Kirkland Nature’s Domain vs. Taste of the Wild Dog Food: 2020 Comparison

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kirkland vs taste of wild

If your heart belongs to a pup with a grain allergy, then navigating the world of dog food can be stressful, time-consuming, and just plain confusing. Often, choosing a dog food comes down to where you do your regular shopping rather than which recipe is actually best for your pup. For Costco customers, this might mean bringing home a bag of Kirkland Nature’s Domain. For those without a Costco membership or who prefer to buy dog food elsewhere, they may pick up Taste of the Wild instead.

Whether your top priority is quality nutrition or unbeatable value, it makes sense to compare these labels to determine which is truly the best option. Fortunately, we’ve already researched them for you!

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A Sneak Peek at the Winner: Taste of the Wild

After taking a closer look at Kirkland Nature’s Domain and Taste of the Wild, we’ve ultimately chosen Taste of the Wild as our winner. While there are countless similarities between these two dog food lines, there are also a few noteworthy differences.

First, Taste of the Wild is more widely available both online and in store. Second, while it costs a bit more, it doesn’t require paying for an additional store membership or an extra fee. Finally and perhaps most importantly, Taste of the Wild’s most popular formulas appear to contain more animal-sourced ingredients and provide more protein than Kirkland Nature’s Domain.

The winner of our comparison:

Taste of the Wild High Protein Real Meat Recipe Premium Dry Dog Food with Roasted Bison and Roasted Venison

About Kirkland Nature’s Domain

Kirkland Nature’s Domain is Costco’s store-brand line of grain-free dog food. This line is quite limited, however, with only three formulas currently available.

To purchase this line of dog food in store, customers will need a Costco membership. Owners do have the option to purchase online with or without a membership but will be charged a 5% fee without one.

Like most store-brand products, Kirkland Nature’s Domain is not directly manufactured by Costco itself. Instead, these products are manufactured and distributed by a company called Diamond Pet Foods.

Diamond Pet Foods operates four factories within the United States and uses both U.S.-sourced and imported ingredients.

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Recall History

Since its creation in 2009, Kirkland Nature’s Domain has only been the subject of one product recall. In 2012, multiple formulas were voluntarily recalled because of potential salmonella contamination.

In 2019, Kirkland Nature’s Domain was one of 16 brands named by the FDA in connection to increased cases of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).

bone

About Taste of the Wild

Taste of the Wild is a brand of dog food that focuses heavily on limited ingredient and grain-free recipes, though it has come out with grain-inclusive formulas recently. While Taste of the Wild is considered a premium brand by most, it maintains competitive pricing.

Before we get any further, it’s important to point out that both Kirkland Nature’s Domain and Taste of the Wild dog food are made by Diamond Pet Foods. Aside from sharing factories, it’s unclear exactly much of the manufacturing process is shared by these two labels.

Like Kirkland Nature’s Domain, Taste of the Wild products are manufactured in the United States using a mix of local and imported ingredients.

Recall History

In 2012, Taste of the Wild was affected by the same recall as Kirkland Nature’s Domain. The company issued a voluntary recall of several varieties of cat and dog food because of possible salmonella contamination.

In 2019, Taste of the Wild was listed alongside Kirkland Nature’s Domain in the FDA’s list of grain-free dog food potentially connected to cases of DCM.

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Three Most Popular Kirkland Nature’s Domain Dog Food Recipes

Currently, the Nature’s Domain line only includes a handful of dog food formulas. With that said, they are all quite popular with dog owners:

1. Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain Puppy Chicken & Pea Formula

The Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain Puppy formula is specifically designed for puppies and adolescents, as well as adult dogs who are pregnant or nursing. Like all Nature’s Domain dog food, this formula is grain free and features chicken and chicken meal as the first ingredients. Instead of grains, the Chicken & Pea Formula relies on ingredients like peas, lentils, and sweet potatoes for carbohydrates.

Protein

Fat

Fiber

Moisture

Other carbohydrates

If you want to learn more about this dog food from real owners, you can find the Costco customer reviews here.

