By Tracie Korol
An ancient Indian practice, Ayurvedic medicine is a holistic form of healing that is equally a form of treatment and a philosophy. Ayurveda touts the importance of overall balance and equilibrium to ensure proper health. The idea is that, if your body is perfectly balanced and your constitution is fundamentally strong, no illness or other negative health conditions can enter your system. Practitioners of Ayurveda generally view wellness in three categories, or doshas.
Vata is considered the leader of the three Ayurvedic Principles (dosha) in the body. Vata governs all movement in the mind and body. Think of things that move in a body — blood flow, breathing, elimination of wastes plus the passage of thoughts across the mind. The related elements are Air and Ether.
You may have a Vata dog if he/she is/has:
• Mentally quick
• Highly intelligent
• Quick to learn and grasp new ideas, but also quick to forget
• Slender, light on her paws — the lightest of the three body types
• Runs and walks quickly
• Uncomfortable in the cold, often with cold paws
• Excitable, lively with a fun personality
• Moody and changeable
• No daily routine
• Variable appetite and digestive efficiency
• High energy in short bursts but with tendency to tire easily and to overexert
• Full of joy and enthusiasm when in balance
• Fearful, worried and anxious when out of balance
• Often distracted easily
• Dry skin and dry fur
Dogs of Vata constitution are generally physically slender and small-framed — think Greyhound, Whippet or Miniature Pinscher. Their chests are flat with their veins and muscle tendons visible. Their skin is cool, rough, dry and cracked.
Vata pets generally are either taller or shorter than average, with thin frames that reveal prominent joints and bone-ends because of small muscle development. The eyes may be in-set, small, dry, and yet active. The nails are rough and brittle. The shape of the nose is bent and in some cases turned-up.
Physiologically, the appetite and digestion are variable. The production of urine is scanty and the feces are dry, hard, and small in quantity. Their sleep may be disturbed and they will sleep less than the other types. Their paws are often cold.
Psychologically, Vata dogs are characterized as having quick mental understanding but poor memories. They will understand something immediately — “oh, sure! Pee outside!” but will soon forget — “Oops! My bad.” They sometimes lack determination, tend toward mental instability, and are sensitive to and respond well to tolerance and confidence. Vata pets are nervous, fearful at times, and afflicted by much anxiety.
Typical health problems include hypertension, earaches, anxiety, irregular heart rhythms, muscle spasms, lower back pain, constipation, abdominal gas, diarrhea, nervous stomach and arthritis. Most neurological disorders are related to Vata imbalance.
Vata dogs run cool and dry and should avoid beans, cauliflower, broccoli, peppers, and potatoes. Feed them warming foods such as beef, carrots and all squashes.
By Tracie Korol