Wysong Original Diets (Dry)


Rating: ★★★★★

Wysong Original Diets Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Wysong Original Diets product line includes eight dry dog foods, seven claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance and one for growth.

The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.

  • Wysong Growth Formula
  • Wysong Nurture with Quail
  • Wysong Fundamentals Formula
  • Wysong Senior Formula (4 stars)
  • Wysong Adult Formula (4.5 stars)
  • Wysong Anergen 2 Rabbit Formula
  • Wysong Synorgon Formula (4.5 stars)
  • Wysong Anergen Lamb Formula (4.5 stars)

Wysong Adult Formula Dog Food was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Wysong Adult Formula

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 31% | Fat = 16% | Carbs = 45%

Ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, oat groats, turkey meal, peas, chicken fat, flaxseeds, dried plain beet pulp, eggs, natural flavor, montmorillonite clay, crab meal, whey, salt, calcium carbonate, tomato pomace, calcium propionate, choline chloride, coconut oil, organic barley grass, blueberry, dried kelp, yogurt (whey, milk solids, yogurt cultures), citric acid, apple pectin, fish oil, yeast extract, mixed tocopherols, rosemary extract, chicory root, hemicellulose extract, yeast culture, carrots, celery, parsley, lettuce, watercress, spinach, minerals (potassium chloride, zinc proteinate, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, iron proteinate, copper sulfate, copper proteinate, manganese sulfate, manganese proteinate, sodium selenite, calcium iodate), vitamins (ascorbic acid [source of vitamin C], vitamin E supplement, niacin supplement, calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, vitamin D supplement, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, folic acid), dried Bacillus licheniformis fermentation product, dried Aspergillus oryzae fermentation product, dried Aspergillus niger fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus lactis fermentation product, pepper

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis28%14%NA
Dry Matter Basis31%16%45%
Calorie Weighted Basis27%33%40%

The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken contains about 80% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.

After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.

The second ingredient is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

The third ingredient is brown rice, a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) can be fairly easy to digest. However, aside from its natural energy content, rice is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The fourth ingredient includes oat groats, a whole grain, minimally processed form of oats. With the exception of their caloric content and the fact they’re also gluten free, oat groats can be considered average in nutritional value.

The fifth ingredient is turkey meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

The sixth ingredient includes peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.

However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

The seventh ingredient is chicken fat. Chicken fat is obtained from rendering chicken, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.

Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.

The eighth ingredient lists flaxseeds, one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also rich in soluble fiber.

However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

The ninth ingredient is beet pulp. Beet pulp is a controversial ingredient, a high fiber by-product of sugar beet processing.

Some denounce beet pulp as an inexpensive filler while others cite its outstanding intestinal health and blood sugar benefits.

We only call your attention here to the controversy and believe the inclusion of beet pulp in reasonable amounts in most dog foods is entirely acceptable.

From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.

But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this product.

With five notable exceptions

First, we note the presence of montmorillonite clay, a naturally occurring compound rich in many trace minerals. Montmorillonite has been approved for use in USDA Organic Certified products.

Reported benefits include the binding of certain mold-based toxins and even controlling diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Next, tomato pomace is a controversial ingredient, a by-product remaining after processing tomatoes into juice, soup and ketchup.

Many praise tomato pomace for its high fiber and nutrient content, while others scorn it as an inexpensive pet food filler.

Just the same, there’s probably not enough tomato pomace here to make much of a difference.

In addition, yeast extract is the common name for a broad group of products made by removing the cell wall from the yeast organism.

A significant number of these ingredients are added as specialized nutritional supplements while others are used as flavor enhancers.

However, the glutamic acid (and its chemical cousin, monosodium glutamate, or MSG) found in a minority of yeast extracts can be controversial.

That’s because even though the Food and Drug Administration designated these food additives to be safe decades ago1, the agency continues to receive reports of adverse effects.

So, detractors still object to the use of yeast extract and other glutamic acid derivatives and blame them for everything from Alzheimer’s (in humans) to obesity.

In any case, since the label reveals little about the the actual type of yeast extract included in any recipe, it’s impossible for us to judge the quality of this ingredient.

Next, chicory root is rich in inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and found in certain roots and tubers.

Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.

And lastly, this food also contains chelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.

Wysong Original Diets Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Wysong Original Diets looks like an above-average dry dog food.

But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 31%, a fat level of 16% and estimated carbohydrates of about 45%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 36% and a mean fat level of 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 40% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 44%.

Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a significant amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Wysong Original Diets is a plant-based dry dog food using a significant amount of various named species as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.

Wysong Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Advisor’s recall notification list.

