heat within the body to help make digestion smoother

Warming diets

On the flip side, dogs that run “cool” require a diet that will “warm them up”, since they have a Yang deficiency. If a dog regularly seeks warmth, has a light pink or pale tongue, drools excessively, has less of an appetite, or appears to lack energy or is lethargic, he may require a Warming diet!

A warming diet can help:

  • Warm a dog’s internal system from the inside out
  • Support the immune system, and
  • Improve digestion and urinary health.

Neutral diets

Some dogs are in a state of full-body balance, which means that their Yin/Yang is aligned. Typically, well-balanced dogs are happy and athletic, and have clear eyes, pink tongues and strong stomachs!

These types of dogs require a maintenance diet or “neutral” diet.

A neutral diet helps with:

  • Muscle building
  • Stamina
  • Improving endurance, and
  • Promoting healthy joints.


Aside from looking for the indicators listed above, how can you determine what type of diet is best for your dog?

Side by Side Pet developed Nutrition for a Better Life®️, a proprietary assessment tool, to help determine the most suitable diet for your dog’s nutritional and health needs. This fun, easy-to-use digital assessment asks a series of questions to determine your pet’s age, breed, gender, weight, health issues, temperament, and other factors, and uses an algorithm to determine whether he falls into a warming, cooling, or neutral category.

Side by Side also has a personalized nutritional program based on Eastern Food Therapy. Featuring whole foods carefully selected and combined for their warming, cooling or neutral qualities, these special diets are freeze dried to preserve the healing properties of each diet.

“Any dog or cat will feel better and have more energy if you switch him from a low quality diet to a TCVM energetically-appropriate diet, which consists of healthy, whole foods,” says Dr. Smith. “As your animal attains and maintains energetic balance, chronic health challenges become less of a problem, and he starts feeling much better.”

You can learn more about Eastern Food Therapy and how it can help your dog by taking the fun and interactive Side by Side e-learning program on their website.

*Neutral diets contain neutral ingredients but also a mix of both warming and cooling ingredients to keep the body in balance.

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