The Winter season in Chinese medicine is associated with the kidney, thus winter is an important time to tonify the kidney. Winter is the most Yin aspect in TCVM and is associated with dark, cold, slow, inward energy. Thus, it is important in the winter to slow down and turn inward. Rest is important in maintaining the health of the kidneys and this is why some animals hibernate in the winter. The kidneys in chinese medicine are associated with the color black, the element water, the taste of salt, the emotion of fear and the organs the ears and the bones. Kidneys store Jing (essence) and are injured by excessive fear.
The body part associated with the kidney is the bones, thus it is important to pay close attention to bone health in the winter. for this reason, bone broth or soup may be used as food therapy in the winter. Bone broth is warming, nourshing and especially good for the bones. It also nourishes Jing, which is stored by the kidney and depleted by stress and lack of sleep.Other foods to add to your pets diet in the winter would include foods that are normally grown during this season. This might inlcude squashes, potatoes, winter greens, root vegetables, mushrooms, apples and pears. Black beans, kindey beans, black sesame seeds and dark leafy greens specifically nourish the kidneys. Foods should be cooked longer with lower heat during the winter months. This infuses the food with heat to keep the body warm during colder weather.