Valley Veterinary Hospital

437 Danbury Road
New Milford, CT 06776


Food Therapy

Dr. "A" is certified in Chinese Food Therapy.  Understanding what foods can be given to patients is critical for health and healing.

   As Dr. Xie of Chi Institute of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine writes, Food Therapy  is the practice of healing using natural foods, with or instead of medications. Food therapy is one of the five branches of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).  The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine was most important in forming the basis of Chinese food therapy.  It classified food by Yin and Yang food group and five tastes and by their natures and characteristics.  Food affects the digestive, metabolic, and physiological processes of the body. 

     Different food combinations are essential based on diagnostic symptoms.  Food therapy is the preparation of using selected food ingredients and superior herbs. Each recipe was developed under the supervision of TCVM theory (Yin-yang, Five Elements, Eigth Priciples and Zand-fu physiology and pathology) and is designed to treat specific health conditions. 

The recipes can be classified into the following categories:

- Health Promotion and Prevention: to improve health on a regular basis and to prevent seasonal climate related problems.
- Disease Treatment: to treat many clinical conditions including skin problems.
- Adjunct Therapy:
to complement the primary treatment to treat diseases including otitis, urinary crystals & stones, UTI, IBD, CHF, cancer, renal failure and liver failure.

      It is important to know the various methods of preparations used to alter the energetic properties of food.  Cooking methods that involve more cooking time, higher temperature, greater pressure and dryness add more warming qualities to food, such as store bought foods.  Refinement of foods makes the food both hotter and higher in energy.  It also removes many of the vital factors that make foods wholesome and recognizable by our bodies. 

     Fresh food preparation versus manufactured is important in the utilization of food by the body for therapy.  Dr A will sometimes recommend using a crock pot with specific diet guidelines for our patients depending on their medical conditions.  Home cooked diets are easy to make in a crock pot, are labor saving, are wholesome, and each food item is not significantly changed since it is cooked slowly.     

Bone soup is an excellent addition to the meals of many pets. Please speak with the doctors before adding to your pet's diet to make sure it is appropriate.

Bone soup recipe for animals

Dongho Seo, DVM

Do not use commercially available soup stock granules or bouillon cubes, as they are highly processed and contain detrimental ingredients such as MSG.

To make good meat stock you need joints, bones, a piece of meat on the bone, a whole chicken, goose or duck, whole pigeons, pheasants or other inexpensive meats. Chicken stock is particularly gentle on the stomach and is very good to start with.

It is preferable to use free range or organic meats when possible.

It is essential to use bones and joints, as they provide the healing minerals and collagen, more so than the muscle meats.

If you are using larger boned meats, ask the butcher to cut in half the large tubular bones, so you can get the bone marrow out of them after cooking. You can make a fish stock the same way using a whole fish or fish fins, bones and heads.

  1. Put the bones, joints and meats into a large pan and fill it with good quality purified water.
  2. Put 1-2 tbsp of vinegar (preferably Braggs raw apple cider vinegar). While it is not a must, it does help to leech out all minerals/nutrients out of the bones better.
  3. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer on a low heat for 2 ½ to 3 hours (Alternatively, after you bring to a boil, put all contents into a crock pot and simmer it for 12-24 hours on high setting). The soup color should be white to yellow (very high density) at the end depending on which meat source you use.
  4. You can put ½ tsp of sea salt (NOT table salt) per 1 gallon of soup. It’s not too salty, yet can make it tastier and provide good minerals.
  5. After cooking, take the bones and meats or fish out and sieve the stock to remove small bones. Please DO NOT give any cooked bone to your pet. It is dangerous for them to swallow any single cooked bone.
  6. Strip off all of the soft tissues from the bones as best you can and encourage your pet to eat them. These are highly digestible, good quality meat for your pet to eat.
  7. Extract the bone marrow out of large tubular bones while they are still warm. To do that, bang the bone on a thick wooden chopping board. The gelatinous soft tissues around the bones and the bone marrow provide some of the best healing ingredients for the gut lining and the immune system; your pet needs to consume them with every meal.
  8. Reserve the extra for adding to meals later. The meat or fish stock will keep well in the fridge for about 3-4 days or it can be frozen. Warm meat stock can be served to your pet at any time of day. Provide warm meat stock as a drink with meals and between meals.
  9. When you use the reserved broth from the fridge or freezer, put them in a pan and reheat it until it becomes lukewarm. Please make sure it’s not too hot for your pet.