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The serious responsibility of manufacturing and selling pet foods

Almost a century of research has proven beyond any doubt that food is fundamental to both health and disease. Unfortunately, nutrition is not usually taken seriously. For consumers it is seen as a form of recreation, and for producers/sellers it is seen as a mere opportunity for profit. In the meantime, the health of humans and the pets in their care is declining at an alarming rate – in spite of a burgeoning trillion and a half dollar medical care industry.

If things are to change, where does the responsibility lie? Certainly consumers must be informed and discerning, but why would the same not hold true for producers and sellers? Arguably there is an ethical responsibility for everyone in this important health matter. The consumer must trust the retailer for competent information and the retailer must trust the distributor who in turn must trust the producer. Since it begins with the producer, it would seem logical that they be qualified and committed to putting health first. However, since few are, the burden is on the distributor/retailer to use discernment to ensure the information and products they represent are honest and competent. They should not merely peddle anything that will sell with indifference to the misinformation it promulgates or its health impact.

Any company asking for your representation should be able to clearly set forth their special competence, history, credentials, principles and other reasons why you should trust that they are putting health first and they deserve your representation. Here are some of the arguments on behalf of Wysong in this regard:


State-of-the-art and truthful pet health information and honest pet products that emerge from such ongoing discovery is the purpose of Wysong and has been from its inception. Competent pet health and nutrition information comes first, and products second. We would argue that this is the only proper position to have in the serious health business of food and nutrition. In that regard Wysong stands quite alone. The proof is in the information and products we have produced and the results achieved over the past thirty years.


Wysong is trusted by discerning people for unbiased pet health information and honest products. Unlike most companies where the more closely they are examined the more shallow they become, Wysong increases in depth with close scrutiny. This creates confidence that the principles Wysong espouses are not mere claims or slogans.


The breadth of Wysong healthy pet product development is unmatched. Clearly we lead, not follow. If something good can be accomplished and we can figure out how to do it, we do it. We maintain many products in inventory that create no profit (seriously...) but are retained because of their merit and because they teach people health principles. (See our TNT™ line of raw cat and dog foods.)


Wysong has been a leader in about every scientifically based natural approach to pet health: the importance of healthy, fresh ingredients, natural antioxidants, probiotics, enzymes, prebiotic-oligosaccharides, other nutraceuticals, natural vitamins and minerals, essential fatty acid balance, portion-pack packaging, oxygen- and light-barrier packaging, fresh ingredient co-extrusion, natural insect control, all-meat dry and canned products, and raw nutrient stable dog and cat foods, to name a few.

We brought to light the health importance of whole, raw and natural pet foods; the dangers of the "100% complete and balanced" guarantee; variety, archetypal feeding and more. There is now a plethora of "natural" food companies clamoring for market share with claims about being first, novel and the like.

Here are some of the ideas and verbiage begun by Wysong and "borrowed" by them: fresh, less active, life-stage feeding inappropriate, breed specific inappropriate, bogeyman ingredients, LifeSource, nature's variety, nature's logic, "as nature intended," thinking people, snacks without guilt, refer a friend, enrobing, living food, raw, real, rotation, active enzymes, natural al . Wysong is perhaps the most copied – not duplicated – company in the field. Running to market with a few of the Wysong pet product features is a poor substitute for the depth of Wysong knowledge and product quality (most of which is never even mentioned on labels). Those who are first with genuine health innovations are guided by principle; those who copy are usually guided by profits.


Wysong pet health literature and Learn section represents thousands of hours of research. It creates no profit and proves where Wysong's heart is. It provides something representatives and consumers can sink their teeth into - something scientifically valid and meaningful. In contrast, most companies have a simple marketing brochure playing to what they feel is the current market trend. Wysong has books, CDs, tapes, videos, newsletters, e-healthletters, an extensive website, a fleet of customer service telephone technical staff, and pet product monographs containing thousands of pages of valuable information supported by thousands of scientific references.


Wysong has spent almost three decades developing and continually improving its own custom manufacturing facility to enable innovation and nutrition-first processing. Most other companies have products made at toll manufacturers. Their "new" products are really off the shelf varieties with fad boogeyman ingredients removed or "special" fad ingredients added...often in micro amounts merely to claim their presence with the sole purpose of creating sales.


