FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about Feeding

Do I need to add supplements when feeding ZIWI® Peak?

ZIWI® Peak foods are complete and balanced for all life stages and all breeds. We do not recommend adding supplements to your pet’s diet unless specifically recommended by your veterinarian.

How often should I feed my dog or cat?

We recommend feeding your pet twice daily. We suggest talking with your veterinarian to determine the best feeding schedule for your pet.

Can ZIWI® Peak be fed as a topper or mixed with another food?

For optimum health we recommend you feed 100% ZIWI® Peak. However, if you wish to feed ZIWI® Peak with another food such as raw meat,  kibble, freeze dried, cans or any other food type you can at any ratio you like. ZIWI® Peak can be fed in many different ways as your pet’s sole daily food, as a nutritious topper on your existing food or as a tasty treat.  

How do you develop feeding recommendations for your foods?

ZIWI® Peak feeding guidelines are consistent with AAFCO recommendations, which are based on the National Research Council’s Nutrient Requirements for Dogs and Cats. This is a compilation of scientific research done on dog and cat nutrition and is the reference book used by professionals worldwide. 

Can I feed my cat ZIWI® Peak Daily Dog Recipes?

ZIWI® Peak foods are formulated to meet the unique needs of each species. ZIWI® Peak dog foods do not meet the special nutritional needs of cats; therefore we do not recommend feeding cats our dog recipes.

Why not just feed raw meat?

Feeding a raw meat diet comes with some challenges, mainly the inconvenience of having to prepare and thaw in preparation for your pets meal and as well as the “yuck” and hygiene and risk factors of handling raw meat. ZIWI® Peak air-dried is a complete and balanced food which provides all required nutrients, eliminating the need for expensive supplements. Additionally, it is over 95% digestible and extremely nutrient-dense, meaning you feed less, and your pet absorbs more of the nutrition. Our twin-stage air-drying process eliminates the risk of pathogenic bacteria, providing a shelf-stable product with the scoop-and-serve convenience of feeding straight from the bag.

What size bag should I buy?

Once opened the bag should be used within 8 weeks. To determine the size bag your pet will consume in 8 weeks, we recommend using our Feeding Calculator, to determine your pet’s daily serving. 

ZIWI® Peak’s air-dried daily serving seems small – will my pet be satisfied?

Dogs and cats are satisfied when their nutritional and calorific needs are met. During the transition period, your pet will gradually adapt to the physical sensation of being less full, but you can be assured that they are receiving everything they need for optimal health and vitality. We recommend dividing the daily serving amount into two or three feedings during this time. If you pet appears to be asking for more food, we recommend you resist the urge to overfeed and offer them some extra affection or play time instead. Remember that ZIWI® Peak is extremely nutrient-dense, so less is required to provide the correct amount of calories and nutrients. 

What is the Difference Between ‘As Received’ & ‘Dry Matter’

Both of these terms refer to the nutrient levels in the final product, however ‘As Received’ is essentially the nutrient content of the product as it is served in the bowl and ‘Dry Matter’ is the calculated nutrient content after removing the moisture.

‘Dry Matter’ helps when comparing different types of products that have different moisture levels such as comparing canned and dry foods.

‘As Received’ shows the amount of each nutrient in the product and no adjustment is made for moisture content. Because each pet food, type of product, and recipe may have different moisture levels, this analysis makes it difficult to compare different products.

‘Dry Matter’ analysis is the nutrient levels calculated on a dry basis with 0% moisture. Dry Matter nutritive values are standards set by AAFCO to help pet food companies formulate their recipes to ensure appropriate volumes of vitamins and minerals are included in the recipe regardless of moisture content i.e. wet or canned, kibble, air-dry and other foods.

Dry Matter is an accurate measure to compare recipes within a product range or across different product types because the nutrient levels do not take moisture into account and as a result produces a standardised analysis for comparison.

For example, Canned Cat Chicken contains 12% protein on an ‘As Received’ basis but this is because moisture / water makes up a significant portion (around 74%) of the recipe. When we remove the moisture, we can see protein now makes up a significant portion of the recipe (46%). Compare this recipe on a Dry Matter basis to other pet food brands’ canned Chicken nutrient levels and you’ll be able to objectively compare each recipe.

Is Ziwi Organic?

Ziwi is not registered as an organic or bio brand as there are not sufficient source animals raised in New Zealand on certified organic/ bio farms. We would not be able to source sufficient registered organic meat ingredients to satisfy the volumes we need for our brand. 

It is a very small % of farms that are certified as organic/ bio. 

