Costco Dog Food (Top Picks Of 2019)

(Last Updated On: August 28, 2019)

Did you know that Kirkland Dog Food is produced for Costco by the renowned pet food manufacturer Diamond Pet Foods, which has made a name for itself since it was founded way back in the year 1970.

This is what this little tidbit tells us:

This pet food brand by the retail giant Costco is certainly no stranger to the dog food industry, and can be trusted just as much as the other popular dog food brands.

We’ll run down the best products of this brand in a bit…

Kirkland Signature dog food is a private label of retail giant Costco, and its main distribution channel is Costco’s warehouse club stores and online shop. Only a small selection of canine food products are available in Amazon and other online retailers.

No matter how old your puppy is, whether they are a large breed or a small breed, overweight or underweight, Kirkland has different varieties and formulas to meet every dog’s needs no matter what life stage they are in. Kirkland Signature has a sub-brand for its grain-free line, which is Nature’s Domain.

For those of you who find it inconvenient that most of Kirkland dog food variants can only be bought in-store, we’ve put together this list of our top 5 Kirkland foods you can buy right now on Amazon.

Top 5 Kirkland Dog Food You Can Buy Online

Top Pick: Kirkland Signature Small Breed Adult Dog Formula Chicken, Rice & VegetablesPick #2: Kirkland Signature Super Premium Puppy Dog Food, Chicken, Rice & Vegetable FormulaPick #3: Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain Grain-Free All Life Stages Salmon Meal & Sweet Potato FormulaPick #4: Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain USDA Organic Chicken & Pea FormulaPick #5: ​Kirkland Nature’s Domain Turkey and Pea Stew Dog Food

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Product
Kirkland Signature Adult
    Kirkland Signature Super Premium Puppy
      Kirkland Signature Nature's Domain Grain-Free
        Kirkland Signature Nature's Domain USDA Organic
          Kirkland Nature's Domain, Canned

            *Note: The links in the table above, as well as several links in the remainder of the article below, will take you to over to Amazon.com where you can find out more information about the products, such as current prices and customer reviews.

            Introduction To Kirkland Dog Food

            Kirkland manufactures many pet food varieties and formulas.

            As of this writing, their dry food formulas and varieties include:

            • Kirkland Signature Adult Dog
            • Kirkland Chicken And Rice
            • Kirkland Signature Puppy Food
            • Kirkland Signature Small Dog
            • Kirkland Signature Mature Dog
            • Kirkland Signature Healthy Weight

            Also, and as of this writing as well, their canned food formulas and varieties include:

            • Kirkland Beef and Vegetables Formula
            • Kirkland Signature Adult Dog Formula (Chicken)
            • Kirkland Lamb and Rice Formula

            Kirkland Signature Dog Food Review

             

            INGREDIENTS (Click to view)

            Ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, whole grain brown rice, cracked pearled barley, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), egg product, dried beet pulp, potatoes, fish meal, flaxseed, natural flavor, brewers dried yeast, millet, potassium chloride, salt, choline chloride, carrots, peas, dried kelp, apples, cranberries, rosemary extract, parsley flake, dried chicory root, glucosamine hydrochloride, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus reuteri fermentation product, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, chondroitin sulfate, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin, vitamin D supplement, folic acid.

            First off, let’s start this off by having a look at the list of ingredients the Kirkland Signature Adult Chicken dry dog food contains.

            If we take a look at the first five spots on the ingredients, we’ll notice that the first 2 spots are dominated by concentrated protein sources (Chicken and chicken meal), the next 2/5 spots are dominated by above-average carbohydrate sources (whole grain brown rice and Cracked pearled barley), while the last spot is an excellent source of dietary fat (chicken fat).

            It’s always good seeing chicken meal on the list of ingredients due to the tremendously concentrated amount of protein it contains when compared to raw meat.

            General Kirkland Dog Food Review

            inside costco

            Given the fact that Kirkland is exclusively sold in Costco retail stores and can’t be found on websites like Amazon.com or Chewy.com, you won’t be able to find as much information about this particular dog food the way you would be able with other pet foods that have hundreds and hundreds of reviews from verified buyers that all leave their input and experiences to give you a clear picture about what you can expect.

            However, we’ve done our best to come back to you with all the important details and information you need to know before making a buying decision.

            Ingredients

            For starters, the good thing about Costco dog food is that they meet our most basic requirements right off the bat, being filler-free (meaning they don’t contain any ingredients like wheat, soy and corn in their top 3-5 ingredients, which are ingredients other supermarket-brand dog foods contain), don’t contain any meat by-products and don’t contain any harmful artificial ingredients/preservatives.

            Unfortunately, and unlike other premium dog food out there like Orijen dog food, Kirkland does not have any probiotics as part of their ingredients.

            However, Kirkland’s formulas are known to include Brewer’s Yeast [1], which has been proven over and over again to boost the immunity systems of canines.

            Beware though, if your pup is allergic to yeast this might not be a very good option for you to go with after all because that’s just asking for problems.

            A positive, though, is that similar to Orijen’s dog food, Kirkland’s does contain chelated minerals which are proven to improve dogs’ absorption of nutrients and minerals from food.