What is most alarming in the market noise is the level of incompetence as well as misinformation and scare tactics.

For example, some advertisements claim food allergies cause tail-chewing in pets (a pathognomonic sign of flea allergy, not food); that ethoxyquin is added to chicken drinking water (not so); that digest contains manure (disgusting thought, but entirely untrue); that you cannot enrobe foods with probiotics and enzymes (we do); that dogs need (?) 11% trace minerals and 4% vitamins (wrong); that arsenate is an antidote for arsenic (false); that poultry ingredients contain buzzards and that the liver can mutate minerals into cobalt (what?!) – much like alchemists tried turning rocks into gold; that saturated fat and cholesterol are bad; that grains should occupy a large share of the diet and that fake fat and artificial sugar will solve obesity.

This is only to mention a fraction of the nonsense that is promoted by pet food producers to capture sales. The words of the producer reflect the quality of the pet products they produce. Absurd words can only mean inferior pet products. It is a shame that they not only get consumers to buy, but distributors and retailers to promote them. Half-truths, lore, fad, sensationalism, boogeymen, and scare tactics are not credible information. Why support those who deceive and thus jeopardize the pet health?


For nearly thirty years, Dr. Wysong has researched the intricacies of food processing and its relationship to health, studied conventional nutrition and biochemistry in depth, surveyed every important medical and nutritional scientific publication for decades and catalogued the significant details and probed the effects of packaging and the array of special ingredients and nutraceuticals that can impact health. This information has been offered free to the public. In contrast, other companies are not led by informed educators and scientists but by business people without credible skill in the field of health and nutrition. It's a "talking the talk, not walking the walk" thing.

On a similar note, although most manufacturers drop the name of doctors, nutritionists and veterinarians as "consultants," "developed by," or "used by," this says nothing about the competency of these individuals. Professional degrees are not relevant unless that person has demonstrated special expertise in the field. Additionally, even if a professional had such competency, the question must be asked as to who has the final say in the company. If it is not the health professional – which it almost never is – but a businessperson, what's the point of name-dropping?


The Wysong approach to product development is: if it needs to be done for health, and is not being done or not being done right, we do it. As a result we have developed over 450 SKUs in the past twenty years. These products include medical, surgical and clinical, personal care and fitness, human and pet foods, cat and dog supplements, and nutraceuticals. Wysong now has information and products to fit virtually every health need of humans and pets.


Further complicating and confusing the pet product marketplace are the blatant deceptions, untruths and fraud. Consumers often assume that pet food manufacturers with pretty packaging, beguiling words and officious claims and advertising must be telling the truth. However, there are no real controls over fear mongering and sensationalism. Wysong has been the object of many such attacks. Just recently we were shown a website where it is claimed we use road kill and euthanized animals and that our products are "primarily comprised of byproducts of beer and wine production"...

Then there is the soy, wheat and corn paranoia that is baseless, unless such pet foods are fed relentlessly. What is not often recognized is that any ingredient can cause allergy or sensitivities under such circumstances...and let's just ignore that thousands of pets supposedly allergic to these ingredients do superbly on Wysong formulations that contain them. But "no corn or soy" sells and that's what seems to be most important for many pet food companies.


The same pet food day after day, meal after meal, in the belief that such is healthy, is absurd. Nobody knows 100% about nutrition and therefore nobody can construct such a product. Wysong is the only company in the entire pet food industry that has exposed this fallacy. A fallacy, incidentally, that lies at the root of essentially every degenerative pet disease experienced today!. Others either don't get it, or they do but don't want to disturb sales by suggesting that people should vary the diet and fresh food supplement. Are sales more important than the cruelty of degenerative disease?

This in itself should be enough to make a person turn from such companies. Wysong's commitment to pet health is proven by this act of selfless information - if people were able to follow Wysong advice to a tee they would not even need to purchase Wysong products!


For nealry thirty years Wysong has grown almost entirely by word of mouth. Thousands of people and generations of pet have now experienced the benefits of Wysong pet products and a sound pet nutrition philosophy. Those who lay claim to a few features of Wysong in order to run to market do not inherit such a proven track record.
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