Zignature is a premium dog food brand that produces a number of high-quality, meat-based, limited-ingredient recipes.
We’ll examine the brand’s philosophy, corporate history, and manufacturing process below, and analyze a few of their recipes in detail, so you can pick the best one for your pet.
Zignature Quick Picks
- Zignature Venison (Canned)
- Zignature Zssential Multi-Protein (Canned)
- Zignature Zssential Multi-Protein Formula (Dry)
- Zignature Pork Formula (Dry)
Zignature History & Background
Zignature is made by Pets Global, Inc., an independent, holistic wellness company with a passion for animal welfare. A family owned and operated business, Pets Global, Inc. was founded in 2010, with the goal of producing recipes that provide your pet with total nutrition.
Unlike some other pet food manufacturers, which produce foods under a dozen or more brand names, Pets Global Inc. only produces two brands: Zignature Dog Foods and Fussie Cat Premium Cat Foods.
All Zignature Dog Foods are manufactured in one of two US-based facilities, one of which is located in Perham, Minnesota, and the other in Mitchell, South Dakota. All of the ingredients used in Zignature recipes are sourced from France, New Zealand, Australia, and the U.S.
Pets Global Inc. is headquartered in Valencia, California.
Zignature Customer Reception & Opinion
By and large, most dog owners who try Zignature dog foods end up being very pleased with their decision.
Most of Zignature’s recipes received very good reviews on Amazon (as well as the sites of other retailers), and Dog Food Advisor rates most of the company’s recipes as 4- or 5-star products (the primary difference between 4- and 5-star products was usually protein content — those with higher protein content received higher ratings).
Many owners tried Zignature Dog Foods in an attempt to avoid grains, potatoes or other ingredients that sometimes cause itchy skin and other problems for some dogs. In most cases, they reported that Zignature did the trick, and helped to soothe their pup’s skin issues.
Additionally, most owners reported that their dog loved the taste of Zignature’s various recipes.
We weren’t able to find any reported recalls for Zignature Dog Foods.
Zignature Formulas & Recipes
Zignature produces both kibble and canned dog foods. Each of the brand’s recipes are made with high-quality meats, meat meals, and low-glycemic vegetables, and without any of the artificial ingredients that owners typically like to avoid.
In total, Zignature produces 26 different formulas, including 13 kibbles and 13 canned options. Each of the formulas in each product line are designed to be nutritionally similar so you can rotate between different formulas if you like.
Note that Zignature uses slightly different language than K9 of Mine and most other manufacturers do, as they refer to their individual products as “formulas,” rather than “recipes.” This doesn’t mean anything to your dog, nor does this naming convention have any nutritional implications, but it is worth mentioning.
Formula #1: Zignature Dry Foods (Kibble)
All of Zignature’s dry foods feature a high-quality, whole protein at the beginning of the ingredient list. This is followed by a premium meat-meal, and then a number of low-glycemic vegetables are used to provide the carbohydrate content.
All of Zignature’s kibbles are grain-free and limited-ingredient, which means that they won’t include any unnecessary additives or ingredients, providing only the essential nutrients your dog needs and no mysterious extras.
While the specific ingredients used vary slightly from one formula to the next, most are broadly similar in terms of nutrition and quality.
We’ll use Zignature’s Trout and Salmon Meal Formula as a case study for the brand’s dry formulas.
The Guaranteed Analysis (the nutritional information printed on the food’s label) for Zignature’s Trout and Salmon Meal Formula is as follows:
- Protein – 30%
- Fat – 14%
- Carbohydrate – Not Provided
However, it is often better to compare different dog food formulas and recipes by using a dry matter basis (the nutritional content of the food once the water is removed). This is especially important if you are comparing foods with varying moisture content.
Below, you can find the protein, fat, and carbohydrate content for the Trout and Salmon Meal Formula using a dry matter basis:
- Protein – 33%
- Fat – 16%
- Carbohydrates – 43%
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, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 supplement), Blueberries, Carrots, Cranberries, Lactic Acid, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite. Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols.
Zignature’s kibble-based product line includes 13 different formulas, each of which is based on a different protein (or combination of proteins). Some of the proteins included in these recipes are pretty common ingredients used in dog foods, while others are based around exotic proteins, which aren’t often included in many other commercial foods.
Each of these recipes are otherwise pretty similar, as they’re all comprised of similar carbohydrates and fats. Accordingly, you’ll want to focus on the primary protein when picking a recipe for your pup.
