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Can dogs eat cat food? Wysong Epigen food review

can-dog-eat-cat-food“Yes,” said Robert Walterhouse, Technical Trainer at PLB International Inc which produces Pronature Holistic pet food, “In fact, they will love it.”

Cat food, he explained, is richer, more high in fat and protein than dog food. And therefore, it will taste delicious! And more so than dog food. Weight management, can however be a problem because often city dogs and weekend warrior dogs don’t get enough exercise to burn off those calories.

In this article, find out more about Wysong Epigen pet food. A new pet food for the Singapore market that is suitable for both cats and dogs.  

Robert Walterhouse was speaking at a recent pet education session on Food Allergies: Myths and Realities at Pet Lovers Centre IHQ. I was invited to attend by the good people at Honest Bee, an online grocery delivery service. And to be honest (haha), I was expecting it to be salesy, so I was pleasantly surprised by the humour and of course, the perspective from a pet food manufacturer representative who said he is involved in the formulation of the food. That’s something that as a consumer in Singapore, we never really get access to, isn’t it?

 

Wysong Epigen food for both cats and dogs

Coincidentally, I received a box of Wysong-sponsored food from local online store Earnest Mutts. These include the Epigen, Epigen 90 and the Epigen Fish Canine/Feline diets. So yes, not only can dogs eat cat food, here is actually a two-in-one pet food made specifically to be both cat and dog-friendly.

wysong-epigen
Food is for eating, not for posing for pictures, mom. – – 

Wysong pet food certainly has the most scientific packaging I’ve seen on dog food. And I’ve bought my fair share of different brands in Donna’s rotation diet. The strangest thing was, no matter how thoroughly I looked at the packaging, I couldn’t find the metabolisable energy (kcal/cup) information anywhere.

wysong-epigen-packaging
Bucking convention, “The thinking person’s pet food” has the ingredients list, guaranteed analysis and feeding guide in a big box right at the front of the pack. But omits the metabolisable energy information?

Now if you read Choose dog food with logic, you may remember the suggestion that if your dog needs to lose weight, a food with lower kilocalorie per cup may be more helpful. So why is this information seemingly not available on the food package when it is on all the other brands I buy?

Wysong’s website explains their view that “a low calorie diet is not the long term solution to any health problem, and… Wysong has not placed caloric content front and center on labels, literature, and websites because displaying the information would simply reinforce the public’s perception that nutrition, health, and obesity are about calories.”

Ok…

But I still wanted to know the kcal/cup in this case because I don’t want to be feeding a food overloaded with flavourful calories for picky cats to my not so picky dog! :P The great thing is Earnest Mutts came through with that information for me.

comparing-protein-and-kcal-

The metabolisable energy of Wysong food is comparable to some of the better regarded brands in the market with higher protein levels, but it is not the highest. That may explain why Donna has been is almost finishing the bag of Epigen Fish food, without noticeable gain in weight. She gets enough exercise to help maintain her weight in relation to the energy that she gets from her food in general.

 

Transitioning to Wysong Epigen Fish

I transitioned Donna from Wellness Core Grain Free Original (sponsored food with turkey, turkey meal and chicken meal as the key protein source) to Wysong Epigen Fish (sponsored food with menhaden fish meal and catfish meal) smoothly.

Donna did not experience any loose poo at all. The poo is firm and the amount is less compared to when she was eating Taste of the Wild a few months back. It could be because the Wysong brand is more nutrient-dense, so she was eating a less amount overall. It could also be that the new kibble is more digestible, but I’m not about to start weighing poo just to find out. :P

Note: Digestibility is a percentage measure derived by comparing weight of food taken with weight of waste produced.

Note2: Just because Donna transitioned well to a new food may not mean it will be the same case for your pet. Donna was put on a rotation diet since she was adopted in 2013. This means she is used to eating different types of food from different brands with different meat source and method of manufacture – dry, wet, home-cooked, baked and dehydrated.

Walterhouse also shared that diarrhea can be a sign that the dog is over-eating food that he is unused to eating. This sometimes occur when pet owners neglect to read recommended feeding portions when transitioning the dog to a richer food from a less rich food.  They feed the same amount even though a nutrient dense food would recommend a smaller feeding portion, compared to the less rich food. So always take note and adjust the amount you are feeding accordingly.

