Five Element Theory in Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine

Have you ever wondered why a training method works for your friend’s dog but not at all for yours? Or why your new dog exhibits a crazy behavior you never saw in your other dogs? Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) recognizes that animals and people have five major personality traits which influence how we relate to each other and the world around us. By trying to understand the fears and motivations of the five different personality types, we can be much more successful in influencing our pets (and our friends) behavior with much less stress to each party. Very rarely is any pet or person a single personality type. We tend to behave differently in different situations, but most of us have a default personality trait when under stress. By identifying the element of a pet’s personality, the owner and veterinarian can address possible imbalances a pet may be prone to, and making lifestyle, food, and herbal choices to keep the animal’s health balance. In TCVM, the five basic personality types are Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. In this article we will outline the personality traits of these elements as well as issues/diseases they are prone to. Once you have an understanding of these personality traits and the elements, it is fun to try to identify the personality element of your pet, your spouse, friends and co-workers!