Zealandia Dog Food.

The Zealandia Dog Food Review: Tested & Evaluated 2024

Written By Eloisa Thomas | Canine Coach, Double M.A in Anthropology.
Edited & Fact Checked By Renae Soppe | B.A Journalism & Science. 
Last Updated: 18th January 2024

Are you interested in trying New Zealand food for your pup? Then today’s Zealandia dog food review is for you. We’ve analysed this brand and compared it to our top-rated dog foods so you can make an informed choice.

Related: The Best Dog Food Australia.
Related: How To Choose The Right Dog Food?
Related: How Is Australia’s Dog Food Industry Regulated?
Related: What is AAFCO? The Association of American Feed Control Officials.
Related: What Is the Pet Food Industry Association of Australia (PFIAA)?
Related: AAFCO vs PFIAA: Dog Food Standards Comparison Australia.

Related: Understanding Guaranteed Analysis Levels in Dog Food.
Related: Real Meat vs Meat Meal.


Here’s what you need to know:


Quick Pick - Our Best Rated Dog Food

Petzyo Dog Food

Our Number 1 Pick
Petzyo Dog Food

  • Ethically sourced Kangaroo, Chicken or Salmon, sweet potato & superfood extras
  • Iron-rich & low fat proteins
  • Three Omega 3 and 6 rich oils with a well balanced 11% fat content
  • Made in Australia

Australia's Zealandia Dog Food Review

Zealandia - 4 Star Rating

  • Ingredients: Chicken, Water Sufficient for Processing, Lamb Liver, Lamb Lung, Lamb Green Tripe, Lamb Heart, Lamb Kidney, New Zealand Green Mussels, Lamb  Plasma, Dried Yeast, Agar-Agar, Calcium Carbonate, Salmon Oil,  Guar Gum, Potassium Chloride, Taurine, Choline Chloride, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Glycine Complex, Niacin Supplement, Alpha-Tocopherol Acetate, Selenium Yeast, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Glycine Complex, Thiamine Mononitrate, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin A Acetate, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Calcium Iodate, Folic Acid, Cholecalciferol.
  • Named Protein First: Yes.
  • Dog Food Type: Wet canned dog food
  • Recipe Range: Beef pate, Bushtail pate, Chicken mousse, Chicken pate, Duck pate, Goat pate, Hoki fish pate, Lamb pate, Salmon mousse, Salmon pate, Venison pate, Wallaby pate.
  • Suitable For: All ages
  • Cost: $$$
  • Australian Owned: No (But NZ owned)

Zealandia is a New Zealand-based dog food brand launched in 2012 and has since grown as a high-quality manufacturer of wet dog food. This brand offers canned dog food that doesn’t need to be supplemented: it’s a complete and balanced diet for your pup.

Our team tested Zealandia and compared it with our best rated dog foods. Here’s what we found out:


Taste

Ingredients

Protein content

Additives

Variety

Price

Taste 5/5

Our testers gobbled up this dog food in no time. Wet dog food tends to be more appealing than traditional kibble, and Zealandia is on-par with the taste of our top-rated picks (Petzyo and Ziwi Peak). Our four testers tried it out and seemed to love the two recipes we fed them.

The consistency of the food is great, and on a personal level, I appreciate that there are no artificial flavours added to the recipes. Overall, this was a home run. We’re giving Zealandia 5 out of 5 in this category.

Ingredients 4/5

I really liked that all of Zealandia ingredients are sustainably sourced from local producers. Plus, the overall composition is great: with a minimum of 12% protein with max 78% moisture, this means the chicken recipe packs a whopping 54% minimum crude protein (Wondering how to calculate protein in wet food? Check out the process here). This percentage is well above that found in traditional kibble, and ensures your dog gets all the animal-based micronutrients they need.

These short ingredient lists get to the point and don’t need to be supplemented with extra toppers, so we’re giving this brand 4 out of 5.

Protein content 5/5

This is one of the highlights of this brand. All recipes have not one, not two, but at least five or six animal protein sources at the top of the ingredient lists.

The first ingredient is always a main protein (chicken, beef, salmon, brushtail possum…), followed by a variety of innards: liver, lung, tripe, heart, kidney and plasma. Animal innards offer some key micronutrients that replicate what your pup would eat in the wild, which is great to see.

