Friday, July 10, 2015

Food Friday: Wysong Anergen 2

Wysong Anergen 2 is a rabbit-based pet food with peas and potatoes. It is a 40% protein food and suitable for dogs, cats, and ferrets. Though it is essentially a dried kibble, Anergen 2 also contain shreds of freeze-dried rabbit.

Wysong sent me samples of three different foods. The original Anergen formula is a lamb and rice kibble. The Archetype Rabbit formula was a freeze-dried food made almost entirely out of rabbit meat. Anergen 2 feels like a combination of the two, as it contains both kibble and freeze-dried rabbit. This is my favorite of the three.
All Wysong foods contain a variety of probiotics, prebiotics, and other digestive aids to help pets get the most out of their food. I'm pleased with the idea of a food with enough meat that it's just "carnivore food". I mean, dogs are certainly omnivores, but they can certainly thrive on a meat-based diet. Cats and ferrets are both obligate carnivores, meaning they are not omnivores and their diets should contain little to no carbohydrates. Anergen 2 is suitable for cats and ferrets along with dogs, which tells me this is a high-protein, low-carb food.

I like the Wysong company a lot, although they do use the "appeal to nature" fallacy quite a bit. Though Dr. Wysong is a veterinarian, I'm a bit skeptical of his claims in part because he cites Pottenger's Cats as part of the reason raw diets are superior. A favorite of "natural" diet aficionados everywhere as proof that cooked food kills and raw food sustains life. This was a very interesting study spanning ten years, but it was poorly-designed as a nutrition experiment. The Pottenger cat study had low-quality control groups, or none at all. None of the diets used were complete, and the entire study predated the discovery of the importance of taurine in cat diets. I don't believe the results have been replicated by anyone else, either.

As highly as I think of Wysong's foods, I do feel that the company serves up the same "natural life-giving nutrition" sales pitch as every other food company, but with the trappings of science. My biggest criticism is the way they seem to be talking out both sides of their mouth when it comes to nutrition. The information provided for the Archetype raw foods includes lengthy explanations of how cooked foods literally kill pets, yet Wysong also sells inexpensive chicken-and-rice kibbles that are comparable with every other top-quality dog food on the market. If conventional kibble kills pets, why do they sell it? If dogs can thrive on high-quality conventional kibble, what's with all the fear-mongering when trying to sell the raw food?

It all comes down to marketing in the end. Every product Wysong makes is very high quality though, and if I had to choose a brand of food to stick with forever, this would be an excellent choice. Wysong foods aren't widely available in my area, otherwise Anergen 2 would definitely be part of our regular food rotation. This is absolutely a food I would be comfortable feeding my dogs long-term, and they both love it.

1 comment:

  1. Rachel, I really like your critical review of Wysong as a brand. I agree with your sentiments on both the boasting and recommendation of natural foods yet selling "cheap-ish" ones, but also that this is a very high-quality company, that I too would love to keep in rotation and would certainly do so. I am also happy you finally got your samples!