Veterinary Food Therapy

Use foods carefully selected according to energetic properties to restore and maintain health


The Power of Food

There is truth to the old saying: “food is the medicine you take every day.” This belief in the healing power of food is one central to Chinese Medicine, where food therapy is often utilized alone or (more often) in conjunction with other modalities to treat disease patterns. Food therapy is one of the four major branches of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM), alongside acupuncture, herbal medicine, and Tui-na. It is the art and science of tailoring diet plans to individual patients based on their unique inborn tendencies, age, species, geographical location, personality and current disharmony or disease process. Food ingredients are chosen based on their energetic properties, which include both their thermal energetic property (“temperature”) and their taste. Chinese food therapy recipes are developed according to TCVM theory (Yin-Yang, Five Elements, Eight Principles and Zang-Fu Physiology and Pathology) and are specific to particular patient types and health conditions. These recipes can typically be classified into one of the following categories:

  • Health Promotion and Prevention - to improve health on a regular basis and to prevent climate-related and seasonal problems
  • Disease Treatment - to directly treat clinical conditions, including skin problems, autoimmune diseases, and immunodeficiency
  • Adjunct Therapy - to complement primary treatments (acupuncture, herbs, or Western Medicine) of diseases such as otitis, urinary crystals and stones, UTI, IBD, CHF, cancer, renal failure, and liver failure

Like other TCVM modalities, the ultimate goal of food therapy is to restore and maintain balance in the body. However, given its very nature, the effects of food therapy are slower acting than modalities like acupuncture and herbal medicine. On the other hand, there are virtually no side effects when food ingredients are chosen correctly, and food therapy is a mode of treatment that can be used safely throughout a patient’s lifetime. Moreover, the practice is very popular amongst owners as it empowers them to take part in the TCVM therapy for their animals.

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Course Overview

Join us for the newly formatted Veterinary Food Therapy course and learn to prescribe food for your patients. This course is a 41-hour continuing education course. Students may attend either the hybrid course (27-hour online and 2 days of on-site learning) or the 41-hour online course. The course is designed for small animal, mixed, and equine veterinarians. It includes 10 hours of cooking demo in which instructors demonstrate how to prepare foods in food therapy recipes for both animals and veterinarians. In addition, there are 4 hours of clinical lab where students practice performing TCVM diagnosis on a live patient and use recipe formulation and nutrition balancing software to create a food therapy treatment plan. Hybrid course students have the opportunity to help with food prep and taste the finished products on-site.

Course Features

41-hour RACE approved CE hours including 14 hours of lab and demo

Hybrid course students have the opportunity to help with food prep and taste the finished products on-site

4 months access for online study

CVFT certification from Chi after completion of course requirements

PDF of all class notes and recipes

What our students have to say

I really thought the entire course was so awesome - I have been using my new knowledge like crazy for my patients since I got back to work.

Penny Jacobs, DVM

Portland, OR

I was very much impressed by my Food Therapy experience! Everything was so well organized. Great information presented by excellent speakers.

Patricia Campbell, DVM

Palmetto, FL

This course opened up a world of possibilities that I was unaware of and have already incorporated into my practice.

Barbara Evans, DVM

Yorktown, SK, Canada

I already started calling clients on Sunday. I’m so excited about having another tool that will help my patients. I have a renewed sense of passion for my profession.

Lisa Radwan, DVM

Madison, WI

There wasn't a single thing about the course that I didn't think was excellent! The quality of the course is unmatched. The entire Chi family is superb!

Janet Tomlin, DVM

Columbus, GA

Veterinary Food Therapy

Taught in English

For veterinarians & veterinary students only

41 CE hours


Students wishing to enroll in the Veterinary Food Therapy course must have basic knowledge of TCVM and herbal medicine, and must fulfill one of the following two requirements:

  • Completion of at least one session of veterinary acupuncture at Chi or another accredited institution
  • Completion of the TCVM Fundamental Theories lecture series online module

Basic Yin Yang Theories


Eight Principles


Five Elements


Veterinary Acupuncture - Scientific Basis


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Basic Nutrition Overview


TCVM Food Therapy Principles


Food Therapy: Common Concerns and Special Properties


Food Therapy for Bi and Wei Syndromes


Food Therapy for Cancer Patients


Food Therapy for GI Disorders


How to Make Food - Lab Demo


Food Therapy for Geriatric & Pediatric Patients


Food Therapy for Dermatology Patients


Using Food Therapy in Your Practice


Food Therapy Lab - How to Cook Food for Your Dogs


Food Therapy Lab - Balancing a TCVM Food Recipe with a Computer Program


Food Therapy Demo - How to Put Everything Together


Case Studies - TCVM Diagnosis, Recipe Formulation, and Balancing


Feline Food Therapy


Equine Food Therapy


Food Therapy for Lung Problems


Food Energetic Actions with Historical Anecdotes


Food Therapy for Liver Disorder


Therapy for Endocrine Disorders


Food Therapy for Heart Problems including Shen Disturbance


Food Therapy for Kidney Disorders including Bladder and Reproductive Issues


Students in the Veterinary Food Therapy course are eligible for the Certified Veterinary Food Therapist certification, endorsed by Chi University. The CVFT certification requirements are as follows:

  • Be a veterinarian

  • Completion of all sessions of Veterinary Food Therapy

  • Pass 3 quizzes

  • Submission of one veterinary food therapy case report to be approved by Chi faculty

Please note that Chi cannot issue any certification to DVM students until their DVM has been obtained.


