What’s your dosha? The Kapha Dog

By Tracie Korol
All of us know a Kapha dog. I’m reminded of any number of Golden Retriever friends — all good-natured, slow-moving, bulky, resilient and always eager to please. All enjoy an afternoon in a sunspot, sharing space with a beloved stuffed bear.
Kapha is the conceptual equilibrium of water and earth. Kapha represents structure and lubrication. One can visualize Kapha as the force that keeps the water and the earth from separating. This dosha maintains body resistance. Water is the main constituent of Kapha and this bodily water is responsible physiologically for biological strength and natural tissue resistance in the body. Kapha lubricates the joints, provides moisture to the skin, helps to heal wounds, fills the spaces in the body, gives biological strength, vigor, and stability, supports memory retention,  gives energy to the heart and lungs and maintains immunity.
Kapha is present in the chest, throat, head, sinuses, nose, mouth, stomach, joints, plasma, and in the liquid secretions of the body, such as mucus. Psychologically, Kapha is responsible for the emotions of attachment and greed. It is also expressed in tendencies toward calmness, forgiveness, and love. The chest is the seat of Kapha.
Common characteristics of pets who have a predominantly Kapha constitution:
• Easygoing, relaxed, slow-paced
• Affectionate and loving, forgiving, compassionate, non-judgmental nature, stable and reliable; faithful
• Physically strong with a sturdy, heavier build
• Have the most energy of all constitutions, but it is steady and enduring, not explosive
• Slow moving and graceful
• Slower to learn, but never forgets; outstanding long-term memory
• Soft fur; tendency to have large “soft” eyes and are soft tempered
• Tend toward being overweight; may suffer from sluggish digestion
• More self-sufficient, need less outward stimulation than do the other types; have a mild, gentle, and essentially undemanding approach to life
• Excellent health, strong resistance to disease
• Calm, strive to maintain peace in their surroundings
• Not easily upset and can be a point of stability for others
• Tend to be possessive
• Don’t like cold, damp weather
• Physical problems include colds and congestion, respiratory problems including asthma and wheezing, hay fever, allergies, and atherosclerosis.
Pets of Kapha constitution have well-developed bodies. There is, however, a strong tendency for these individuals to carry excess weight. Their chests are expanded and broad. The veins and tendons of Kapha pets are not obvious because of their thick skin and heavy muscle development. The bones are not prominent.
The fur is soft, thick, wavy, lustrous, and oily, and skin texture is cold and pale. The eyes are dense, large, and attractive. Physiologically, Kapha pets have regular appetites. Due to slow digestion, they tend to consume less food. Sleep is sound and prolonged. There is a strong vital capacity evidenced by good stamina, and Kapha pets are generally healthy, happy and peaceful.
Psychologically, they tend to be tolerant, calm, forgiving, and loving. However, they also exhibit traits of greed, attachment and possessiveness. Their comprehension is slow but definite: once they understand something, that knowledge is retained.
Life is considered a sacred path in Ayurveda, a ceaseless interaction between the internal Tridosha, environment and the external environment, or the sum of cosmic forces. To counterbalance external change, a pet lover may create a balance for their pet in the internal forces by altering diet, lifestyle and behavior.

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