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Nutritional benefits of ZIWI Peak

Protein of High Biological Value


Meat protein is arguably the most important nutrient in a dog and cat’s diet. Important factors in assessing the value of protein content are the quality of the protein, protein digestibility and the proportion of amino acids to one another for protein synthesis.

There are 22 amino acids required by dogs and cats to maintain proper function. For dogs, there are 10 essential amino acids which must be provided in the diet as they cannot be synthesised by the body in sufficient quantities. These are arginine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine.

For cats, there are eleven essential amino acids which must be provided in the diet as they cannot be synthesised by the body in sufficient quantities. These are taurine, arginine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine. Unlike dogs and humans, taurine is essential for cats. Taurine deficiency causes serious health problems in cats, including cardiovascular disease and blindness.


Dietary proteins that have ‘high biological value’ are those that contain a high content of essential amino acids and that are highly digestible. For carnivores, proteins with high biological value include muscle meat, organ meats (such as heart, kidney, liver and lung) and fish proteins. Furthermore, the best sources of taurine are animal protein sources, in particular the organs (e.g. heart, kidney, liver).

All ZIWI recipes contain animal protein of high biological value.  For cats, there is more than sufficient taurine in all ZIWI cat recipes to meet their daily needs.

Protein that is highly digestible

ZIWI has a digestibility rating of 95.6% (as tested by Massey University). ZIWI has a high digestibility rating because it contains high quality ANIMAL PROTEIN, with no fillers. 

Benefits of New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel
(Perna Canaliculus)

  • GLM is high in glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate, two of the key building blocks of cartilage and bones. 

  • GLM is high in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (including eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid), which have an anti- inflammatory action by inhibiting arachidonate metabolism by 5’-lipoxygenase and cyclo- oxygenase pathways, thus reducing the formation of leukotrienes and prostaglandins.      

  • GLM indirectly targets intestinal microbiota and positively influences bacterial diversity, growth and metabolic activity.


Benefits of Green Tripe

Green tripe is a highly nutritious, highly palatable addition to a dog and cat’s diet.


Green tripe offers many the health benefits, as it:

  • has a calcium to phosphorus ratio of approximately 1:1, which helps facilitate the absorption of these minerals in the correct balance

  • is low in fat (2%) and a good source of protein (15%)

  • has a pH level that is slightly acidic, conducive to a carnivore’s digestion

  • is a good source of the vitamin B12 and the minerals zinc and selenium

  • contains the essential fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6 (linolenic and linoleic acids)

  • contains good bacteria for gut health – e.g. bacteria in the genus Lactobacillus which can survive slow drying, at low temperatures.

  • contains beneficial digestive enzymes, making it easier to digest

Benefits of Blue Mackerel

Whole, wild caught blue mackerel is naturally high in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, predominantly eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA),  and low in low in omega-6 PUFA (linoleic acid (LA)).  


The anti-inflammatory action of omega 3 fatty acids has been well researched in human medicine, and has been found to be as effective as NSAIDs in reducing neck, back and joint pain. 

Furthermore, the consumption of fatty fish has been found to reduce the incidence of many chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and neurodegenerative illnesses.

Blue mackerel is also rich in biotin, which nourishes and hydrates the skin, and vitamin A, an antioxidant nutrient, essential for cell growth, immunity and vision.

oily fish for dogs

Calcium Source is important

The calcium content offered by ZIWI recipes is superior to other commercially prepared pet food:

  • All ZIWI recipes contain ground raw bones of free range animals, comprised of calcium hydroxyapatite, the bone mineral that strengthens the mechanical resistance of the organic matrix.  Elemental calcium sourced from bone is woven into a matrix with other minerals and proteins that make up bone, such as phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, zinc, trace minerals, collagen, osteocalcin and other proteins that function as bone growth factors.

  • Other commercially prepared kibbles contain calcium carbonate, which studies in human medicine relating to osteoporosis have shown to be an inferior calcium source. 

  • ZIWI contains calcium sourced from free range animals in New Zealand, which are 100% grass fed on open range, and are not exposed to antibiotics, pesticides, hormones or other toxic chemicals. New Zealand has never had an incidence of BSE.

Cartilage for Joint and Gut Health

Cartilage naturally contains chondrocytes, collagen, glucosamine and proteoglycan aggregates that are made up of glycosaminoglycans, hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfate.


  • Glucosamine regulates the synthesis of collagen in cartilage and may provide mild anti-inflammatory effects. 

  • Chondroitin sulphate inhibits destructive enzymes in joint fluid and cartilage.

  • Together, they contribute to the synthesis of glycoaminoglycans and proteoglycans, which are building blocks for the formation of cartilage. 

  • Glycosaminoglycans are also important for gut health.

  • Collagen helps prevent the destruction of cartilage through the production of macromolecules and suppression of catabolic enzymes.


The majority of veterinary supplements contain glucosamine HCl, which research has shown to have poor bioavailability and poor clinical effect in humans.  By contrast, ZIWI contains cartilage and green lipped mussels, which both offer a natural source of glucosamine, which are better absorbed by the body.

Image by Camylla Battani

 Is there any research about natural diets for dogs and cats vs kibble?

Scientific studies into the benefits of fresh food, natural diets for dogs and cats are increasing over the last two decades.  These studies offer important findings which can help to inform the decision making of veterinarians in clinical practice and provide some insights into the benefits of a natural diet. 

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