Zignature Dog Food Review: Is It Worth The Premium Price?

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If you care about your pet's food and want something of high quality, you may have heard of Zignature. This special brand of dog food has only a few ingredients and doesn't have grains. It also uses unusual proteins. It fuels your dog.

But with its premium price point, is Zignature worth it? I took a deep dive into what makes this dog food stand out to help you decide if it’s right for your dog.

Zignature Dog Food Review
Zignature Dog Food Review

Zignature's Origin Story

The privately-owned company Pets Global founded Zignature in 2010. Pets Global, a company in North Carolina, wanted to change the way dog food was made. They created new recipes that used special, high-quality meats.

Their original goal was to give dogs allergen-free food, without chicken, grains, potatoes, or eggs. Zignature wanted to provide dogs with food sensitivities healthy options. They created grain-free recipes using unique proteins like kangaroo, trout, duck, and guinea fowl.

Zignature opened their first US production facility in Minnesota in 2013. They partnered with Tuffy's Pet Foods, a family-owned company. Now, they could track ingredients and see how Zignature products were made.

Zignature is still adding more unique meat-first recipes to promote canine health. They also worked with no-kill shelters and adoption groups in America to assist dogs in need.

Manufacturing Process & Sourcing Standards

All Zignature recipes are manufactured in the USA at Tuffy's Pet Foods facilities in Perham, Minnesota and Castle, South Dakota.

Zignature states that they follow rigorous standards for ingredient sourcing and production:

  • Ingredients sourced from trusted suppliers in US, New Zealand, and Australia
  • Meat meals rendered at low temperatures to preserve nutritional integrity
  • No artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors
  • Mandatory testing for bacteria, molds, mycotoxins, antibiotics
  • Batch records for traceability

Fresh or frozen meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, and oils are used to make kibble or canned recipes. Zignature maintains they conduct extensive quality control testing exceeding industry standards.

Zignature has not done any long-term feeding trials on their products, but that's important to know. Independent testing by the National Research Council would provide greater scientific backing.

Zignature's Product Line

Zignature has many simple recipes in both dry and wet forms.

Diet typeProteins
Limited Ingredient DietsTurkey, Lamb, Guinea Fowl, Salmon, Catfish, Trout, Kangaroo, Duck, Pork, Venison
Zssentials LineTurkey, Salmon, Lamb, Duck, Kangaroo
Puppy FoodTurkey, Salmon, Trout
Canned/Wet FoodTurkey, Lamb, Salmon, Trout, Duck, Kangaroo
TreatsVenison, Duck, Salmon, Kangaroo

Here is a more detailed explanation of each diet type:

  • Limited Ingredient Diets: These diets are made with a limited number of ingredients, which can help reduce the risk of food allergies or sensitivities.
  • Zssentials Line: This line of food is designed to provide your dog with the essential nutrients they need for a healthy life.
  • Puppy Food: This food is specifically formulated for the nutritional needs of puppies.
  • Canned/Wet Food: This food is made with a higher moisture content than dry food, which can be helpful for dogs who have difficulty eating dry food.
  • Treats: These treats are made with natural ingredients and are a healthy way to reward your dog.

It is important to note that this is just a general guide. The best way to determine which diet is right for your dog is to talk to your veterinarian. They can help you assess your dog's individual needs and make a recommendation.

Their Zssentials line offers their simplest recipes without potatoes, chickpeas, or flaxseed. Both grain-inclusive and grain-free recipes are available.

This wide range caters to pups with various food sensitivities. However, it can make picking the perfect Zignature formula overwhelming. Talk to your vet to determine which novel protein may be best for your dog.

An Inside Look at Zignature Dog Food

Zignature burst onto the pet food scene in 2010 with a mission to redefine conventional dog food. This company is family-owned and uses ingredients from around the world for their recipes. These recipes are packed with special proteins that only they have.

Here's a quick overview of Zignature's approach:

  • Grain-free: All recipes are 100% grain-free to reduce allergens.
  • Novel proteins: Kangaroo? Lamb? Trout? Yes, please! Zignature uses unique protein sources.
  • Limited ingredients: Simple recipes avoid extra fillers that may irritate sensitive pups.
  • Veterinarian-developed: Recipes are crafted under the guidance of veterinary nutritionists.
  • Made in the USA: Manufactured in family-owned facilities in South Dakota and Minnesota.

The Good – Why Pet Parents Love Zignature

So what gets tails wagging over Zignature? Here are some of the biggest benefits:

Meat-focused nutritionHigh protein with up to 38% from quality animal ingredients. Great for active dogs.
Superfood extrasFruits, vegetables, and oils like chia, pumpkin, and salmon add antioxidant power.
Great for allergiesLimited ingredients and novel proteins help reduce skin problems and tummy troubles.
Pups gobble it upMost dogs find Zignature's flavors irresistible, even picky pooches.
Vet-approvedFormulas meet key vet guidelines for canine nutrition.

Owners say the high protein and digestibility has done wonders for their dogs' energy, skin, coats, and more. The trout and salmon formula, for example, has over 550 five-star reviews on Chewy.

