Zignature has a really good name worldwide*, and over the years I’ve found the brand very reputable.
2022 has seen the Zignature dog food range finally hit Australian shores, and at the time of writing only available at Pet Circle.
Zignature is named after boxer doggy “Ziggy”, who in his early years suffered far-too-common food sensitives from crap brands. Ziggy’s owner, with prior experience in the pet food industry, set about creating a hypoallergenic dog food with low glycemic binders.
That was 2012, and Zignature dog food is still going strong 💪
Let’s take a look!
* Unless you’ve been led down the garden path by the corporate-funded grain-free marketing BS.
- Zignature dog food review
- Rotational feeding
- Where to buy Zignature dog food
- What about Zignature Zssential dog food?
- Where to buy Zignature Zssential dog food
- Don’t like reading? Here’s a video
- Guaranteed analysis
- A note on the FDA investigation into grain-free dog foods
Zignature dog food review
What the marketing says
Zignature recipes are marketed as “limited ingredient”.
This makes them a great choice for dogs showing signs of food sensitivities like scratching, flakey skin, itchy ears, or dry coat.
Even if your dog isn’t suffering food sensitivities, Zignature dog food is still worth considering as a no-nonsense option.
Zignature is an alternative to expensive vet-endorsed hypoallergenic “derma” brands, but there’s actually no real science or magic behind those brands. In fact, many vet-endorsed derma brands are high carbs from grains and not as healthy as you may think. Switching from a wheat-based dog food to an expensive rice-based derma brand may seem to work, but not for long term health.
In contrast, Zignature opts for a single-protein meat-first recipe, backed up with low GI ingredients and no rubbish.
Truth is hypoallergenic dog foods aren’t complicated at all, they simply don’t contain rubbish like wheat or cereal by-products, dubious preservatives, or common protein allergens like chicken.
For dogs with a chicken intollerance it gets very tricky to find a suitable diet. The reason being most dog foods contain chicken of some sort, even if the formula name is something else. A food can be labelled kangaroo, but may contain chicken fat (or even animal fat as a more obscure term).
None of the Zignature formulas contain chicken, so it’s a safe bet in that respect.
With Zignature it’s nice to see such straight forward no-nonsense marketing. They tell it like it is, and that’s a refreshing change.
What the ingredients say
For the purpose of this review we’ll take a look at the Zignature Original “Grain Free” Trout and Salmon formula. It’s the most popular in the range and possibly the best starting point for addressing diet-related sensitivities.
The Trout and Salmon formula boasts the highest protein in the range at 31%, which is very respectable.
You’ll also find recipes made with kangaroo from Australia (obviously), duck from France, lamb from New Zealand, turkey, whitefish, and trout from America, and the ultra-protein Zssential formula which is the absolute top notch of the range (which I’ll cover later).
It’s great to see the first two ingredients in the Trout and Salmon formula are actually trout and salmon meal, so exactly what it says on the tin.
Having a combination of meat and meat meal ensures a decent amount of protein from meat (or fish), which is what you want for your dog.
Often you find dry foods with “MEAT FIRST” plastered on the packaging, but this is meaningless when it’s wet weight with 70% moisture which gets cooked off, then followed by a whole load of grains, starches, and legumes. Not the case with Zignature.
The next two ingredients, however, will also be significant. These are chickpeas and peas. These ingredients will also contribute to the protein as well as adding fibre, vitamins, and minerals. For the manufacturer, they also keep production costs down and the product affordable.
Both these ingredients are low GI.
The protein is really decent (around 30%), as is the fat content (14%). High protein and fat means lower carbohydrates, and dogs have no real need of carbs.
We’ve already covered the main ingredients, which is expected in a limited ingredient diet. The rest of the ingredients cover essential vitamins and minerals, as well as sunflower oil, flaxseed, and DHA to provide omega fatty acids for heart health, skin, and coat.
I can’t find anything to complain about, so lets summarise so you can decide whether you want to buy Zignature for your dog.
All in all Zignature dog food is well rounded, no-nonsense, and shouldn’t cause food sensitivities or allergies. There’s a decent amount of meat in the food, and even the two legume inclusions aren’t anything to worry about.
If you have an itchy/scratchy dog, and assuming the root cause is diet, then I bet a couple of weeks on Zignature and you’ll see vast improvements in health and comfort.
