Nothing says “love” like getting showered with wet doggie licks. But did you know that your dog’s tongue can reveal health imbalances?
Eastern Medicine practitioners have used the proven practice of examining the tongue to help correctly diagnose health issues in people for over 5,000 years. More recently, the practice has expanded to include our furry friends too!
Eastern Medicine and your dog’s tongue
Whether a dog’s tongue is pale, pink or red can help determine underlying health conditions, especially when combined with a dog’s behavior, for instance. Dogs with pale tongues have an excess of cold energy (too much yin). Dogs with red tongues have too much heat (excess of yang). And dogs with pink tongues are neutral, which means they have a perfect balance of yin (cold) and yang (hot) energies.
Eastern practitioners know that diet can play a key role in helping to re-balance a dog’s health, since specific foods can aid with cooling down, warming up, or maintaining a neutral dog, in order to regain and maximize health. Here’s what you need to know about your dog’s tongue color and what it means about their health:
Pale or light pink tongue: Dogs with a pale or light pink tongue have a slow, lazy demeanor and tend to love lying in the sun and hate the cold weather. They are more susceptible to catching colds and viruses. These dogs have too much cold energy, by Eastern medicine standards, so you should feed a diet that “warms” them up.
Red tongue/red around the edges: A dog with a red tongue prefers the shade and pants often. These dogs are likely to have dry skin, are hot to the touch and have recurring hot spots. Their temperament leans more towards the aggressive side and they are more likely to have separation anxiety. These dogs are likely too warm, so they need a diet that “cools” them down”.
Pink tongue: A pink tongue is a healthy tongue and one that every pet parent should strive for their dog to have. A dog with a pink tongue is happy, not anxious, and stands with a strong athletic posture. These dogs are energetic, active and alert. Since their health is in balance, they require a neutral diet, neither too warm or too cool, though they can enjoy other diets from time to time too.
More about Cooling, Warming and Neutral Diets
As we’ve learned, different foods have different energies or “temperatures”, and these foods to help to correct imbalances. What are some of these foods? Warming diets include protein sources such as eggs and chicken, cooling diets feature rabbit and fish, and neutral diets contain beef and pork.
Bottom line, what you feed your dog matters. If you’re willing to think outside the box to
help get your dog‘s body back into balance, consider working with a holistic vet that specializes in acupuncture. Their breadth of knowledge goes far beyond the typical vet and many are happy to share food recipes that are tailored to your dog’s needs.