ZiwiPeak air dried dog food review: How it helped my dog

ZiwiPeak air dried dog food review: How it helped my dog

Finding the right food for your dog can be challenging.

When I first brought Carl, my golden doodle, home there was a period of trial and error to find the right dog food that worked for him.

We both learned from those experiences.

The mistakes made ultimately led to me learning about air dried dog food. The search ended with me finding what I believe to be the best air dried dog food available on the market today.

The company is called Ziwi Pets.

They’re relatively unknown and based out of New Zealand. However, they’ve been rapidly growing thanks to their quality products.

In this article I’ll share my story in hopes that you can avoid some of the issues that I first struggled with when selecting the right food. Eventually I found the best option to feed my dog Carl was with ZiwiPeak. If you’re in a hurry, you can find ZiwiPeak air dried dog food on Amazon.

Realizing there was a problem

In the weeks prior to bringing Carl home, I did hours of research. I was confident that my preparation would serve me well.

However, I very quickly realized that no amount of research can really prepare you for all the changes that are about to happen to your life.

One of the earliest problems I ran into was trying to figure out what type of food worked best for Carl.  At first, I continued feeding him what his breeder was giving him.

However, at the time the brand only offered 30-pound bags of food or more. This was an issue for me. For some, this wouldn’t be a problem, but with limited storage space in my apartment, this wasn’t a practical solution.

This curveball meant I needed to find a new brand that worked for both Carl and myself.

No luck at the local chain pet-store

The search and my subsequent mistakes began at the typical chain pet-store in my area. In hindsight, I wish I would have done more research on the dog food industry.

My lack of knowledge on the industry really held be back at that point. Someone working at the pet store suggested a grain free option. After a few days, it was very clear that Carl wasn’t enjoying the food, or eating in general, and the change worried me.

my dog carl happy after eating his ziwipeak dog food

Carl happy after eating :)

Going to the veterinarian

I scheduled a veterinarian appointment for a check up with Carl. I thought it would be a good idea to ask their opinion on dog food.

I was surprised to learn, after a few tests, that Carl had coccidia, which is a relatively easy to treat puppy parasite. They suggested a treatment plan to take care of his coccidia, and they assured me that Carl would make a speedy recovery.

Now I was tasked with figuring out a new option for his food. I asked the veterinarian what she thought about the brand I was using, and if she had any suggestions she could offer me.

She didn’t have anything complimentary to say about the brand I was using. Then she suggested that we switch to a prescription option to help with digestive issues during the treatment, and then gradually switch to a puppy formula made by Royal Canin.

At this point I was confused. Since I hadn’t done my own research I was left making decisions based off of recommendations by an employee of a pet store or my veterinarian.

Looking back at that moment, I was overwhelmed with the situation. Due to the pressure of the situation, I decided to take her recommendation as fact.

The struggle to find answers

Carl was completely coccidia free after a week and had a totally normal appetite. I was relieved and thought I was out of the woods.

If only it were that easy.

Carl’s interest in his new food was very short lived. He was eating, but it was obvious that his food wasn’t agreeing with him.

After a few weeks, he started vomiting bile or dry heaving at least once a week. Other than that, he was completely normal, and within minutes after vomiting, he would want to play.

I wasn’t sure what was going on. Part of me thought that he was just a baby, and babies throw up sometimes.

After a few more visits to the vet, they couldn’t find anything wrong with him. I thought maybe he was chewing parts of the rugs in my apartment, so I replaced them.

No changes.

I adjusted his feeding times. I even gave him small snacks throughout the day, thinking he was getting too hungry in-between meals.

Again, no changes.

This really started to worry me and I decided to take action.

After only a few minutes of research, I knew I had to find a different option. I was determined to find a new solution for Carl.

Finding a solution in ZiwiPeak dog food

It became clear that I needed to go into research mode. I had to find a better food for Carl.

As I started to dive a little deeper into my research I noticed a small company from New Zealand that I hadn’t heard of called ZiwiPeak. They were selling a type of dog food that was made using the air drying process, which again I had never heard of before.

After reading some info on ZiwiPeak’s website, it honestly sounded too good to be true. ZiwiPeak’s philosophy and the concept of air-dried dog food started to seem like an attractive option for me.

Their food is composed of 98% fresh meat (bones, organs, and seafood), and that’s something I can fully get behind. I decided to give their air-dried food a try.

For the first time, I actually knew exactly what was in the food that I was giving Carl.

my pup carl eating his air dried food

Chow time!

