Zignature canned dog food gets the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Zignature product line includes seven canned recipes.
However, since we’re unable to locate AAFCO nutritional adequacy statements for these dog foods on the product’s web page, it’s impossible for us to report specific life stage recommendations for these recipes.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Zignature Lamb Formula
- Zignature Turkey Formula
- Zignature Zssential Formula
- Zignature Duck Formula (4 stars)
- Zignature Whitefish Formula (4.5 stars)
- Zignature Kangaroo Formula (4.5 stars)
- Zignature Trout and Salmon Formula (4.5 stars)
Zignature Lamb Formula was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Zignature Lamb Formula
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Lamb, lamb broth, lamb liver, peas, carrots, chickpeas, lamb meal, calcium carbonate, agar-agar, calcium carbonate, choline chloride, salt, suncured alfalfa meal, potassium chloride, dicalcium phosphate, cranberries, blueberries, minerals (zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, sodium selenite, calcium iodate), vitamins (vitamin E supplement, thiamine mononitrate, niacin supplement, calcium pantothenate, biotin, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid)
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.5%
Red items indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||43%||25%||24%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||34%||48%||19%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is lamb. Lamb is considered “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered” lamb and associated with skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.1
Lamb is naturally rich in all ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The second ingredient is lamb broth. Broths are nutritionally empty. But because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food they are a common addition component in many canned products.
The third ingredient is lamb liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The fourth ingredient includes peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.
However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
The fifth ingredient includes carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.
The sixth ingredient lists chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans. Like peas, bean and lentils, the chickpea is a nutritious member of the fiber-rich legume (or pulse) family of vegetables.
However, chickpeas contain about 22% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The seventh ingredient is lamb meal. Lamb meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh lamb.
The eighth ingredient is calcium carbonate, likely used here as a dietary mineral supplement.
The ninth ingredient is agar agar, a natural vegetable gelatin derived from the cell walls of certain species of red algae. Agar is rich in fiber and is used in wet pet foods as a gelling agent.
From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.
But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this product.
With two notable exceptions…
First, this recipe includes alfalfa meal. Although alfalfa meal is high in plant protein (about 18%) and fiber (25%), this hay-family item is more commonly associated with horse feeds.
And lastly, this food contains chelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.
Zignature Canned Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Zignature canned dog food looks like an above-average wet product.
But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 44% and a mean fat level of 22%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 26% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 51%.
Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, chickpeas and alfalfa meal, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a significant amount of meat.
Zignature is a meat-based canned dog food using a significant amount of named species as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.
Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.
Zignature Dog Food
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Notes and Updates
06/01/2016 Last Update
- Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor and based upon the official definition for beef published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, 2008 Edition ↩