Wysong Epigen Dog Food gets the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Wysong Epigen product line includes three dry dog foods, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Wysong Epigen
- Wysong Epigen Fish
- Wysong Epigen Venison
Wysong Epigen Original Chicken formula was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Wysong Epigen Original Chicken Formula
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Organic chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, potato protein, meat protein isolate, chicken fat, gelatin, dried plain beet pulp, natural flavor, coconut oil, chia seeds, salt, calcium carbonate, tomato pomace, calcium propionate, taurine, choline chloride, organic barley grass powder, blueberry, dried kelp, yogurt (whey, milk solids, yogurt cultures), apple pectin, fish oil, yeast extract, citric acid, chicory root, hemicellulose extract, mixed tocopherols, rosemary 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 D3 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) = 4.4%
Red items indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||67%||17%||9%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||58%||35%||7%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is organic 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 turkey meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.
The fourth ingredient is potato protein, the dry residue remaining after removing the starchy part of a potato.
Even though it contains over 80% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.
And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The fifth ingredient is
Contrary to what the name would normally imply, this item is not generic. According to Wysong (on its website), this ingredient is derived exclusively from pork meat.
This is a quality source of meat-based protein.
The sixth 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 seventh ingredient is gelatin, a colorless, flavorless, translucent, brittle substance that’s irreversibly derived from the collagen found in the skin and bones of animals.
Although it consists mostly of protein (98-99% non-essential amino acids), gelatin is of only limited nutritional value to a dog.
The eighth 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.
After the natural flavor we find coconut oil, a natural oil rich in medium-chain fatty acids.
Medium-chain triglycerides have been shown to improve cognitive function in older dogs.2
Because of its proven safety3 as well as its potential to help in the treatment of canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS) and chronic skin disorders, MCT can be considered a positive addition to this recipe.
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, chia seed is an edible seed nutritionally similar to flax or sesame. Provided they’re first ground into a meal, chia seeds are rich in both omega-3 fatty acids as well as dietary fiber.
However, chia seeds contain about 17% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
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, fish oil is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids. These two high quality fats boast the highest bio-availability to dogs and humans.
Depending on its level of freshness and purity, fish oil should be considered a commendable addition.
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 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 Epigen Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Wysong Epigen 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.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 67% and a mean fat level of 13%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 12% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 20%.
Above-average protein. Below-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the potato protein and chia seed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing an abundance of meat.
By the way, what impresses us most here isn’t the extraordinary protein content of these products. It’s actually the unique process Wysong uses to avoid the starchy binders normally required for making any kibble.
A process which can cap the meat content of most dry dog food recipes at well under 40%.
But Wysong claims its Epigen product contains 60% meat. What’s more, our computations project a a carb content here of an exceptionally low 12%.
In addition, those looking to mimic a dog’s natural ancestral diet should find Wysong Epigen an appropriate choice.
Wysong Epigen is a meat-based dry dog food using an abundance of chicken, fish or venison meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.
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.
Those looking for a quality wet product to use with this kibble may wish to visit our review of Wysong Au Jus canned dog food.
Wysong Dog Food
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.
- Wysong Dog Food Recall October 2009 Update (11/4/2009)
- Wysong Dog Food Recall October 2009 (10/13/2009)
To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.
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A Final Word
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Notes and Updates
11/24/2015 Last Update
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩
- Pan Y et al, Dietary supplementation with medium-chain TAG has long-lasting cognition-enhancing effects in aged dogs, British Journal of Nutrition, Volume 103, Issue 12, June 2010, pp 1746-1754 ↩
- Matulka RA et al, Lack of toxicity by medium chain triglycerides (MCT) in canines during a 90-day feeding study,Food Chem Toxicol, Jan 2009, 47(1) 35-9. ↩