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Wysong Says a Big NO to the Pledge

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  1. Ann

    Kudos to you Susan for your perseverance in bringing us the truth and the pet food consumer who contacted Whysong. Keep up the good work, we are all behind you!

  2. Casey

    Ha. Wysong and their superiority complex can kiss my money goodbye.

    They think because they say they’re special, we’re supposed to just take their word for it. They think that they should not have to deal with any “second party” approval…well, guess what, Wysong. That second party is the consumer and yes, you NEED their approval. And signing the pledge is just good marketing…unless…there’s something about your oh so awesome food that prevents you from being able to sign the pledge?

  3. SK

    Wow, this is really unbelievable. Just last weekend I was (no joke!) thinking about buying Wysong food to try for my cat. None of this makes me think their food is necessarily *bad*, however, the disrespect and arrogance of their response is just so over the top and disgusting – I certainly won’t be buying their food anytime soon.

  4. Julie

    Wow. Not very smart on their part. Here’s one customer and some friends of hers who’ll avoid buying Wysong. There are lots of choices these days, or haven’t they noticed? Thanks, Susan.

  5. Jay Smith

    I’d like to speak in an official capacity here for the first time, as I usually comment as an individual.

    When freshfetch provided the “Pledge of Quality and Origin” to Truth About Pet Food, we did not then, and don’t now, consider it to be a “seal of approval” from Truth About Pet Food — nor, at any time, did Susan or anyone associated with Truth About Pet Food portray it to us as such.

    Instead, the Pledge was — and, to my understanding, still is — treated by representatives of Truth About Pet Food as the only concerted attempt ever made by consumer watchdogs to compile information about individual companies’ policies about transparency in sourcing into a comprehensible resource to be made available and believable for consumers.

    And, toward that very real purpose with far-reaching value for consumers, we see no other option but to provide this information, and we thank Susan Thixton for the service of consolidating and publishing this reference for consumers.

    We urge our industry counterparts to reconsider their view of this information, and to reassess any internal obstacles that might color their company’s willingness or ability to make this information available to consumers through Susan’s efforts.

    Jay Smith
    freshfetch Pet Foods, Inc.
    Palm Springs, CA

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      Very well put Jay – and you are right. The Pledge is no endorsement or seal of approval – it’s simple transparency in an industry that is full of secrets. And again – thank you to your company and all the others that can understand the consumer need for this.

    2. g.r.r.

      BTW, if going to push a seal, let me suggest, an idea for showing origins.
      I have thought about the fact that we have different issues with products.
      It would be useful to have several lines on a label for indicating what, where, etc.
      Seems that the first line should be where the company is from followed by a slash then followed by where parent company is from.
      The next should be where the final assembly (such as canning, or hooking together, etc) is done at.
      The last should be where sub-parts(ingrediants) come from.

      For the first line, using an outline of a nation or continent, or 2 letters for nation would work.
      For the second, it should be the same as above.
      The ingredients should then also allow for showing a circle indicating that it comes from all over the globe, which COULD include China.
      OTOH, if they want to indicate that it is US only, then it could an outline of the US, or the letters US.

      By adopting such a thing on pet food, it would help push it for other products.
      And a simple standard is able to be pushed everywhere.
      It is long past time for us to know where our purchase, esp. food comes from.
      As it is, I just found out that our milk is using Chinese additives in there. NOT GOOD.

      1. Margie

        I concur with all you’ve said. But I am wondering , as one concerned about her pets and the lives of other animals: Why are you drinking milk? Milk is from dairy cows, forced to surrender their calves, enslaved to a shortened, brutal lifestyle. And the calf? So much sadness… Have you investigated the truth about the dairy industry? Please do so and consider that Truth about Animals is heartbreaking in our society. Thank you.

        1. Mollie Morrissette

          Margie, I struggle with the humane issue as well. I think we are decades away from people demanding Certified Humane or Animal Welfare Approved pet food. I have done research in hopes of finding one or even two manufacturers with humane standards, but sadly I did not find one (at least that I recall). There are a small handful of companies that bring the issue up and address the care of the animals they eventually slaughter (Answer’s Pet Food for instance). But as I am a vegan Mom to eight obligate carnivores, these decisions are heartbreaking. As a devout vegan, I don’t have any good answers. I do not believe a vegetarian diet is good for cats – so that is not an option. Meanwhile, I visit the farms that I buy meat, poultry and eggs from to make sure the animals are happy and well cared for – at least while they are alive. Could I watch an animal being killed – could I perform the slaughter myself? No. I feel that if I am going to buy meat I should at least be able to kill the animal myself, but I can’t. I feel like a fraud. Margie, do you have pets? If so, what do you feed them?

  6. Doug Cawthra

    This does not surprise me. I asked Wysong to tell me if they used “downer” cattle as the source of beef and they responded with a “non-answer” many years ago.

    I haven’t used Wysong since.

    1. Sharon

      They may not know if they use “downer”
      cattle as I think Evanger’s makes their food.

    2. sazure

      They post their position at their web site. A “downer” cow can mean a broken leg – dump or pet food? In past (and I’ve done research since a small child) the chicken in your past pet food (and often today) was the beaks, feet and other “by products”. Do you think the competition buys healthy cows, or what ever food source and uses that??? (doubt it). It would not be cost competitive.

      That said, back in “the day” wild Mustangs were hunted down and used in pet foods. The older Jello was made from these horses hoofs (for anyone that cares, there was a law passed to prohibit the hunting down of what few remain – cattlemen are using natural lands for a few bucks a year to graze and find these horses “competition”. This loop hole is even more horrific. They are shipped to Canada now in horrific conditions, slaughtered there and shipped over seas as a delicacy). ( I lived in Italy where American horse-meat is a delicacy!)

      Ditto for all the rest – even rubber hardener to induce them to “eat it” (addictive like sugar which is also often found in pet foods).

      Wild animals catch the weakest, and eat the gut first (the stomach full of partially digested enzyme rich and if the prey is vegetation – (since their prey is usually vegetarians – plant eaters, rabbits, deer, birds.) Full of seeds, nuts, grasses BUT in their young state (not stored in grain silos) and berries as well as a few examples.

      Enzymes of all sorts including digestive are the KEY to life (for humans as well). All cycles depend on enzymes. (which are destroyed when foods are cooked above the boiling temperature).

      I feed my cats part Wysong, and human food (raw bison or grass fed beef) eggs and other things.

  7. Peg

    Amazing how quickly and arrogantly Wysong said no to The Pledge.

    I can just as quickly say “NO” to Wysong food.

    I’ll just leave off the arrogance and the insults.

    As always. eternal gratitude to Susan and all the participants for helping us to keep our fur heads as healthy as possible

  8. g.r.r.

    I am guessing that where she ran into problems, is that she wants origins. I tried getting Blue Buffalo to say that they would not use chinese products, only to find out that they were actively using them, and possibly for most, if not all of the food.
    Near as I can tell, many of the dog food companies are making heavy use of Chinese and inferior products.
    What is needed is to PUSH any and all products that will pledge to quality and origin, and simply allow the others to fall to the side.

    1. g.r.r.

      BTW, the best way to push this, is with a seal on the package. Then have companies that get it, to push the seal.

      1. Susan Thixton Author

        I like that idea – we’ll work on that!

    2. steph gas

      i actually received an email response from blue buffalo not too long ago verifying that, if necessary, they will source vitamins/minerals/additives from china. i immediately discarded any blue buffalo foods or treats i had left and switched to another brand.

      1. Mary Sue

        One sad truth is that many vitamins and minerals in this country actually come from China – even in products made for humans.

        1. steph gas

          i’m very selective with the products i bring in my house – if i know it comes from china or includes any ingredient that comes from china, it doesn’t come in my house. if i wouldn’t eat it, i definitely wouldn’t feed it to my babies 🙂

      2. Rhiannon

        I don’t know of many pet food companies that don’t source their taurine from China so it’s not just BB. I think perhaps Natura doesn’t but they were sold to P & G so I’m sure that’ll change.