- Guinea Fowl
- Trout & Salmon Meal
Dog Food Advisor examined and rated seven of the formulas in Zignature’s dry food product line. Four of the products (Duck, Lamb, Venison, and Kangaroo) received 4-star ratings, while three of the products (Pork, Catfish, and Zssential) received 5-star ratings.
The primary difference between those products that received a 4-star rating and those that received a 5-star rating appears to be the protein content.
Most of the products that earned 5 stars from Dog Food Advisor have a 30% or higher protein content (based on Guaranteed Analysis), while those that earned 4 stars had protein contents of about 26%.
However, it is important to note that all of the Zignature dry foods have protein levels that exceed the AAFCO recommendations for adults (18%) and puppies (22%).
Our Top Zignature Dry Picks
When it comes to our top picks for Zignature Dry (Kibble) we recommend these recipes, which each received 5-star ratings through Dog Food Advisor and boast 30% or higher protein content:
You can find the full selection of Zignture dry kibble on Chewy.com – and get 30% off your first order!
Formula #2: Zignature Canned Foods
Zignature also produces a very impressive line of canned foods.
By and large, their canned foods are made according to the same basic template as their dry foods. Consequently, they’re of similar quality, and they appear to be equally tasty to dogs (in fact, most dogs probably prefer the canned versions).
We’ll examine Zignature’s Lamb (Canned) Formula in greater detail below.
The Guaranteed Analysis for Zignature’s Lamb Formula is as follows:
- Protein – 8%
- Fat – 4.5%
- Carbohydrate – Not Provided
While the guaranteed analysis for any food provides helpful information, it is important to compare the nutritional content of different foods using a dry matter basis (especially when comparing wet foods with dry foods).
Below, you can find the protein, fat, and carbohydrate content for the canned Lamb Formula using a dry matter basis:
- Protein – 43%
- Fat – 25%
- Carbohydrates – 24%
At an impressive 43% dry matter protein analysis, Zignature’s canned foods pack a protein punch!
Lamb, Lamb Broth, Lamb Liver, Peas, Carrots, Chickpeas, Lamb Meal, Calcium Carbonate, Agar-Agar, Calcium Carbonate, Choline Chloride, Salt, Sun-cured 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)
Like their dry food formulas, most of the canned formulas produced by Zignature contain a few primary proteins (typically derived from the same animal), while the carbohydrate content is provided by low-glycemic vegetables.
However, they also offer one formula – Zssentials – that contains a variety of different protein sources.
Also like the dry formulas, all of the canned formulas in Zignature’s product line contain a few antioxidant-rich fruits, such as blueberries or cranberries. Moreover, they’re made without grains, potatoes or chicken-based products.
- Guinea Fowl
- Trout & Salmon Meal
Oddly, Dog Food Advisor gives Zignature’s entire canned product line a 5-star rating, but each individual recipe receives only a 4- or 4.5-star rating.
Nevertheless, as with the dry foods produced by Zignature, the primary difference between the 4- and 4.5-star products relates to protein content.
Those in the former category have 8% protein content (guaranteed analysis), while those in the latter have 9% protein content.
Our Top Zignature Canned / Wet Picks
When it comes to our top picks for Zignature Canned / Wet formulas we recommend these recipes, which each received 4.5 stars from Dog Food Advisor
- Zignature Pork (Canned)
- Zignatue Turkey (Canned)
- Zignature Venison (Canned)
- Zignature Zssential / Multi-Protein (Canned)
You can find the full selection of Zignture wet canned foods on Chewy.com – and get 30% off your first order!
Pros: What Does Zignature Do Right?
Zignature’s 26 formulas are easily some of the best foods available to dog owners. Let’s talk about some of the pros of Zignature.
+ High Quality Protein As #1 Ingredient
Each formula features a premium whole protein at the top of the ingredient list, and a handful of Zignature formulas feature two or more. And while Zignature uses a number of relatively standard whole proteins, such as pork, duck, and turkey, they also produce foods containing goat, guinea fowl, and other exotic proteins.
These proteins are often helpful for dogs battling food allergies. In fact, all of Zignature’s foods are made without the most common canine allergens, such as corn, wheat, soy, dairy, or chicken-based products (eggs, chicken meal, etc.).
+ All Formulas Are Limited Ingredient
Given that Zignature’s formulas are all limited-ingredient recipes, made without the most common allergic triggers, and available with several different exotic proteins, they are fantastic for dogs with food allergies.
Limited ingredient formulas basically refer to foods where the manufacturer avoids adding fillers or mystery ingredients, keeping ingredient lists as short as possible.
