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"The Thinking Person's Pet Food"™ – Since 1979
Hi, I have for at least 3 weeks been strongly considering purchasing Wysong products for my (overweight) cat and have been reading as much of the site information as I can in my free time.
The raw/archetypal diet does make sense, and I can agree with that easily. However, as an individual trained in research myself, I understand the merits of much research, while appreciating the misleading nature of most statistics. In all of the website, I don't think I found any actual research/scientific references. You say feeding out cat/dogs raw is the obvious choice. You tell us how the researchers came up with the nutritional percentages. You tell us that cats in the wild live mostly disease free. But, where is your evidence for any of these things? Since I do have access to research databases, I would like to investigate and consider the information from the actual sources myself. I find your website is significantly lacking in the area of proper referencing to support your claims. I can't justify feeding my cat dry any more, and I'm avoiding other "natural" wet foods because they contain ingredients harmful to cats. I want to switch to raw feeding but cannot justify POTENTIALLY risking my cat's health based on your claim of the absurdity of percentages for nutrition.
Honestly, I don't watch the percentages of vitamins and minerals I eat each day. I do trust that variety will provide me with what I need. I also take a multivitamin every day, just in case. With your Au jus products you recommend using Call of the Wild. But how do you know how much of each vitamin, mineral and enzyme to include? And how do you chose your vitamin, mineral, protein, etc amounts for your other foods? YOU must have some idea. And, more importantly, isn't it dangerous to IGNORE the fact that certain minimum levels of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and amino acids have deleterious effects on research animals and that maximum amounts can lead to toxicity in research animals? That DOES mean something. For instance, in a human, you wouldn't recommend an overdose of selenium or overly high amounts of saturated fats and cholesterol, would you? And how was it decided that rotations of foods for animals averages out, unless you feed them 4 different types a day?
I REALLY want to see research. I want to know why your claims should be believed over a veterinary toxicologist at a pet food manufacturing company, other than your professed selflessness and the common sense factor.
This is my pet's life and health we're talking about, and he's like my child. I need to be confident that what I am doing for him has some ACTUAL evidence behind it. If domestic cats live longer than outdoor/feral cats, how do we know that the outdoor cats are doing what's best for their bodies? How many generations of cat breeding would it take for an evolutionary preference for surviving on manufactured foods?
These are all the kinds of questions that go through my head when making this very important decision.
I appreciate any help you can provide me.
One of the more comprehensive studies ever conducted was the Pottenger Cat Study in the 1930's. This ten-year study documented the benefits of a raw vs. cooked diet. The results were profound – those cats fed a cooked diet suffered from a plethora of ailments and disease, which were entirely absent in the raw fed group. Even the offspring of the cooked diet groups were epigenetically weaker and prone to sickness and disease.
For your reference, Dr. Pottenger's book is entitled, "Pottenger's Cats: A Study In Nutrition," and the study is also discussed in Dr. Wysong's book, "Rationale for Animal Nutrition." (Wikipedia also has a respectable summarization of this study.)
We are not contending that the RDA, percentages, and AAFCO requirements are entirely "bogus." We agree that, for instance, felines as a general rule need a higher percentage protein and a diet richer in taurine than canines (a fact, incidentally, determined after thousands of felines perished due to taurine deficiency). Many of our own diets are formulated to meet and exceed AAFCO guidelines. But the difference is that we see percentages as a starting point – a basic measuring stick – not the preeminent consideration in diet formulation, or feeding philosophy.
What we are strongly contending, however, is that no cooked food (irregardless of the supposed precision of the percentages), or its "low carb" characteristic, can be fed exclusively if health is the goal. The disease/ailment stricken modern domestic animal population is proof of this.
Please consider that the percentages and AAFCO feeding guidelines have been changed numerous times – who is to say the current percentages are correct? Should we look to ongoing lab tests as surefire indications of the requirements of our companion animals, or should we seek to emulate the natural diet upon which wild canines/felines have subsisted for eons prior to the introduction of modern heat processing, and any discussion of percentages? Does nature have it wrong? As caretakers should we presume the high heat processed "100% complete and balanced" modern companion animal diet, a stark departure from the aforementioned natural diet, is equally nutritious, or should we use "logic" and ample empirical evidence to conclude that it is not?
It seems that you agree the Optimal Health Program™ seems logical, but you feel the need for further "concrete" evidence. There is no such proof for any food. We can, however, offer experiential, empirical, and logical proof from years of Dr. Wysong's veterinary practice, and thousands of testimonials from 35 years of feeding tens of thousands of animals over multiple generations. .
We would ask that you consider the alternative to the Optimal Health Program™ and the illogic of feeding exclusively a heat processed diet the likes of which no wild feline has ever consumed (prior to modernity). Should one follow the time-tested natural model, or the newfound modern heat processed diet, AAFCO guidelines, and (ever-changing...) percentages?
Please spend more time in our "Learn" section at www.wysong.net , as well as examine the following information--most of which is scientifically documented-- by Dr. Wysong (which makes a far better case than can be made in an e-mail):