  9. Jean Hofve DVM

    Attitude flows downhill, and Randy Wysong is the source. He knows more about everything than anyone else–just ask him!

    A lot of cats do not tolerate Wysong food. I’ve noticed over the years that their regular dry food is often associated with urinary crystals. But when I contacted them about it, their answer was to feed their acidified dry food (Uretic), rather than fix the problem that was sending cats to the ER in droves.

    I never have been impressed by Wysong’s ethics, and this just confirms my gut feelings!

    1. Lori S.

      This is very consistent with my experiences with Wysong. Every time I have asked them a question, they have responded with unbearable arrogance (they know all, consumers know nothing). They are a local company for me, and years ago I was initially excited that a “premium” food was made in my backyard, but I could never get actual answers to my questions, just a lot of attitude.

      1. Christine

        You’re both so right about his attitude, which comes across in everything he writes. If there’s anyone who shouldn’t be allowed or encouraged to have a hand in his own marketing, it’s him, as everything has always been so negative, arrogant and condescending. The strangest thing is how critical of processed food he is, and then he goes ahead and produces it himself. He states on his front page that their #1 (of 2 preeminent goals) is: “To arm pet owners with the knowledge needed to make sound nutritional and health decisions for their pets”. Why wouldn’t he sign a pledge of transparency, if this is #1 publicly stated goal? His website goes on to say, “It is virtually impossible for consumers to know the health value of packaged pet foods. Products are either nondescript or, using such things as starch, textured vegetable protein, dyes, binders, etc., can be made to look like a miniature pork chop. Additionally, taste enhancers can make poor foods palatable. Short term feeding or studies do not reveal the true health measure of a pet food’s value – long, active, vital life, free from chronic degenerative disease conditions.

        Judging merit by reading advertising, marketing brochures, and pet food package labels can also be deceiving. Although it would seem that regulation would not permit false and misleading information in the marketplace, this is simply not the case. So assuming that what is said in advertising is true because it is in a reputable publication, or on a beautifully designed brochure or package, is a dangerous mistake.

        So if all the commonly used criteria for judging the merit of a healthy pet food are invalid, what is the concerned pet owner to do? As in all other important decisions in life, gathering information and applying reason is the best way to the best answer. This process is even more important in food decisions because health is at issue.” How could he say this and still be so resistant to anyone attempting to do the very thing that he promotes?

    2. Mike

      Dr. Jean is right. Wysong has a lot of good comments about the state of the common attitude about nutrition, but he is an obnoxious bastard. Nutrition is not an exact science yet, but he proclaims to have all the answers. I read a commentary of his where he was saying that chicken meal is superior to chicken and also one that had a ten point warning against feeding raw food, unless it was dehydrated or freeze dried. All points could easily be countered. What a coincidence that he uses chicken meal in his products and that he only offers Archetype and not wet raw. It is true that the attitude rolls down hill.

    3. Rhiannon

      Their dry food was what my male cat was eating when he experienced a full blockage years ago.

    4. sazure

      Cats (our Tabby) should not be fed any dry food. They have unique metabolic and colon systems (reasons fragrance is harmful, even natural) and their colon systems are like camels – built to extract water from their food to store)… So by feeding dry food one is taxing this system. As well, no cat, dog or fish (I raised aquarium fish for over 50 years) in nature eats dry food.) They eat live foods.

      Due to cost I do use dry (on Low SSD due to bld fire long ago) – but mix it in with fresh raw meats along with supplements including essential fatty acids. I provide certain plants for my cat(s) (in past) to nibble on.

      Background (pre vet and natural therapies and nutrition)

  10. Amy@GoPetFriendly

    And that’s why I feed (and LOVE) The Honest Kitchen dog food to my boys!

  11. Robin

    Oh dear…..I almost feel sorry for Wysong (NOT!) because between me and everyone else here posting this column far and wide and to every dog list available, we WILL affect their bottom line.

  12. Sarah

    I’ve switched my dogs to a raw diet, thanks in part to this website and other knowledgeable folks including veterinarians with a keen interest on biologically appropriate diets. With all the informational posts that the Truth About Pet Food website makes it is evident it takes a great deal of time researching the subject of canine nutrition and health. Where is the evidence of Wysong’s research on canine nutrition? Their website claims they have “in-house pet health professionals”, that means they have a conflict of interest, and if these health professionals are veterinarians that does NOT mean they are experts on canine nutrition! To obtain veterinarian certification, only ONE class on pet nutrition is required to become certified, and it nutrition classes are taught by dog food company representatives such as science diet, I’d call THAT “misleading as a promotional tactic for manufacturers.”

  13. Steve

    I stopped feeding Wysong a few years ago when they refused to answer even the simplest questions about origins of their products. As a responsible protector of my companions, I should have known better to buy their expensive product, particularly when it was highly recommended by a Santa Monica, California vet whose practices finally caught up with him because of widespread public dissemination of damning information about him. We must all spread this important information about Wysong and other brands. Knowledge is power. Ignorance can lead to needless suffering and death.

  14. Marlene Wacker

    Thank you so much for posting this. My last order from Wysong was in July. They won’t be receiving another order from me, nor will any other company. I’ve invested in a Tasin grinder and will give my business to the local butchers. Far healthier than kibble crap.

  15. Jon

    Well here is one less customer for Wysong pet food.

  16. john ford

    roger biduk is one of us, soon he’ll have his own line of pet food. bcdn is his website. merrick food in the mean time for me.

  17. Mary Sue

    I’ve always found Wysong to be a little bit over the top on their advertising and claims. Though they claim consumers are being mislead (we are neither stupid nor uneducated) by promotional tactics, as in their quote below, I find they do exactly the same thing. The say the natural diet (raw meat and little else) is the best thing for cats to eat and then they go on, ad nauseum, to push their foods as the best. I love to read about pet foods and opinions about them, but when I first visited their website, after reading about 6 pages I realized I’d had enough of them and their claims and points of view.

    “Similarly, “pledging” about this or that current urban legend about ingredients, sources, and the like, is misleading for the consumer and is also misleading as a promotional tactic for manufacturers.”

    1. Jay Smith

      I’d be very happy to respond to Wysong’s assertion that transparency about sourcing and ingredient quality is “misleading.” If this is a direct quote from the company, its careful phrasing referring to such transparency as an “urban legend” is clearly meant to disparage, but is also easy to interpret as a suggestion that every such disclosure is a lie.

      Whether in a general statement or directly made or implied, such comments, themselves, are patently offensive to the sensibilities of consumers AND manufacturers alike, and are more characteristic and comparable to intent to mislead than any transparency disclosure to which a company executive is willing to assign his or her signature and reputation.

      Jay Smith
      freshfetch Pet Foods, Inc.

  18. Gitta

    Now I am baffled:
    Says it on the box of Wysong food: the thinking person’s pet food. But based on their reaction that can’t mean, what I thought it meant. Obviously critical thinking is not needed or wanted. Thinking among the company party and marketing line seems to be the desired outcome. Blind company loyalty. Bummer.

    Reading the Wysong website one could come to the erroneous conclusion that there is a great deal of agreement with what can be found here. So, even if both sides agree – if one side is just nobody, then that opinion is worthless and to be disregarded.

    Now, given the credentialed experts at those “other” pet food companies the Wysong website more or less openly criticizes – why should me little Mrs. Dumbbunny think that a Wysong credentialed expert is better than the credentialed experts at other pet food companies. Or why should I believe that they are worse, far worse? Why should I believe that the Wysong food is truly better and not just more expensive? After all, the other credentialed experts are telling me their food is best.

    How many veterinarians, even board certified in nutrition, would argue against Wysong, DVM? Which veterinarian is right?

    Well, it may be easier to discredit bloggers and consumers simply by harping about credentials.

    Easier than transparency anyways.

    1. Jay Smith

      In our research to develop a new way of thinking about this industry, one of the striking recommendations from focus groups, enlightened consumers, consultants, and (believe it or not – veterinarians!) was that we avoid using “staff” veterinarians and veterinary nutritionists. Let me explain why.

