Dog food is available in a variety of forms, with raw and raw-alternative diets that are high in meat and organs seeing steady growth within the independent pet retail channel. This is spurred by consumers who are seeking dog food in its most natural state to allow their companion animals to eat meat as they would in nature. ZIWI is a pet food company headquartered in New Zealand. Free-range deer farmer Peter Mitchell founded the brand in 2002 with the goal of combining the nutrition found in raw diets with the safe convenience of dry pet foods. Heather Hickey, senior VP of sales at ZIWI, shares the brand’s insight on a variety of dog food topics, including proper nutrition, rotational diets and the value of superfoods being a source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to support brain, heart and joint function, while contributing to skin and coat health.
What are the essential components when it comes to dog nutrition and a balanced diet?
At a base level, food must comply with AAFCO’s guidelines. ZIWI’s recipes are complete and balanced for all life stages, including large breed puppies. At ZIWI, we include amazing superfoods like green-lipped mussels for important nutrients like glucosamine and chondroitin for healthy joints. By adding muscle meat and heart to our recipes, pets get natural taurine for heart health.
What can you tell us about superfoods and why should consumers know this term?
Superfoods are simply natural foods that include a large number of natural nutrients that contribute to health and happiness. ZIWI utilizes cold-washed green tripe, organic kelp, green-lipped mussels and heart in our superfood blend.
Why should pet parents consider putting their dog on a rotational diet?
Rotating between flavors can help prevent picky eaters. It also provides a wider variety of nutrients for your pet. For example, when a pet parent feeds our Beef recipe, they get cold-washed green tripe which is extremely palatable and high in natural minerals. In ZIWI’s Hauraki Plains recipe, we include eggs and whole fish which are rich in nutritious omega fatty acids. Every recipe is complete and balanced, and each one contains ingredients that promote health and well-being.
Why is transparency so important when it comes to dog food ingredients?
Sourcing matters. ZIWI’s meats are sourced only from free-range, grass-fed and grass-finished farms where the farmers adhere to the “5 Freedom Principles.” These principles ensure that all animals experience a life that is free from hunger and thirst. They are free from discomfort, pain, injury and disease. The animals have a life where they are free to express their natural behavior, and they do not live in fear or distress. At ZIWI, we source only the highest quality, sustainable ingredients, for “Peak Nutrition.”