After I made the switch I decided to do even more research on the company and New Zealand. Here’s what I was pleasantly surprised to find out. 

Why New Zealand sourcing?

New Zealand is one of the best places in the world to source fresh meats and seafood to make wholesome and nutritious pet food for dogs.

What makes New Zealand such a great place to source ingredients?

It’s a combination of things that lead to a unique, ethically sourced, and most importantly, delicious foods for pets. This is important, because when a pet food is made from inferior quality proteins, it shows in the final product.

About New Zealand

New Zealand, a small island nation in the South Pacific, and is home to an abundance of wholesome, natural, and ethically sourced ingredients.

Since New Zealand is only accessible by air or boat; the area’s isolation results in a competitive advantage for the farmers that can raise their livestock in the best, ethical way possible.

New Zealand’s ethical livestock farms

This means that the meat used in Ziwi pet food is sourced from animals that enjoy free-range grazing on Zealand’s bright green pastures. All of the meat is raised on traceable, approved local farms that never add antibiotics, growth promotants, or hormones.

The farms use ethical and responsible practices to ensure that the meat produced is of the** highest quality**.

According to ZiwiPets, these ethically run farms are owned by real New Zealand families with a culture of strong, honest work and integrity. It comes as no surprise that these farms have reached the highest level of MPI certification.

High Government standards

Strict biosecurity protocols have been put in place by the New Zealand Government to keep the livestock disease-free. As a result, there are no outbreaks of infectious diseases such as mad cow disease or foot and mouth disease.

What prevents these types of diseases from infecting the livestock of the small island nation? The remote location of New Zealand works to its advantage to keep livestock healthy, and strict border security keeps the risk of infectious disease low.

Ziwi never uses GMOs or artificial foods.

This is partly due to the ideal climate the island offers for raising livestock. Even during the winter most parts of the island the temperatures rarely drop below 45 degrees Fahrenheit. This environment enables farmers to keep their livestock on grass all year round, something that isn’t possible in locations with harsh winters.

New Zealand’s sustainable marine ecology

One species in particular that can be found in the clean waters of New Zealand’s coast is the Green-Lipped Mussel. Ziwi adds this into its food to support health joints in your dog as they age.

These mussels are farmed using ecologically-sustainable practices. They make such an excellent addition to a pet’s diet because they are a natural source of beneficial glucosamine and chondroitin.

Glucosamine and chondroitin work to nutritionally support long-term joint health. Joint support is critical at any stage of your pet’s life, not just as they age and begin to show signs of sore joints and hips.

new zealand green lipped mussel that's used in ziwi pet food products

The green-lipped mussel. Image: Richard Giddins

Why sustainable sourcing matters

The proteins sourced for ZiwiPeak are of the highest sustainable standards, but why does this matter?

The sustainable practices of farming and fishing in New Zealand promote the future health of the area’s ecosystem. It allows people to continue farming and fishing for years to come.

Sustainable farming and fishing techniques are intended to protect the environment as well as public health and communities. Sustainability also emphasizes animal welfare.

Sustainable fishing is especially crucial for allowing people to continue fishing in a given area. Overfishing not only depletes the water of the specific seafood being harvested, but it can also hurt the ecosystem and even endanger other species.

Farming and catching seafood in a sustainable, responsible manner means that the future vitality of the species being harvested is preserved. It promotes the health of the ocean and the livelihoods of the communities reliant on the industry.

What is air-dried dog food?

Air-drying is a process the protein goes through to remove moisture via evaporation without the addition of heat.

Retains nutrients

By air-drying the food, the vitamins, nutrients, and enzymes contained in the natural ingredients remain intact without the use of additives or preservatives. This process results in your dog retaining all of the nutritional benefits of a raw food diet.

Concentrated flavor

The flavor of the food becomes concentrated as the water is removed, creating a tasty meal for your canine. Carl even loves his food so much I can interchange it as a treat!

Ziwi uses a modern and refined twist on the centuries-old technique by taking a hands-on, artisanal approach. Each of their recipes is made in small batches and placed in slow, gentle air-dryers, which consists of two stages.

Eliminates bacteria

Another interesting thing to note is that the air-drying process eliminates pathogenic bacteria such as salmonella and listeria while protecting the nutrients.

How air drying makes ZiwiPeak different from dry kibble

The idea of an air-dried dog food comes from a centuries old technique to naturally preserve meats.

As its stated on the ZiwiPet website.