      One of our internal mandates was to completely re-think food for dogs (and cats) by first using the existing basis formed by acceptance of documented and peer-reviewed science from the National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council’s 1985 publications and relevant published and peer-reviewed science available to date regarding the nutritional needs of dogs and cats.

      From that point of departure, our mandate required that we challenge all known existing methods in use in the production of commercial pet foods, and to do so by examining OUTCOMES (what ends up being FED to dogs and cats) in our appraisal of all aspects of operations including formulation, sourcing, production, packaging and distribution.

      The goal of these self-imposed challenges was to reset the standard for pet foods, and to implement a new set of practices that results in the best possible nutritional outcome for dogs under existing market conditions and requirements for distribution and selling. In other words, we said to ourselves: “forget what everyone else in the industry is doing. What do dogs and cats need in their diets, how do we know this to be true, and how reliable is that knowledge?” Then, we followed up with a process of identifying a new way of thinking about everything we do.

      During our research and challenge of existing practices and outcomes, we realized, ourselves, and we were advised to consider the conflict of interest that is created when staff researchers are asked to evaluate the processes, products, ingredients and outcomes of the company that employs them.

      Research by the National Academy of Sciences that is well-supported, peer-reviewed, and unbiased is readily available to all manufacturers that wish to use it. It is reliable and unassailable in its veracity, intent and scope.

      When not employed to consult about a specific formulation for therapeutic use, the use of staff researchers, employee veterinarians and consultants is — in our experience and opinion — most often associated with attempts to validate choices about ingredients or processes that would be subject to consumer rejection without validation.

      As a company, we prefer that our food is judged by veterinarians, veterinary nutritionists and consumers that are not associated with our company. We’re confident that the advisors, nutritionists and veterinarians that have assisted us in our creation of freshfetch have been unbiased and acted with intent that is aligned with our goal to produce the absolute best food for dogs ever produced.

      So, the question becomes: Is validation by advisors – professional or not – that a company pays for their advice reliably unbiased and comprehensible to consumers? We think that the answer to this question is, sadly, no. And, when the answer is yes, the perception of conflict of interest demonstrates the need for a different direction by our industry.

      1. Mollie Morrissette

        Which is precisely the reason I believe that the National Academy of Science is not unassailable. Even though their COI policy is clearcut, they continue to allow members with a financial interest on the outcome of their research to sit on the board and be members of animal nutrition committees. And nowhere is the funding of studies by private industry made public. What is really creepy is that the biographies of members of the board on the NAS’ website are woefully misleading. A simple Google search revealed the CV’s of the members with academic careers, whose careers have been supported by funding by private industry. (Read: conflict of interest). Some of the members of the board are owners of powerful companies: Monsanto, Kodak, Purina, Lockheed, and the list goes on.

        Even more disturbing is the number of committee members that work for pet food manufacturers who are charged with “evaluating” the research.

        Worse, is that the AFIA and the PFI partly paid for the last two National Research Council’s cat and dog nutrition publications. They told me how much the PFI paid, but then later denied having told me the figure saying, “that information is confidential”.

        I think you have the right philosophy – examine the evidence, question the science, assume nothing. Kudos to you for the amazing work you guys did.

        Thank you.

        1. Jay Smith

          Mollie — the basis for the 2006 changes was very clearly disclosed in the opening pages of the 2006 publication. I think it’s important that don’t throw out babies with our bathwater.

          And, variations between the publications of 1985 and 2006 were mostly academic, and well-disclosed as being relevant to – and prompted by – criticism from industry proponents claiming that the NAS and National Research Council was less relevant to actual industry practices because its 1985 publication relied heavily on “purified” foods.

          This assertion – in our assessment -was code language from industry to say “you can’t expect us to live up to the standards published in 1985 because we don’t use these types of high-quality inputs (ingredients).”

          But, the original nutrient requirements published in 1985 were not changed as a result of industry participation in revisions of 2006. Instead, revisions were recommended to quantities and macro/micro nutrient content based upon the “quality” of the ingredient inputs, so that manufacturers can make appropriate adjustments to content based upon the quality of their ingredient choices.

          If your contention is that it’s disagreeable that such changes should be prompted by industry, I agree. But, it doesn’t change the unassailable nature of the science behind all of the findings as the grounding research upon which nutrition for dogs and cats is judged world-wide.

          The changes in 2006, and the disclosure of the reason for these changes is quite clear, and they are made and presented in a responsible manner leaving manufacturers, veterinarians and individuals the ability to adjust ingredient quantities based upon ingredient quality and “purity” to get to a diet that’s as good as can be expected under the conditions of ingredient quality that each manufacturer chooses to use.

  19. elle

    Called Wysong and told them they lost my business, thanks to their obnoxious, condescending, dismissive and above all, ignorant response to a fellow animal guardian. The woman who took my called was left in stunned silence. Had no words. I told her I probably represented 100 others who won’t bother calling. Thanks for sharing this. It’s one thing to put out an inferior product. It’s another entirely to insult your customers, and defame another’s character.

  20. Pinky Collins

    Hi Susan,
    I have been a very long time very satisfied consumer of Wysong products (human & dog supplements and dog & cat food). I know that Dr. Wysong and his company take the making of pet food very serious and that is why I am an avid fan of their company. They go above and beyond to show their dedication to consumers time and time again. I’m sorry you are offended by them not acknowledging you and your website, but that alone does not sway me in any way against the dedication I have seen for many years of Dr. Wysong and his company. Dr. Wysong is a pioneer in the manufacturing of one of the best dog foods, using only products from the US. Nothing they use at Wysong comes from China, nothing. They use more expensive packaging than most companies and they also vacuum seal most products, I could go on and on about their food and the many products they sell but I don’t have the time. I appreciate the work you do as a consumer but I think you need to look at the facts. Just because they don’t want to acknowledge you doesn’t mean they do not make some of the best food out there.
    Last year I received an email from the customer service dept at Wysong, they knew I used a certain product of theirs and they had a large stock of this product that was going to expire within 4 months, they offered me all the food I could take FREE OF CHARGE, I just paid for shipping which wasn’t that much. Most pet food companies would trash it before giving it away to loyal long time customers. Nothing
    You could say could sway my feelings for Dr. Wysong and his company.

    1. Robin

      Hi Pinky,

      Nevertheless, the arrogance coming from Wysong several people have attested to here is worth noting.
      Furthermore, I would especially wary of those close to expiration “freebies”….Wysong has had several recalls, most of them due to mold in the food ( see DogFoodAdvisor dot com) which is a big potential for the development of aflatoxins, better known as dead dog syndrome. Any company that has experienced a recall, let alone SEVERAL recalls, shouldn’t be so quick to deny consumer transparency….especially not with arrogance.

      1. Pinky Collins

        As long as I have been using Wysong, they have had a recall and that was in 2009, the only one I know of. But one recall does not sway my loyalties to Wysong, They are a solid, top notch U.S. pet food company. I didnt see any arrogance I think Ms Thixton has a hurt ego and I like what she does. I think you Ms. Thixton for your hard word. Again, look at the facts.

        1. Susan Thixton Author

          Ego? Who’s ego? The facts are…a consumer asked a pet food company to provide their promise to the quality and country of origin of ingredients. That pet food company responded in a very abrupt manner. I think you are grasping at straws here – looking for someone to blame. Pet food consumers deserve transparency. That’s not just my opinion – it is the opinion of many – most – educated petsumers.

        2. Susan Thixton Author

          Oh…and by the way…I was a customer of Wysong years ago – back in the 1980’s. I have…had great respect for Dr. Wysong. I had no issue with him or the company. But it seems Wysong had an issue with our Pledge.

    2. Mary

      Uhhhh think you better rethink the China thing.

      1. Pinky Collins

        Mary – UHHH facts…. Do you have any facts????

          1. Pinky Collins

            Thank you Steph, as of last year (when I last spoke to Wysong) they were not using anything from China. If they are putting it on on their web site they are not trying to hide anything. Thanks for the facts Steph.

          2. steph gas

            something like 90% of vitamins and minerals (specifically amino acids) are produced in china, whether we’re talking for pet food or for human products. it’s been that way for a long time – at least since 2007. so if you asked them that a year ago and they told you nothing was from china, chances are they were wrong. the quality and cost effectiveness of the supplements produced in china are very, very high. i don’t like feeding ingredients from china, but this is one thing that almost all pet food companies have not been able to avoid.

            also, it does not have to be disclosed. i have read on other websites that some pet food companies get their vitamin/mineral supplements from united states manufacturers who produce their own supplement mixes in house – from chinese ingredients. because it is produced in america, it is an american ingredient.


          3. Woofielover

            We’ve found too that one of the “tricks” of the trade is to use a third part “boutique” supplier of the vitamin/mineral packs. The manufacturer gets it from this “boutique” supplier who gets it in from China. This way the manufacturer can say they don’t buy anything from China. Kind of like not having to reveal something in the ingredient panel if the manufacturer doesn’t use it in the formula but the originating ingredient supplier many have used it while “creating” the ingredient. Total subterfuge. 🙁

          4. Lori S.

            This is one of the reasons I switched to Nature’s Logic food, as it does not use any synthetic vitamins or minerals. My oldest dog is doing much better on this food than any other food I’ve tried (including cooking my own and using Balance It supplements, which insures nutritional balance, but which is comprised of synthetic vitamins and minerals).

    3. Kim

      I have used many of Wysong’s products in the past included dog food. I liked most of the other health products but did not like the canine food products. I did not like their “I am the only one right” philosophy. None the less I tried the food and my hounds never did well on it, throwing up a lot, and tried most of them. Maybe there will be some that will do better, and maybe some or all of their dog food is okay, or even good, but that does not answer to poor customer relations and a lack of transparency. That refusal or excuse to be transparent is what is scary. If you think these things are not important then you should continue feeding their dog food, but you can find all of their products elsewhere. The own no corner on anything, and consumers who do not challenge their companies are not helping them to be better. Hopefully it won’t bite you in the ars one day. Their thinking on customer service and relations is flawed.

      1. Pinky Collins

        I cook for my dogs and have for years. But I have used Wysong in the past and really like their food and supplements. I still put them at the top 10% of pet food company in the US. I also don’t always agree with Ms Thixton. Some of her picks aren’t my favs. But she did turn me one to Carna4, for that I will be for ever greatful – Great company, super food, thanks for that one Susan! We can agree to disagree from time to time! I use commercial food occasionally and for back up for vacation, sick or just need a break.

  21. Roadrogue

    You’ve said it all so I’ll just add that my one can of Wysong dog food will be my last.

  22. Dianne

    So what is their “international pet food consumer group” that they mentioned?

  23. pauline st.denis

    My male cat developed very serious issues of the gastrointestinal nature. I started to feed him wysong epigen and canned. I then found out Zazie Pierre had diabetes . I read the epigen and freezed dried lables. The feline diabetes hot line said wysongs lable said fruit and other hi sugar items. I called. they insisted the label and the contents where not same? What
    ? it didnt make sense. I wanted to like wysong. My cat died . I still have bad feelings revolving around wysong. what was the truth what is in their freeze dried raw and epigen. Im now feeding 19 yr old female low carb fanvy feast classic and origen kibble. She is amazing. I’m curious if you have any info On Origen a canadian company.

  24. Michelle

    From their nonsense blog: “Wysong is also a not-for-profit organization…:

    Um, really?

    1. Jonathan

      “Wysong Institute, an authorized 501(c)(3) nonprofit”

      Um, really 😉

  25. Wendy

    I don’t see listed the product I am feeding my dog, Weruva and URR of Iceland. Anyone have any knowledge about these please share it with me. Appreciate any info someone may know.

  26. Woofielover

    We tried several times over the years to get answers from Wysong but they were always super resistant. Since it sometimes is who is on the other end of the phone, we’ve made attempts to get past those people to people higher up. Asking questions face to face at trade shows is no better. Resistance and defensiveness in attitude just mean we’ll never carry them in our store. Transparency and openness means everything. It directly affects not only our decisions about carrying a line but the more transparent and honest the manufacturer the more we talk about the food and the more consumers we put in it.

    Steph gas – it would be great to see that email response from Blue Buffalo including the person’s name that sent it. Perhaps you could forward that to Susan for posting? Blue Buffalo is another brand we will never carry.

    Anything Evangers made or copacked is just terrifying.

    Merrick – no longer anything we will ever carry again. Search TAPF for Merrick related articles. We actually submitted pictures of what one of our customers found in his can of hand-packed Brauts ‘N Tots. To this day, Merrick has absolutely refused to follow up or even address this situation which, as we subsequently found out, had been occurring frequently with many of Merrick’s skus. They not only lost a customer (we didn’t lose him, he stayed with us) they lost their “largest can retailer” (their statement, not ours) in the area at that time. We pulled the entire line and never looked back.

  27. Mary

    Susan: Why hasn’t ACANA & ORIJEN supplied their pledge this year??????? I dont’ like that one bit.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      Good question. They actually promised me their Pledge back in the summer of 2012. Still waiting.

      1. mark

        I use Acana and Orgin and Fromm. I think they are really good.

      2. Cor Vandekar

        I actually just emailed Champion Petfoods that same question about a month ago,no reaction to date!! 🙁

      3. Pinky Collins

        I would just like to be clear. Are we saying that any company who doesnt respond to Susan Thixton request is not a good company?

        1. Susan Thixton Author

          No Pinky we are not. We are saying that any company that does not respond to a consumer is not being completely transparent. And by the way, the Pledge to Quality and Origin is now an effort of our consumer stakeholder group – Association for Truth in Pet Food. I am merely the messenger.

  28. Ex-Wysong buyer

    Perhaps Wysong will rethink this rude response after a quarter or two of declining profits.

    I am one customer who doesn’t appreciate this dismissive attitude toward our pets’ safety.

    Just say “NO” to Wysong!!!

  29. Mollie Morrissette

    I do not understand Wysong’s vehement dislike of pledges and by extension Susan herself.

    I think it was insensitive to say that such pledges are written by people (Susan obviously) who “do not understand the important issues of nutrition and health”.

    Excuse me?

    Wysong’s absurd reason for not participating is that, “signing would lend credence to erroneous and health-dangerous suppositions built into such pledges” and worse, they said that to not do so would be akin to “being asked if you have stopped beating up on your grandmother yet”?


    Where do they get off suggesting that pet food horror stories are the stuff of “urban legend about ingredients, sources, and the like”. The stories we hear are not “urban legends”, but tragic, heartbreaking stories from petsumers that experienced agonizing loss of a pet family member to a pet-foodborne illness.

    I am insulted that Wysong would be so careless and thoughtless to dismiss Susan’s efforts as “misleading for the consumer and is also misleading as a promotional tactic for manufacturers”.

    I can assure you Susan has a legion of supporters, many of whom work inside the industry, who would notify her if there was a problem with a Pledgee’s product.

    It is not a system built entirely on honor or trust. Their are safeguards in place. There have been companies that have lost their status due to changes or problems which conflicted with the rules of the pledge.

    Essentially it is a contract, one that if broken, is subject to that company being taken off the list. Yes, there is an element of trust and honor in the system, but without good faith, how could any business be conducted?

    No system is perfect, but it is one that deserves our attention and our appreciation for the awareness it brings to a problem inherent in the industry – lack of transparency. Susan’s effort is a bridge meant to heal the gap between lack of consumer trust and honoring the companies that do it right.

    Because not all pet food companies are bad – there are a few good ones.

    And it’s the good-guys in the pet food industry that deserve kudos and customers for their willingness to be fully transparent. I applaud the companies that signed the pledge – I think it is an important step in showing our appreciation for companies brave enough to fully embrace truth and transparency.

  30. Greg

    This is a tough one. I’ve read a number of things Dr Wysong has put on his web site and email. There is an arrogance evident at times for sure. And it does at times seem like a bundle of contradictions. I mean, suggesting raw food is optimal and yet selling a lot of processed junk because many of us are not going to go that route for feeding, or as supplemental feeding I think he would probably want to say. I tended to pick and choose based on my own prior research and sense of what seemed right. There are any number of things I found in his writing that I just dismissed, but some of it rings true.

    My cat ate a few of the products at times. I think the freeze dried Dream Treats is a pretty good product. But I can’t speak to the ingredient sourcing so there you go.

    He’s a piece of work you might say. I think the pride/arrogance gets in the way of the Pledge in this case, as otherwise being transparent with ingredients and policies would presumably fit right in with some of his claims. On the other hand, he seems to place a lot of value on the credentials of the company leadership (surprise, surprise), so maybe the transparency would never be valued there.

    At the moment I don’t have a pet at home so this won’t be anything I have to personally struggle with right away. In the future, I will just have to see. I would expect to have cats and if I get them eating the way I’d prefer them to eat I likely wouldn’t feel a need to use any of Wysong’s products anyway.

  31. Peter

    I react very quickly when I see a company put such effort into grinding down consumer advocacy for what should be ordinary information needed for that consumer to make informed choices about how to spend their own money. Much like the Purina pages intended to “debunk” the “myths” about junk pet food ingredients (that they use, of course), I simply feel companies that mount these types of public relations efforts have things to defend. And those things aren’t good. And Wysong seems to have invested an awful lot of effort building a virtual library of pages that can have only one purpose.

  32. Pacific Sun

    Although I am big fan of using analogies, and am particularly amused by their “beating the grandmother” logic — if Wysong actually believes the following statement — then they truly think consumers are stupid! “Wysong does not sign “pledges” prepared by people who, by the nature of the criteria usually chosen in such pledges, do not understand the important issues of nutrition and health.” I find this statement hilarious, first because it is so self-serving, and second, because Wysong lacks critical thinking skills!
    TAPF’s Pledge asks 5 ridiculously simple questions that for any manufacturer/owner which has full knowledge AND control over the Company’s ingredient sourcing and production, should be something they are PROUD to vouch for! Namely:
    1. List all ingredients ….(duhhh, so that would be a problem?
    2. Are Ingredients USDA inspected and approved …. so why would that be a good idea for animal food??
    3. List Vitamins and Minerals …. see question No. 1?
    4. Provide details about the Protein used …. maybe they just don’t understand this one!
    5. Indicate what ingredients are (a) not USDA Inspected, (b) alternative to Inspected (c) Origin US (d) Origin China (e) Origin other Countries …. oh boy, there’s the rub, since we’re unquestioning buddies with China right?
    So (we can determine then) that this Company won’t/can’t answer the five question ONLY because they are asked by someone who doesn’t understand (that) important issues of nutrition and health depend upon the ability of the manufacturer to use, prepare and report (or not) on its product in any manner it sees fit. Lovely!!
    So here’s the real analogy. You walk into a restaurant for a very expensive dinner. As a customer paying top dollar for your meal, you naturally expect the protein (and all ingredients) to be of the highest quality, and that they are clean, safe, and if/when questioned, how they are sourced (for example that they are not 2nds pulled out of the grocers’ trash can). You realize that (under sanitary conditions of course) you are probably going to “survive” nearly anything that’s served to you. But (and especially ascetically speaking, and for the price you’re paying) you assume that you have a right to know more about your meal, if interested, correct? In fact, you may absolutely need to know the details if you are (for example) gluten-sensitive, vegan, calorie/sugar/sodium restricted, allergic, etc.. As a consumer therefore why is it we expect our human food to be what is expected. Yet not our pet food, although we are still the consumer in both cases? So maybe the “Brainiacs” at Wysong can come up with their own voluntary Pledge, that the CEO/Owner is willing to verify? If so, then why don’t they just go ahead and do that?

  33. cookielu1999

    I had been happy with Wysong Anergen dry food, but then they changed the formula adding fish meal. I wrote them about it being a bad change because fish, according to my 25 years in practice feline practitioner and other cat owners and vets, is a known allergen. Wysong refered me to a web page that had some long explanation which spoke about years of experience proving fish is not an allergen for cats (sorry I can’t find the link). I ask, why then do they discredit vets with decades of experience. I stopped using Wysong. The claim of fish being an allergen is not unfounded and if nothing else veterinarian claims equally cancel out Wysongs years of practical experience claims that fish is not an allergen. Wysong is good at not listening to anyone but themselves.

    1. ToHelenBackAgain

      The Anergen recipe has since been changed. It now has crab meal but no fish meal. My cat is so sensitive, I was concerned about the crab meal, but she’s doing extremely well on it, with both her skin irritations and her digestive issues having disappeared virtually overnight. The owner may be a jerk but apparently he makes good cat food. Disclaimer: She hasn’t been on this very long yet, so I don’t know how it may go long-term.

      I have another cat starting on the Uretic, which is what brought me here for further research. I’m not sure about that one. There seem to be a lot of reports both that it works and that it doesn’t work, and he’ll eat it but he’s not crazy about it. He could end up on another brand instead.

  34. Allison

    When I was assistant manager of a pet store in Canada we always had problems with Wysong. The cans would go rusty and the packaging on the bags was thin and would easily rip. They always sent us products closer to expiry than any other company. We also received quite a few returns on the product and eventually stopped carrying it. Not a food I would recommend based on a number of reasons.

    Also, if you want to avoid ingredients from China feed raw meat from local farms. My dogs have never looked better and their health has improved so much after just over a year of feeding raw. Don’t listen to those who try to make raw seem unhealthy or inconvenient. My vet agrees that my dogs are doing great. My lab no longer has allergies. My beagle who is hypothyroid is still in great health and only needs a low dose of meds. And my newest rescue basset hound is proving that a dog can gain weight eating raw..muscles instead of fat. I can’t say anything but great things about a raw diet!

    1. Corey

      Archetype is 99% meat with some of the best quality control in the industry, what are your “number of reasons” for suggesting we avoid it? Pet health facts only please, no emotional rhetoric or unevidenced tales of packaging.

      My current pet store Optimal Pet Foods here in Canada expressed an opposite experience BTW, they love the Wysong stuff and are very happy to supply me. Have had zero problems. Packaging is very sturdy.

      1. Robin

        @Corey, I find it rather curious that you are commenting on posts that are over 4 months old and even more curious that you are defending Wysong. If Dr Wysong was serious about “fighting nonsense” as you put it, then he would take the Truth Pledge and be done with it. Simple as that. Instead he refuses to do so and as such, spurs unnecessary speculation about what he is or is not hiding. You ask us to show facts, have you ever had the food professionally analyzed to prove it’s 99% “meat”? Since the people who come here think of their pets as family, the meerest hint that something may not be copacetic with what we feed is life altering, which is why Wysong’s arrogance annoys us and trolls reanimating long past discussions give us curious pause…..Do you work for Wysong?

  35. Jonathan

    “By the way – the effort for the Pledge to Quality and Origin will continue regardless to what some pet food manufacturers think of it. The Pledge is being moved to our consumer advocacy website – thus it will NOT be an effort of ‘that crazy pet food blogger Susan Thixton’ – it will be an effort from our international pet food consumer group. From now on, if they say No to Pledge – they are saying No to all of us, not just my website.”

    I think if you’d have waited to see what they say to THAT..then I can see being so outraged. Then you have this at that other site:

    “It’s probably Not because they haven’t been asked to participate. Hundreds of emails to pet food manufacturers asking them to Pledge have been sent. As well, many pet food consumers have asked many manufacturers. But…we must continue to ask them to Pledge. Pet food consumers deserve transparency.”

    So I guess it was just Wysong’s mistake to bother responding and turning it down, rather than not respond at all.

    1. Reader

      Wysong’s mistake was responding with suspicion, arrogance and dismissiveness. The same can be assumed for any company that hasn’t responded at all. No difference. If a company has nothing to hide, if it believes that it should trust its customers as much as it assumes its customers should trust the product, if it is interested in encouraging customers to buy the best, if it is interested in educating the public, then it has nothing to hide, and no reason not to participate or at least to communicate positively! Its called respect and public image management. Novel concept. That Wysong actually chose to respond the way it did just happens to say more about the company than it ever intended of course. But what these companies are slowly learning is that pet food buyers are no longer stupid (as they assumed), dumb, NOR disinterested! Welcome to the New Milleneium marketeers, to trade awareness, social networking and enlightened food safety advocates. Guess it’s a brave New World out there afterall!!

      1. Jonathan

        Except that Wysong has right on their website that they don’t do these kinds of pledges etc. But then there’s also the fact that it was just some customer rep that was talked to, and it had only been a week of waiting for a response from someone who may really be the one to get an answer from, before this article was written. Was the same done for Acana & Orijen? I see above that they were contacted in the summer of 2012. Was there an article devoted to THAT? I don’t know..I’m just asking. If there aren’t articles on those companies who aren’t responding or even do respond and say “yes”..but then don’t(makes you wonder if they’re waiting to make sure they can actually follow/abide by it before signing) for over a year..if Wysong wasn’t suspicious before I can see how they would be now.

        And yet- yeah, maybe they need to work on their PR. Just get on these lists/pledges to make everyone happy. It’s not going to change my opinion of them..but they might as well just do it.

        1. Reader

          Well the article is making a point a little more profound than “just” a benign refusal to participate in the assurances that Pledge offers. The reasoning seems to be that “because” the Pledge was devised by the author of this website, the company can automatically assume there is no value in the (few) questions being asked, or worse yet, that the author has no validation to even ask the questions in the first place. That is crazy reasoning. When in fact, the author is representing all interested consumers who want to know the details of pet food sourcing and best practices. This may not be important to everyone (true), and that’s perfectly okay, and some may have the results you’re happy with using the food they do. However, there is a growing awareness amongst a majority of experienced pet food buyers, actually because of following this website for so long. I use the analogy that following this website for so long, is like taking a university level class in pet food nutrition (the do’s and the don’ts). Additionally the author has written 2 books (no easy feat) on the subject! Where else, and why else, would an individual spend so much time researching, consulting with professionals, and taking advantage of industry insiders’ information, than does this author? And no, the books are not necessarily a profit center as being the motivation here. And to do all this work (note the Petsumer Report) at virtually minor COST, while remaining steadfastly IMPARTIAL to brand name pet food? It is irritating to these commercial pet food makers that they really can’t influence, threaten, nor slam the author in any viable way. Except to know that she is simply what she is, a Safety Advocate for the love of companion pets! For the pet food makers (too few) who can and do identify with this sacred cause, they have no problem jumping on board (it’s call transparency) and yet, too many other makers continue to feel the need to distance themselves between their so-called “proprietary” business and the people willing to spend their very hard earned dollar on something they can only “hope” is not only going to harm their pet, but will actually safeguard (and ideally) enhance its health and welfare. The campaign is to establish that companion animals deserve the same quality nutrition that we expect our human family deserves. And THAT’S stumbling block for too many companies to comprehend! Can you or anyone answer, why does the consumer NOT have the right to scrutinize a product that has a critical impact on a family’s well being??

          1. Jonathan

            Except..again..Wysong has right on their website that they don’t do pledges etc. Susan even says in a response above: “But it seems Wysong had an issue with our Pledge.” While I agree they should just sign it, it looks like it has nothing to do with this particular pledge. And this article was written just a week after not getting a response from someone who may be in a better position to give such a response. And yet with Acana & Orijen a whole year goes by and nothing? I’ve been going through this site bit by bit but still haven’t come across anything on that, so feel free to link to such an article. As for Susan writing two books..see, I wouldn’t have known that had you not said anything. Unless I did a Google search I guess. There’s no “about me” on this site that I can see. But if we want to go with books and credentials..see what all Dr. Wysong has done and written. He has a “DVM in veterinary surgery and medicine” as well as a “B.S. in biology and chemistry”. Does it make him perfect or beyond criticism? No. I came here via a mention of this “NO to the pledge” at another pet food review site(who doesn’t charge for such reviews), so obviously this “snub” from a company that says they don’t do pledges while other companies don’t respond at all or say “yes” but then don’t even repond a year spreading beyond this website. And this site/idea is not looking too neutral/unbiased at the moment. Whats a bit odd or ironic is that the name of this website is the same name of one of Dr Wysong,s book! I mentioned at the other review site.

          2. Susan Thixton Author

            Yes it has been mentioned on this site that we are still waiting for Champion Pet Foods Pledge after it was promised more than a year ago – and it was written about Natura’s ‘no’ too. As well – the links to my books are on the home page – and there is a ‘about’ page too. I go to the regulatory meetings (AAFCO), sit as advisor to the pet food committee and ingredient definitions committee, and am head advocate of our consumer association – which now has a voice with FDA. Does Wysong or ‘that other pet food review site that provides reviews for free’ bother to do this? (Answer: no)

            I have nothing against Wysong pet food or Dr. Wysong. Actually – I think of Dr. Wysong as a pioneer that led the way to healthier pet foods we see today. And – to my knowledge – Wysong’s response to “pledges” was posted only after many of their customers asked them to provide their Pledge. It is one thing to say no – it is quite another to be rude to the customer and to pet owners about it. Wysong is entitled to their opinion – but so are we.

          3. Mollie Morrissette

            One thing you probably are forgetting is that the other so-called “free” pet food review sites make money by selling advertising space to pet food retailers and manufacturers on their web sites, thereby indirectly referring readers their sponsors/advertisers who (surprise!) sell pet food.

            How objective is that?

            Answer: Not bloody likely.

            The pittance Susan makes is to allow her to continue the (incredibly valuable) work she does, which she does seven days a week without a salary.

            Like many others, I consider the work she does as priceless, and if I can show my support for the work she does by paying a paltry sum for the ‘List’ and/or ‘Petsumer’, I am more than happy to do so.

            There is no one whose work is more important to pet food safety. If it were up to me she would be adequately compensated for the work she does. But as it is, like her, I struggle financially as well and that, to me, is tragic.

          4. Jonathan

            Susan, you say those were “mentioned”. Did you devote entire articles to them?

            Wysong has made it clear what they think of the AAFCO and what they “approve” etc. I remember reading that back when I was researching various foods for my pets. So while I’m not sure if they’re involved with them or if that other site/person is either..I’m not sure what the relevance is, since many don’t think much of them- same goes for the FDA. It for sure doesn’t make any reviews better or worse or worth more or less than the other. They’re pretty much just opinions, based upon what is known. we know where a company gets their ingredients/meat/etc from. That doesn’t make me feel any better if the company isn’t doing everything right from beginning to end. One company with with this “seal of approval” or whatever may not be as good as another company w/out it, as I think even you have pointed out. And yet they’ll be getting a boost because of a little pledge they signed. It’s almost a false sense of security for the pet owner.

            As for the response to pledges etc at Wysong’s website- I know they’ve had most of that on the website before. Maybe they added “pledges” or something..I don’t know, but they’ve had that kind of info on the site for quite awhile. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s in his book as well. As for them being “rude” in their responses…I guess that depends upon how you take it. To use that as an excuse to dump on them with a whole article devoted to it(and then list companies that have signed) is a bit..strange, considering what the pledge is for and how you say it’s not a way to judge the final product. That and a company can just get “mentions” if they disappear for a whole year or give no response at all.

          5. Susan Thixton Author

            Again – we are all entitled to our opinions. The pet owner who Wysong responded to felt it was rude – and so did others. If it doesn’t bother you – that’s fine.

          6. Susan Thixton Author

            My WordPress format doesn’t search very well for articles – but I did find the Natura article saying No to Pledge – just in case you think I was biased against Wysong. I’m not for or against any pet food manufacturer (I cook for my own pets – have no reason to be bias towards any of them). If you feed that food – I understand that you might feel they are being picked on – but I assure you that is not the case. And in case you are wondering why there was so many comments on the Wysong article and not the Natura article – there were comments when the article posted – lots of them similar to the comments here. My site was hacked and I had to rebuild the entire site – the comments did not transfer over to the WordPress format.

