Wysong Maintenance dry dog food receives the Advisor’s second highest tier rating of 4 stars.
Wysong Maintenance claims to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance. Yet according to the company, it can be fed to dogs of “all life stages and types as part of a diet rotation”.
Wysong Maintenance Canine Diet
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken, chicken giblets, ground brown rice, ground wheat, ground corn, ground oat groats, poultry fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols as a source of vitamin E), eggs, plums, dried wheat grass powder, dried barley grass powder, whey, dried yogurt, lecithin, citric acid, sage extract, rosemary extract, dried kelp, fish oil, salt, garlic, black pepper, artichoke, l-carnitine, direct fed microbes (dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus lactis fermentation product, dried yeast culture, dried Aspergillus oryzae fermentation product, dried Aspergillus niger fermentation product), ascorbic acid, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, vitamin E supplement, niacin supplement, manganese proteinate, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, copper proteinate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, vitamin A acetate, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.1%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||27%||14%||51%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||25%||30%||46%|
The first ingredient in this dog food lists 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.
The second item lists chicken giblets, the edible by-products of poultry slaughter. They include the gizzard, lungs, kidneys, heart, spleen, liver, ovaries and most other internal organs of the bird.
Although the thought of eating an animal’s internal organs may not be appealing to most humans, these unfamiliar ingredients can be considered a natural part of an authentic canine ancestral diet.
After processing, these two ingredients would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.
The third item 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 next two ingredients are wheat and corn. Wheat and corn are inexpensive and controversial cereal grains. Yet aside from their energy content, these grains are of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
For this reason, we do not consider wheat or corn preferred components in any dog food.
The sixth 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 seventh ingredient is poultry fat. Poultry fat is obtained from rendering, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.
Poultry fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life.
However, poultry fat is a relatively generic ingredient and can be considered lower in quality than a similar item from a named source animal (like chicken fat).
The eighth ingredient lists whole eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
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 four notable exceptions…
First, wheat grass is prized for its vitamin and mineral content. Yet unlike wheat, wheat grass is gluten-free. So, please ignore our software’s unfavorable treatment of this nutritious ingredient.
Next, garlic can be a controversial item. Although most experts favor the ingredient for its numerous health benefits, garlic (in rare cases) has been linked to Heinz body anemia in dogs.1
However, the limited professional literature we surveyed provided no definitive warnings regarding the use of garlic — especially when used in small amounts (as it likely is here).
Next, we note the inclusion of dried fermentation products in this recipe. Fermentation products are typically added to provide enzymes to aid the animal with digestion.
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 Maintenance Dry Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Wysong Maintenance appears to be 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.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 50%.
Near-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
Wysong Maintenance is a grain-based dry kibble using a moderate amount of chicken and chicken giblets as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.
Those looking for a higher protein kibble from the same company may wish to check out our review of Wysong Optimal Performance Dry Dog Food.
Rice ingredients can sometimes contain arsenic. Until the US FDA establishes safe upper levels for arsenic content, pet owners may wish to limit the total amount of rice fed in a dog's daily diet.
A Final Word
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Notes and Updates
12/15/2009 Original review
07/07/2010 Review updated
12/03/2010 Review updated
08/30/2012 Last Update
- Yamato et al, Heinz Body hemolytic anemia with eccentrocytosis from ingestion of Chinese chive (Allium tuberosum) and garlic (Allium sativum) in a dog, Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 41:68-73 (2005) ↩