Limited ingredient formulas are often better to use for dogs with allergies because it can be easier to detect which foods are causing a problem (as opposed to a formula that includes chicken, beef, grains, eggs, and cheese, in which case it would be difficult to determine which ingredient is problematic).
+ High-Quality Secondary Proteins
Zignature’s formulas also provide high-quality secondary proteins in the form of a meat meal (made from the same species as one of the primary proteins). And while meat meals may not sound appetizing to people, they’re incredibly nutritious (they provide more protein per ounce than whole proteins do) and dogs typically find meat meals to be delicious.
+ Grain-Free Carbohydrates
The carbohydrates used in Zignature’s formulas are also very impressive. None of the products include grains, nor do they use potatoes. Instead, they rely on things like peas, chickpeas, and lentils to provide the carbohydrate content for the food.
+ Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Each Zignature recipe includes one or more ingredients that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as sunflower oil, salmon, salmon meal, or flaxseed. Omega-3 fatty acids help to fight inflammation and promote proper skin, coat, and joint health, among other things.
Each recipe exceeds the AAFCO requirements for all life stages, so you can use these formulas for puppies, adults, and pregnant or lactating females. They are all made in the USA from ingredients sourced from reliably safe locations, including Australia, New Zealand, and France.
Nutrition, quality, and food-safety aside, most Zignature recipes seem to be very palatable to dogs.
Cons: What Could Zignature Do Better?
There are three or four minor issues with Zignature foods, but we wouldn’t consider any of them to be “deal breakers.” Nevertheless, it is important to consider the good and the bad when picking a food for your four-footer.
– Fairly New Company
One of the first things some owners may find troubling is that Pets Global Inc. is a relatively new company. However, they certainly aren’t a brand-new startup, and they’ve proven to be impressive over the eight years they’ve been in business. Additionally, they’ve never been forced to initiate a recall in this time.
– No Recipes With Chicken
Some owners may note that chicken is conspicuously absent from all Zignature products. None of the recipes utilize chicken as the whole protein, nor do any use chicken meal as the secondary protein. This isn’t necessarily a drawback, and many owners will actually consider this a positive characteristic, but some dogs like chicken more than any other protein.
– Not Fortified With Probiotics
Additionally, Zignature products are not fortified with any probiotics (beneficial bacteria that help promote proper digestion), which is slightly disappointing. However, there are a number of standalone canine probiotic supplements on the market, which you could use if you like.
– Expensive Price Point
However, the single biggest drawback to Zignature foods is simple: They’re quite pricey – even by premium dog food standards. A high price tag is to be expected of most high-quality dog foods, and it is all but guaranteed for those that are also grain-free, given that chickpeas, lentils, and peas are more expensive than grains like corn and wheat.
Final Thoughts on Zignature
Zignature dog foods are quite impressive and deserve serious consideration from all owners. They have all of the important features most owners will want in a dog food, including premium proteins and high-value carbohydrates.
They’re probably best suited for owners who are looking for grain-free options, as well as those with dogs who suffer from food allergies and require a limited-ingredient diet. And, because they are rich in protein and feature only low glycemic vegetables, they may be a good option for diabetic dogs (just be sure to solicit your vet’s advice first).
Zignature foods aren’t cheap, so they aren’t a viable option for budget-limited owners, but the canned products may make good (and somewhat affordable) toppers in some cases.
Have you fed your dog Zignature? What does your dog think of this brand? Share your impressions in the comments!
October 16, 2022
DO NOT BUY THIS FOOD! There are studies showing that grain free dog food and zignature specifically leads to heart failure and heart disease. That being said i have been feeding this to my dog for 4 years and she was just diagnosed with heart disease and heart failure. I just had to put her down at only 5 years old. I am disgusted by the owners of this company for continuing to sell this product. I hope with every bit of energy i have left that you go out of business. HORRIBLE PEOPLE AND HORRIBLE BRAND. PROTECT YOUR BABIES BEFORE YOU ARE IN THE SAME POSITION I WAS IN.
October 17, 2022
Hey there, Alyson.
We’re so sorry to hear about your pooch.
There does appear to be a correlation between grain-free foods and DCM, but there is still a ton we don’t yet understand about it. For starters, it isn’t clear whether it is the absence of grains or the fact that many of these foods contain legumes that is problematic. And for that matter, causation still has not yet been established; we just know that there is an increased incidence of DCM among dogs fed BEG (boutique, exotic, and grain-free) foods.
I know none of that is going to make you feel much better right now, but we wish you the very best.
July 3, 2022
The Zignature dog foods all have “meal” as a second ingredient — e.g. lamb and lamb “meal.” What is in the meal?