          7. Jonathan

            To Mollie- the review site I’m referring to discloses they do indeed get a referral fee from a company that I’m guessing advertises on their site- it’s a site that sells numerous brands. That makes more sense than requiring people to pay to see what is recommended, or what a particular review is. The information is out in the open and free. But I have no problem if Susan wants to charge to see the information and if people actually want to pay to see it. I’m just pointing out other places do not do that.

            Susan- The Natura article is very tame compared to the Wysong one, from the headline to the listing of the other companies. Especially since they really didn’t even respond to the question. But what about the other companies? And are you saying if I say a company was rude to me you’ll put it in an article? 😉

          8. Susan Thixton Author

            My Jonathan – you certainly wish to argue don’t you. I believe most people understand how I feel and how I support them. I’m sorry that you don’t. I accept that not everyone agrees with me.

            I do my very best for the people I represent – if that is not good enough for you, then I urge you to become active and not just post comments. Try going to a couple of AAFCO meetings, get a voice with FDA. Pay for all of that out of your own pocket – not have an industry or business pay your way. Then we can talk again.

          9. Mollie Morrissette

            To Jonathan: It is irrelevant that the website you refer to discloses the fact that they have a conflict of interest. It is still a conflict of interest. That website, and the multitude of other so-called “free review” sites cannot be objective or be unbiased as their income depends on their advertisers continued patronage. To be completely free of bias they cannot have any affiliation with a pet food company. Period. Full stop.
            What value does a “free” review have if it is created by a person who has a financial interest in the reviews they create?
            Answer: None. Those reviews are worthless.
            Your objections to the nominal cost of the List or the Petsumer Report is noted, but be assured it is worth every penny (and more) if you value objective, unbiased, and truthful reporting.
            And that, to me, is priceless when you consider that a pet’s health, indeed even their life, may depend on the accuracy of such reviews.
            The internet is polluted with worthless product review sites, whose motives are so blatantly transparent it boggles the mind that anyone falls for it.
            In retail there is a phrase to describe such marketing tactics: it’s called a “lost leader”. Or to put it more simply: it’s a come-on.

  36. Jonathan

    Did a little search. I see more than one person(at least 4) posted a link to here at Wysong’s Facebook page. Instead of just responding to the previous person posting the link..each person posted it again. Ok…Anyway, Wysong responded to each one- the same long response. It’s quite here’s just the first 3 paragraphs:

    “Thank you for your message. We have never been unwilling to disclose the origin of our ingredients. Please see our article on Ingredient Sourcing for more information (…/ingredient-sourcing.php).

    We understand that some pet caretakers are asking that we “pledge” to a set of manufacturing criteria established by a third party with which we have no association.

    We admire and respect the desire on the part of pet caretakers to think critically. Anyone who is familiar with Wysong knows that over the past 35 years no other manufacturer has been more instrumental in encouraging this mentality. It is, after all, the impetus behind our slogan “The Thinking Person’s Pet Food™”. “

  37. Peg

    If this question has been asked before, I apologize.

    Are you an employee of the Pet Food Industry Jonathan?
    Are you perhaps an employee of Wysong?
    Really, I am just curious.

    Many times I have come across pet food blogs where an aggressive poster does eventually confess that they either work in the PFI or they are the creator of a product.

    I know that I come to this wonderful site for information and the fact that a company will provide a Pledge is an added bonus for me, when contemplating food purchases. I don’t know if your pets suffered at all Jonathan, but I had quite a few innocents suffer horribly because cheap crap ingredients from unregulated countries were put in a can and called healthy cat food

    Susan takes time from her life and her family to help all of us who come here with invaluable information. I am thankful for Mollie as well!! I am eternally grateful to those who take their valuable time to help me provide my cats, valuable family members, with the best I can.

  38. barbara

    To the person who was bemoaning the price of information for the Petsumer Report: It amounts to less than 5 CENTS PER DAY.
    There is a huge difference in quality between the “free” review and the Petsumer Report – which is an encylopedia of information, not to mention that Susan has researched over 2,500 pet foods and treats, in depth.

  39. Betty

    I have read all the comments on Wysong. My dog ate Wysong for all 9 years of his life. On Oct 22 he died. He got sick on Sat and died on Tues of kidney failure. Not hereditary, no China treats. But his Wysong Maintenance – 2 1/2 cups per day for 9 years. Yes, we think it is the Wysong. No chemicals in yard, a few organic treats. Any suggestions where to send his food to have it checked out? He was a happy, playful, running at park dog. The urine tests say it was Chronic. So, yes we think it was the Wysong that we so wrongly thought was healthy. Sure wish I had found this site earlier. It may have saved his life.

    1. Jon

      Betty, sorry for your loss. I feel the same way when I was feeding IAMS dog food which I thought at the time was a high grade food. That was several years ago and my Doberman I believe passed away from that junk food. I now have two GSDs, a Black Lab and a Chi which all get a minimum 4 star dog food. I’ve never feed Wyson and never will, eps, now.

    2. Ann

      Betty I am so sorry for your loss. Your post made me so sad. I lost three of my dogs in two years and one was not even three years old yet! I was feeding one of the best foods on the market and at $65 dollars a bag I thought it was the best I could do for them. After having one necropsied which was a difficult decision, it was suspected the dog food was at fault. Though I resisted at first, I now feed my dogs raw and their health is excellent and their teeth are perfect, no plaque. Once I saw living proof on my own dogs I never looked back.

      I wish you all the best and I hope that you never have to experience such a loss again.

    3. Corey

      This is precisely the sort of nonsense Dr. Wysong has been fighting for decades. You have an opinion, with zero basis in medical fact, and that generates support online. Crazy.

      Wysong Acrhetype is 99% meat. If your claim is that pure meat causes kidney failure in dogs I am sorry but I need to call bullshit. If you fed him the cheapest food in the line without examining the ingredients that should be a lesson to buy Archetype next time. Meat doesn’t cause kidney failure Betty. Period. Full stop.

      1. Pacific Sun

        It seems just as easy to make a blanket statement rebuking an owner’s experience as “nonsense”. This Wysong Archetype product is being targeted for both dogs and cats. In a natural environment DO they really eat in the same way and require the same diet? According to the information, WA is a highly concentrated (rich) dehydrated food that “can” be fed as “crumbles” on top of a regular meal (?) or rehydrated and served as the only meal. The protein & fat content is high (because of the protein concentration) ranging from 44-36 (chicken) to 70-2 (fish). All of which I can tell you would be waaay too much for both my dogs (old & young) to digest. They couldn’t even handle Orijen (a very high protein & fat formula)! Because they happen to need a little carb as a binder. However, cats need the protein and not the carb.
        This product doesn’t mean that all dogs are going to fail on the diet anymore than it’s the best diet out there, except as Dr. Wysong’s extensive commentary would promote. The Taurine happens to come from China. Which at least is admitted. And in the fish formula it is the 3rd ingredient. So what if that Taurine isn’t the greatest coming from China?
        Also a re-hydrated, high protein diet, can be tough on a dog that already has a predisposition to kidney problems. It further taxes the organs for assimilation. I know Dalmatians being raised without any primary protein (meat, chicken) that run many miles a week, still thriving! So if we’ve learned anything from the PFI and the TAPF it’s that owners need to hedge their bets. That what consumers are being “told” by these companies is not complete. And that large volume processing (particularly for profit) is not done in the best interest of the pet! Suppliers of protein aren’t selling to PF makers their best Grade A, USDA Inspected, non-diseased, freshest, human-grade product. But only the minimum version of the ingredient that can be “labeled” as such on the package. The safe bet is to NOT feed any one food (brand or diet type) 24/7 @ 365. Because that would truly be an “unnatural” (archetype?) diet for any “scavenger” species. Feeding any same meal daily for 9 yrs “may” culminate in an ultimate problem. And I think that’s what owners are saying, but not really understanding as to “why” this is actually the problem. By thinking, “hey I’ve fed my dog this ‘trusted’ expensive quality food for it’s ENTIRE life, so why is it having these problems? Or worse, why could it have died prematurely?”
        Those kinds of statements alone reveal the very problem. Dogs age, they change metabolically and they develop issues along they way. When considering Readers’ comments please respect their experiences.

