Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Do You Have a Hot Dog?

*Disclaimer: I am neither a veterinarian nor a dietician.  The information contained in this post is being shared as a service to my readers  Please contact your veterinarian before making any changes in your pet’s food.
Do you have a hot dog?  How can you tell? Look for these signs: *seeks cool places to rest *actually hot to the touch *excessive panting *red skin and eyes *allergies *ear infections
Cool foods chart to help with dog allergies and infections

I want to share some interesting information concerning the Chinese theory of hot, cool, and neutral foods in your dog’s diet.  I recently had the opportunity to speak with a holistic veterinarian, Dr. Joyce Gerardi who enlightened me to the concept.  We discussed the battle that I was having with Bentley’s recurring ear infections.  It seemed that we were treating him more frequently and in addition to his misery, the vet bills were making me miserable.  You can read more about our conversation on my Vet on Demand™ post. 
Neutral foods that will help cool your dog from the inside

During our phone call, the vet asked me questions about Bentley’s allergies, ear infections, along with the food that I was feeding him.  She also asked about the climate where we live.  Combining the food ingredients with the extreme heat and humidity that we have here on the bayou was providing the perfect setting for his ear trouble.  She suggested I try switching Bentley to cool proteins.  The idea is to cool his body from the inside.  His long droopy ears are adorable, but they do not allow heat to escape.  The humidity keeps them moist and combined with his body heat; it creates the perfect environment for infections.  The longer we spoke, the more what she was saying made sense.
Merrick Backcountry Alpine Rabbit Stew with plush purple rabbit

She gave me the information to transition him from being a “hot dog” to a “cool dog.  According to the checklist above, Bentley fit into each category.  His head and underarms have always so hot and I never connected it to his food.  It was not only eye-opening, but it was time to make a change in his diet. 
If you’ll notice the meats on the Cool Protein list are rather limited.  I don’t know about where you live, but I can’t run into a store and buy rabbit or duck.  I don’t feed raw, but I enjoy preparing his meals so that I know exactly what he is eating.  My next move was to scour dog foods that had the correct balance of cool or neutral foods.  It was very disheartening.  I could find the perfect proteins, vegetables, and then discover something that he should not have.  I have also taken him off of grains and chicken as a precaution.  Many of the foods had mostly neutral proteins, but we were striving to stay on the cool list.
Merrick Backcountry Alpine Stew in dog bowl

I was getting very discouraged until I read the ingredients to Merrick’s Backcountry™ Alpine Rabbit Stew.  It was the perfect combination of cool and neutral proteins and it was grain free with fresh cut veggies.  The number one ingredient is the deboned rabbit.  There is also turkey, peas, turkey liver, carrots, sweet potatoes, and flaxseed oil.  Winner, winner rabbit dinner!  I got some cans and began my experiment.  Needless to say, Bentley loves the taste. I love that we haven’t had an ear infection in three months!  I use Merrick for his meals and also as a protein source when I make his food with dehydrated brands.  Our next recipe to try is Merrick’s Backcountry Salmon.  
Basset Hound looking at his Merrick's dog food can

We were able to visit with Betsy Berger from Merrick at the BlogPaws conference.  I was excited to share the results of this cool protein concept with her.  I can’t sing the praises of Merrick loud enough!  If your dog is constantly battling allergies or infections, check with your vet about trying the ancient Chinese belief of hot and cool foods.  It has made a huge difference for us.

Resource for Food Charts: A Creature Comfort

We are joining two blog hops today.  We thank Kol’s Notes and Sugar the Golden Retriever for hosting Tasty Tuesday.  Click their names to discover more recipes, reviews, and treats.


  1. Great post! That stuff is fascinating! My dogs love Merrick!

  2. Interestin stuff. Our bassets got themselves a rabbit dinner one time, but it did not come from a can if ya knows what I mean.

  3. My girls go absolutely WILD over Merrick. They love every single flavor!! That stuff is better than steak! Thanks for the great info Melissa!

  4. Oh cool! We have to check that out!

  5. Hmmm maybe that is why the vets were always prescribing the rabbit and duck Royal Canin formula for allergic dogs. There isn't many seafood options on the cold list sadly... I don't think I've ever seem dog food with clams or crab as the main protein :(

  6. Great post, this is very interesting stuffs
    Loves and licky kisses
    Princess Leah xxx

  7. that is an interesting concept and worth investigating

  8. that's a super way to stay heatlthy... or a super cool way :o) I love this concept... and I bet that alpine rabbits are egg-stra tasty :o)
    easy rider

  9. Huh, that hot food/cool food stuff is pretty interesting. Thankfully in the two years I've been with my Mom I've only ever had one ear infection...and one was enough! Glad to hear that with this new diet of his Bentley has been ear-infection free!

  10. Well that was certainly interesting! And my huskies are drooling at that Merricks!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

  11. Oh Bentley, I love Alpine Wabbit Stew! Betsy sent me a case this spring and I get it on special occasions. Delightful and healthy! Hope it helps you feel better!

  12. Merrick has some good food that looks like mom can eat it
    Lily & Edward

  13. We learned about hot vs cool foods when researching for our Angel Greta who had allergies. Switching her to a limited ingredient duck kibble helped alot. And her treats were Zukes mini's Rabbit. That Merrick stew looks yummy!
    Mr Bailey, Hazel & Mabel

  14. We never knew about hot and cool before, thanks!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  15. Hope this change in diet has meant good things for Bentley. We've loosely followed ayurvedic practices for years and find it really does promote good health.

  16. Very interesting info. Very similar to ayurvedic medicine. I like it! :)

  17. Interesting - Jack is definitely a 'hot' dog and I think Maggie is cool - good info to add to our knowledge.

  18. Wow, I'm so glad you found this out and that Bentley is doing better!! That is a very interesting concept, and it really does make sense. We love Merrick food as well, and I'm not surprised they had something that works for you.
    Lots of wags and woofs from the crew at Wag n Woof Pets

  19. Love this post! Definitely sharing!

  20. Very interesting! We never knew foods could be "hot" or "cold." We bet the same applies to cat foods too.

  21. interesting post, well done! I hope you find some relief with Bentley's ear infections, they are never fun and it's those darn big floppy ears that don't want to let the air in.

  22. I learned a bit about this at the pet store where I worked. I always told people I don't know if it works, but it can't hurt! Primal Pet Foods actually label all their packaging to tell you if the protein is Cool, Neutral or Warm!

  23. That is so interesting, thanks for sharing this concept. I'm glad you found a great balance for Bentley through natural food!
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv them


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