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ZIWI Peak Dog Food Review 2023: Recalls, Pros & Cons

Cassidy Sutton

By Cassidy Sutton

ZIWI Peak Dog Food Review

Vet approved

Dr. Paola Cuevas Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Paola Cuevas

MVZ (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Review Summary

Our Final Verdict

We give ZIWI Peak dog food a rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars. 

Are you tired of feeding your dog crummy food that lacks nutrition and flavor? We might have a solution for you.

Today, we’re reviewing ZIWI Peak Dog Food. ZIWI Peak offers air-dried dog food with only the best ethically sourced meat from New Zealand. The ingredient list on the side of the bag is short, straightforward, and contains all essential vitamins and minerals for your dog’s vitality. The biggest obstacle is the price.

If you’re looking for affordable, healthy dog food, we don’t recommend ZIWI. It comes with a big dollar sign for a small bag of food. Some people save money by using ZIWI as a training treat. Others simply use it as a meal topper.

Either way, we can’t argue that it’s one of the best dog foods out there, nor can many dog owners.

So, let’s talk more about what makes ZIWI unique and what we think they can improve on.

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At a Glance: The Best ZIWI Peak Dog Food Recipes:

Rating Image Product Details
Our Favorite
Winner
ZIWI Peak Mackerel & Lamb Recipe ZIWI Peak Mackerel & Lamb Recipe
  • Two protein sources
  • Nutrient dense
  • Natural joint protection
  • Second place
    ZIWI Peak Beef Recipe ZIWI Peak Beef Recipe
  • Beef protein, not smelly
  • Picky eaters love this recipe
  • Contains superfoods
  • Third place
    ZIWI Peak Lamb Recipe ZIWI Peak Lamb Recipe
  • Lamn protein source
  • Nutrient dense
  • Promotes mobility
  • ZIWI Free-Range Chicken Recipe ZIWI Free-Range Chicken Recipe
  • Free-range chicken protein
  • Whole prey ratios
  • Nutrient dense, high-protein
  • ZIWI Peak Tripe & Lamb Recipe ZIWI Peak Tripe & Lamb Recipe
  • Lamb single protein
  • Whole prey, nutritious dense
  • Contains superfoods
  • ZIWI Peak Dog Food Reviewed

    We’re going to analyze this brand’s natural products and all that they offer. This is the best way to understand if the price tag reflects the product’s nutritional quality and learn whether ZIWI is a trusted brand.

    Who Makes ZIWI Peak and Where Is It Produced?

    Peter Mitchell started ZIWI Peak back in 2002. He was a deer farmer in New Zealand, providing high-quality, free-range meat for dog food companies. At one point, Mitchell discovered his meat was mixed with unnecessary carbohydrates and fillers in dog food. So, he decided to start his own dog food using his free-range meat.

    The purpose of ZIWI Peak is to combine the same nutritional benefits of raw food with the same convenience of dry food.

    Which Type of Dog Is ZIWI Peak Best Suited For?

    All dogs can benefit from ZIWI Peak’s recipes. This dog food packs in several vitamins and minerals, all from natural sources. Athletic dogs (especially puppies) could benefit from this food since it’s high in protein and some of the recipes are also high in fat.

    Aside from one chicken recipe, none of ZIWI Peak’s recipes have chicken in them. So, dogs with chicken allergies could eat non-chicken recipes food with no worries.

    Older dogs have a harder time keeping healthy, lean muscle on their bodies, so senior dogs can also reap the benefits of the high protein content.

    Which Type of Dog Might Do Better With a Different Brand?

    This food is high in protein and sometimes high in fat, so it’s easy for an owner to overfeed and cause weight gain for their pet. Dogs considered “couch potatoes” should go easy on the calories with this dog food.

    You can try Blue Buffalo’s Healthy Weight recipe if your dog struggles with weight. This food is cheaper than ZIWI but still high quality. Plus, it’s lower in protein and fat content. But as long as you watch your dog’s caloric intake, your dog has the green light to enjoy ZIWI Peak’s delicious recipes.

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    Discussion of the Primary Ingredients (Good and Bad)

    Now, it’s time to dive into the part we care about the most: the ingredients. ZIWI Peak has excellent ingredients that are air- dried, not cooked. Air drying preserves more nutrients because they’re not cooked out of the food, unlike other pet foods.

    It’s hard for us to find something we don’t like about it. But no dog food goes without controversial elements. So, let’s talk about the good and the bad.

    Organ Meat

    One of the best ways to tell if your dog’s food is good is to look at the protein content. Specifically, the meat.

    The best dog food contains organ meat. Animal organs contain essential vitamins and minerals that keep your pet happy and healthy. Organ meat includes the heart, liver, lungs, kidneys, and spleen.

    You won’t find many added nutrients in this food because organ meat naturally contains all those nutrients.

    Other Bonus Ingredients

    Other ingredients in several ZIWI Peak recipes include green mussel, kelp, and inulin.

    Green mussels are clam-like creatures packed with glucosamine and omega-3 fatty acids, essential nutrients for long-term joint health. Dried kelp contains iodine, iron, calcium, vitamin E, and several other minerals and amino acids that can help reduce itching and skin inflammation and help regulate thyroid function. Inulin is a dietary fiber usually sourced from chicory root. It is also a prebiotic used to help balance the microbiome in the gut.

