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Zignature prides itself on producing recipes that reflect the ancestral diet, meaning meat first and limited ingredients. While the meat supplies your dog with much-needed animal protein, the limited ingredients eliminate potential allergens for dogs such as chicken, dairy, and beef. Therefore, it is especially suited to dogs with food sensitivities or allergies.
Let’s take a look into this brand and some of their top recipes:
My List of the Best Zignature Dog Food Options in 2021:
Contents & Quick Navigation
Overview of Zignature
Zignature is a line of limited ingredient dog foods made by Pets Global, Inc. in North America. Their recipes mirror the dog’s ancestral diet: protein-rich and limited in content.
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They formulate simple recipes made with meat as the first ingredient, followed by a protein-rich meat or fish meal. Where they can, they source their meats from the USA, meaning it comes fresher to your dog’s bowl.
Next on the list come low-glycemic carbs like chickpeas and peas, followed by a source or two of fat (usually sunflower oil and flaxseed), and then a wealth of added vitamins and minerals.
Zignature recipes are all free from:
- Animal by-products
- Chicken or chicken fat
- Other grains
The above foods are all common allergens for dogs with sensitivities to foods. This makes Zignature a great choice of food for dogs with food allergies.
Who manufactures Zignature?
Zignature’s dog foods are made in trusted kitchens by partner companies, including Tuffy’s/KLN in Perham, Minnesota, which makes their dry dog foods, and Performance Pet in Mitchell, South Dakota, which makes their canned dog foods.
Also, the company who made Zignature, Pets Global, Inc., is also the founder of other pet food brands such as Fussie Cat, Inception, and Essence.
Zignature Recalls history
During my research, I have found no recalls for the Zignature brand to date.* While this is great news, they are still a relatively new brand, with about 5 years under their belt.
*True at the time of writing this article.
What formulas does Zignature have?
Your dog is going to be spoilt for choice here, as there are 8 different dry food formulas, each with a distinct and delicious flavor. I mean, Zignature really pull the boat out here with a kangaroo formula!
Here is a rundown of all their formulas:
- Trout & Salmon Meal
Review of Ingredients in Zignature Dog Foods
All of Zignature’s kibbles include two sources of high-quality, named meat protein as the first 2 ingredients. The first is always a whole meat or fish, followed by a meat or fish meal, which can provide nearly four times more protein than the whole meat.
Each of their recipes contains a different type of meat or fish so you can choose a food according to your dog’s taste or dietary needs.
Zignature usually includes sunflower oil and flaxseed as sources of fat for your dog. Sunflower oil is low in saturated fat and provides essential fatty acids which are needed for your dog’s skin and coat health. Flaxseed is also loaded with omega-3 and 6, as well as protein and fiber, and they also have anti-inflammatory properties. What a noble seed!
Zignature also includes salmon oil in some of their recipes, which is a great source of fat. Not only does it nourish a dog’s skin and coat, but it can also help cognitive function, reduce inflammation, and promote weight loss.
As we have seen, all of Zignature’s recipes are free from grains and potatoes. They stick to low-glycemic carbs such as chickpeas, lentils, and peas, which provide valuable fiber.
The carb content is still fairly high in some recipes, though, such as the Kangaroo formula, which includes more than 40% carbs. For this reason, I think some of their recipes are unsuitable for overweight dogs.
Vitamins and minerals
A few of Zignature’s recipes contain some sources of fruit and vegetables, which provide valuable vitamins and minerals to support your dog’s immune system function. However, the majority of their recipes contain just one vegetable (peas). Instead, Zignature includes chelated minerals (which allow your dog to absorb the mineral more easily) and added vitamins.
I much prefer to see whole food sources of vitamins and minerals. This is because they contain a whole lot of other nutrients for your dog rather than one that has been isolated and included as a supplement.
However, as a limited ingredient food, I understand that the content must be limited to avoid reactions in dogs who may be allergic to certain foods or interference when doing an elimination trial.
Note: All of Zignature’s kibbles, as well as canned foods, are AAFCO-approved for all life stages. This means they are suitable for puppies, pregnant or lactating females, and adults.
Zignature do not produce a senior dog food, however. If your dog is getting on in years and is less active, she may be better off with a dog food that is lower in protein and fat. Also, if she is suffering from joint problems, she could benefit from a food that contains nutrients such as glucosamine and chondroitin, which are not present in Zignature dog foods.
Zignature’s Top 5 Dog Food Products
Of their 8 recipes, I have chosen what I believe to be their top 5 to include in this review. Below are the pros and cons of each of the recipes in this review:
Note: Many customers have reviewed Zignature’s products very positively for dogs with sensitive stomachs, skin inflammation, and itching as well as for picky eaters.
#1 Zignature Trout and Salmon Meal Formula
This is one of Zignature’s most popular recipes with customers. I think the macronutrient balance in this recipe is suitable for active dogs that exercise more than an hour a day. For instance, it could suit a boisterous Boxer or a bouncy Bulldog.
The first two ingredients are trout and salmon meal, which come from the cold waters of North-Western USA. So, this is definitely a formula for dogs who like a fishy flavor to their dish. Plus, there is additional salmon oil, along with flaxseed and sunflower oil, which should keep your dog’s coat shining.
Peas and chickpeas make up the bulk of the carb content. These are great sources of carbohydrates, as they also contain fiber, protein and vitamins and minerals.
This is another recipe which I believe is better suited to a more active dog, given the mid to high percentages of protein and fat. The protein comes from New Zealand lamb and lamb meal and from peas, which provide some plant protein.
Some dogs with food sensitivities can have an allergy to lamb, so if you notice your dog react, it may be best to try an alternative recipe.
The omega fatty acids content here is pretty high, which means this food is a good choice for dogs with long coats. The high omega 3 content can also help dogs with skin allergies and joint problems, as it acts as an anti-inflammatory.
This recipe is another one for active dogs due to its high protein content. There is a wealth of protein here in various forms, including turkey and turkey meal from the American Midwest, salmon from the Northwest, lamb meal from New Zealand, and duck meal from France.
That is a veritable meat fest for your dog! Plus, there are 3 different meals here, providing extra levels of nutritious protein.
This is one of the few recipes that includes sources of fruit and vegetables. This Zssential formula contains cranberries meal and blueberries, which are very rich in antioxidants. These will support your dog’s immune system and work against free radicals, helping to fight off diseases like cancer.
This recipe is a good choice for active dogs, as it has both a high protein and a high fat content. The turkey here is high-quality, coming from farm-raised turkeys in the American Midwest.
It also has the highest amount of omega oils, at 1% omega 3 and 4% omega 6 from flaxseed and sunflower oil.
Therefore, it’s a great choice for dogs with long, flowing manes, for those with skin inflammation, and also for dogs with stiff, inflamed joints.
I think that the macronutrient balance in this recipe makes it suitable for typically active dogs that exercise up to an hour a day.
This protein here is derived from - yep, you read right! - Australian kangaroo. Kangaroo is a very nutritious meat; it is high in protein, low in fat, high in vitamins, minerals, and omega-3s. So, this recipe provides a nutritious, delicious source of protein for your dog.
Due to the inclusion of lentils on top of peas and chickpeas, this food is slightly higher in carbs than the other recipes in this review. For this reason, I wouldn’t recommend this food to dogs who are overweight or less active.
What is the average price and how long will it last?
Zignature dog food seems to be sold only in 4lb or 27lb bags.
For a 27lb (12.2kg) bag, prices usually range from $60 - 70* depending on the formula. If we take $65 as an average, a bag of Zignature dog food costs about $2.40/lb, which is mid-range.
*all prices in this post are given approximately by looking on average at 5 of the top online retailers. The final price can vary.
Based on the weight of a 27lb bag, here are my calculations on how long a bag of this dog food can last your furry friend:
Weight of adult dog, lb / kg
How long does it last approx.?
10 / 4.5
4 3/4 months
20 / 9
2 3/4 months
30 / 13.6
2 1/4 months
40 / 18
1 3/4 months
60 / 27
1 1/2 months
80 / 36
100 / 45
*Zignature displays their recommended daily intake in cups; based on the assumption they are using an 8 fluid oz. cup measurement, this equals roughly 113g.
Average Price and Duration in Comparison with Other Dog Food Brands
Zignature vs. Kirkland
On average, Zignature can last your pooch about a week longer than Kirkland.
Kirkland is much cheaper, at just $1/lb, however. Zignature is slightly higher in quality, in my opinion, although Kirkland does offer more variety, with options for dogs of different sizes and different life stages.
Zignature vs. Merrick and Blue Buffalo
In my review of Kirkland dog food, we saw that it lasts about 5 - 7 days longer than Merrick and Blue Buffalo, but Zignature beats that, lasting almost 2 weeks longer on average.
Both of these brands cost about 25% little less than Zignature, though, so if we factor in price as well, there probably isn’t a great deal of difference. In my opinion, Merrick and Blue Buffalo are of a slightly higher quality to Zignature.
Zignature vs. 4health
Zignature lasts your dog about 1-2 weeks longer than 4 health. 4health is almost 150% cheaper, however, at just $1/lb.
I believe Zignature to be the better quality of the two, plus 4health is not as readily available, as it cannot be bought online.
Zignature vs. Orijen
Once again, Orijen retains its number one spot for the longest longest-lasting dog food I have reviewed so far, lasting a little longer than Zignature. Zignature now holds the title for the 2nd longest-lasting so far.
If you are looking for a slightly cheaper alternative to Orijen, but that lasts almost as long, Zignature is a good alternative. Of course, for me, in terms of quality, Orijen is miles ahead.
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- Overall Quality of Ingredients
- Meat Content
- Grain Content
- Quality/Price Ratio
Zignature is a limited ingredient dog food that we have seen offers many flavors of recipes, each of which contains high-quality protein, chicken-free sources of fat, and low-glycemic carbs.
Unfortunately, not many of the recipes contain a range of fruit and vegetables, though this is because it is a limited ingredient food. Also, while they have a range of flavors, they do not have a range of formulas to cater for different ages or sizes.
All in all, I think this is a good-quality line of dog food which is a great option for adult dogs with food sensitivities or allergies.
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