Kirkland (Costco) Dog Food Review: Recalls, Pros & Cons

kirkland costco dog food review

Our Final Verdict

We give Kirkland dog food a rating of 4.0 out of 5 stars:

Introduction

Costco is known for the quality and price of their signature brands. The company does a great job of providing dog food that provides complete and balanced nutrition while using a variety of nutritious ingredients.

This article reviews Kirkland dog food so you can be informed as to what ingredients are present in the food. It is important to provide your dog with proper nutrition so they can live a healthy and happy life. It can be a difficult task to decide which food is the perfect blend of nutritious, tasty, and affordable. Continue reading to find out our take on Kirkland (Costco) food.

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At a Glance: The Best Kirkland Dog Food Recipes

Image Product Details
Our Favorite
Winner
Kirkland Signature Adult Formula Kirkland Signature Adult Formula
  • Whole-grain rice
  • Antioxidants
  • Probiotics
  • Second place
    Kirkland Signature Puppy Formula Kirkland Signature Puppy Formula
  • DHA and omega-3
  • Can feed to nursing dogs
  • Antioxidants
  • Third place
    Kirkland Signature Small Dog Formula Kirkland Signature Small Dog Formula
  • Supports the immune system
  • Promotes digestion
  • High in protein
  • Kirkland Signature Mature Dog Formula Kirkland Signature Mature Dog Formula
  • Supports joint nutrition
  • Contians prebiotics and probiotics
  • Kirkland Signature Healthy Weight Dog Formula Kirkland Signature Healthy Weight Dog Formula
  • Supports healthy digestive and immunity systems
  • Contains omega fatty acid
  • Kirkland Dog Food Reviewed

    Overall View

    Kirkland dog food is an affordable food made with premium ingredients to offer whole-body nutrition. There are formulas catered to adults, puppies, seniors, and small breeds, as well as a weight management formula. The biggest advantage of buying Kirkland dog food is how affordable it is.

    Who makes Kirkland and where is it produced?

    Kirkland brand dog food is manufactured by Diamond Pet Foods. There are five factories located across the United States, and you will find Kirkland dog food sold through Costco, with some products available on Amazon (though many still aren’t).

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    Which types of dogs is Kirkland best suited for?

    There are two lines of Kirkland dog food: the Kirkland Signature and the Kirkland Signature Natures Domain. Kirkland signature offers six varieties that include specialized formulas for adults, small breeds, puppies, seniors, and healthy weight formula. Canned formulas are offered in chicken and rice or lamb and rice.

    Nature’s Domain line has five dry food varieties and two wet foods that are all grain free. There are different flavor profiles: one formulated for puppies and an organic variety. The wet food is offered as an organic chicken with vegetables or a turkey and pea stew (not organic).

    Which types of dogs might do better with a different brand?

    Dogs who require a specialized diet because of a disease or other health concerns would benefit from a different brand. A dog who suffers from frequent bladder stones may benefit from Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Urinary SO dry dog food as recommended by a veterinarian. A dog who has memory concerns may need a more specialized diet, such as Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Neurocare Adult Dog Food.

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    Primary Ingredients in Kirkland Dog Food

    Kirkland Signature

    Kirkland Signature Dog Food Variety

    The main meat source used is chicken and chicken meal, which can be an allergen to some dogs. However, the lamb and rice formula for adult dogs could be used in place of the chicken if that’s the case.

    Whole-grain brown rice and pearled barley is a whole-grain and fiber source. Dried egg is added for protein and brewer’s yeast for antioxidants, but these can also be an allergen to some dogs. There are whole vegetables and fruits included, as well as chicory root and flaxseed. The wet food offers either chicken or lamb with liver and no fruits and vegetables, just added supplements.

    Nature’s Domain

    Kirkland Signature Nature's Domain Puppy Formula Chicken & Pea Dog Food

    These are grain-free formulas suited for dogs with allergies and other sensitivities. The main protein source is either beef, salmon, turkey, or lamb. Complex carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes, peas, and potatoes provide plenty of energy. You will find vegetables and fruit in this line, though not as much. The wet food offers either a turkey or chicken recipe that includes plenty of vegetables and other supplements.