  40. Lisa

    I don’t trust their product any longer. I occasionally gave my cats Wysong Dream Treats, the pheasant flavor, which is freeze dried raw. The cats loved the treats – begged me for them. This past week, I purchased three of those treats and every single one smelled of rancid oil – the cats wouldn’t go near them, sniffed them once and backed off on all three, fortunately, their instincts and sense of smell protected them. When I contacted Wysong’s customer service, their response was lackluster at best, I was told something to the effect of “What do you expect – the product is raw and raw can go bad.” Adios Dream Treats.

  41. michelle wilkins

    Hi Susan, I was under the understanding that DARWINS had also recently signed a Pledge. Is that true? They aren’t on the list. Please advise. Thanks!

  42. Sandra Scarr

    I have run a raw-pet-food-co-op for the past 4 years. The co-op has mroe than 200 members, os i hear a lot of tales aobut how commercial pet foods make pets sick.. In addition to local grass-fed beef, we carry Wysong’s Epigen, supplements, and dehydrated treats and The Honest Kitchen foods.

    I also breed Labrador retrievers and standard Poodles. My kennel currently has 21 dogs, all of whom are fed the-meaty-bones diet. I don’t personally feed either Wysong or The Honest Kitchen foods to my dogs, because, like Dr. Wysong, I am convinced that dogs thrive on raw meats and meaty bones. Anything else is second-best.

    I suspect that Dr. Wysong was unwilling to sign the Pledge, because quality is not just where the ingredients come from (all of their ingredients are North American) or whether there are trace elements of this or that, but an overall commitment to feeding carnivorous pets appropriate carnivore diets, not the starchy junk food that parades as pet food. Wysong has recently increased the amount of animal proteins and reduced carbohydrates in all their staple foods. Wysong’s Epigen is starch-free — the only pet food on the market that is 60% protein and suitable for both cats and dogs. I submit that this is high quality pet food, even if Dr. Wysong refused to sign the Pledge.

    1. Kelley

      If more suppliers like yourself were involved in raw food co-ops, and the educational process that goes along with the initiative, our pets would be in far better shape than most of them are! In my case your are happily preaching to the choir, I am a believer in real food (whether minimally cooked or raw!)

      Epigen ingredients:
      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.

      Ahhh, a product can’t be “starch free” if it’s sourced from a starch base, and corn is not recommended in any PF diet period. I am gluten-sensitive, and if I ate a gluten- protein (coming from wheat) I’d be in be big trouble even if I didn’t eat an actual “slice of bread”. Among formulas available, Dr. Wysong’s ingredient list is certainly impressive. But in reality nobody can make an “extruded” kibble without using some kind of binder holding it together. It’s just the nature of the beast. A truly grain free PF diet is indeed raw, or at minimal, uses sweet potato or pea fiber for example. However, it is still a carbohydrate element and which is therefore a starch.

      I think Dr. Wysong doesn’t want to be involved with the Pledge because doing so would mean being accountable to a third party, which is an affiliation that he has no particular interest in or feelings of loyalty towards. He believes his products stand alone and need no further validation other than all the information he provides. And he is certainly a prolific writer. Not understanding, that by participating in the Pledge, he isn’t surrendering any authority or personal validity, but is simply participating in a common forum of company owners who are willing to be fully transparent about quality and sourcing. Really, just 2 very simple aspects of PF marketing, which becomes a very visible opportunity for additional good publicity and consumer confidence! Not signing doesn’t make him a bad producer, but signing would place him among a select few who “believe” in the spirit of intention. Life is all about “perception.”

      By the way, no matter what the kibble, it doesn’t compare to a naturally derived, whole food, nutritionally varied, fresh, uncompromised, chemically and preservative free, pet diet.

  43. Tyler

    I do not feed Wysong anymore to my dogs, but must point out that I have not seen them on the recall list in my time.
    I have however seen many of your “pledged” companies on the list quite recently.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      Well, at the very least the pet food companies that have Pledged that have suffered a recall (which by the way have only been one – which was more than a year ago) – were transparent with quality of ingredients to consumers.

    2. Reader

      Yes I will call you out on the word “many” too. I believe the issue was with THK and then again it was their communication with a 3rd Party supplier on the “possibility” that their “might” be a concern with an ingredient (and I think it was parsley). THK took a pro-active stance, as in prevention (meaning to err on the side of caution) rather than having to correct a mistake or pulling an established tainted product. THK couldn’t be any more “hands on” than they already are with their products and processing oversight. The CEO has vouched for ingredient quality and origin, only 1 company of about 25 out of 2500+ possible brand formulas on the market place. They had no “need” to participate in the Pledge program (being a very successful and unique human food grade and processing company), surely as Wysong saw no need to participate.

      However no company with an eye towards the future and good marketing strategy throws away an opportunity to stand out among its competitors. Apparently Wysong has its own cadre of believers and no one would ever even know if they’ve “happened” to have a silent recall in all of their years of business. Give me a company any day which openly admits course corrections.

  44. Adam

    My wife used to work for WYSONG.
    She even invented some of his cleaning products.
    After hearing about the facility and iingredients…
    NOBODY should ever feed their pets WYSONG food, ever..

    1. Amanda

      Adam, please tell more.

  45. Michael

    Thanks pinky. My first basenji ate maintenance all his life and lived to 14. My little baby girl (now 8) has been on W maintenance and now adult. My VERY RESPONSIBLE vet is fine with W. All of the neg comments r overwhelming. How could it b that 90% of the comments are negative ? What are they feeding their dogs ? If not home cooked food (which I do respect ) what do they know ?

  46. Ammy

    Was just looking at Wysong for my boys. Glad I dodged a bullet. They don’t sound professional and even having looked at the ingredients myself, they aren’t appealing. Dry always = overcooked crap. Don’t be fooled.

    1. JayD

      No, dry does not always= overcooked crap. Freeze–dried are not cooked and Wysong and others do not overcook the rest of their products either. Although they too suggest going raw if at all possible.

  47. Sandra Scarr

    I hesitate to join in this food fight, but as a long-time Wysong user, I feel I should. I think the problem Wysong has with the Pledge is the denigration of animal by-products. Animal meal and by-products can help to increase the amount of animal protein in a pet food.

    If you look at the Wysong web site, they post ingredient lists for all of their pet foods. I use the Dream Treats with my dogs, and they consist of dehydrated meats and vitamin-mineral supplements. Many pet owners i know use their Epigen dry and canned foods that are starch-free and made with US-sourced ingredients.

    I dont think Wysong’s refusal to sign the Pledge warrants condemnation of their very good pet foods. Read the ingredients and judge for your self.

    Personally, I feed all my dogs the raw-meaty-bones diet, consisting of fresh, raw meats and raw meaty bones that provide minerals and clean their teeth. My dogs are healthy, have great coats, no allergies, and feel great. As a breeder, I would not feed any commercial pet food, whether the manufacturers sign the Pledge or not.

  48. Maggie

    I have been feeding epigen 90 for several years to 3 cats. I just buried the one that needed the high protein low starch diet. He and his brother have trouble eating canned. How can I know if the last bag of food was bad? My other cats did not get sick, but they did not finish it up like usual. Also he had the weakest immune system. I read on amazon a lot of people saying it made there cats sick, but no one gave any bag date or lot # Mine was expires 05/10/17. I stopped feeding it just in case it was bad. the hunt for new food continues. My dogs get the canned Hound & gatos, and Dave’s with agar instead of Guar gum. Not sure what to do for dry cat food. I’m reading a lot of labels potatoes, peas, tapioca, guar gum. I would make their food if I could get them to eat it.

  49. […] recall-related, but customer service-related, Wysong did not respond very well to this customer. Whatever you think about pet food pledges and the like, Wysong did not handle this situation very […]

  50. Katy

    Does anyone have any information and/or experience with Wysong supplements? Like the probiotic products and the DentaTreat? I have used both for years, but not the food, because my cats didn’t eat it. I felt that the ingredients were good, but after reading about the food, I’m a bit worried. Any thoughts?

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