Related: How Much Wet Food Should You Feed Your Dog?

On top of the core meats, all recipes also include New Zealand Green-lipped mussels, which on top of being a powerful antioxidant, add some extra protein and micronutrients. This composition is almost an exact copy of best-selling Ziwi Peak, and our dogs seemed to love it.

Additives 4/5

This brand features fairly streamlined recipes, which I personally loved. However, there are a few extra gems that are worth a call out.

The first thing is that Zealandia explicitly mentions every vitamin and mineral used. This is on-par with other high-quality dog food (like Ziwi Peak), and we appreciate the openness about every ingredient. All minerals are chelated, which improves absorption. Beyond vitamins and minerals, all recipes use Salmon Oil for healthy fats and dried yeast to round up the nutritional profile.

I’d like to mention the gelling agents used in Zealandia dog food. This brand prides itself in using all-natural gelling agents, which is great! All recipes have Agar (AKA Agar agar) and guar gum, which improve texture and keep the food from being too soggy. These two ingredients are safe for dogs [1] and are used in many human-grade foods. However, sensitive dogs might experience bloating and extra gassiness. According to a 2023 review, this is because Guar gum and other emulsifiers can impact gut microbiota [2].

None of our dogs had a reaction, but they aren’t especially sensitive. However, if your dog has a history of inflammatory bowel conditions or colitis, maybe stick to non-canned foods. From our top-rated dog foods, Petzyo is particularly easy to digest and even our most sensitive testers love it.

We decided to take off one star to account for sensitive dogs.

Variety 3/5

There are six different Zealandia recipes for adult dogs, and two options for puppies and nursing dogs. All six recipes have a different main protein, but all innards (liver, lung, tripe, kidney and heart) are from lamb. This is probably enough variety for most people, but if your dog really doesn’t like lamb, or can’t eat it for some reason, this isn’t the right brand for you. Beyond the first ingredient, the rest of the recipes are the same from can to can. Our testers loved the taste and didn’t seem to mind, but every dog is different.

Considering that all recipes have lamb and the only actual variety is from the main protein, the team decided to take off two stars. Other than that, this brand offers plenty of options for most pups.

Price 3/5

Price is one of our only qualms with this brand. I loved the ingredients, my dogs gobbled up their food and the variety is on point, but the high-quality reflects on the price.

For most Australian families, exclusively feeding Zealandia would definitely take a huge chunk of the household budget. I know I wouldn’t be able to exclusively feed it to a large dog!

Because of it, our team agreed on taking off two stars. 


Do not buy if…

While Zealandia can be a great choice for many, it might not be if you:

  • Want to feed dry food: Canned food can be tastier but it needs more storage space and dealing with leftovers can be a pain. If you’re looking for traditional kibble, this brand is not for you.
  • Have a pup with a sensitive tummy: This brand uses two gelling agents, agar-agar and guar gum. While these are safe for dogs [1], they tend to alter gut flora. This might cause mild bloating and loose stools if your dog is sensitive [2].
  • Need affordable dog food: I loved the composition, but my monthly budget wouldn’t allow me to feed Zealandia every day to anything larger than a chihuahua. I’d say that’s the case for most Aussie dog owners!

Final Verdict

I loved this food and, if the budget let me, I’d happily feed it every day to my dogs. However, the price makes it more of a treat than an everyday food for most households. Other than the cost, we couldn’t find anything wrong with this food. If you can, give it a go!

References

  1. Finley, JW., et al. (2013). “Safety Assessment and Caloric Value of Partially Hydrolyzed Guar Gum”. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2013, 61, 8, pp 1756-1771.  https://doi.org/10.1021/jf304910k
  2. Barber, C., et al. (2023). “Metabolic response of intestinal microbiota to guar gum consumption”. Frontiers in Nutrition, volume 10, 2023. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnut.2023.1160694

Eloisa Thomas


Eloisa Thomas is Gentle Dog Trainers Canine Coach & Anthropologist.

With a double master's degree in Anthropology and awarded a Chancellor's International Scholarship to pursue a PhD in History at the University of Warwick (UK), she's well equipped to write well written and factual canine information that will actually help people understand their dogs better.

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