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Raw Feeding from A to Z – W

How Understanding Warming and Cooling Foods Helped My Dog's Food Allergies

DepositPhoto/ tanyxa333


When I was trying to figure out how to give Rodrigo relief from his food and environmental allergies, I came across a site that discussed warming and cooling foods.  Chinese medicine teaches us that foods have warming, cooling, and neutral characteristics.  I learned that keeping these characteristics in mind can help alleviate inflammation in my dogs.


I didn't understand that feeding Rodrigo a kibble diet was the biggest trigger for his allergies.  The ingredients in the kibble act as an inflammatory, worsening joint pain, digestive issues, and allergies.


Rodrigo is a “hot” dog and Sydney is a “cold” dog.



Characteristics of a “Hot” Dog

  • they seek out cool places to sleep and rest
  • they may be hot to the touch
  • they pant even when at rest
  • they suffer from allergies
  • they may have red skin and eyes
  • they may show signs of anxiety


Characteristics of a “Cold” Dog

  • they seek out warm places to sleep and rest
  • they are relaxed and calm
  • they love blankets and snuggling; they'll have no trouble sleeping in bed with their humans (they won't get overheated)
  • they exhibit a lack of appetite at times


Being “hot” doesn't mean that Rodrigo can't eat the protein; instead, I mix it with a cooling food, like duck meat.  It seems complicated and convoluted, but it's easy.  The following are foods that I feed to my dogs and their characteristics.  For a complete list, visit

Once I learned about the characteristics of “hot” and “cold” dogs, I realized that the food that I feed them can offer relief or aggravate health issues.  For example, lamb is a hot food and when Rodrigo eats too much, he stays up most of the night panting and uncomfortable.  However, Sydney can eat lamb all week long.


Neutral Foods

  • Pork Liver
  • Pork Kidneys
  • Quail
  • Tripe
  • Bison
  • Sardines
  • Mackerel
  • Green Beans
  • Shiitake Mushrooms


Cooling Foods

  • Duck
  • Rabbit
  • Celery
  • Kelp
  • Mushroom
  • Spirulina
  • Apple

Warming Foods

  • Pheasant
  • Mussel
  • Sweet Potato
  • Goats Milk
  • Turmeric


Hot Foods

  • Lamb
  • Venison
  • Alpaca*
  • Kangaroo*
  • Emu*


The following are foods that Rodrigo cannot eat and where they fall…The starred (*) foods are guesses on my part based on how Rodrigo reacts when he eats them.


  • Neutral Foods: Beef
  • Coolin Foods: n/a
  • Warming Foods: Chicken, Chicken Liver, Turkey, Guinea Hen
  • Hot Foods: Kangaroo, Lamb


Warming Foods, Cooling Foods, and Raw Feeding

While it's tempting to remove foods from a dog's diet because we suspect that they identify as “hot” or “cold,” it's important to remember that each dog is different and I feed a variety of proteins helps alleviate these symptoms as well.  I won't remove lamb and venison from Rodrigo's diet, instead, I'll combine them with a cooling protein or limit the amount he eats to keep him comfortable.


Characteristics of Food: What to Feed a "Cold" Dog #RawFeeding

DepositPhoto/ Brusnikaphoto



Yin Tonifying Foods

Signs of a Yin deficiency include panting (especially at night), seeking out cool places, red eyes, and restlessness.  Foods that help include: duck, rabbit, pork kidney, sardines, spirulina




Blood Tonic Foods

Signs of a blood deficiency include pale gums, dry/flaky skin, dry/cracked paws, tiring easily, and anemia.  Foods that help include: heart, liver, pork, sardines, kelp, parsley, spinach




Foods that Reverse Phlegm

Signs of phlegm include a greasy coat, a strong dog smell, hot spots, excessive eye discharge.  Foods that help include: kelp, shiitake mushrooms, apples




Foods that Reverse Dampness

Signs of dampness include stiffness (especially in cold weather), obesity and loose stool. Foods that help include: sardines, mackerel, celery, mushrooms, pumpkin




Incorporating Characteristics of Food into Raw Feeding

This can seem overwhelming for someone new to raw feeding.  We have to think of sourcing, storage, budget, supplements, balancing fats, and now the characteristics of food.  Instead of becoming overwhelmed, I slowed and started with what I knew – lamb meat wasn't a good fit for Rodrigo.  As I gained more experience, I began to combine lamb with duck and Rodrigo was fine.

Take your time and incorporate what you can when you're ready.  I've used the above lists to help me choose proteins, supplements, and other ingredients for my dogs, which has made raw feeding easier.

Some people don't buy into the warming/cooling theory and I don't blame them.  This adds a level of complication to raw feeding that's isn't necessary for many raw feeders.  I look at it this way; when I'm trying to figure out what's going on with my dog (Rodrigo comes to mind) and I haven't been able to find the answer anywhere else, I speak to my vet about warming and cooling foods.  I've found the answer there for all of my dogs.


Want to read more about the energetics of food?  Here are my favorite resources:

Dr. Morgan also has a book with recipes that take incorporate the energetics of food for dogs.  You can now order Yin & Yang Nutrition for Dogs: Maximizing Health with Whole Foods, Not Drugs on

Ewegurt: A Sheep's Milk Yogurt Based Treats with Emu for Dogs

Thank you to Ewegurt for being a generous sponsor of Keep the Tail Wagging®.  Ewegurt is an all natural supplement made with sheep's milk and other natural, healthy ingredients that help to ease anxiety in dogs.  I add it to my dogs' meals as a food topper or I feed it to them as a treat before thunderstorms, windstorms, when there will be fireworks, and before they are exposed to a situation that increases their anxiety.  It works great for my dogs and has no side effects.

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