Wysong Optimal Line (Dry)


Rating: ★★★★★

Wysong Optimal Line Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Wysong Optimal Line Dog Food product line includes three dry recipes.

Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

  • Wysong Optimal Adult [M]
  • Wysong Optimal Senior [M]
  • Wysong Optimal Performance [M]

Wysong Optimal Adult was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Wysong Optimal Adult

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 47% | Fat = 16% | Carbs = 30%

Ingredients: Organic chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, fish meal, pea protein, peas, potato, chicken fat, flaxseeds, dried plain beet pulp, eggs, montmorillonite clay, crab meal, whey, natural chicken and fish flavor, coconut oil, chia seeds, salt, calcium carbonate, tomato pomace, calcium propionate, choline chloride, organic barley grass, blueberry, dried kelp, yogurt, apple pectin, fish oil, yeast extract, citric acid, chicory root, hemicellulose extract, mixed tocopherols, rosemary extract, yeast culture, carrots, celery, beets, 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) = 6.1%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis42%14%NA
Dry Matter Basis47%16%30%
Calorie Weighted Basis41%33%26%
Protein = 41% | Fat = 33% | Carbs = 26%

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 fish meal, yet another high protein meat concentrate.

Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1

Unfortunately, this particular item is anonymous. Because various fish contain different types of fats, we would have preferred to have known the source species.

The fifth ingredient is pea protein, what remains of a pea after removing the starchy part of the vegetable.

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 meat content of this dog food.

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, another factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

The seventh ingredient is potato. Potatoes can be considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates. Yet with the exception of perhaps their caloric content, potatoes are of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The eighth 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 ninth 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.

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

The tenth 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 six notable exceptions

First, montmorillonite clay is 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, thereโ€™s probably not enough tomato pomace here to make much of a difference.

In addition, 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.

Next, we note the inclusion of yeast extract, 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 ago2, 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 Alzheimerโ€™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.

We also note this recipe includes chia seed, 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.

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 Optimal Line Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Wysong Optimal Line 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 47%, a fat level of 16% and estimated carbohydrates of about 30%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 49% and a mean fat level of 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 27% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 33%.

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 pea products, flaxseed and chia seeds, this looks like the profile of a dry product containing a significant amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Wysong Optimal Line is a meat-based dry dog food using a generous amount of named meats 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.

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A Final Word

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The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

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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.

We rely on tips from readers. To report a product change or request an update of any review, please contact us using this form.

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

12/15/2016 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  2. L-Glutamic Acid, FDA Select Committee on GRAS Substances
  • truthon

    Please check out the WYSONG VEGAN for dogs/cats.

  • Leyna

    Thank you, that info helps.

  • Leyna

    Thank you, I will look into the Fromm line also.

  • Crazy4dogs

    I’m not familiar with this one but Fromm grain free are very small as another possible option.

  • aquariangt

    I haven’t tried the optimal line, I tried whichever one quail comes in, it was some of the smallest kibble ive ever seen

  • Leyna

    I am thinking of trying this food for my dogs, can anyone tell me how large the kibble is? I need to feed small kibble due to the fact my bigger dog, does not chew her food, she will throw up larger kibble, but is able to keep small kibble down. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

  • Kim Millard

    I commend Wysong for listening to their customers and removing the menadione. They’re a small company and know that their target customers are well read on Pet nutrition and spend their time researching products on sites like this.

  • Wysong has recently “tweaked” some of their recipes — and it appears they have removed the menadione. So, I’ve been trying to research and update our reviews of their dry dog foods over the past few days.

    All pet food companies are faced with the same problem as market stock can sometimes be reflecting both old and new formulas at the same time.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    I ordered one of the small bags from Chewy a couple weeks ago to check it out and the bag I got lists menadione.

  • neezerfan

    That was my assumption and I wanted to call attention to that but I wasn’t 100% sure!

  • Pattyvaughn

    This review was just updated a couple days ago, maybe Wysong did remove it.

  • neezerfan

    I know it’s late and maybe my eyes aren’t so great but I don’t see menadione in the ingredient list.

  • LabsRawesome

    Menadione was removed from Dr. Tim’s in 2010. I agree, Dr. Tim’s has great customer service. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Hound Dog Mom

    This doesn’t surprise me that Dr. Tim would do this – he’s great, very responsive to customers.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Have you tried Epigen? There’s a venison and a fish formula.

  • Pattyvaughn

    I gotta agree with that!

  • LabsRawesome

    This is a post of Dr. Tim’s taken fron Dog food Chat. At the bottom of the post, he talks about Menadione. Dr Tim says:

    December 1, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    Well, judging by the tone of these last messages I am not sure whether posting on here is a great idea but what the heck.