Despite not being registered as Bio we are the highest quality pet food made globally. 

New Zealand has the highest animal welfare standards and the strictest regulations in the way livestock is raised and cared for. 

All meat and seafood used in Ziwi are the same meat and seafood that is supplied for human consumption. 

By New Zealand law all livestock must be free of antibiotics, hormones and growth promotants at time of slaughter so the meat we use in Ziwi Peak is free of any of these nasties. 

Can you mix Ziwi air dried food with other meats, such as steamed chicken breast?

Both our air dried food and canned foods are highly digestible to the high quality ingredients they contain so they are fine to feed together.  One option if your cat is looking hungry would be to feed the canned for breakfast and the air dried for dinner. 

It’s also fine to feed our food with other foods such as chicken breast, however if you want to do this it’s important to decrease the amount of air dried you’re feeding so you don’t overfeed. 

To double check you’re feeding the correct amount of our food we recommend going to our feeding calculator here https://www.ziwipets.com/dog-and-cat-food-calculator and typing in your cats details for the flavour you want to feed. 

If you wanted to feed half canned and half air dried you would just work out the feeding amount for both the canned and air dried food and then half it. 

I’m considering changing the diet of my older dog to Ziwi peak, will it be ok?

Ziwi contains some great free range single protein recipes which are great for senior dogs. 

We recommend a gradual transition over 7 days to minimise digestive upset, see our transition guide for more information. 

What level of salt does Ziwi peak contain?

ZIWI adds approximately 0.3% New Zealand Sea Salt to all our air-dried recipes to meet AAFCO’s sodium requirements for complete and balanced for all life stages and all breeds. If ZIWI opted not to include this small amount then our recipes would no longer be approved for all life stages. 

I am starting my dog on a BARF diet. Is Ziwi suitable?

Ziwi is an easy and less messy alternative to feeding raw, as all ZIWI Peak air-dried and canned recipes are complete and balanced so they meet the AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages and breeds, including the growth of large breed puppies. ZIWI Peak can be introduced to puppies as young as 6 weeks of age and is also suitable for senior dogs. 

The best way to determine proper feeding guidelines for your pet is by utilizing our online feeding calculator found here: https://ziwipets.co.uk/pages/feeding-calculatorThis tool allows you to enter in the unique characteristics of your pet to determine the proper feeding amount. 

I was told Ziwi was high in fat, and to feed my cat kibbles instead. Is this correct?

Ziwi Peak is perfectly suited to an overweight cat, as there are none of the added fillers and carbs in Ziwi Peak which is what stacks the weight on.   

The best cat food for weight loss is the same food that supports their everyday health and wellbeing: a biologically appropriate, meat-rich diet like ZIWI Peak 

You’ll find 96% meat, organs, seafood and bone in all of our air-dried recipes, without the added carbohydrates or sugars.  

Ziwi canned food contains 92% meat, organs, bone, and seafood. Our canned food typically contains 77.5% moisture, whereas our air dried food typically contains 9% moisture so you need to feed more of the canned food to deliver the same amount of energy. Both our air dried and canned recipes are fully balanced with all the necessary vitamins and minerals that dogs and cats need for their daily nutritional needs.  

 

Cats are obligate carnivores and require animal-based protein (meat) to survive and thrive. Cats lack the amino acids to break down, digest and utilize carbohydrates, so food containing grains, starches, potatoes, peas, and other fillers lead to a lot of health problems for them. Cats also have a relatively low thirst drive; in the wild they derive 70%-75% of their daily fluid intake from the meat they consume. Chronic dehydration and improper diet are the leading causes of most health issues domestic cats experience, including kidney disease and urinary issues.   

Most holistic cat experts recommend that cats are fed a moist food, high in animal protein, and low in carbohydrates. I’ve attached a link from Dr Lisa A Pierson’s website, who’s the worlds feline cat guru www.catinfo.org . 

 

Due to the high inclusion of meat and organs Ziwi Peak is naturally very low in carbohydrates, with moderate to high protein and fat levels.  

As you will see below the fat levels in Ziwi’s cat recipes typically range between 14%-41% on dry matter basis. This is a reflection of a whole-prey diet and what would naturally be consumed in the wild.  

If the cat prefers a dry food the lower fat recipes in our air dried food are Venison, Mackerel & Lamb recipes.  Alternatively if the cat prefers canned food  our lower fat recipes in our canned range are Mackerel, Mackerel & Lamb and Venison recipes. 

 

For weight loss in a cat it is suggested to feed at an amount 10% less than the recommended amount for its body weight.  When it drops to that weight recalculate the feeding amount to 10% less bodyweight again, until it reaches its ideal weight then continue feeding it at that amount.  This way the reduction in food is not a sudden big change to the cats system – it is a steady, measured reduction.  However, as we don’t know your particular cat we recommend you discuss any dietary changes you wish to make with your Vet. 

To work out how much to feed type your cats details into our feeding calculator here https://ziwipets.co.uk/pages/feeding-calculator

I’ve accidently fed my dog Ziwi Peak cat food, will this harm the dog?

There is nothing in our cat cans that will harm this customers pup so it will be fine to feed their pup our cat food on this occasion, as it’s fine to feed a dog cat food from time to time or as treats. Our cat and dog recipes are very similar however, they're formulated with the vitamins and minerals to meet the unique needs of each species. 

What temperature does Ziwi air dry it’s pet food at?

Unfortunately as air drying is quite a new process and there aren’t many companies doing it so this is commercially very sensitive information. Therefore we have a firm policy that we do not divulge our air drying temperature to anyone. However we want to assure you that our air drying process is a unique low temperature gentle process that dries the raw food to be shelf stable hygienic and safe food that is as close to actual raw food as you can get without actually being raw. This process ensures that the integrity of the raw protein structure is maintained and minimises any damage to sensitive enzymes, nutrients, and vitamins.  

In your air-dried food there are lots of added minerals and vitamins - are any of them synthetic?

ZIWI’s vitamins and minerals come from 2 sources. The first is from the inclusion of all natural ingredients such as the meat, organs, and kelp. The second is a synthetic vitamin and mineral proprietary pre-mix to ensure our recipes meet AAFCO guidelines for completed and balanced for all life stages and breeds. You can feel confident knowing that ZIWI doesn’t source any of our ingredients from China or India. 

Air-dried food has Lecithin, Inulin from Chicory, Dried Kelp - are they produced in an organic way?

Other than our kelp that is certified organic, none of our other ingredients such as Lecithin and Inulin from Chicory are certified organic. Since New Zealand is such a clean, pristine island with more stringent safety standards than the US, we are fortunate enough to use all the wholesome resources available without needing them to be certified organic. 

Can you freeze Ziwi Air Dried Food?

We do not recommend freezing or refrigeration of our air-dried recipes. When frozen or refrigerated food is placed at room temperature, moisture often condenses on the surface of the food, which could facilitate microbial growth or mold 

Our ZIWI air-dried recipes are good for 21 months unopened, and 8 weeks after opening. ZIWI air-dried recipes should be stored tightly sealed in their original package in a temperature controlled environment, away from direct sunlight and heat. 

Is Ziwi Peak Halal?

We want to assure you that both Ziwi and New Zealand has extremely high animal welfare standards, and that our animals are treated in a humane way and raised outside in a free range grass fed environment all year round. 

The meat ingredients we source that we use in the Ziwi brand are from New Zealand's major Export meat processors and under NZ law they are constantly monitored by the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) veterinarians and must meet all Government regulations.  

Ziwi Ltd does not slaughter any animals ourselves. Ziwi buys its meat from the registered export meat processors who slaughter the various species for human consumption worldwide. 

The meat we use in the Ziwi brand is human grade even though it is used in pet food. All of our ingredients are processed through human grade facilities which are fully traceable. 

Under NZ law this sets the bench mark very high globally. 

Ziwi Ltd is a very specialised pet food manufacturer building our reputation on providing the best quality ingredients on a global scale. Our recipes reflect the natural whole prey ancestral diet that dogs and cats need to thrive and that they would naturally choose to eat themselves. 

We use only animals sourced from certified New Zealand farms where the animals are raised in a free range environment, outside all year round. The meat we use is hormone free, antibiotic free and free of any preservatives.  It is our clear policy not to undertake any caged or invasive animal testing at all. 

It is standard practise to slaughter meat in New Zealand using the Halal slaughtering method which is the method that most New Zealand meat processing plants use.  The Halal method is a lot more humane than the Kosher method as the animal is rendered insensible prior to slaughter. 

Can I feed my ferret Ziwi Peak?

Ferrets are obligate carnivores so require lots of high quality meat protein in their diet. Therefore it's suggested to avoid foods that are high in carbohydrates, such as fruits, vegetables, or anything containing sugar, as their digestive tract cannot process these types of food.  