 

Wysong dry food – higher protein than commercial raw

For various reasons, some pet owners may prefer a diet that is high in animal protein for their dogs. Commercial  raw pet food typically has a higher level of protein (30% – over 60%) than dry food (42% or less) on a dry matter basis. From my calculations, Wysong apparently has as high as 67% – 70% protein on a dry matter basis for their Epigen line of products I was sent. That’s way above the selection of raw, canned and dry products in my database.

Here’s the chart for comparison purposes:

comparing-guaranteed-analys

 

How did Wysong food protein levels get to be so high?

According to the Wysong  website, the technology that is used in their manufacturing process does not require starch, unlike for other dry food. Therefore, they separated the protein fraction from the starches for their ingredients. This allows them to use “natural, healthy protein chains derived from vegetable and meat sources… (and that lets Wysong) …successfully extrude kibble with exceptionally high levels of meat, 60% and even greater!”

The first five ingredients on the ingredients list typically make up a greater portion of the food. So from this chart you can see what constitutes much of the 67%-70% protein in the Wysong Epigen food.

wysong-epigen-ingredients

*Meat protein isolate This is the required regulatory term for a highly …bioavailable protein isolate derived exclusively from pork meat. One of the most pure forms of protein available, and utilized by Wysong as a direct replacement for less ideal starch ingredients. An isolate is a more pure form of protein and less likely to cause food sensitivity reactions.

**Chicken meal Consisting of ground flesh (chicken meat), skin, and some bone, and exclusive of feathers, heads, feet and entrails. It is very digestible protein and contains chelated minerals and bone and joint nourishing proteoglycans. Chicken meal differs from fresh/frozen chicken in that the moisture has been removed. It therefore permits a more concentrated and dense quantity of meat and protein.

***Potato protein is potato minus the starch.

More explanation of Wysong Epigen ingredients for each specific product can be found here

 

A premium food with premium prices

So this is a food that tells you in detail what it gives you (except for the calorie information :P)-

  1. Exceptionally high levels of protein than even commercial raw food
  2. Some organic protein sources/ingredients like organic chicken
  3. Chicken and fish meal, with details on what the fishes are and the exact parts of the chicken and fish that goes into the meal
  4. Plant protein without the starch
  5. Probiotics include six clearly identified strains of bacteria – Enterococcus faecium, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bacillus subtilis, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus lactis.

So it should come as no surprise that the prices are to the high end of the spectrum for dry food.

However, if you are already paying a premium for quality proteins in your dog’s dry food and commercial raw food anyway, then the Epigen range of food from Wysong can be one more option to consider. I say that subjectively because in my examination of the commercial raw brands in Singapore, there just doesn’t seem the variety of brands and different meat proteins to rotate so that your dog can benefit from the different nutrient profiles employed by different brands and recipes for a truly complete and balanced diet in the long term.

See also


Donna’s Epigen food is kindly sponsored by Wysong via Earnest Mutts online store. You can see the full range of Wysong food on Earnest Mutts here. You can find Wysong’s list of retailers here. Not sure if your pet will do well on Wysong? You can request for samples on their website here to try it out first. ;)


Giveaway!! Sorry! This Giveaway has ended :_(

In general, I like to give away some of the items we receive to thank my readers and followers. This does not mean Donna does not get to enjoy her presents. But sometimes, she gets more than one. That gives me the leeway for her to share something with her fur-friends to say Thank you! :)

This Halloween, let’s play Trick or Treat! :P

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5 Comments

  1. I don’t care if you eat cat food, just keep your cotton picking paws away from my bird seed!

  2. I struggle to keep our boxer out of the cat feeder. He loves cat food, but he can’t digest the higher protein content. It gives him the WORST farts imaginable! Maybe some dogs can tolerate cat food, but from my experience I wouldn’t recommend cat food for dogs.

    • You’re right, some dogs can’t tolerate a high protein dog food, let alone cat food.

      It really boils down to the individual dog. I’m not advocating cat food for dogs, by the way, it was just an interesting anecdote to share since i am writing about a food that is specially formulated for both dogs an cats.It is very high protein, but a high protein (maybe not necessarily as high as this food of course) diet is generally better for senior dogs (that i read from the book “dog food logic”). I’m just glad she seems to be doing just as well on it as her other food, and no farts! Yay! :PPPP

  3. Sounds like a good food. Every dog is different. Our dogs ate Taste of the Wild for years. Only Freighter did not do well on it but Thunder and Storm ate it most of their lives and Storm still eats it.

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