The Not-So-Good – Potential Drawbacks

However, Zignature isn't perfect. There are a few things to keep in mind:

Premium pricingZignature is significantly pricier than average kibbles. The trout formula costs around $2.67 per pound.
Formula tweaksRecent recipe adjustments have caused some dogs to turn up their noses.
Legume concernsSome grain-free recipes have higher legume content now which may increase the risk of heart disease.
Lack of trialsZignature has not undergone any long-term controlled feeding trials.
Recent scrutinyThe FDA warns that grain-free dog foods with potatoes, peas, and legumes may cause heart problems.

While no major recalls have occurred, these are points to weigh carefully.

Key Zignature Formulas Reviewed

To help you narrow it down, here’s a quick look at a few of Zignature's stand-out recipes:

Trout & Salmon Meal RecipeThis fish-packed recipe delivers omega-rich nutrition. With 38% minimum protein, it's ideal for active pups.– High protein levels from two key fish sources
– Contains Vitamin E and omega fatty acids for skin and coat
– Limited ingredients
– Pricey at around $2.67 per pound
– May trigger allergies in dogs with fish sensitivities
Kangaroo FormulaKangaroo meat from Australia gives this unique limited-ingredient recipe a nutritional punch.– Novel kangaroo protein source
– Grain, chicken, and egg-free
– Simple recipe good for sensitive dogs
– Contains peas and lentils in top ingredients which may raise DCM concerns
– Rare protein source could irritate some dogs
Pork FormulaWith pork as the sole animal protein, this formula offers an alternative to chicken.– 34% minimum protein from pork
– Pork is highly digestible and hypoallergenic
– Free of many common allergens
– Relatively high carbohydrate content
– Pork fat content may cause loose stools

Top Zignature Alternatives To Consider

Before you make a decision, take a look at these other top options if your dog doesn't like Zignature.

Orijen OriginalOrijen emphasizes fresh regional ingredients in biologically appropriate ratios. Like Zignature, it's grain-free and high protein but with more focus on raw meat inclusions.
Acana HeritageThis brand offers high meat, low glycemic recipes crafted in small batches. The formulas feature fresh grass-fed meats, fruits, veggies, and botanicals.
Taste of the WildTaste of the Wild has grain-free recipes for owners on a budget. They are good quality and more affordable. Their roasted meats provide tasty flavor.
Purina Pro PlanPro Plan offers scientifically researched, balanced nutrition for your dog's unique needs. Formulas are vet recommended but not grain-free.
Natural Balance L.I.D.Ideal for food sensitivities, Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets minimize ingredients. The salmon and sweet potato recipe is a great grain-free option.
The Honest KitchenThis brand offers human grade dehydrated foods you mix with water. Limited ingredient recipes made with real, whole foods appeal to many owners.

Frequently Asked Questions About Zignature

Still have questions about this unique pet food brand? Here are answers to some common Zignature FAQs:

Is Zignature grain-free?

Yes, all Zignature recipes are 100% grain-free. However, some formulas do contain high amounts of legumes like peas or lentils.

What are the risks of grain-free food?

Recent studies show that dogs fed grain-free diets high in legumes may be at risk for dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Talk to your vet.

Are Zignature formulas hypoallergenic?

While their limited ingredients help reduce allergens, they cannot guarantee zero reactions. Check with your vet if your dog has food allergies.

Does Zignature test on animals?

No, Zignature does not test their pet food or ingredients on animals.

Where is Zignature produced?

Zignature is made in Minnesota and South Dakota. PTS and Tuffy's are family-owned companies.

Is Zignature a good puppy food?

Yes, Zignature offers specially formulated puppy recipes like the Salmon Puppy Formula. Check feeding guidelines by weight.

Transitioning Your Dog to Zignature

Switching foods suddenly can upset your dog's tummy. Follow these tips for a smooth transition:

  • Gradually transition over 5-7 days, slowly increasing the new food ratio.
  • Mix Zignature with your dog's current food, adjusting ratios each meal.
  • Start with 25% new food, 75% old food. Then go 50/50, 75/25, until fully switched.
  • Monitor stool health and watch for signs of gastrointestinal issues.
  • Consult your vet if any concerning symptoms arise. Adjust slowly if needed.
  • After you switch, follow the instructions on the Zignature package for your dog's weight and age.

Where To Buy Zignature

You can purchase Zignature through online retailers like Chewy, PetFlow, Petco, and Amazon. Many independent pet boutiques also carry Zignature formulas.

Visit company websites to find autoship discounts and sign up for brand communications. This way, you'll get special deals and coupons for your first Zignature purchase.

Key Takeaways: The Zignature Verdict

  • Pros: High protein, limited ingredients, novel proteins, grain-free. Vet-approved recipes help many dogs thrive.
  • Cons: Premium pricing, recent formula changes, high legume content in some recipes. Lack of lifetime feeding trials.
  • Best For: Dogs with food sensitivities who do well on limited ingredient, grain-free diets. Pups needing high protein.
  • Alternatives: Compare Orijen, Acana, Taste of the Wild, Purina Pro Plan, Natural Balance L.I.D., The Honest Kitchen.
  • Transition Slowly: Mix gradually over 5-7 days to avoid GI upset.
  • Consult Your Vet: Get tailored advice for your dog’s needs. Monitor health closely when switching foods.