            High-Quality Protein

            One thing the different Kirkland dog food formulas and varieties have in common is protein content and quality.

            The primary protein source Kirkland’s pet food boasts is fresh meat or meat and poultry meal, depending on the formula you’re going with.

            This is good news for pet owners because, as we know protein [2] is one of the most macronutrients (if not the most important macronutrient) in our dog’s diets, and these 2 aformentioned ingredients are much richer in protein than other sources.

            Complex Carbohydrates

            The carbohydrates you’ll find in Kirkland’s dog foods are just the kind of carbohydrates that we like to see, complex carbohydrates.

            For example, you’ll find whole-grain brown rice and barley being the most prominent carbohydrate sources, which are two good carbohydrate sources you can find in canine foods along with sweet potatoes.

            It must be noted though that brown rice and barley (brown rice especially) aren’t exactly the most high-quality complex carbohydrate sources out there that you can find in dog food (unlike sweet potatoes) and can cause stomach upset and digestive issues in pets that have sensitive stomachs [3].

            So, if your dog is known to have a sensitive stomach, it’s better if you go with another brand because you can get yourself into some trouble in that department.

            With that said, the aforementioned carbohydrate sources do contain decent amount of fibers, which is always a plus when it comes to keeping the digestive systems of our dogs in check and flowing smoothly.

            Protein

            Even though the first ingredient on the ingredient list is chicken, and knowing that raw chicken is made up of 80% water which is lost after cooking (meaning that the actual meat content will amount to only a fraction of what used to be there when the meat was raw and the water was present), this is made up for by the fact that the second ingredient on the list is chicken meal.

            Chicken meal is renowned for its very high protein concentration, with it being believed that chicken meal contains up to 3 times more protein than raw chicken.

            Fat

            The prominent source of fat in the Kirkland Signature Adult Chicken dry dog food is chicken fat, which is an excellent source given that it’s very high in essential fatty acids that your canine thrives after receiving in their diet.

            You’ll especially notice this with their glowing coats!

            A Few Controversies

            We must bring to your attention a few ingredients that exist on the list of ingredients that Kirkland’s dog food is made up of that cause some controversy.

            First off, let’s talk a bit about dried beet pulp, found in the #7 ingredient spot on the list.

            sugar beets

            Beet pulp is by-product that’s results from processing sugar beet. And, although it’s relatively high in fiber, it is very controversial. One side of the debate rave about its potential health benefits for dogs, while others claim it’s nothing more than useless filler used by pet food manufacturers to bulk up their products, while it’s not necessarily bad if used in moderate amounts in dog food.

            This article’s goal isn’t to claim which side of the two arguments is right, we’ll leave that decision for you to make as we’re not biased.

            Kirkland Dog Food Recalls

            Generally speaking, Kirkland was in real good standing when it came to recall issues in the dog food industry, up until a major recall they had back in 2012.

            Ever since, Kirkland has never managed to recover from the reputation hit and be the same again, and many people opted to go with other brands.

            In the list below you’ll find the recalls that Diamond Pet Foods (the manufacturing company of Kirkland dog food) was involved in.

            Please note that as soon as another recall affects Kirkland dog food, we’ll be sure to come back and add it to this list as soon as it happens.

            2007 Recall

            Costco was involved in a massive recall which concerned the canned Kirkland Signature Premium Dog 2-Flavor Variety Pack dog food because of the possibility of melamine contamination.

            2012 Recall

            After many reports from pet owners about their dogs getting ill after eating Kirkland dog food, Diamond Pet Naturals decided to voluntary recall in May of 2012 to the following Costco dog food products because of potential Salmonella contamination:

            • Super Premium Adult Dog Lamb, Rice & Vegetable Formula
            • Super Premium Adult Dog Chicken, Rice & Vegetable Formula
            • Super Premium Mature Dog Chicken, Rice & Egg Formula
            • Super Premium Healthy Weight Dog Formulated with Chicken & Vegetables
            • Super Premium Maintenance Cat Chicken & Rice Formula
            • Super Premium Healthy Weight Cat Formula
            • Nature’s Domain Salmon Meal & Sweet Potato Formula for Dogs

            A Note On Kirkland Dog Food And Allergies

            Costco puppy food doesn’t contain any specific ingredients per se that cause allergic reactions in dogs, but that’s not the whole story.

            whole grains

            As we talked about above, Kirkland dog food does contain a few sources of carbohydrates as well as yeast that might cause digestive problems in certain pups with sensitive stomachs.

            For this reason and many others, it’s best that you be very careful when switching your canine from the current food they’re eating to Kirkland’s, and you only do so gradually and after consulting with your vet about it.

            If you switch to Kirkland’s food way too fast or don’t talk to your veterinarian about it first and make sure that your pet is cleared to handle all the ingredients on the list, then some serious health repercussions could occur.

            Kirkland Dog Food Price

            When it comes to Kirkland’s price, this is where it shines, as Kirkland consider their competitive price to be one of their main selling points.