    Both lines add the Active9 probiotics to some of their recipes to provide live cultures that support healthy digestion. Antioxidants are included for overall health, and omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids help maintain a shiny coat and support the immune system.

    All of the formulas meet the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for All Life Stages and/or maintenance.

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    A Quick Look at Kirkland Dog Food

    Pros
    • Primary ingredients support overall health
    • Variety of recipes
    • Dry food and wet food
    • Grain-free options
    • High in protein
    • Use of fruits and vegetables
    • Whole grains used
    • Active9 probiotics included
    • Affordable
    Cons
    • No information about the production process
    • No specialized food
    • Does not manufacture its food

    Overview of Ingredients

    Protein

    Kirkland does well at including high-quality protein sources and not adding too many varieties into one formula. This is good to reduce the chance of a meat allergy. The percentage of protein is 20% or above in all their recipes, with many above 24%. The chicken recipes use chicken and chicken meal for added protein.

    Fats

    Depending on the recipe, there will be different fat sources used — either canola oil, chicken liver, or salmon oil. All these provide plenty of energy, and some contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids or DHA.

    Carbohydrates

    Complex carbohydrates provide energy and fiber to the food. Kirkland uses whole-grain rice, barley, and many plant sources, such as sweet potatoes, peas, and beet pulp, to make sure your dog receives plenty of nutrients.

    Controversial Ingredients

    • Canola oil: Many argue that canola oil is unsafe as well as being toxic, but some say that it can provide health benefits such as lowering cholesterol and blood pressure.
    • Brewer’s dried yeast: This is controversial if your dog has allergies. Otherwise, it adds nutrients and protein to the dog food.
    • Tomato pomace: This ingredient is included in the Nature’s Domain line. It can be used as a filler or a source of soluble fiber. Typically, lower-quality foods will use it as a filler, and it depends on the quality of the tomato as to how much nutrients it provides.

    Recalls of Kirkland Dog Food

    In 2012 seven of their formulas were voluntarily recalled by Diamond Pet Foods for possible salmonella contamination.

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    Reviews of the 3 Best Kirkland Dog Food Recipes

    Let’s look closer at three of the best Kirkland dog food formulas:

    1. Kirkland Signature Adult Formula —Lamb, Rice and Vegetable

    Kirkland Signature Adult Formula Lamb, Rice and...
    19 Reviews
    Kirkland Signature Adult Formula Lamb, Rice and...
    • Lamb, Rice & Vegetables . Crude Protein 23% Minimum . Chondroitin sulfate* 100 mg/kg Minimum
    • Glucosamine & Chondroitin . Crude Fat 14% Minimum . Glucosamine* 300 mg/kg Minimum

    This is one of Kirkland’s most popular brands because it provides complete and balanced nutrition for all adult dogs. The three primary ingredients are lamb, lamb meal, and whole-grain brown rice, which are ideal protein sources, as well as being highly digestible.

    You will also find glucosamine and chondroitin to help support your dog’s joints and antioxidants to support overall health. For a strong immune system, the addition of omega-6 and -3 fatty acids is an ideal ingredient. It uses Active9 probiotics to provide live, active cultures that support healthy digestion. Thus, this formula is great for overall health.

    On the downside, it is not ideal for dogs with grain allergies because it contains brown and white rice. It also contains brewer’s yeast, so do not buy if your dog is immunocompromised, is prone to yeast infections, or has an allergy to yeast. However, many like that it does contain fruits, such as apples and cranberries, and vegetables, such as kelp and peas.

    Guaranteed Analysis:

    Crude Protein: 26%
    Crude Fat:  16%
    Moisture: 10%
    Fibre 4%
    Omega 6 Fatty Acids: 2.5%
    Pros
    • One meat source
    • Whole-grain rice
    • Ideal for adults
    • Antioxidants
    • Probiotics
    Cons
    • Not ideal for grain allergies
    • Not ideal for yeast allergies

    2. Kirkland Signature Puppy Formula — Chicken and Rice

    Puppy Formula Chicken, Rice and Vegetable Dog Food...
    12 Reviews
    Puppy Formula Chicken, Rice and Vegetable Dog Food...
    • Antioxidants: Guaranteed levels of vitamin E and selenium work together to support your puppy's...
    • Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA): Added salmon oil supplies DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid that supports...

