Holistic Feeding – Bentley

You know me.   I’ve told you before, I’m skeptical of things that can seem hokey.   But not long ago I was convinced of the impact of essential oils on health and well-being in our dogs (and people), most recently I have been learning more about food as it relates to our dog’s well-being.

When this first instance occurred, I was not an expert in this subject, only a self-study student and who had seen some direct results in our clients with the help of holistic veterinarians. Since that time, I cannot get enough study, learning, case studies and research. They still won’t let me practice medicine — but I have seen some amazing transformations in dogs with just changes to their foods and natural wellness products.

It began a few years ago at a trainer’s conference, where a holistic veterinarian presented a workshop.

Tongue and Temp.  It’s one of the first things she looks at in an evaluation.   What color is the tongue?  Pink?   Red?  Purple?

Tongues are typically pink, unless you have a black mouthed dog — Chow, Black Mouth Cur, etc.   Other colors can be an indicator of a health issue:

  • Pale Pink or White:  Could be a sign of GI Issues, anemia, low pressure, loss of blood, difficulty breathing effectively, poor nutrition.

  • Deep Red:  A deep red tongue is generally representative of organ issues.  Your dog may have infection or issues affecting proper organ function.

  • Blue or Purple:  may represent pain or congestion and may indicate issues with the heart, circulation, lungs, etc.

  • Yellow or Orange:   may indicate issues with the liver

Note your dog’s healthy tongue color and keep it in mind.   Any of the above changes warrant a veterinary checkup.

Symptoms of a “hot” dog and cooling foods:

  • Seeks cool places to lay.  Has itchy skin.  Hot to the touch.  Pants when not hot or active.  Restless & unable to settle.  Eye are often red.  Skin is often red.  Allergies may be common. Highly aroused.

  • Duck, Rabbit, White Fish for protein.  Apples, Banana, Cucumber, Pears, Brown Rice

Symptoms of a “cold” dog and warming foods:

  • fatigue,  weakness, lack of appetite, can’t exercise and have  shortness of breath. They seek out warm places. May suffer with joint pain and stiffness.

  • Turkey, Chicken, Venison, Pumpkin, White Rice, Sweet Potatoes, Oats    (common food sources)

Neutral Foods:

  • Beef, Bison, Salmon, carrots, potatoes, beans, peas


Two client cases:

Belle:  a few years ago clients of mine had a dog that had what seemed to be random bouts of aggression and would attack another dog in the home.   They visited their traditional vet many times for health check-ups and medication.   They feed high quality foods.  They exercised her and work diligently on training, structure and leadership.  It wasn’t enough.

Desperate for more answers, they sought out a holistic vet.   Who determined that Belle ran “hot”.   And this sort of internal combustion led to a dog that could lead to outbursts of rage.

A diet change to cooling foods that included apples, blueberries, cucumbers, watermelon, and some Chinese supplements made an almost immediate change in her behavior.

Bentley:  at only 8 months we were having a very difficult time getting Bentley to settle down at home, focus on his training, difficulty to house training, refusal to eat his meals (so much so that I worried his frenzied behavior was related to being hungry.)   He was very itchy so his family had tried different grain free proteins.  I remembered the vet at the conference had mentioned symptoms of a hot dog — “restless, lacking focus, seeking a cool place to lay, panting when it’s not hot or exercising, ….”   Bentley had all the classic symptoms of a hot dog.

A trip to holistic vet in Charlotte confirmed Bentley ran “hot”  She changed his protein from Bison to White fish, added apples, cucumbers and other cooling foods, and it was almost magic.  He eats on schedule, potties on schedule, no more skin infection,  and is happier all around.

If you are struggling with your dog’s heath or behavior — consider giving the holistic approach a try.


Tongue:  http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2013/08/26/dog-tongue.aspx

Hot Dogs & Cooling Foods   (Cold Dogs & Warming Foods) — See more food listed:


Dana Brigman