Dr. Clemmons graduated with his DVM from Washington State University. There, he also was granted a PhD in veterinary science (emphasis in neurophysiology and clinical neurology). Dr. Clemmons then took a faculty position at the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine where he practiced neurology and neurosurgery for 35 years before joining the private Veterinary Specialty Hospitals in Florida. Dr. Clemmons, a board-certified specialist in Neurology, has published over 100 peer-reviewed original studies, reviews, papers and abstracts and given numerous presentations, both in the US and abroad. At UF, he has had an active research program and is known for his work on platelet physiology and in the study of neurodegenerative diseases such as degenerative myelopathy. He has developed a number of innovative neurosurgical techniques including fixation of atlantoaxial subluxation and Wobbler’s syndrome. Dr. Clemmons taught veterinary and graduate students at the University of Florida for 35 years. Dr. Clemmons became a certified veterinary acupuncturist (CVA) at Chi in 2000. He was certified in TCVM Food therapy (CVFT) from Chi in 2009. He integrates Veterinary Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine, and nutrition into his practice. He is a national and international speaker in the field of neurology and the science of veterinary acupuncture.

Dr. Fowler graduated Summa Cum Laude from LSU School of Veterinary Medicine in 1981. For over 20 years, she was a companion animal practitioner where her practice was voted Best of Bay County. She spent 15 years as Director of Veterinary Services at a local zoo. As a prior student of martial arts with a long interest in the Eastern lifestyle, she started training with Dr. Xie and the Chi Institute in 2005 and discovered that TCVM was her life’s passion. Dr. Fowler became certified in all 4 branches. In 2013 Dr. Xie designated her Certified TCVM Practitioner, one of only 65 in the world. She earned her Master’s degree in TCVM in August 2016 from the Chi Institute and joined the faculty shortly thereafter. Dr. Fowler has published papers in the American Journal of TCVM and the IVC, presented papers and cases at 2 International Conferences of TCVM, and is a lab instructor and lecturer at the Chi Institute. Through the Chi Institute, Dr Fowler discovered her life’s second passion - teaching TCVM and advising TCVM veterinarians and students of the Chi Institute. Although she works closely with several conventional veterinary hospitals, Dr Fowler has devoted her practice solely to TCVM for over 11 years. Acupuncture & Holistic Veterinary Services of NW Florida has been voted Best of Panama City Beach for 8 years in a row. She has treated animals from all over Florida, the Southeast and even internationally. Her focus is companion animals but also treats exotics, horses, and zoo animals. Now retired from practice as of 2017, Dr Fowler devotes all of her professional time to teaching at the Chi Institute.

Dr. Xie has 38 years of clinical, teaching, and research experience in veterinary acupuncture and TCVM. He has trained over 10,000 veterinarians to practice TCVM worldwide. Dr. Xie’s education includes advanced training in veterinary medicine, veterinary acupuncture, and human acupuncture. Dr. Xie has authored 20 books and over 100 peer-reviewed papers. His textbooks, including Xie’s Veterinary Herbology, Xie’s Veterinary Acupuncture, and Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine-Fundamental Principles, have been used for TCVM training programs around the world. Dr. Xie continues to teach and develop educational courses and programs at Chi University, serves as a full clinical professor at the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine, and is an honorary professor at China Agricultural University, South China Agricultural University, and China Southwest University.

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Terri Rosado graduated from UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 2005 and completed a rotating small animal internship at UF College of Veterinary Medicine in 2006. She earned her certification in acupuncture from Chi in 2008 and has been practicing integrative medicine since. She has been a lab instructor at Chi since 2010. Dr. Rosado received her certification in veterinary rehabilitation therapy from the Canine Rehabilitation Institute in 2013. Dr. Rosado is currently enrolled in the TCVM Masters Program at Chi and is certified in Tui-na and Food Therapy. She owns an integrative clinic in Flagler Beach, FL and is the medical director at Chi Animal Hospital. She loves to teach, opening her doors to students of the Chi and UF for externships, and welcoming volunteers to learn what small animal veterinary practice is about.

Dr. Shmalberg is currently a Clinical Associate Professor & Service Chief Integrative Medicine Medical Director at the Small Animal Hospital of the University of Florida. He obtained his veterinary degree from the University of Wisconsin and completed the mixed animal acupuncture internship under Dr. Xie at the University of Florida. After completing his internship he went on to become a resident at the UF College of Veterinary Medicine. He has published several articles on the mechanism and efficacy of veterinary acupuncture in peer-reviewed journals. His specific interests include nutritional supplements, Integrative medicine, nutritional oncology and energy expenditure during rehabilitation.

Enrollment Options

Available Formats



Schedule & Tuition

Online Portion:

03/01/22 - 06/30/22

On-site Portion:

03/18/22 - 03/19/22

Payment Information

A $100 non-refundable course deposit is charged upon enrollment to reserve your seat.

Payment is due 60 days before the course start date.

A $50 convenience fee will be charged for payments and registrations received less than 60 days before the start of a session.

Add-ons & Prerequisites

TCVM Fundamental Theories


CVFT Certification


Printed Binders


Frequently Asked Questions

You will get 4 months of access to this online course. The course can be accessed through our learning portal.