“Our modern method stays true to this artisan approach, while eliminating the need for artificial preservatives, sugars or glycerines. Our slow, gentle, twin stage air-drying process crafts a food that is as nutrient-dense and digestible as a completely raw diet but safe, clean to handle and can store for up to 21 months.”

The concept of going back to basics was really refreshing to me in this instance. A simple comparison of the ingredient list of the respective brands that I’ve tried illustrates the story perfectly for me.

On one side you have a chemistry textbook, and on the other, you have natural ingredients.

The process of air-drying eliminates the need for any sort of binding or preservation agent. There isn’t a single dry kibble on the market that can compare to the nutritional value offered by this air dried dog food.

On top of that, air-dried dog food gives your pup the majority of the benefits of a raw food diet, with a lot less work for you. 

Eliminates the guesswork

Almost all dog food brands promise that they offer your dog a balanced diet and all the vitamins and nutrients your canine needs.

The truth of the matter is, many dog food brands pack their products with cheap fillers such as grains, corn and meat by-products. Then they continue to add artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, and other harmful ingredients that your dog would never eat in the wild.

If you want to offer your dog a diet similar to the one his ancestors ate, but don’t want the mess and hassle of preparing a raw meat diet, air-dried is a welcomed option.

With an air-dried dog food, you eliminate the guesswork of whether or not the food you’re giving your dog is right for them. The ingredients are simple, and most, if not all will be recognizable to you. 

Livestock in new zealand on sustainable farm

The lush, green, picturesque pastures of New Zealand. Image: Dave Young

Why should you switch your dog to an air-dried diet?

There are many benefits and reasons for switching your dog to an air-dried diet. From improved health, to convenience, the benefits far outweigh those of other types of dog foods on the market.

Let’s take a closer look at each of them.

Predominately made of meat

Dogs are naturally carnivores and should primarily eat meat. While some vegetables and fruits can provide sources of nutrients, their primary source of nutrition should be from muscle meat, organs, and bones.

Dogs cannot properly digest certain grains, and some fruits and vegetables may make them sick if ingested. Many dog foods include inexpensive fillers like corn, rice, or potatoes, and have very little meat in their ingredients.

Ziwi’s products are made from over 98% fresh meat, organs, bone, and green mussels.

Provides raw food benefits

A dog’s digestive system is specifically designed to process raw foods, or raw-alternatives like Ziwi. They have the stomach acids and bacteria-killing agents to consume raw meats.

Cooked and processed foods can be unhealthy and lack the vitamins and minerals that raw foods have. Also, these foods can improve dental health, skin and coat quality, and increase your dog’s energy. I like to think of it as beef jerky for Carl.

Long Shelf Life

Ziwi’s air-drying process provides a food product with a 21 month shelf life which gives you a convenient way to feed your dog a complete & balanced diet. This is great for me because I don’t have to worry about it going bad.

Instead of buying raw meat at your local grocery store, and handling potentially contaminated meats at home, this eliminates the risk of that. Plus, making sure you have enough meat in the fridge or freezer every day can be tiresome.

Results after changing to ZiwiPeak

Since making the change to ZiwiPet products, Carl has had zero incidents of vomiting bile or dry heaving. He went from vomiting upwards of multiple times per week to not having a single incident in over 6 months.

He actually enjoys his new food so much, that I’m able to use his food as a training reward. For me, the biggest change has been my peace of mind.

At one point I had puppy pads tucked away in every corner of my apartment. It’s a huge relief knowing that Carl’s health has improved since making the switch.

You can read more real reviews and get ZiwiPeak dog food on Amazon.

Transitioning your dog to their new food

Keep in mind your dog will need less air dried food compared to traditional dry kibble. A 5.5lb bag of this food will last Carl at least 25% longer than the same sized bag of traditional dry kibble.

Here’s a great video from Ziwi that explains the differences in serving sizes and how to properly transition your pup to this new food source.

Follow this guide to switch your pooch over from dry kibble. 

Final Thoughts

While I talk a lot about ZiwiPeak in this article the bigger take away is simple.

If something is upsetting your dog don’t be afraid to do some research, try new things and fix the problem yourself. Ultimately it’s your responsibility to take care of your canine and make the best decisions for them.

No one knows your dogs habits better than you do (not even your vet).

I hope my story can help you with whichever problem you and your furry companion might encounter. Ultimately, I want the best life for Carl and I wish the same to you and your dog.

Let us know if you give air dried dog food a try. If you have any questions feel free to reach out to us! We’d love to hear from you.