Pros
  • Formulated for puppies and pregnant or nursing adult dogs
  • Real chicken is the first ingredient
  • Made in the U.S.
  • Salmon oil provides DHA and other omega fatty acids
  • Smaller kibble pieces for puppies
Cons
  • Includes some controversial ingredients
  • Only available at Costco

2. Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain Salmon Meal & Sweet Potato Formula

KIRKLAND Nature's Domain Grain-Free All Life...
  • Salmon meal & sweet Potato grain-free 35 lb. bag
  • Omega-6 fatty acids* 2.4% minimum

For the average adult dog, the Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain Salmon Meal & Sweet Potato Formula is one of the most popular options from Costco. As the name suggests, the main source of animal protein in this recipe is salmon meal, though it contains ocean fish meal as well. However, pea protein is also fairly high on the ingredients list.

Protein

Fat

Fiber

Moisture

Other carbohydrates

Owner feedback and other information can be found by reading the Costco reviews here.

Pros
  • Free of chicken and poultry
  • Made in the U.S.
  • High in natural omega fatty acids
  • Guaranteed levels of key antioxidants
  • Salmon meal is the first ingredient
Cons
  • Contains pea protein
  • Only sold by Costco

3. Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain Organic Chicken & Pea Formula

The Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain Organic formula is another standard adult recipe, but this one is made exclusively with Certified Organic ingredients. In this formula, organic chicken is the first ingredient, followed by peas and lentils. It also includes a blend of omega fatty acids to promote healthy skin and fur.

Protein

Fat

Fiber

Moisture

Other carbohydrates

You can find out more about this Kirkland formula by reading the Costco customer reviews here.

Pros
  • Uses all Certified Organic ingredients
  • Made in the U.S.
  • Supplemented with omega fatty acids
  • Chicken is the first ingredient
Cons
  • Includes controversial ingredients
  • Likely high in plant protein
  • Only available from Costco

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Three Most Popular Taste of the Wild Dog Food Recipes

In its most recent release, Taste of the Wild added several grain-inclusive formulas to its lineup. While these new recipes have gained a ton of traction with both new and old customers, we’ve chosen the three most popular grain-free recipes as an equal comparison against Kirkland Nature’s Domain:

1. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Canine Recipe

Taste of the Wild High Protein Real Meat Recipe...
  • Taste of the Wild High Prairie with ROASTED BISON & VENISON REAL MEAT is #1 ingredient optimal amino...
  • High protein ingredients with added vitamins & minerals fruits and vegetables as SUPERFOODS for...

When it comes to the brand’s original grain-free product range, Taste of the Wild’s recipes are largely inspired by different ecosystems and the wild prey found within each one. The High Prairie Canine Recipe is rich in red meat, with buffalo as the first ingredient, but it also lists lamb and chicken meal as its second and third ingredients. This formula contains Taste of the Wild’s proprietary probiotics blend for improved digestion.

Protein

Fat

Fiber

Moisture

Other carbohydrates

You can find thousands of customer reviews for this recipe by checking out the Amazon reviews here.

Pros
  • Plenty of meat-based ingredients
  • Made in the U.S.
  • Supplemented with omega fatty acids
  • Full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants
  • Live probiotics support gut health
Cons
  • Contains multiple types of plant protein
  • May trigger food sensitivities

2. Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Canine Recipe

Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Grain-Free Dry...
  • Taste of the Wild Pacific stream with smoked salmon; real Salmon is the #1 ingredient; optimal amino...
  • Premium ingredients with added vitamins & minerals; fruits and vegetables as SUPERFOODS for...

While many dog food formulas focus on red meat or poultry for their protein and flavor, the Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Canine Recipe is made with a variety of wild- and farm-raised fish. The natural omega fatty acids found in fish mean that this recipe supports overall health, along with a shiny coat. Like other Taste of the Wild dog foods, the Pacific Stream formula contains a diverse collection of fruits, vegetables, and live probiotics.

Protein

Fat

Fiber

Moisture

Other carbohydrates

To see what other dog owners have had to say about this particular recipe, we suggest reading the Amazon reviews here.