            Some owners have relatively larger dogs at home that need to be eating much more amounts of food more frequently than would be the case with smaller sized dogs, and other owners have many canines at home that need to be equally fed. In both cases, price becomes an issue and Kirkland does a great job taking this into consideration.

            Kirkland might not be the absolute best dog food out there (don’t get this wrong, Kirkland is a very good option for you to go with, but there certainly are higher quality choices the way we see it), but one of the areas it shines the most is its very affordable price.

            If you don’t want to break the bank on premium dog food, this high-quality option is definitely one for you to consider.

            Where Can I Buy Kirkland Dog Food?

            Unfortunately, Kirkland dog food is exclusively distributed by Costco, and you’ll have to visit one of Costco’s retail stores or website for you to get your hands on their other products

            One of the best alternative options for you to go with if you don’t want to be restricted to doing business with Costco is grabbing a bag of the Taste of the Wild.

            The nutritional profile of both foods is very similar, the prices are comparable as well, and Taste Of The Wild dog food has established its name in the pet food industry and set itself a very strong foothold a long time ago.

            Again, we’ve put together this list of the top 5 best alternative brands you can go with if you don’t feel like getting Kirkland dog food in store, and prefer grabbing your product from an online retailer like Amazon instead.

            Top 5 Alternatives To Kirkland Dog Food You Can Buy Online

            Top Pick: Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food, High Prairie Canine FormulaPick #2: Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog FoodPick #3: Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain Free Dry DogPick #4: American Journey Grain Free Dry Dog FoodPick #5: Diamond Naturals Dry Food For Adult Dogs

            Conclusion

            To sum this all up, Kirkland is certainly one of the better dog food choices out there, especially when compared to other similar “supermarket brands” that are full of junk like filler, additives and preservatives.

            The only worries we have when it comes to Kirkland are related to its history of massive recalls (and any possible future recalls that might be a devastating blow), as well as the fact that the only way and place you can buy this food from is your local Costco retail store.

            Then there’s also the issue that Kirkland puppy food contains relatively higher amounts of carbohydrates than other dog food brands, which may be an issue for some animals.

            Learn more about the importance of high protein and lower carbohydrates for canines in this video!

            If you’re okay with these issues, have read this article to the fullest and see that Kirkland is a good choice for your canine, then by all means go for it.

            However, if you’re all about ease of shopping and would rather go with other high quality dog food options that are available, then have a look at Taste Of The Wild dog food which is just as good as Kirkland dog food, if not better.

            Resources

            1. Brewer’s Yeast for Dogs: Understanding the Benefits and Risks https://www.petmd.com/dog/nutrition/brewers-yeast-dogs-understanding-benefits-and-risks

            2. Why is protein good for dogs https://www.purina.com/articles/dog/nutrition/why-is-protein-good-for-dogs

            3. What is a Sensitive Stomach, and What Can Be Done About It? https://www.petmd.com/blogs/nutritionnuggets/jcoates/2012/jan/what_is_a_sensitive_stomach-12322

            6 COMMENTS

            1. So this whole article was sponsored by Costco. For profit. Of course fresh, raw home prepared food is ALWAYS healthier for our dogs! Just the same as it is for us, compared with human tinned, dry, or even refrigerated pre packed meals (in plastic) with who knows what is really in them, with most of the goodness cooked out of them, often endorsed by Vets or other so called experts who have sold themselves out for money also. I think it’s just disgusting and even criminal that you and others like you live and work to deceive the public for nothing more than profit. Where is your evidence? Where is your conscience? You have none because there is no truth whatsoever in your claims.

            2. My Alaskan malamute was on Kirkland signature adult Lamb and Rice his whole life and has been sick for over month now, with three trips to the vet. We switched his food and he is doing much better. Something is wrong with the Kirkland food.
              Please advise
              Friday May 4, 2018

            3. Thank you, Samantha Paethke and Lisa Connell….. I have just rescued a 13 year old dog and he appears to be nearly completely deaf. I’m checking out the ingredients in Kirkland dog food to see what is in there that might add to this…. I’m not convinced he is deaf because he is “old”. I see that there is Brewers Yeast in it, so will look into that and any infection deep inside, even tho’ previous vet and previous owner says “not”…..

            4. Is there a class action lawsuit to join? Both of my Greyhounds have been sick since switching to Kirkland Grain Free
              It would be nice to get the vet bills paid for

            5. I personally love the Costco salmon and sweet potato. My dogs look awesome and they gobble it up. their coats are amazing.

            6. I’m just wondering where is the proof something is wrong with the Nature’s Domain dog food? “My dog’s been sick” doesn’t cut it with me. My Malamute and Labs have been on Nature’s Domain Salman and Sweet Potato all of their lives, and they are extremely happy and healthy. My Malamute is now 14, which is incredibly old for a Malamute and my vet says he’s still got miles of running left in him. My chocolate Lab is now 8, and still leaping 6 ft fences. My 8 yr old yellow Lab did develop pyometrea, I’m sute that must be the foods fault and probably has absolutely nothing to do with her age or the fact she’s never had a litter. Come on people, if you are so positive that Kirkland’s food has made you dogs ill, take your anecdotal “evidence” and take Costco to court.

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