Feeding Guidelines for Zignature

To ensure your dog is happy and healthy, feed them Zignature according to their age and weight. Here are the basic feeding guidelines per day:

Puppy Feeding Guidelines:

  • 2-3 weeks old: 3-4 meals per day
  • 3-6 weeks old: 4 meals per day
  • 6-12 weeks old: 3 meals per day
  • 2-4 months old: 2 meals per day
  • 4-12 months old: 2 meals per day

Feed puppies the Zignature puppy formula until 1 year old. Provide the median amount listed for their expected adult weight range.

Adult Dog Feeding Guidelines

Look at the feeding amount on your Zignature formula bag. It's based on your dog's weight.

  • 5-15 lbs: 1/2 – 1 1/4 cups
  • 16-30 lbs: 1 1/4 – 2 cups
  • 31-50 lbs: 2 – 2 2/3 cups
  • 51-90 lbs: 2 2/3 – 4 1/4 cups
  • Over 90 lbs: 4 1/4+ cups

Feed adult dogs the Zignature adult formulas twice daily. Adjust amounts as needed to maintain ideal body condition.

Senior Dogs:

Consult your veterinarian about tailored requirements for aging dogs. Generally, feed senior dogs the adult maintenance formulas and monitor weight closely.

Nursing/Pregnant Dogs:

For nursing and pregnant dogs, give them the puppy formula and increase their calories by 25%. Always provide access to fresh water.

Active & Working Dogs:

More active dogs may require 25-50% more food to meet caloric needs. Check with your veterinarian.

Key Takeaways

  • Gradually transition to Zignature over 5-7 days
  • Follow feeding guide amounts carefully
  • Tailor to your dog's age, weight, and activity level
  • Monitor weight and health as you transition
  • Adjust amounts as needed to maintain ideal body condition
  • Provide constant access to fresh, clean water

Stick to the Zignature feeding guide, but be flexible based on your dog's unique needs and health. Zignature can give your dog balanced nutrition every day when you feed them the right amount.

Recalls of Zignature Dog Food

When considering a dog food brand, it's important to be aware of any recalls in their history. Here is an overview of Zignature's recall background:

  • No recalls to date – Zignature has not had any recalls since they started in 2010. The company didn't recall anything on their own, and the FDA didn't force any recalls either.
  • Good manufacturing processes – Zignature makes their recipes in their own facilities in South Dakota and Minnesota. They have strict quality control standards.
  • Traceability practices – Zignature keeps records of suppliers and checks ingredients to prevent contamination.
  • Proactive recall approach – Zignature says they will do recalls if there are any health problems. So far, there haven't been any.

Overall, Zignature has an excellent track record so far with no recalls in over a decade in business. However, it's still smart to sign up for their alert emails to stay updated on any future situations.

Customer Reviews of Zignature Dog Food

What do real pet parents think of Zignature recipes? Here's an overview of customer feedback:

  • Mostly positive reviews – Across various retailers like Chewy and Amazon, most reviews rate Zignature 4 or 5 stars.
  • Dogs enjoy the taste – According to many owners, even picky pups seem to love the flavor of Zignature.
  • Notable health improvements – Zignature dog food gets good reviews for skin, coat, allergies, digestion, and energy.
  • Some dogs took time to adjust – A few owners noted minor stomach upset initially when transitioning to Zignature.
  • Mixed response to formula changes – In the last 2 years, when the recipe was changed, some picky dogs didn't like it.
  • Concerns over legumes – Some customers are wary of the high pea/lentil content now in Zignature grain-free recipes due to DCM studies.

In general, most pet owners are happy with how much their dogs like Zignature and its benefits. But, some reviewers are worried because of recent changes and the FDA's investigation of grain-free dog food.

The Bottom Line on Zignature Dog Food

Zignature has a special collection of dog food recipes. These recipes have limited ingredients and lots of protein. They are made for dogs with food sensitivities. The recipes use exotic meats. Many pet owners prefer grain-free, natural food over regular kibble for their pets.

But there are some downsides to think about, like the high cost and adjusting the formula. There is also a possible connection between grain-free legume-rich diets and DCM.

My overall take? If your dog has difficulty with common proteins and ingredients, you should try Zignature. It's a high-quality option worth checking out. Keep a close eye on your dog and talk to your vet, especially if your pet has heart problems.

If your dog is healthy and doesn't have any major food issues, you can find similar quality dog food for a lower price from brands such as Taste of the Wild. But for the right dog, Zignature's novel proteins offer a difference you can see in skin, coat, energy, and more.

Let me know if you need any other sections or details included in this Zignature dog food review article! Please provide any feedback on areas I should expand or adjust.


Here are some additional reputable resources I would recommend checking out for further research on Zignature dog food:




Let me know if you need any other Zignature resources! I'm happy to provide additional websites, studies, videos, orcredible sources related to this dog food brand and grain-free diets.

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