With any symptoms related to allergies or sensitivities you should check in with your vet. Environmental allergies and reactions to antibiotics or medicines can also cause such symptoms, and changing diet won’t fix these.
As ingredients are kept minimal we find no swanky additions of pre or probiotics, but there’s nothing stopping you doing this as well. It’s something well worth considering if you’re looking at Zignature to address food sensitivities, and there’s a guide on probiotics for dogs here.
It’s great to see such a variety of unique formulas in the Zignature range. I’ve been a keen advocate of rotational feeding for some time, and there’s no reason your dog should be fed the same thing every day.
If one of the formulas in the Zignature range works for you, it’s well worth rotating between the various formulas in the range!
Where to buy Zignature dog food
Zignature Trout & Salmon formula:
What about Zignature Zssential dog food?
Yep, that’s a lot of z’s (imagine Sean Connery pronouncing it).
I assume Zssential is pronounced “Essential”, but it’s basically Zignature Original on steroids, with the limited ingredient principle out the window.
Zignature Zssential dog food is fantastic. 32% protein and 18% carbs makes it more meat and fish focused than the others in the range, and even less carbohydrates.
The top ingredients are turkey, turkey meal, salmon, lamb meal, and duck meal, as well as the addition of salmon oil as well as sunflower oil.
So, should you opt for Zignature Zssential rather than the other formulas?
If your dog doesn’t have food sensitivities, then yes I’d say so. It’s the same price.
Where to buy Zignature Zssential dog food
Zignature Zssential (ultra-protein):
Don’t like reading? Here’s a video
I dug up a training video from Pets Global who make Zignature dog food. It discusses where Zignature source ingredients, obesity and diabetes in dogs, good vs bad carbohydrates, the benefit of lower GI ingredients, candida, dog scooting, and more.
Ingredients of Zignature dog food (Zignature Trout & Salmon formula):
Trout, Salmon Meal, Chickpeas, Peas, Sunflower Oil (preserved with Citric Acid), Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Salmon Oil, Flaxseed, Natural Flavors, Choline Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Tricalcium Phosphate, Salt, Vitamins (Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 supplement), Calcium Carbonate, Taurine, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Cobalt Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Mixed Tocopherols (Preservative), L-Carnitine.
Guaranteed analysis of Zignature dog food (Zignature Trout & Salmon formula):
|Crude Fibre||(max) 4%|
|Carbohydrates *||Estimated 37%|
Is Zignature suitable for small dogs?
Yes, the Zignature Small Bites range caters for smaller dog breeds. All formulas mentioned in this review have a corresponding small bites option, with a smaller sized biscuit and bag sizes.
Who owns Zignature dog food?
Zignature dog food is a product of American company Pets Global, manufacturers of Zignature, Fussie Cat, Essence, and Inception.
Is Zignature AAFCO compliant?
Zignature dog food formulas (dry and wet) meet AAFCO requirements for All Life Stages, including large breed puppy.
Where is Zignature made?
Zignature dog food is made in the United States using ingredients sourced from around the world. The Australian Kangaroo formula is made in American using Kangaroo sourced from Australia.
A note on the FDA investigation into grain-free dog foods
Like many grain-free brands, Zignature dog food fell under the FDA investigation into grain-free dog foods potentially causing heart problems.
The FDA investigation subsequently found no conclusive evidence, which meant many of these brands were tarnished unnecessarily, without proof.
A point always overlooked is what triggered the investigation, which originated with a “concern” from a Dr Lisa Freeman of Tufts, on the payroll of multiple corporate manufacturers who make grain-based dog foods.
Why may you ask?
A simple answer would be “follow the money”. Those corporate manufacturers have a clear interest in damaging the reputation of their many grain-free competitors.
Many of those grain-free brands still suffer to this day despite the lack of evidence. Years on and vets and social media evangelists still warn people against grain-free foods.
What they really should warn people of is dog foods without significant meat content, which is most brands.
I hope this Zignature dog food review has helped you decide, and if it has then all I ask is you tell your friends about this wonderfully written dog food review website! 🐾
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Zignature dog food is really simple, originally formulated for dogs showing signs of allergies or food sensitivities. Even if your dog doesn't have these issues, this could well be a good "no-nonsense" option with a good track record in reliability.
- Limited ingredient
- No nonsense
- Decent meat content