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A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

We rely almost entirely on the integrity of the information posted by each company on its website. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the quality of the test results from any specific batch of food a company chooses to publish.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

However, we do receive a fee from Chewy.com for each purchase made as a direct result of a referral from our website. This fee is a fixed dollar amount and has nothing to do with the size of an order or the brand selected for purchase.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

06/17/2015 Last Update

  1. L-Glutamic Acid, FDA Select Committee on GRAS Substances
  • EvesHumanMom

    rofl!  live out of the country, so I totally missed this. What a hoot!  Thanks.

  • HerdingDogRescuer


  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1140685339 Betsy Greer

    Baw Ha Ha Ha!!  

    OK, OT warning.  : )  

    Just in case I wasn’t the last to know, I’ll share this.  So, I watch a lot of A&E and couldn’t figure out what the heck the deal was with the honey badger pistachio commercials.  They were hilarious, but I figured there had to be more to the story.  The commercial isn’t on anymore; so if you missed it, view the commercial here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-e4vu_wL-M 

    So, I started doing a “little research.”  Then, I found this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4r7wHMg5Yjg, which I found completely hysterical and I knew, that at that moment, my purpose in life was to share it with everyone else I knew, with the exception of those I knew would be offended by a little profanity.  Hint hint!   

    Now, it share it with you.  ; )

    Caution:  Some content is NOT suitable for young children.  ; )

    Thank you HerdingDogRescuer for reminding me of something in life that has made me smile… even snort a time or two.  

    Maybe I should flag myself to Dr. Mike right now.  

    Enjoy!  After a moment of hesitation, I’ll take a deep breath as I click to post this.   ::exhale::

  • HerdingDogRescuer

    Rick—easy there honey badger!

  • Pingback: All Different Dog Food Brands & Types | My Blog()

  • Jonathan

    Just a thought to the above exchange back in June 2010…

    Just what in the heck is Rick so upset about? All of Wysong’s products have a “recommended” status with an appropriate 4 or 5 star rating.

    From reading his angry post, you would think Mike had given this food 1 star and spit on it.

    All of Wysong’s products seem to be of good quality and are, therefor, recommended by Mike.

    So what was all the hostility about? Jeepers.

  • Patti Patterson


    I wanted to join in here about the merits of Wysong products. I offer Wysong products in our small pet food store.

    I do have one testimony for Epigen; a customer’s lab had sudden itchy hot spots–tried Epigen for a week or so, and the condition improved significantly, and he continues to use Epigen product. He states his dog’s coat is healthy now.

    Although anecdotal, I just thought I would share this experience. I do like one of Wysong’s comments, which is our pets should be fed a variety of foods, including healthful home made foods.

    Many people are looking for the “best” food, and I question if there is such a thing as one best food for all pets, even in the same species. For example, if a dog has kidney problems would high meat content be the best source of nutrients?

    At any rate, I appreciate these comments, and would to like to learn more about pet nutrition.

    Thanks for the reviews and providing a venue for discussion.


  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Mitzie… I too have read many of the company’s website materials. And especially when it comes to competitors, critics and doubters, I sometimes find the tone at Wysong to be defensive and not in the spirit of mutual cooperation.

    In any case, I can certainly see why you would question any dog food ingredient labeled corn (or wheat) protein. I too would suspect that item to be something akin to corn or wheat gluten.

    However, Wysong takes a controversial approach… calling this long held industry-wide definition nothing less than “pet food mythology”. They argue the starch portion of wheat and corn should be considered a by-product… whereas the protein component should be thought of as the nutritious part of a cereal grain.

    Maybe so. Yet no one we know refers to corn or wheat gluten as a “by-product”. But many consider pet food glutens (and other vegetable proteins) inferior in quality to meat proteins.

    Although we respect Wysong’s position, the evidence still supports the fact that plant-based proteins possess a lower biological value than animal proteins.

    Mitzie, as a consumer, you have every right to question the meaning of Wysong’s listed ingredients… and you also have every right to expect your question to be answered with tolerance and respect.

  • Mitzie R


    I have communicated with Wysong over their new Epigen food and received very condescending replies over questions about the “wheat protein” and “corn protein” (which I believe are glutens) used in Epigen. Based on the “Rick’s” response, the tone and wording of the e-mail sounds like something written by someone from their company. If you read their website Q&As you will know what I mean.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Dear Rick… Thanks for your reply. I admire your passion for Wysong products as well as your respect and devotion to Dr. Wysong himself. Maybe when I revisit the Wysong products I’ll be able to discover more about the source of your enthusiasm and I’ll be better equipped to see their merits… especially Epigen.

    Rick, although I certainly agree with your critical assessment of the pet food industry, I find no other way to help people see through the exaggerated claims, hype, fancy packages, and inferior “profit-first” dog foods on the market. These mirages of so called science held in the minds of innocent consumers are the direct result of the “marketers, lackeys of corporate boards beholden to profit hungry stock holders, partners of greedy venture capitalists…” etc. you mention in your post.

