Wysong Epigen dry dog food receives the Advisor’s highest rating of 5 stars.
The Wysong Epigen product line includes three dry dog foods, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review:
- Wysong Epigen Chicken Formula
- Wysong Epigen Venison Formula
- Wysong Epigen Fish Formula
Wysong Epigen Chicken Formula was selected to represent all the products in the line.
Wysong Epigen Original Chicken Formula
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Organic chicken, chicken meal, chicken giblets, vegetable protein (consisting of one or more of the following: potato protein, rice protein, corn protein, wheat protein), poultry fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols as a source of vitamin E), eggs, yogurt, flax seed, apple, beet pulp, plums, inulin, dried wheat grass powder, dried barley grass powder, krill oil, dried kelp, taurine, oregano extract, sage extract, rosemary extract, direct-fed microorganisms (Bacillus subtilis, Enterococcus faecium, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactococcus lactis, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus lactis), 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) = 4%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||68%||13%||11%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||62%||28%||10%|
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.
Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
The third ingredient is 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.
The fourth ingredient is vegetable protein. Vegetable protein is what remains of a grain or tuber after the starchy part has been removed.
Yet somehow, even after reading Wysong’s description, we find it difficult to see any notable difference between a vegetable-based protein concentrate and its more familiar sibling… gluten.
The company insists the protein portion of a grain or potato is the most nutritious part. And that may very well be true.
Yet to a dog (and compared to meat), plant proteins exhibit a lower biological value.
In many recipes, gluten-type ingredients are commonly employed to boost the protein in a dog food without having to increase its meat content.
But that does not appear to be the case with this recipe.
We believe the real benefit provided by the vegetable protein here is more to eliminate the starchy carbohydrates than to simply raise the protein content alone.
In any case, to call attention to their more popular use as meat substitutes, we’re still compelled to highlight all vegetable-based protein concentrates in our ingredient listings.
The fifth ingredient lists 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 sixth ingredient mentions eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
The seventh ingredient includes yogurt. Yogurt is a nutritious dairy product made from the fermentation of cow’s milk. It is naturally rich in protein, calcium and vitamins yet contains less than half the lactose found in whole milk.
The eighth ingredient is flaxseed, 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.
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 four notable exceptions…
First, we note the inclusion of we note the inclusion of 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.
Next, 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.
Thirdly, the manufacturer appears to have applied friendly bacteria to the surface of the kibble after cooking. These special probiotics are used to enhance a dog’s digestive and immune functions.
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 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 68% and a mean fat level of 13%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 11% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 18%.
High protein. Low fat. And very low carbohydrates when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Even when you consider the notable protein-boosting effect of the vegetable protein, 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 11%.
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 meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.
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.
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
12/03/2010 Original review
01/31/2011 Review updated (added two new products)
11/03/2012 Last Update