Pros
  • Made with real salmon
  • Free of eggs and egg by-products
  • Made in the U.S.
  • Ideal formula for dogs with food sensitivities
  • High concentration of omega fatty acids
  • Does not contain plant protein isolates
Cons
  • Smells strongly of fish

3. Taste of the Wild Wetlands Canine Recipe

Taste of the Wild Grain Free High Protein Real...
  • Taste of the Wild wetlands with roasted Fowl; real Duck is the #1 ingredient; optimal amino acid...
  • High protein ingredients with added vitamins & minerals; fruits and vegetables as SUPERFOODS for...

The Taste of the Wild Wetlands Canine Recipe also gets plenty of its protein and fat from fish, with the addition of duck and other poultry ingredients. Real duck meat is the first ingredient in this formula, followed by a variety of fruit and vegetables that provide vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. However, it’s important to note that the inclusion of potato protein means this recipe isn’t completely based on animal-sourced protein.

Protein

Fat

Fiber

Moisture

Other carbohydrates

More information about this dog food — both positive and negative — can be found in the Amazon reviews here.

Pros
  • Main ingredient is real duck
  • Made in the U.S.
  • Fish provides natural omega fatty acids
  • Full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants
  • High in animal-sourced protein
Cons
  • Nutritional analysis is boosted by potato protein

Kirkland Nature’s Domain vs. Taste of the Wild Comparison

Since Kirkland Nature’s Domain and Taste of the Wild are manufactured by the same company, Diamond Pet Foods, comparing them requires a deep dive. Here’s what we’ve learned about these two dog food brands:

Pricing

When comparing Kirkland Nature’s Domain and Taste of the Wild, pricing is a somewhat tricky category to tackle. With that said, we’re going to assume few, if any, people are investing in a Costco membership just to buy dog food.

Even with the cost of an annual membership more or less accounted for, Kirkland Nature’s Domain is slightly cheaper than Taste of the Wild. On average, though, this pricing difference comes down to just a few cents per pound.

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Availability

Taste of the Wild wins out when it comes to availability. While only select pet food suppliers sell the brand, it is still widely available in most areas. If you don’t have a retailer nearby, Taste of the Wild products are sold by a variety of online retailers, including Amazon and Chewy.

However, Kirkland Nature’s Domain is in a unique position. If you’re already a Costco customer, then adding dog food to your regular shopping list is no trouble at all. Kirkland Nature’s Domain is also available on the Costco website to members and non-members.

Ingredient quality

Based on the popular recipes reviewed above, Taste of the Wild appears to rely more on meat-based protein sources that Kirkland Nature’s Domain. Unfortunately, we don’t have access to detailed ingredient analyses from either brand, but Taste of the Wild features fewer plant proteins lower down on its ingredients lists (on average).

As far as ingredient sourcing is concerned, there’s a good chance that these two brands use many of the same ingredients. However, this is only an assumption.

Nutrition

Despite its use of various plant proteins, Kirkland Nature’s Domain consistently contains less protein than Taste of the Wild. Though both brands include plenty of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in their products, Taste of the Wild takes its nutritional offerings a step further by supplementing every recipe with a blend of live probiotics.

Brand reputation

For our comparison of Kirkland Nature’s Domain and Taste of the Wild, brand reputation is near irrelevant. Both brands were affected by the same recall, due to being manufactured by the same company, and both were named by the FDA in its recent report on dilated cardiomyopathy.

The only notable factor in this category is the positive brand recognition that Kirkland has earned through the years. While Kirkland products are manufactured by a diverse range of third-party companies, the Costco store brand as a whole is trusted by many customers.

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Conclusion

If you’re a diehard Kirkland fan, then there’s probably no need to change your dog’s food just because of our review. But if you’re currently trying to decide between Kirkland Nature’s Domain and Taste of the Wild, we recommend sticking with the “name brand.”

Yes, Taste of the Wild costs a bit more (even accounting for the Costco membership required to buy Kirkland Nature’s Domain), but it also offers slightly better nutrition and recipes that seem to contain more meat than plant proteins. Also, if your dog doesn’t require a grain-free diet, Taste of the Wild’s lineup includes several grain-inclusive versions of its best-selling recipes.

Have you ever tried Kirkland or another store brand’s dog food? What did you (and your pup) think? Let us know in the comments below!