July 5, 2022
Hey there, M.L.
Meat meals are basically the meat, bone, and other parts of an animal that have been ground up and cooked until all of the water has evaporated.
They sound kinda gross to humans, but they are nutritious, and dogs typically find them tasty.
Thanks for checking out the site!
February 28, 2022
Much of the food you are recommending has pea powder and ingredients that have been linked to heart disease in dogs. I have 2 dogs that have heart disease that I attribute to expensive boutique foods I thought were superior until they got sick. The dietary department and the leading canine cardiologists at UC Davis California have told me not to feed any dog food that is grain free or has fillers like legume powders. You should be more conciseness of recommending food that can cause pet owners huge expense and emotional pain.
February 28, 2022
Hey there, Pamela.
The connection between DCM and boutique foods, grain-free foods, and foods with legumes still isn’t entirely clear, but you’re correct that many veterinarians and owners are starting to avoid them. We even have an article specifically detailing the best foods without peas or legumes, if you’d care to take a look.
But this article is specifically covering Zignature foods, which are all grain free.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, though!
July 3, 2022
Yes, my vet raised her eyebrows at the amount of pea ingredients high up in the list.
April 10, 2020
I have been feeding my 2 dogs the Zignature brand for 2 years now. It is a little pricey, but since we have switched to this brands my boys no longer suffer from itchy skin. I combine the wet and dry foods for them. They have shiny coats and even lost weight! It is worth every penny!
January 1, 2020
I have a highly allergic dog. He will break out in “lumps” so bad sometimes that he looks like a sack of marbles. Our dermatology vet specialist put Lester on a prescription food that was very beneficial. We were then told to gradually switch him over to a limited ingredient food to slowly introduce food ingredients back to him. This would allow us to be aware of any allergy triggers. After much research, I chose the Zignature Turkey Dry Recipe. He is thriving on it, so I don’t dare experiment further! He loves the food, and more importantly doesnt welt up with miserable itchy lumps after eating. While Zignature is quite expensive, it is well worth the comfort of my pup! (Note: We also store the food frozen to keep down storage mites. Storage and dust mites in pet food are allergins many pet owners are not aware of.)
August 22, 2019
Hi! My dog Telluride is a 3 year old Bulldog who has massive allergies! She is even allergic to all the hypoallergenic foods (even altimino from royal canon) the only food that works for her is Zignature Kangaroo!!! I even make her cookies out of the wet food! So thank you for this food! It is truly a life saver!
August 9, 2019
Zignature dog food is great for dogs with a sensitive stomach. My pups loved it. They had allergies to anything chicken, so I guess this is the perfect food for them. I ordered one bag of the trout and salmon formula and observed if they liked it. Yes, there were remarkable improvements, and I do not regret spending a bit more for Zignature.
August 2, 2019
I often find myself switching dog food brands because my Jack Russell, Kelly, isn’t very food driven, and he doesn’t finish the recommended daily amount. With Zignature dog food, I can just switch variants since the brand comes in a bunch of different formulas. Now, I can be sure that Kelly gets the best quality ingredients, no matter how many times we switch up.
July 26, 2019
I’m 34 now, and it’s my first time to own a dog again since I was a kid. Dog ownership is also a lot more serious these days. Gone are the days when your dog could practically live off of the family’s leftover table food. I know I should stick to a strict diet, but I can’t help giving my year-old lab a whole meal as a treat once in a while. So every so often, I get him a can of Zignature wet canned food. The only problem is getting him back to eating dry food after.
July 18, 2019
I have used Zignature kibble duck and turkey ever since they started producing their product. Actually I was dreaming of such a company. My Bichon Frise, Lola is allergic to everything except what I just listed in the beginning sentence. I know Zignature dog food to be the best product I could buy for her. She has been eating this food for the last 5 years and is doing very well and is now 8 years old.. Along with her food allergies, she has environmental and seasonal allergies. I say, at least she’s not allergic to the food. And I am thankful every day for this product and the company that produces it.
July 14, 2019
My dog is dying has heart disease due to this product. His diet is very isolated with lots of labs and meds now
February 2, 2020
I’m thinking on switching dog food to this product , but I read your review and was wondering how did this dog food cause this to your dog . I’m really sorry for you and your pup.
January 17, 2021
I’m sure it wasn’t the dog food…they were probably told by their vet that grain free is associated with cardio myopathy. That’s what my Great Dane’s cardiologist told me when he was dying but you can’t really blame that on the food. I also realize I’m late to the party with this comment but it’s still worth pointing out for others to see.
