September Protein of the Month – Duck

Since Duck, is the most “cooling” protein in our selection, we have chosen the duck recipe for September’s feature of the month, as we ease out of the hot summer days.
Marty’s Meals uses whole ground, vegetable fed, pasture raised ducks in our raw and gently cooked duck recipes.

Duck is a great protein source with many nutritional benefits for your pet. Being a protein source that is higher in fat, it is great for dogs that participate in sports or dogs trying to gain weight. If your dog overweight or has a history of pancreatitis, duck should be fed in moderation.

Duck is a good novel protein alternative to add variety into any pet’s diet, especially those with allergies to more common protein sources such as chicken turkey or beef.

In Chinese medicine duck is considered a yin tonifying cooling meat which is generally good to feed if your dog has inflammatory conditions such as allergies, arthritis or cancer. Dr. Bessent, founder of Herbsmith, Inc., says there is an alternative way to address problems like these. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), a more natural, holistic approach to veterinary care, has proven to be successful for thousands of years.
“Traditional Chinese Medicine teaches us that allergies, like all medical conditions, are symptoms of an underlying disharmony within the body,” Dr. Bessent says. “To effectively treat the problem, you must first address the underlying disharmony that is causing the allergy to occur.”

An allergy is a hypersensitive reaction to an allergen (from a food or an inhalant). These allergens cause the body’s defenses to overreact, which leads to the overheating of a dog’s body. Some of the associated symptoms include itchy and reddened skin, panting, and restlessness. TCM states that the combination of warm (the heat of allergies) and cool (the dog’s body temperature) often creates a condition of “wind” within the body, which is what often causes fiercely itchy skin.

Another way that allergies can affect a dog’s body is through the accumulation of phlegm. All of these symptoms (heat, phlegm, and wind) stem from an imbalance in the dog’s liver, referred to as “Liver Qi stagnation”.

According to TCM, the liver is the organ responsible for the smooth flow of Qi (pronounced “chee”), which is the body’s overall life-force.

The liver acts as a “pump” to produce the smooth flow of energy throughout the entire body. When that pump “overheats” as a result of an allergic reaction, the vital fluids within the body evaporate and phlegm starts to accumulate. The accumulation of phlegm causes the dog’s coat to give off a foul odor and become greasy or gooey.
Any imbalance within the body can be explained using the model of “yin and yang”, which is at the base of all TCM theory. Yin and yang both exist within the body at all times.

“Yin” represents the concepts of cooling, fluids, quietness, and passive behavior. “Yang” represents the concepts of heat, inflammation, outward energy, and aggressive behavior.

When it comes to vitamins and minerals, duck is an excellent source for selenium, zinc, vitamin B-3, vitamin B-5, and vitamin B-12. Both zinc and selenium are antioxidants that help to boost the immune system. Selenium also helps to maintain normal thyroid function. Another nutritional benefit to duck is its content of omega-3 fatty acids, which help to provide your pet with healthy skin and coat.