    Our foods are made with the highest grade protein meal products
    sourced in North America. we use a slow cook process to make the kibble
    to allow for minimal damage to the product and a very high
    digestability. And we use a high level of omega 3 fatty acids. That is
    what makes it sooooooooo much better than the rest out there.

    When you read a label so it is accurate in comparing things, you must
    look at whether it is a dry food label or wet food label. A nice trick
    with using meat in foods is that it will list first because it is 70%
    water when it goes into the extruder. Then the meat loses nearly that
    same amount of weight and when dry can often drop down the list of
    ingredients a large number of spots.When meal is listed on a label and
    meat, I bet almost all foods will truly have the meal being the number
    one ingredient once the kibble is made. So compare apples to apples.

    As to our food and vitamin K we did decide to remove the vitamin k
    several months ago and continue only with the kelp meal as our source of
    vitamin K. Call it what you will, but the opinions of folks out in the
    world were listened to, judged and acted on. I still personally believe
    the vitamin K conflict is unfounded.

  • Storm’s Mom

    Just did ๐Ÿ™‚ Will post what I find out, etc.

  • LabsRawesome

    Hey, email them and ask for an allergy/chicken free formula. And also tell them you don’t like menadione. They will never know about people’s concerns, if their not voiced. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Storm’s Mom

    ..and maybe they could remove chicken meal from just ONE of their Optimal formulae, too, while they’re at it?! Just 1, that’s all I ask for…. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Hopefully they’ll come out with a fish and/or venison (ie, chicken-free) one at some point..then I might try it!! (though menadione is non-starter for me.. but if ever there was a food I would make an exception for in order to add it to the rotation, this would be it!)

  • LabsRawesome

    Or you could email them & ask them to remove it. Dr. Tim’s removed menadione from his formulas, due to customer appeals. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • LabsRawesome

    True. But I know menadione is not a necessary ingredient. It is a deal breaker for me personally. Also true that there are many things in dog food that are not essential. But we still have to feed our dogs the best we can. I just don’t understand why a company would even add it, since it’s not essential, and a controversial, possibly (probably) a toxic ingredient. I just figure why chance it? But hey, that’s just me.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    I’m not saying I agree with it, just that that’s their viewpoint. I personally prefer to see companies keep synthetic vitamin and mineral usage to a minimum and attempt to derive as many nutrients from whole foods as possible but I can’t honestly say that I believe that a food with menadione would cause any issues if fed occasionally. The incident Blue Buffalo experienced could indeed happen to any company producing a food with fat soluble vitamins or minerals. So if one wanted to avoid any chance of vitamin or mineral overdose it would be necessary to avoid all foods that contain synthetic vitamins and minerals – which, I believe, would exclude every kibble except Nature’s Logic and Carna4.

  • LabsRawesome

    I don’t like their explanation. Menadione is not a necessary ingredient, so why even take the chance? Also, remember when Blue accidentally added too much vitamin D? What if too much vitamin K is added? It’s very toxic at high levels. I won’t use a food that contains it. Period.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    You can order it right from their website. If you search online for free shipping coupons you can usually find a code. It’s also sold on Chewy.com.

  • Johnandchristo

    Hi John,

    Is The Epigen 90 the food that’s 60 something % protein? I always wanted to try that for my dog. I have never seen it in any stores though. Can you share were you buy it. Thanks.

  • Omar D. Plumey

    Thanks for that info.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Menadione aside I think it looks like a wonderful food. I think it would be fine to feed rotationally with foods that don’t contain menadione. My cats eat some menadione containing foods in their rotation. It’s nothing I would want my animals eating on a daily basis and I really do prefer to see companies utilize whole food sources as much as possible (especially for a nutrient such as vitamin k which has so many whole food sources and also isn’t even a required nutrient) however the inclusion of menadione in this food wouldn’t be a deal breaker for me assuming the food was fed rotationally (as all foods should be anyways).

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi Omar D. Plumey –

    There is an article on Wysong’s website concerning why they feel menadione is an acceptable ingredient:


  • Pattyvaughn

    Try email and let us know what they say.

  • Omar D. Plumey

    Maybe we should write a letter to Wysong asking why they decided to add The K in there?

  • John Mips

    That is SO disappointing to see this contains menadione. My dogs do great on Epigen 90 and I was hoping Wysong now had another quality option for them. Guess not…

  • Betsy Greer

    Crab meal? That’s a first.

  • Johnandchristo

    I guess if we were gun fighters I’d be dead! lol.

    Hats off to the fastest gun.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Lol – we must have been posting at the same time. My thoughts exactly!

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Aw, I was thinking this would get 5 stars. I really don’t understand why they had to go and add menadione – Epigen doesn’t contain menadione. Still looks like a great food though.

  • Johnandchristo

    At 44 % protein lots and lots of good ingredients why in the world would they add k3????? Makes no sense.