Zignature Dog Food Review (Dry)

Rating:

Zignature Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.

The Zignature Dog Food product line includes 13 grain-free dry dog foods.

Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

Important: Because many websites do not reliably specify which Growth or All Life Stages recipes are safe for large breed puppies, we do not include that data in this report. Be sure to check actual packaging for that information.

Click the links below to compare prices at an online retailer.

Zignature Trout and Salmon Meal Formula was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Zignature Trout and Salmon Meal Formula

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 33% | Fat = 16% | Carbs = 43%

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, 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), blueberries, carrots, cranberries, lactic acid, calcium iodate, sodium selenite, preserved with mixed tocopherols

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.7%

Red denotes controversial item

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis30%14%NA
Dry Matter Basis33%16%43%
Calorie Weighted Basis29%33%38%
Protein = 29% | Fat = 33% | Carbs = 38%

The first ingredient in this dog food is trout, a freshwater species closely related to salmon. Trout is rich rich in omega-3 fatty acids but also contains up to 73% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.

After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.

The second ingredient is salmon meal. Because it is considered a meat concentrate, fish meal contains almost 300% more protein than fresh fish itself.

Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1

The third 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 fourth 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 fifth ingredient is pea flour, a powder made from roasted yellow peas. Pea flour contains as much as 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

The sixth ingredient is 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.

After the natural flavors, we find salmon oil. Salmon oil is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids. These two high quality fats boast the highest bio-availability to dogs and humans.

Depending on its level of freshness and purity, salmon oil should be considered a commendable addition.

The next ingredient is flaxseed, one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also rich in soluble fiber.

However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

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 four notable exceptions

First, sunflower oil is nutritionally similar to safflower oil. Since these oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids and contain no omega-3’s, they’re considered less nutritious than canola or flaxseed oils.

Sunflower oil is notable for its resistance to heat damage during cooking.

There are several different types of sunflower oil, some better than others. Without knowing more, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this ingredient.

Next, we find beet pulp. Beet pulp is a controversial ingredient, a high fiber by-product of sugar beet processing.

Some denounce beet pulp as an inexpensive filler while others cite its outstanding intestinal health and blood sugar benefits.

We only call your attention here to the controversy and believe the inclusion of beet pulp in reasonable amounts in most dog foods is entirely acceptable.

In addition, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.

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 Dog Food Review

Judging by its ingredients alone, Zignature Dog Food looks like an above-average dry 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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 33%, a fat level of 16% and estimated carbohydrates of about 43%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 33% and a mean fat level of 17%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 42% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 52%.

Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the pea products, flaxseed, chickpeas and alfalfa meal, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Zignature is a dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meat meals as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.

Highly recommended.

However, it’s unfortunate the company chose to include so much plant-based protein in its recipe. Otherwise, we would have been compelled to award this product a higher rating.

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
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

Related Topics

Readers interested in Zignature dry dog food may also wish to check out these popular pages, too…

Important FDA Alert

The FDA is investigating a potential link between grain-free diets and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.

A Final Word

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Notes and Updates

12/22/2018 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials