What, then, does Dr. Wysong say about pet diets to promote Epigen? Here's a quote from the Epigen bag:
Wysong Epigen is a truly new (patent pending) pet food innovation. For the first time, a dry extruded 'kibble' pet food more closely resembles the meat-based, high protein, starchless foods carnivores are genetically designed to eat.
Pets are genetically indistinguishable for their wild carnivorous counterparts. They are designed to eat as carnivores eat. Nowhere in nature do canines and felines consume a steady diet high in starches (a poly-sugar). Yet, contrary to the natural model, pets today eat such foods meal after meal, day after day, year after year.
Not living and eating -- as nature intended has consequences. Research has shown that a steady high starch (sugar) diet can lead to a host of chronic degenerative conditions. These include insulin resistance, diabetes, dental disease, arthritis, immune compromise, cancer, premature aging, and more.In fairness, Dr. Wysong has always promoted variety in pets diets and decried veterinary advice to feed the same (usually starchy) food, meal after meal, day after day, year after year. Wysong's 100 Pet Health Truths Program condemns sole feeding of any food, especially commercial pet foods. Wysong's advice about variety includes fresh raw meats and meaty bones, but not exclusively. Variety also includes Wysong's own starchy kibbles and cooked canned mush, however. "Nowhere in nature do canines and felines consume" Wysong's starchy kibbles or cooked canned mush, either. Again, from the Epigen bag:
Wysong advises against feeding any one pet food exclusively. Feeding one food fosters the development of ingredient intolerances (allergies) and other health ailments. You would never eat one food exclusively, and neither should your pet.
Augment your pet's diet with other Wysong Diets, such as our canned foods, raw diets like Archetype Diets, Dream Treats, UnCanny and others. Whole fresh grocery foods can and should also be a part of any healthy feeding regime, You need not feed only 'pet' foods.One wonders where this is all going. Will Wysong cease producing its long-established starchy pet foods and cooked meats? Even granting their Canine Maintenance and Feline Vitality use healthier starches and better supplements than other commercial pet foods, can they really promote these products when they admit how damaging they are for pets' health? Compared to other pet-food manufacturers, Wysong tells the truth about carnivorous pets, even it their corporate behavior is not consistent with the diet information they provide.
Feeding Epigen is not nearly as good for your carnivorous pet as a full raw-meaty-bones diet, but pet owners are fallible. They run out of meaty bones, they can't store enough meaty bones to last the week until they can get more meaty bones, and they forget to order meaty bones. All of the above, and more, compromise pet owners' ability to comply with the best feeding regime.
Kona Raw Pet Fiod Co-op members have eagerly adopted Epigen as part of their raw-meaty-bones diet. Why? Convenience is a major reason, but there are other issues. Some pet owners cannot believe that pets get all the nutrients they need from a simple diet of raw meats and meaty bones. So ingrained are the spurious notions of "balanced" and "100% compete" pet foods, it is very difficult for some to believe that a simple meats and meaty-bones diet will suffice. They feel more confident about their feeding regime when they include a dry food that lists all those good minerals and vitamins on the bag.
Still other pet owners are simply more comfortable feeding a few human-type meats and meaty bones and supplementing with Epigen. These pet owners cannot bring themselves to feed tracheas, lungs, spleens, green tripe and other "Yucky!"meats.that are perfectly suitable for pets. Feeding only meats and meaty bones that are suitable for human consumption is expensive. Epigen is included as a less expensive part of the diet.
My 15 dogs like Epigen, but they prefer any raw meats and meaty bones. Six days a week, I just hand them suitably sized hunks of raw meaty bones. No bowls required. About once a week, I give them a bowl of two raw eggs, messy meats like beef liver and kidneys, a chunk of cheese, any leftover vegetables from my kitchen, a tablespoon of Spirulina and Call of the Wild, and a cup or so of Epigen. This atypical meal of the week gives them some "extras" they may not need, but it makes me feel more confident they are getting "everything" they need..
Now, I have a confession. My cat adores Epigen. Daisy is a two-year-old Maine coon cat. She has been quite skinny on a pure raw-meaty-bones diet. I worried about her being under-weight. She eats chicken drumsticks and thighs (including the bone) and giblets, beef skirt meat, ground green tripe, and other assorted raw meats and bones -- but she never ate enough to weigh more than 12 pounds, which is very slim for a large Maine coon cat.. When I opened a bag of Epigen, Daisy came running. She gobbled it down. Some months later, Daisy eats rmb and Epigen, and her weight has increased to a healthier 16 pounds.
My observation that Daisy loves Epigen is replicated a dozen times among Kona Raw members. Cats that previously would eat only one food (usually a terribly unhealthy kibble or canned mush) eagerly eat Epigen. Many cats turn up their noses at raw meaty bones, if they have been raised on Whiskas or Fancy Feast (both dreadful). Owners may succeed at getting them to accept an rmb diet, but it's a long, slow process. For unknown reasons, cats accept Epigen eagerly. My son's cat, a Humane Society kitty raised on Fancy Feast, would not accept ANY other food. I was present in the kitchen when he opened a bag of Epigen. The cat came running, leaped onto the counter and mewed. Skeptically, he put some Epigen in a small bowl. After Lily gobbled it down, he asked what on earth they put in this food!
Indeed, what do they put in this food? Chicken meal is the biggest component. Although organic chicken is listed first on the label and chicken giblets are third,, fresh chicken is 75% water that is removed in processing. Chicken meal is dry to start; thus, the largest component in Epigen. Chicken meal is cooked, processed left-overs from commercially raised chickens. It does not include feathers, beaks, and feet, but everything else. Actually, chicken meal is pretty nourishing, as dry food ingredients go.
After chicken meal, vegetable proteins from potatoes, rice, corn, and/or wheat are listed. A good guess is this food is about 72% meat proteins and fats and 20% vegetable proteins (rest is 12% moisture and 3.5% fiber). Although it may not be the ideal carnivore food (it's mostly cooked chicken, after all), it's a huge improvement over other dry pet foods.
Two new versions of Epigen -- Venison and Fish -- are due to be produced at any moment. In fact, Wysong is behind schedule in producing the new Epigens, because they are overwhelmed with orders for the original Epigen. The Good News is more pets will be fed a high-protein dry food, and maybe their owners will be nudged to add raw meats and meaty bones to their pets' diets. The Bad News is that Epigen is no substitute for raw-meaty-bones -- the most appropriate diet for carnivorous pets.