If money isn’t an object, then Ziwi is the food we should all feed our dogs – it’s simply in a tier of its own in terms of quality and ingredients. However, most of us can’t afford to spend $13+ per pound for dog food (especially if you have a bigger dog!), and thus will be priced out of Ziwi until we hit the lottery.
Ziwi is a New Zealand based company that makes use of a unique, air-dried method of preparing its food in order to create a more natural meal for your pet. With a pledge that all of their foods are “carefully crafted to mirror the whole-prey meat-rich, diet that dogs & cats require for a long, happy, healthy life,” Ziwi foods are steadily spreading out from their home country and finding new customers in the United States and across the globe.
What should be noted upfront is that Ziwi food is both some of the highest quality commercially available dog food available, but it’s also by far the most expensive! If you have a large dog, the cost of this dog food will likely be too much to bear.
Ziwi was founded by the husband and wife team of Peter and Kimberly Mitchell, who were looking to create a 100% natural diet that was free of unnecessary fillers and preservatives. After several tests, the Mitchell’s created a new, air-dried food that they call a raw-alternative, distinct from other products in the raw category as it does not have to be frozen or thawed before serving.
After finding a wide audience for their new raw alternative foods, the Mitchell’s decided to take their business international, setting up new manufacturing plants across the USA to meet a growing demand. Today, all Ziwi products are manufactured in either the United States or New Zealand, using only high quality ingredients from New Zealand.
Quality of Ingredients
Ziwi makes high quality ingredients a priority, and promises to only use free-range sources either raised on New Zealand farms or caught in the waters off the coast. The company also puts a big emphasis on the fact that there are never any hormones or antibiotics put into its meat, and promises that they never use any unnecessary fillers or byproducts that are known to cause reactions in some animals.
The company also says that they hand select each of the vitamins and minerals, and make use of interesting and unique natural sources to fortify their foods, using items like green mussels, tripe, and kelp to provide healthy vitamins and minerals, as opposed to the artificial additives that many other companies typically make use of.
Full Ingredients and Analysis
We’ve talked up the high quality ingredients that Ziwi uses, but now let’s prove it! Here’s a look at Ziwi’s Tripe & Lamb formula dog food, notice how heavily they use real meat sources and just how few unnatural additives are in this dog food compared to many others.
Lamb Tripe, Lamb, Lamb Liver, Lamb Heart, Lamb Kidney, Lamb Lung, Lamb Bone, New Zealand Green Mussel, Inulin from Chicory, Dried Kelp, Sea Salt, Parsley, Minerals (Potassium Bicarbonate, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Selenium Yeast, Manganese Amino Acid Complex), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B1 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid). Naturally preserved with mixed tocopherols.
The guaranteed analysis of this food is truly the best we have seen. 36% protein contents is outstanding, but what’s even more impressive is the 5% carbohydrates, a mere fraction of what most dry dog foods have (30-40%).
However… this top of the line food is very costly! Ziwi dog food can run $13-15 per pound, which is about 5-6x more expensive than other high quality dry dog foods, but also cheaper than most high-end freeze-dried products.
Dry Dog Food Product Line
Ziwi’s dry dog food’s are unique in the fact that, rather than the traditional baking techniques used to create the kibble found in most dog foods, the company uses air drying, which allows them to get the most amount of meat possible in every bag. According to their website, this technique allows all of their recipes to be “98% meat, organs and bone, including 3% New Zealand Green Mussel for natural glucosamine and chondroitin, and 7% species-specific tripe for added palatability and digestive benefits.”
Mackerel and Lamb
Designed for all breeds and all life stages, Ziwi’s Mackerel and Lamb formula makes use of protein sources born and raised on farms in New Zealand and wild-caught off the coast, and is an excellent source of healthy Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. The food is also guaranteed to be free of any corn, wheat, or soy, and is billed as an excellent alternative for dogs with a number of food sensitivities, as it avoids the use of any fillers or by-products, and is fortified by a range of beneficial vitamins and minerals for a complete meal in every bowl.
Making use of free-range, grass fed deer raised on local New Zealand farms, the Venison blend is touted not just as an alternative to the more traditional protein sources on the market, but also for its ability to reduce the symptoms of IBS and IBD in many dogs. Ziwi also adds kelp into the mix as a natural source of vitamins and minerals, and finishes off the product with a bit of New Zealand Green Mussel, which is hailed as a natural provider of joint healthy glucosamine and chondroitin.
Free-range, antibiotic free, grass fed beef is the first ingredient in Ziwi’s Beef formula, but that’s not all it has. Like many other Ziwi products, this one is also fortified by kelp and mussels, but also is packed full of other vitamins and minerals to provide the proper nourishment required by many growing and active dogs. Because of the single protein nature of the food, the company also recommends it for dogs with sensitivities, especially sensitivities to poultry.
New Zealand is famous for its lamb, so it only makes sense that Ziwi has a lamb formula as well. Utilizing only locally grown, free range, grass fed lamb, this is another excellent choice for food sensitivities thanks to the fact that it makes use of just a single protein. As an added benefit, however, the company says that this formula also helps to improve skin and coat health, keeping your pup not only feeling good, but looking good as well.
Tripe and Lamb
Building upon the penchant for lamb that New Zealand is known for, the Lamb and Tripe formula combines a classic with a rather unusual protein source for many American customers. The tripe, which also comes from lamb, is promised to be “kept in its most natural form possible and never scalded, steamed or bleached,” so that it “retains beneficial minerals, enzymes, and probiotics” and provides the maximum health benefit to your pup.
Like the Venison formula, the Lamb and Tripe is also touted to help alleviate the symptoms of IBS and IBD, and the company says that it makes a great choice for picky dogs who might not be so quick to eat more traditional proteins.
Where to Buy
Ziwi is still working on making inroads into the American market, and as such might not be found everywhere. Most of the larger chain retailers still don’t carry the product, however it is available at smaller independent stores across the country. The company website provides potential buyers with a helpful store locator, so that interested pet parents can find out where they can get the product near them without having to call every store in the region.
Ziwi can also be purchased from a number of online retailers, such as Chewy, Jet, and Amazon, and can also be ordered directly from the company website, allowing even customers in areas that might not typically see Ziwi products to get bags delivered straight to their door.