Zignature Dog Food Review: All About This Premium “Meat First” Brand

This post may contain affiliate links. This means we may receive a small commission if you click on a link and make a purchase; however, all opinions are our own. Clicking these links won't cost you anything extra, but it helps keep our site running.

Zignature Dog Food is a high-quality dog food company with a “meat first” philosophy that uses mostly single source protein formulas to deliver nutritionally complete, high-end fuel to your dog. They carefully source all their ingredients and ensure that dog owners know what they are feeding their pup, and where it came from.

Zignature Dog Food is part of Pets Global family of brands, which develops and supplies high-quality cat and dog food. Pets Global prides itself on being “an independent holistic wellness company founded on a passion for animal welfare.”

Ziganture also is a proud sponsor of the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation. Zignature dog food keeps the hard working search and rescue dogs happy and healthy as they perform their lifesaving work.

Zignature Dog Food Review: Ingredients and Overview

Meat First

zignature dog food reviewsZignature is an industry leader in high quality, single source protein, grain free dog food that keeps your dog happy and healthy. The Zignature philosophy uses “meat first, limited ingredient recipes to provide a Physiologically Tuned™, nutritionally correct diet for your canine companions.” They really believe that canines should be eating real meat; your dog’s ancestors were hunters after all. And they really follow through on this philosophy.

The first ingredient in every Zignature recipe is meat or fish, of the variety advertised for that particular recipe. This is followed by meat meal of each variety. Each formula contains around 70% meat from animal sources, and about 30% from plant sources.

This leads to perhaps the biggest downside of Zignature dog foods. Instead of grains, Zignature uses peas, pea flour, and chickpeas to provide carbohydrates and fiber. Legumes such as these are potentially linked to Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs- although no conclusive evidence has been published yet. Zignature is running some studies on this issue in order to make sue that its dog food is still safe and healthy, more about that later!

Limited ingredient

Another big push Zignature makes about their food is their single source protein, limited ingredient recipes. What does this mean, and how does it affect your dog’s health? If you are at your wit’s end because your dog is allergic or sensitive to just about every brand of food you’ve tried, Zignature just might be your saving grace.

Each Zignature recipe (except for the Trout/Salmon and Zssential formulas) uses only one meat ingredient as the base for the entire recipe. This meat is followed by a short list of ingredients, none of which are cheap fillers that are commonly used in mainstream commercial dog food.

This is great for dogs who have allergies or food sensitivities because it means that there are fewer ingredients for them to react to. Zignature also has some fairly unique recipes, including whitefish, guinea fowl, and kangaroo, which could be good for dogs who are sensitive to other, more common ingredients.

Each Zignature formula is free from wheat, corn, soy, potatoes, grain, chicken, eggs, and tapioca, which are all known as potential allergy-inducing ingredients.

Because Zignature uses single source protein, limited ingredient recipes that are free from common allergens, it is a great choice for dogs who are allergic or sensitive to most other foods. However, before switching to a Zignature diet, it is important that you consult with your vet, especially if your dog has allergies.

Physiologically Tuned

Zignature markets their dog foods as “Physiologically Tuned,” but what does this trademark really mean?

According to the Zignature website, physiologically tuned dog food means “meat first, limited ingredient, hypo-allergenic recipes with a low glycemic index for total canine vitality.”

This trademark is not a verified nutritional term and does not have any scientific meaning, but that does not mean that it is a bad way to go about making dog food.

Zignature has created some very high-quality, healthy formulas with this philosophy, even if it has little meaning other than being a catchy trademark.

How Does Zignature Stand Up To WSAVA Guidelines?

The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) has created a list of questions to answer as a thorough guide to choosing the healthiest food for your dog or cat. We will use their guiding questions here to see how Zignature stacks up:

  • Do you employ a full-time qualified nutritionist?
    • Yes, Zignature has a team of nutritionists and food scientists at their production sites in Perham, Minnesota and Mitchell, South Dakota.
  • Who formulates your foods and what are his/her credentials?
    • The teams of nutritionists and food scientists mentioned above develop and craft Zignature recipes. According to Zignature’s website, they “take full advantage of the latest advances in nutritional science,” but I was unable to find out the credentials of Zignature’s development team. There’s some room for improvement here to provide customers with more transparency and knowledge about how their dog’s food is developed.
  • Are your diets tested using AAFCO feeding trials or by formulation to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles?
    • Yes, Zignature tests its formulas in feeding trials. Its recipes are nutritionally complete, which means that they meet all the nutritional requirements outlined by AAFCO.
  • Where are your foods produced and manufactured?
    • All Zignature recipes are manufactured in the United States in facilities in Perham Minnesota and Mitchell, South Dakota. Zignature is also very clear about where they source their high-quality ingredients. Their website states: “We get our ingredients from quality sources around the world. Our Trout, Salmon, and Whitefish come from the Pacific Northwest; Turkey from the Midwestern United States; farm-raised Duck from Western France; Lamb from the farmlands of New Zealand; and our Kangaroo comes from Australia. In addition, our fruits and vegetables are from farms across North America, depending on the growing seasons; our Vitamins and Minerals come from both North America and France.” This transparency in sourcing ingredients is a big plus for Zignature!
  • What specific quality control measures do you use to assure the consistency and quality of your ingredients and the end product?
    • There was very little information available about quality control. I did find that all Pets Global foods are made in FDA approved kitchens, which are “regularly inspected,” but this could use some further transparency.
  • Will you provide a complete nutrient analysis for the dog or cat food in question?
    • Zignature provides a guaranteed analysis (and an ingredient list) for each of its recipes on its website. Guaranteed analysis provides maximum and minimum values for certain nutrients, rather than a typical analysis, which provides exact values for a sample of food. I could not find this information on their website.
  • What is the caloric value per gram, can, or cup of your foods?
    • Zignature’s recipes range from between about 415 to 430 kcals per cup of dry dog food. This value is fairly high, which is a good thing for active dogs!
  • What kind of product research has been conducted? Are the results published in peer-reviewed journals?
    • As I mentioned before, Zignature is looking into the link between legumes and DCM in dogs. They have submitted their products to a third party lab for testing. Preliminary results show regular blood metabolite levels, but long term studies are still underway, and Zignature is expecting results by June 2019 and August 2019.

Has Zignature Dog Food Had Recalls?

Zignature has had no recalls since the company was started in 2010, which is a pretty impressive track record.

What Formulas Does Zignature Dog Food Offer?

Zignature bases most of their recipes around a single protein source, so their formulas are grouped into red meat, poultry, and fish. Each of these recipes comes in kibble form, as well as wet food.

Red Meat

  • Pork
  • Lamb
  • Kangaroo
  • Goat
  • Venison

Poultry

  • Turkey
  • Duck
  • Guinea Fowl

Fish

  • Catfish
  • Trout and Salmon Meal
  • Whitefish
  • Salmon

They also have a Zssential formula, which includes multiple protein sources, as well as a Small Bites for Small Breeds line which includes lamb, kangaroo, turkey, trout/salmon, and Zssential formulas. This Small Bites line of food simply consists of smaller kibble sizes than their normal line, making it a great choice for small dogs. Zignature does not have formulas developed specifically for puppies or senior dogs.

Here are the nutrition facts for one dry food formula from each category, as well as the Zssential formula so that you can get a sense of what goes into Zignature dog food:

Zignature Venison Formula (Red Meat)

Zignature Venison FormulaZignature sources their venison from venison farms in New Zealand. Venison is a healthy lean protein, that often contains fewer toxins than are commonly found in commercially produced meats. This venison formula is a good option for dogs with allergies or food sensitivities. It is available in a 4 lb, 13.5 lb, or 27 lb bag.

Guaranteed Analysis:

Caloric Value430 kcals/cup
Crude Protein (min)27%
Crude Fat (min)15%
Crude Fiber (max)5%
Moisture (max)10%
Calcium (min)1.9%
Phosphorus (min)1%
Omega 6 Fatty Acids (min)3%
Omega 3 Fatty Acids (min)0.5%
Taurine (min)0.2%

Ingredients:

Venison, Venison Meal, Pea Flour, Chickpeas, Peas, Chickpea Flour, Pea Protein, Sunflower Oil (preserved with Citric Acid), Natural Flavors, Flaxseed, Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Choline Chloride, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Cobalt Proteinate), Taurine, Vitamins (Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement), Potassium Chloride, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite, Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols.