    High Protein and High Fat

    Each recipe is different, but the ones we’ve listed have a fat content between 25%–35% and protein content of 35%–43%.

    High protein and high fat can be good or bad, depending on the dog. Athletic dogs, seniors, puppies, or underweight dogs can benefit from a high-protein diet. But this isn’t the case for all dogs. Some high-protein diets have a high caloric count and cause weight gain. Other times, too much protein can cause stress on the kidneys.

    The high-fat content is one of the reasons why dog owners use this as a treat or meal topper only. Owners with overweight dogs should be wary of offering ZIWI since its calorie-dense,

    Grain-Free

    ZIWI Peak is grain free, meaning it doesn’t contain any rice, corn, or wheat. Most grain-free diets replace these grains with legumes so dogs can get their daily amount of glucose, and that’s where the controversy begins. Right now, the FDA is investigating the link between legumes and Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy. ZIWI Peak’s air-dried recipes are grain-free and legume-free.

    Expensive and Crumbly

    We’ve mentioned that ZIWI is expensive, and it comes in a smaller bag than most dog foods, which is a bummer. You can always use these as a treat or meal topper like other dog owners to help save money.

    A big pro to ZIWI is the food is air-dried, but it’s also one of its drawbacks. The food is crumbly, and some owners say that, out of the entire bag, only ⅓ remains intact.

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    A Quick Look at ZIWI Peak Dog Food

    Pros
    • Several recipe options
    • Organ meat in top ingredients
    • Great for allergies and picky eaters
    • Free-range, ethically sourced meat
    • Great customer service
    Cons
    • Pricey
    • Small bags
    • Smelly

    Recall History

    Thankfully, ZIWI Peak Dog food has had no recalls or product withdrawals at the time of this post.

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    Reviews of the 3 Best ZIWI Peak Dog Food Recipes

    1. ZIWI Peak Mackerel & Lamb Grain-Free Recipe

    ZIWI Peak Mackerel & Lamb Grain-Free Recipe

    ZIWI’s Mackerel and Lamb recipe is one of their best-selling recipes. This option contains protein from two animal-based sources, mackerel and lamb, and has the highest protein content at 43%. Surprisingly, it also contains the second lowest fat content out of all their recipes and has the lowest number of calories.

    The food does smell fishy, so brace yourself when you open the bag. Aside from the smell (and the accumulated crumbs at the bottom of the bag), this food is everyone’s favorite!

    Pros
    • Two protein sources
    • Second lowest fat content
    • Lowest amount of calories
    • Nutrient dense
    Cons
    • Smells fishy

    2. ZIWI Peak Beef Grain-Free Recipe

    ZIWI Peak Beef Grain-Free Recipe

    The second most popular option for ZIWI is their beef recipe. This recipe contains 38% protein and 30% fat. With those numbers, you would think the calorie count for this recipe is high. But it’s only 312 kcal per scoop.

    For picky eaters, this recipe is the go-to recipe since there’s no fishy smell or flavor. The downside is the texture. A lot of dog owners claim the dried pieces are too hard to chew and the rest crumble to the bottom of the bag.

    Pros
    • Beef protein, not smelly
    • Picky eaters love this recipe
    • Contains superfoods
    Cons
    • Not good for dogs with beef allergy
    • Beef bits are hard to chew

    3. ZIWI Peak Lamb Grain-Free Recipe

    ZIWI Peak Lamb Grain-Free Recipe

    ZIWI’s Lamb recipe is the most expensive option, with the highest amount of fat at 33% and the most calories at 318 kcal per scoop. The protein content is 35%. Like other ZIWI peak recipes, this one uses the whole prey (bones, meat, and organs), has an ideal calcium to phosphorus ratio, and includes New Zealand Green Mussels as a natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate.

    Dog owners with large dogs tend to lean toward other recipes since the price point on this recipe is too much to feed a big dog. There’s also a pungent odor with this recipe. But served as a delicious treat or meal topper, this recipe makes dinner time much more enjoyable!

    Pros
    • Lamb protein source
    • Nutrient-dense
    • Promotes mobility
    Cons
    • High fat
    • Most expensive option
    • Pungent odor

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    What Other Users Are Saying

    As much as we love ZIWI, our opinion isn’t enough. We have to share what other pet owners think about this food.

    • Chewy – “My dogs loves these! It’s a bit expensive for us to use with two large dogs but it’s good for a treat, training reward, and it’s good to put in puzzles.”
    • Dog Food Advisor – “My three year old West Highland Terrier loves Ziwi Peak Venison and Lamb. She is allergic to beef and chicken and didn’t like raw so Ziwi Peak was an amazing find for us. Her hair has grown back and the vet said she looks amazing to where she was a year ago. Thank you Ziwi.”
    • Amazon – If you want a product review that includes the good, bad, and ugly, check out Amazon. Dog owners will tell you their honest experiences with ZIWI.

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    Conclusion

    Here’s our final verdict on ZIWI Peak Dog food.

    We believe it’s one of the best dog foods out there. The first five ingredients are natural organ meat, a high-quality protein option dense with vitamins and minerals. Aside from a few supplements, the ingredient list is short and to the point.

    Most people agree the price isn’t worth a bag full of crumble and dust. It’s not practical to serve a dog this food every day. However, it’s an excellent option for treats and meal toppers.

    So, if you have a picky eater or want to introduce your dog to healthier food options, ZIWI is an excellent choice!

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