    I only use the Guaranteed Analysis and the ingredients lists because they are regulated and standardized. They help me organize the dog foods reviews into five different categories. Sometimes I struggle deciding which classification best suits a particular food. It’s not always so easy.

    As I have mentioned, “it has never been my goal to base my ratings on a company’s merits but rather on 2 important criteria of their finished goods. I rate dog foods on (1) quality of ingredients and (2) the estimated dry matter meat content of their nutrient profiles.”

    Rick, I’m in no way claiming label information to be superior to your (or anyone else’s) “direct empirical experience”. But for those of us without your knowledge and experience with Wysong, it’s all we’ve got.

    Regarding liability, what would the world be like without free speech… the ability of anyone to review music, art, movies, books, restaurants, products, food… even dog food? As long as those opinions are not based upon lies or false statements the law protects the rights of all who choose to post their views publicly.

    Rick, I’m sorry you have taken my reviews so personally. For in many ways, we both agree on many issues. I hope in the future you will not see my opinions as a personal attack on your favorite products but rather just what they really are… an opinion (good or bad) posted by just one well-meaning person.

  • Rick

    Dear Mike,

    Thank you for your reply. You are the one that says on your site that you are an affiliate for products.

    I am a PhD scientist and breeder. If you are suggesting that my direct empirical experience over some twenty years with Wysong products should be set aside because of lack of controls (or disobedience to your hypothetical criteria), how exactly would you design controls that prove the health, long life, and championships of my animals on Wysong is not true? Also, it is misleading to suggest that controlled studies are the only route to truth. For example, hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on drug studies yet drugs are released on the market that maim and kill. Also, you must be aware of the value of even the N of one study.

    Additionally, why don’t you follow your own advice? No double blind cross over studies have been performed proving the assertions and criticisms made on your site. I do not see the citations. If you have them, I would like to see them.

    You place way too much trust in labels, as if that somehow cuts to the truth. It has to be more than that since my results deny your analysis. The absurdity of your rankings is typified, for example, by you rating “evo” high, and yet this company claims their starch-based heat processed foods are “just like raw.” That’s enough for me to rank them zero stars, I don’t care what their label says.

    I find Dr. Wysong the only consistent glimmer of light, both intellectually and in the results he has blessed my animals with, in the entire pet food arena. The rest seem to me to be just marketers, lackeys of corporate boards beholden to profit hungry stock holders, partners of greedy venture capitalists, home brewers who think they are nutritionists, and slogan pushers. I do not trust them or their products regardless of their “labels.”

    You might consider liability. I would not think that self-appointed expert pet food rankers have the freedom to libel and damage companies (and breeders like me who recommend Wysong) using information that is mere opinion and has not been proven.

  • Reply from Mike

    Hi Rick,

    Thanks for your email. I’d like to address your comments.

    First of all, I am NOT an affiliate of ANY dog food company. And I am not a veterinarian. However, I am a chemist and a doctor of dental surgery.

    Second, it has never been my goal to base my ratings on a company’s merits but rather on 2 important criteria of their finished goods. I rate dog foods on (1) quality of ingredients and (2) the estimated dry matter meat content of their nutrient profiles.

    As I have reviewed more and more dog foods my relative judging criteria have evolved. And my database averages and means have also grown. So, like all the foods in my database, I will be revisiting Wysong sometime soon (within the next 60 days?). And I expect to be making a few changes in some of the ratings to reflect my collective (historical) rating experience.

    Your personal experience is certainly of value. But in science and medicine we refer to this type of experience as anecdotal evidence… since they are not scientific double blind evaluations.

    I have spent a great deal of time and effort creating these reviews as unbiased as I can. But like all things in life, nothing is perfect.

    I will try to do a better job as I go.

    I also created a blog so that discussions like these would be in the open forum… where your comments can be viewed and shared with others.

    I would invite you to post your future comments directly associated with a review so that others can read your comments (as well as my responses) and participate for th4e good of all.

    The end result will be a collection of more and more information to help all of us develop a better understanding and recognition of good (and bad) dog foods.

    Mike Sagman

  • Rick

    Dear Mike,

    Thank you for your efforts to bring thoughtful information about pet feeding.

    I will say I am surprised by your ranking of some of the Wysong. I have fed their foods and followed Dr. Wysong’s sage advice for over twenty years. I have used his foods (the ones you rank low) and supplements through many litters and for entire lives. All I have seen is remarkable results, disease reversal, and champions, not what would be implied by your review. An argument never defeats direct experience.

    You are obviously missing something and evidently not using the correct criteria for measuring a company’s merits.

    You should take a look at their new patented no-starch kibble, Epigen, unlike anything in the market. I think it is truly a revolutionary product, in terms of a kibble.

    Keep up the good work, but be careful of all the sensational myths circulating about pet food ingredients that have little or no basis in science or empiricism.

    I bet you are not an affiliate of Wysong!