Zignature Guinea Fowl Formula (Poultry)

Zignature Guinea Fowl FormulaZignature uses guinea fowl from farms in Western France for this unique recipe. Guinea fowl is likely a novel protein source, which makes it good for dogs with food sensitivities or allergies, and it is a good choice for starting an elimination diet. It is available in a 4 lb, 13.5 lb, or 27 lb bag.

Guaranteed Analysis:

Caloric Value430 kcals/cup
Crude Protein (min)29%
Crude Fat (min)14%
Crude Fiber (max)4%
Moisture (max)10%
Calcium (min)1.2%
Phosphorus (min)1%
Omega 6 Fatty Acids (min)2.6%
Omega 3 Fatty Acids (min)1%
Taurine (min)0.2%

Ingredients:

Guinea Fowl, Guinea Fowl Meal, Peas, Chickpeas, Pea Flour, Sunflower Oil, Flaxseed, Natural Flavors, Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Choline Chloride, Vitamins (Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement), Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Tricalcium Phosphate, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate), Potassium Chloride, Carrots, Blueberries, Cranberries, Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols.

Zignature Trout/Salmon Meal (Fish)

Zignature Trout & Salmon Meal FormulaTrout and salmon combine to form a complete protein profile that includes lots of essential omega-3 fatty acids and is rich in minerals. This recipe is made with fish from Oregon, Washington, and Alaska. It is available in a 4 lb, 13.5 lb, or 27 lb bag.

Guaranteed Analysis:

Caloric Value418 kcals/cup
Crude Protein (min)30%
Crude Fat (min)14%
Crude Fiber (max)6%
Moisture (max)10%
Calcium (min)1.2%
Phosphorus (min)1%
Omega 6 Fatty Acids (min)1.8%
Omega 3 Fatty Acids (min)0.5%
Taurine (min)0.2%

Ingredients:

Trout, Salmon Meal, Peas, Chickpeas, Pea Flour, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Natural Flavors, Salmon Oil, Flaxseed, Sunflower Oil (preserved with Citric Acid), Dried Beet Pulp, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Cobalt Proteinate), Choline Chloride, Dicalcium Phosphate, Vitamins (Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 supplement), Blueberries, Carrots, Cranberries, Lactic Acid, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite. Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols.

Zignature Zssential Formula

Zignature Zssential FormulaThis Zignature recipe is their only multi-protein source recipe, and it is made from turkey, lamb, duck, and salmon. Zignature combines these meats to get the best nutrients and energy from each protein source. It contains a nutritionally correct ratio of fruits and vegetables, and is loaded with fiber and antioxidants. It is available in a 4 lb, 13.5 lb, or 27 lb bag.

Guaranteed Analysis:

Caloric Value422 kcals/cup
Crude Protein (min)32%
Crude Fat (min)16%
Crude Fiber (max)5.5%
Moisture (max)10%
Calcium (min)1.2%
Phosphorus (min)1%
Omega 6 Fatty Acids (min)4.5%
Omega 3 Fatty Acids (min)2%
Taurine (min)0.2%

Ingredients:

Turkey, Turkey Meal, Lamb Meal, Chickpeas, Duck Meal, Pea Flour, Peas, Salmon, Flaxseeds, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Sunflower Oil (Preserved With Citric Acid), Natural Flavors, Salt, Dried Kelp, Salmon Oil , Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Cobalt Proteinate), Vitamins (Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement), Blueberries, Cranberries, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite, Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols.

Where to Buy Zignature Dog Food

Zignature can be found at a variety of smaller, local, natural pet stores across the United States, as well as some Co-ops, hardware stores, and feed stores. They have a store locator tool on their website where you can type in your zip code and find the nearest authorized dealer. Please note that Amazon.com, Jet.com, Walmart, eBay, Target, Petco, and PetSmart are not authorized dealers of Pets Global, Inc. brands.

Because of this, finding Zignature from an authorized dealer could be a challenge to find in your area, and it will be fairly expensive. However, don’t let this steer you away from Zignature; their dog food recipes are made from responsibly sourced, high-quality ingredients, and will keep your dog happy and healthy!

You May Also Enjoy…

10 Best Dehydrated Raw Dog Food Brands

Fromm Dog Food Review: How Does it Stack Up?

5 Best Hypoallergenic Dog Foods for Large Dogs

10 Best Natural Dog Food Picks

Leave a Comment:

1 comment
Add Your Reply