Ziwi air dried cat food recipes feature high inclusions of meat, organs, and seafood in PeakPrey ratios─ with added superfoods, for a nutritional boost. Ziwi air dried food is made from over 96% real raw meat and organs, natural fat, bone, and seafood. We also include New Zealand Green-Lipped Mussel to all Ziwi formulas to provide high levels of natural glucosamine, chondroitin, and omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids, and cold-washed green tripe, which provides important vitamins & minerals, digestive enzymes and probiotics needed for healthy digestion.  

While all Ziwi Peak air dried cat recipes are complete and balanced for all life stages and breeds, it's important to note that our cat food is specifically formulated for cats and not ferrets. While we are glad our food is a popular choice in your community, because we don't formulate in accordance with ferret nutritional needs we recommend you discuss if our foods meet your pets needs with your Vet.  

Ferrets can be very fussy so we recommend you transition slowly by mixing small amounts of the new food in with the old, until you transition over completely to the new food. This may take about two weeks.  

 

Can I mix packs of Ziwi peak, or should I mix up the flavours from time to time?

We recommend you transition between flavours over a few days, however if your pet has a sensitive stomach we suggest you transition more slowly over a week. 

We don't recommend rotating proteins for fussy eaters. 

To do a full transition to Ziwi products see guidelines here https://www.ziwipets.com/over-what-period-should-i-transition-my-old-food-your-food  

I am concerned about high levels of phoshorous in my pets food, what are the levels in Ziwi?

Our Venison, Beef and Mackerel & Lamb cans contain the lowest Phosphorous levels at 1354mg/100grams and 1429grams/100grams on a dry matter basis respectively. As Ziwi Peak is a fully balanced & complete diet for all life stages and breeds the phosphorous levels reflect this. In some cases if our phosphorus levels are too high for what you need for your pet then your vet may need to prescribe a phosphorus binder to reduce the phosphorus levels. This is quite a common approach to allow a completely natural food to be fed with the many benefits that a natural food provides while still taking care of the required phosphorus levels.  

My cat suffers from allergies, will Ziwi be ok to feed?

Ziwi foods are minimally processed and contain both single and novel protein sources which are recommended for dogs and cats that are experiencing food-related allergies.   

Our specially formulated limited ingredient recipes are made with quality cuts of meat from New Zealand grass-fed, free-range animals that are not raised with growth promotants or hormones. 

We have many pet guardians who switch to Ziwi Peak and within a 6-8 weeks have noticed a considerable improvement in their pets skin and allergy conditions.  

In our experience many skin/ allergy issues are food related as most pet foods are made from highly processed fillers such as grains, cereals, rice, potatoes, peas, carrots, etc. These ingredients are often the root cause of the skin and allergies as they are not natural foods to the cat or dog.  

Dogs are carnivores so they’re biologically designed to eat meat, not carbohydrates - so if a dog or cat has been eating highly processed kibble for a while, they might have developed a sensitivity to one of the allergenic ingredients such as grains, potatoes, rice or corn. Dogs can also suffer from protein allergies, which is a sensitivity to a certain protein source. 

Our Venison recipe could be a good choice as it’s a novel protein source that isn’t widely eaten and has proven to be successful at overcoming serious allergy issues.  It’s important to note that there is a worldwide shortage of Venison which means our Venison recipes are more expensive compared with our other recipes. 

Alternatively our Mackerel & Lamb recipe could be an option as it contains the highest levels of Omega 3’s out of all our recipes so can also be beneficial for allergies aswell as helping to improve skin health and coat condition.  

Is Ziwi cooked or raw?

Air-drying process 

Air-drying is a slow, gentle, 2-stage process. The temperatures are lower than those used when dehydrating. While we don’t share our exact drying times or temperatures, we do have a brief video and complete explanation of our air-dried process found here: https://ziwipets.co.uk/pages/why-air-dried 

Ziwi’s unique air-drying process dries the raw food to be shelf stable hygienic and safe food that is as close to actual raw food as you can get without actually being raw. This process ensures that the integrity of the raw protein structure is maintained and minimises any damage to sensitive enzymes, nutrients, and vitamins. 

This process results in highly nutritious and ready-to-feed product that is as nutritious as a complete raw diet with the convenience of a scoop and serve food. 

Canning process

Our ZIWI canned recipes are preserved through a process called retort canning which uses heat, and therefore are not considered a raw product.  

We start out with the real raw meat, organs, seafood and green lipped mussels then the canned food is retort cooked which means all cans are heated up to approx. 120c for 2 minutes in a large pressure vessel. This is the international canning regulation which all canned foods must comply with whether they are pet food, canned fruit or baby food.  

Our retort canning process is very safe, and complies with international canning manufacturing regulations.