July 9, 2019
When I was a new doggy owner, I was suspicious of everything my dog ate. My dog is a Labrador, and I got her from my cousin when she was about seven months, and she already had a bad habit of chewing on everything she could get her teeth around (and I mean everything). That’s why I decided she should have the best dog food out there, and for us, it’s Zignature.
July 5, 2019
When Pogo was a puppy, we thought he was allergic to chicken. We always had to buy food from exotic meats like lamb and salmon, or kangaroo. Zignature offers a good variety of meats that other brands don’t, so we can keep Pogo’s diet diverse and healthy instead of giving him the exact same thing, day-in, day-out.
June 28, 2019
One of our dogs, a spitz, had been very active for the three years she’s been with us, but suddenly became listless since grandma came to our house to visit. Grandma finally admitted she would feed our dogs scraps from the table, like fries and popcorn. The vet was right, our spitz has allergies, and so we fed her Zignature. After just two days, she became her active self again.
May 22, 2019
We have had our German Shepherd on Zigniture for 2 years and her coat is beautiful! I gave her lamb and now changed to zensentials! I also give her a little of the canned food mixed with her dry food for a change
July 3, 2022
It sounds as if the company’s claim that you can change formulas without problems is true.
April 17, 2019
My 2 yorkies grew up on Solid Gold. Then the lady I got them from said try Merrick. So my dogs loved the Merrick for a short time! Would not go back to Solid Gold. Went to Pet Club and they recommended Zignature. Got the sample bags and Pork was the winner, which is what they are eating now. Turkey was 2nd. Happy I found a quality dog food that my pups enjoy❣ Afterall the pups should enjoy their food as well.
March 18, 2019
I have a nearly 17 year old Jack arussell with IBD. She really doesn’t like prescription hydrolyzed protein food. I saw the goat formula and bought 3 cans to try and see how she reacted. Well first, she eagerly eats it, and is gaining a little weight back. Her stools have been normal. She acts, looks and feels better. I’m very pleased and I’m keeping the kangaroo and venison in reserve in case she starts having problems with rhe goat formula.
March 20, 2019
That’s great, Janna! Keep us updated on her progress! Glad you found a food that works. 🙂
March 18, 2019
Zignature trout & salmon, lamb, and pork formulas are the only ones our dog enjoys eating from day one. We tried all brands on the market within limited ingredient formulas, and none were so well balanced and well accepted by our goldendoodle Payton..
Thanks much Pets Global Inc., and please continue your excellent work and deliver high quality products.
Cris & Payton
March 18, 2019
Thanks for sharing your experiences, Cristina! Glad to hear that Zingature has worked out well for your pups!
October 22, 2021
I’m looking for a good dogfood for my dogs shedding she’s a chi mix 1 in a half and sheds like crazy I was feeding her natural dimions for puppy but my bag almost go so I need an adult food
February 27, 2019
I have a 10 year old chocolate lab, 3 yr old Rottie and 10 month old Rottie. I used natural balance for years until recently. Besides their formula changing not for the better and causing digestive issues I needed to find a good grain free and rosemary free food for my 10 month old who had a couple seizures few weeks back. Long story short – I found Zignature. I love their formulas and their stool has improved. However the amount of and frequency of their stools is out of control. Three big dogs pooping 6 times a day each isn’t ok. And yes I’m feeding according to the guidelines and yes I did a gradual switch. I realize they have high fiber content in their foods but it’s way too much. I’m thinking about Taste Of The Wild now. Anyone have the same experiences or thoughts ?
February 26, 2019
We have a 11 month old Husky with a super sensitive GI Tract. We started him on grain free dry food of other brands and we had to battle the potatoes or multiple animal protein sources, which was insurmountable. We found boiled bland chicken he could tolerate well but when the chicken was processed into a kibble it had been changed enough to become a major factor. Then Zignature was suggested, the pork formula has the least ingredients. He has thrived on it and his gut is totally normal now. Some vets bad mouth Zignature because of the “unkown” cause of heart failure in dogs on a limited ingredient diet— absolutely nothing yet points to a problem with Zignature. They have added taurine to each formula as a precautionary step, being proactive. I would like to see a Probiotic in their formulas too. I would also like to see DL-Methionine in their formulas too. Spendy? Well their Pork, Catfish, and Turkey formulas are not anymore spendy than the majority of the other limited ingredient brands out there, often cheaper on these 3 formulas. Yes, if you look at their Venison formula that is outrageously priced, so just don’t buy it.
February 18, 2019
My dog is very food allergic and Zignature (kangaroo) has been great! His skin, fur, teeth and weight have been ideal!!