Hi there, hopefully I can be of some assistance in this area! I'm sorry for the massive response, didn't expect it to grow so large. I've added a summary at the bottom if you don't want to read all of this. Anyway, here we go...
Quick background time (please feel free to skip this if you're uninterested in my 'past'. I've had my first (and only dog) for six years now and ever since we bought her I've been immensely interested, almost fanatically so, on ensuring her diet is perfect. No ifs, no buts, no maybes - just perfect. Price is never an obstacle for me, unless of course we're talking £1000's.
I've done an awful lot of research into dog food. Personal rather than academic of course, although I've read scientific journals rather than anecdotal evidence. I've tried over the course of my dogs life to feed her the perfect diet. I've tried raw meat, BARF, kibble (ranging from Beta Purina to Orijen) wet tins and homemade. All with varying degrees of success.
- I love the idea of a Raw/BARF diet, but the practicalities and time constraints (allowing items to thaw, etc) simply means it is unfeasible.
- Loved the idea of homemade, knowing exactly what goes into her food, but the time it takes to do this is again, unfeasible.
- I dislike the idea of Kibble as, from what I have read, the extrusion process destroys many of the long proteins/fatty acids and nutrients within the food, depending upon the temperatures used and makes the food less nutritious (hence the rise of 'cold-pressed' kibble to combat this).
- I've tried her on wet foods, but these again pose difficulties in storage and palatability. Honestly, of all the wet foods we've tried, Lily's Kitchen seems to agree with her the most.
As with all of these approaches, they have their pros and cons. I loved feeding her a raw meat and bones diet, but practically, it couldn't be done due to cleanliness issues and time. I loved feeding her Orijen, but no matter the variety, it didn't agree with her, although I disliked the extrusion method used to create the kibble. I liked feeding her a homemade diet, but it was too time consuming... Do you see where I'm going? There are pros and cons with every method of food, in my position that is.
My dog is an outstandingly fussy eater and will turn her nose up at most things, but the twang you get when you open a bag of ZiwiPeak (and I've got to say, I love the smell, my fiancee does not however), definitely gets her trotting into the kitchen.So...My Verdict
All of this research, testing and real-life exploring and discussions with different pet food manufacturers led me to ZiwiPeak's Air Dried range. I cannot fault them, they meet every aspect that I would want for my dogs food.
Yes, I'll get it out of the way, it's costly, or more so than other dog foods. I want my dog to live for as long as possible, as healthily as possible. For me, as I said before, cost is no issue. If this food is the best, then fair dues. I'll pay the price.
ZiwiPeak, and I'll take this from their website, so it's their word, not mine:
Your dog is descended from the wolf, one of the earliest animals to be domesticated – around 10,000BC. Its intestine and digestive system has remained largely unchanged. Dogs are carnivores, plain and simple. As a result, the best diet you can provide is one in harmony with evolution – one that a dog’s digestive system can easily convert into usable nutrients and energy. It’s a diet that’s high in protein and fat from meat – the diet nature intended for long-term health, well-being and longevity.From their FAQ Section:
ZiwiPeak mirrors this wild-prey, natural diet. It gives you peace of mind that you’re providing the complete and balanced nutritional support your dog needs, from a source you can trust.
Our unique, gentle air-drying process respects the nutritional value of 90% meat, organs, fish and green-lipped mussels. It minimises damage to the proteins, vitamins and sensitive nutrients and enzymes in the all-natural ingredients, so your dog gets nearly all the benefits of a raw-meat diet. The other 10% consists of carbohydrates from natural sources, such as green tripe, chicory, kelp and parsley, plus essential vitamins and minerals for a balanced diet. The food’s then further protected in a re-sealable airtight package.
03 | No nasties
No added sugars, salt, glycerines, antibiotics, hormones, preservatives, colourings, fillers, grains or potatoes.
Without human intervention, in cheaper foods, your cat or dog wouldn’t eat any of these things because they can’t easily digest them.
Our products are also GMO-free, with no ethoxyquin, BHA or BHT and no propylene glycol.
Dogs and cats find it difficult to metabolise and digest processed foods and the high levels of carbohydrates in most other pet foods. Sadly, these additives and inappropriate ingredients are commonly used. But not by us.
04 | Exact food balance
A balanced raw-meat diet is the best you can give your pet. But raw meat brings with it safety and convenience issues.
Dogs and cats hunting in the wild would eat virtually the whole animal, getting essential benefits from such organs as the liver, lungs, stomach lining (tripe), heart, kidney and even bone.
ZiwiPeak offers all the benefits of this raw wild-prey diet, with added fish, shellfish and essential vitamins and minerals.
ZiwiPeak gives your pet the equivalent of a raw wild-prey diet from a source and brand you can always trust, with all the convenience you value.
07 | A trusted, traceable source
We only source from New Zealand farms adhering to year-round, free-pasture, grass-feeding.
Approved farms don’t use antibiotics, growth promotants or hormones.
We only use 100% natural, real meat and organs, just as nature intended.
All our air-dried food is produced in our own New Zealand factory.
When you open a pouch or can of ZiwiPeak, you’re reaching one of the world’s cleanest agricultural and ocean environments. And we can track and trace the ingredients back to known New Zealand pastures and fishing grounds.
08 | Environmentally responsible
New Zealand farming and fishing is highly environmentally conscious, subject to resource management regulations and rigorous sustainabity programmes.
No energy-intensive, indoor winter housing and feeding systems.
No ZiwiPeak ingredients come from feedlots.
ZiwiPeak has a lower carbon footprint than North American and European equivalents.
New Zealand has strict biosecurity laws and livestock remains disease-free, avoiding harmful interventions. All ZiwiPeak ingredients are sourced within monitored systems and from licensed facilities. Our fish and shellfish ingredients are sourced and caught under New Zealand’s government-managed quota systems.
09 | Personal values
We’re people serving people, pet lovers like yourself.
As a family-owned company, we pride ourselves on quality and value.
We own our own factories. We know that only the best goes into ZiwiPeak from source to dispatch.
We love cats and dogs just as much as you do. Unconditionally!
Our striving for excellence is total. It’s a way of life. Our customers – people like you – expect nothing less.
Many apologise for the wall of text. As I said earlier, I've spent a lot of time reading around the subject and the two quotes above really hone into and refine my reasoning and choice for feeding my dog ZiwiPeak's products. If I had to boil it down to a few reasons why I use ZiwiPeak, it's this:
- Ethically sourced, outstanding food
- Company own the factory the food comes from
- Benefits of RAW diet in a convenient bag
- No nasties in the food at all
- Air dried to preserve nutrients
- Single or duel protein source
All in all, baring some ridiculous anomaly on the quality/distribution/ethics of the company, I can finally say my search for the best dog food for my dog is at an end with ZiwiPeak. Plus, my dog absolutely loves the stuff.