    This puppy formula offers complete and balanced nutrition for puppies and nursing adult dogs. It has the Active9 probiotics that are developed from probiotics naturally found in a dog’s GI tract. Your dog will receive plenty of active cultures that help support healthy digestion and live an active life.

    The primary ingredients are chicken, chicken meal, whole grain brown rice, and cracked pearl barley, so there is plenty of protein and fiber within this puppy food. It is enhanced with salmon oil that supplies DHA and omega-3 fatty acids to support brain and eye development. Antioxidants such as vitamin E and selenium also help keep your pup healthy. The kibble is small and easy to chew and boasts a tasty flavor.

    On the downside, it contains brewer’s yeast, egg product, and grain, which can be allergens to some dogs.

    Guaranteed Analysis:

    Crude Protein: 28%
    Crude Fat:  17%
    Moisture: 10%
    Fibre 3%
    Omega 6 Fatty Acids: 3.0%
    Pros
    • Ideal for puppies
    • DHA and omega-3
    • Can feed to nursing dogs
    • Antioxidants
    • Probiotics
    • Tasty
    Cons
    • Contains brewer’s yeast and egg
    • Not ideal for puppies with grain allergies

    3. Kirkland Signature Small Dog Formula — Chicken and Vegetable

    Kirkland Signature Small Formula Chicken &...
    4 Reviews
    Kirkland Signature Small Formula Chicken &...
    • Formula Includes Prebiotic and Probiotic Fiber for Delicate Stomachs
    • Balanced Levels of Omega 3 Fatty Acids for a Shiny Coat

    This kibble is formulated for small breeds, so it contains plenty of prebiotic and probiotic fiber to help keep their digestion healthy. The size of the kibble is perfect for small mouths, and the primary ingredients are chicken, chicken meal, whole grain brown rice, and cracked pearl barley. It is not a grain-free formula and contains egg and dried yeast, so keep in mind that these have the potential to be allergens for some dogs.

    It contains fruit and vegetables for added antioxidants and fiber to keep your dog’s immune and digestive system healthy. Omega-3 fatty acid within the added fish meal provides a supplement for your dog’s skin and coat. This formula is appropriate for dogs who weigh less than 40 pounds.

    Guaranteed Analysis:

    Crude Protein: 27%
    Crude Fat:  16%
    Moisture: 10%
    Fibre 4%
    Omega 6 Fatty Acids: 2.5%
    Pros
    • Ideal for small breeds
    • Small kibble
    • Supports the immune system
    • Promotes digestion
    • High in protein
    • Omega-3 added
    • Antioxidants
    Cons
    • Contains egg and dried yeast
    • Not grain free

    What Other Users Are Saying

    Here’s what other reviewers are commenting about Kirkland dog food:

    Dog Food Network:

    Dog Food Network rated Kirkland signature a 7.6 out of 10 stars, stating, “This no-fuss dog food is a safe bet for pet owners looking for something that’s easily available and won’t break the bank.”

    CertaPet:

    This site reviewed Kirkland dog food and states, “The Kirkland brand uses only high-quality ingredients and provides a range of different formulas to cater for puppies, adult dogs, senior members, or dogs who need to lose a few pounds.”

    Amazon:

    We check the reviews on Amazon from buyers before recommending a product to you. You can read these reviews by clicking here.

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    Conclusion

    When you are looking for a dog food that provides plenty of healthy nutrients with a variety of formulas, the Kirkland brand is an affordable option for many. You can find grain-free options, as well as different meat sources if your dog suffers from allergies.

    Kirkland dog food doesn’t provide specialized formulas, but they do have puppy, senior, small breed, and weight management formulas. One thing you don’t see often is a certified organic dog food that is grain free. The use of whole grains, vegetables, and fruits are appreciated by owners and pets alike. If you don’t mind that Kirkland doesn’t manufacture its food, then you won’t find many negatives related to this brand.

    Featured Image Credit: Kirkland, Amazon