Have you ever wondered what’s inside Kirkland puppy food? Maybe you’ve spotted the particularly bright-colored bags of the Nature’s Domain range and wondered…is that something my dog might like? We have, too, and we thought it was about time to do some Kirkland dog food reviews to help you answer those questions. Compared to some other kibble brands, Kirkland doesn’t tend to advertise as much. That is, where other companies are quick to point out their benefits for your pooch, you might find yourself searching a little harder for the lowdown on Kirkland.
So, we’ve done that for you. We’ve looked at all the ingredients in each packet reviewed, dug into the ‘who’ and the ‘where’, and even done a bunch of math to calculate different things like calcium content. All to save you time. So let’s dive in!
Quick Review: Top-4 Dog Foods From Kirkland
Who Are Kirkland?
Also known as Costco Kirkland, or by their official name — Kirkland Signature — you may have started seeing this brand around a bit more in recent years. If you’ve also checked out our Diamond Dog Food Review, you’ll know that Diamond packages and creates pet foods for different brands. Kirkland is one of those brands.
That means it’s owned by the same manufacturers (Schell & Kampeter) that have been creating Diamond food for close to half a century. The plants themselves are in the USA — South Carolina, Missouri, and California to be precise.
You will, most likely, have noticed both the wet and dry dog foods on sale in Costco. Now, however, you can order Kirkland in the comfort of your home, for a whole range of different doggy shapes and sizes!
What’s Special About Kirkland?
First up, Kirkland Signature is affordable. But does it offer all the nutrition your puppy or dog needs? In fact, it does — we’ve noticed that the brand is not only made in safety-certified facilities, but it uses high-caliber ingredients, too. There are two lines of kibble and a selection of wet dog foods for you to choose from:
- Kirkland Signature has mature dog food (for veteran dogs, we like to call them!), adult, puppy, and small dog foods. In these, we’ve spotted good things like fiber-rich carrots and kelp, as well as probiotics, veggies, and DHA; and
- Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain, which includes grain-free (and thus gluten-free) kibbles for puppies and grown dogs.
While Kirkland doesn’t actually manufacture a special hypoallergenic pet food for dogs, there is quite a selection of different flavors in the Nature’s Domain range. As a brand, Kirkland doesn’t quite offer the huge array of flavors as some other brands quite yet, but we’re pretty sure that could change in the near future. In the meantime, owners can pick up a weight management formula for those dogs on a diet, and even an organic blend.
So, not your average ‘supermarket’ brand in the bad sense — instead, it’s affordable, high-quality food from a producer with a good reputation.
Kirkland Dog Food Recalls
All in all, Kirkland Signature is popular with consumers and there aren’t a great deal of Kirkland dog food recalls to report. During 2007, the FDA reports, we saw some Kirkland dog food recalled due to potential melamine contaminations.
Five years after that in 2012, some Super Premium and one Nature’s Domain products were recalled when Diamond Dog Food voluntarily took some of its offerings off the shelves. To read more about this 2012 recall, check out our Diamond Dog Food Reviews.
Why the Kirkland Puppy Food Reviews and Kirkland Dog Food Reviews?
As long-time dog and puppy food reviewers, here are the things that we like about Kirkland dog food:
- There are formulas that cover different canine life stages;
- Their recipes include tasty vegetables as well as meat;
- Real animal proteins are always ‘top-of-list’ with this brand;
- We’ve spotted lots of the little ‘extras’ that make dog foods great, like DHA for puppies, Omega acids for skin care, and fish oil; and
- They offer a unique proprietary culture of probiotics that makes digestion that little bit easier for dogs.
As owners, we’ve got a few more reasons to add!
- Kirkland dog food is economical (that’s a huge plus if you’ve got several hungry dogs to feed); and
- They seem to taste pretty nice, according to our pets.
Let’s take a closer peek in our Kirkland dog food reviews…
Our Kirkland Grain Free Dog Food Reviews December 2019
We’ve started with Kirkland’s organic dinner from their Nature’s Domain range. Then, choices for your smaller breed pup, and a nice All Life Stages option.
- Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain USDA Dry Dog Food
- 22% protein and 12% fat;
- Has a blend of Omega acids that promote strong skin and gorgeous fur;
- The veggies are organic, too, and there are a lovely range of them — peas, lentils, beans, chickpeas, and sweet potato;
- Antioxidants from the flaxseed inclusions will help your pooch against disease; and
- It’s safe for gluten-intolerant pooches!
- Contains some potato ingredients.
- Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain Small Breed
- Small, specially-designed kibble allows your smaller pooch to eat in comfort;
- Contains Kirkland Signature’s proprietary range of gut-healthy bacteria;
- Totally without any grains, so suitable for intolerant pooches;
- Provides your little pooch with Omega 3 and 6 for a gorgeous radiant coat; and
- It’s simple to break down and digest, so it’s easy on small tummies!
- Nope, it’s a great mix of meat-and non-meat proteins with a delectable salmon flavor for little dogs!
- Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain Dog Food
- Includes selenium, which helps canines fight against heart disease and various other health conditions;
- That’s coupled with Vitamin E for healthy doggy skin — your dog’s first layer of defense against disease!
- Contains prebiotics (chicory root) to help your fluffy friend break down his food more easily;
- First ingredient, as the name suggests, is turkey; and
- Also includes natural vitamins from fruits like blueberries and veggies like peas and sweet potatoes.
- For puppies, 24% may be a slightly low protein figure.
The Kirkland Puppy Food Reviews
Kirkland has only two puppy-specific formulas, at present, but it’s worth noting that several other Kirkland Signature dog foods are designed for All Life Stages.
- Kirkland Signature Expect More Puppy Formula Dog Food
- Includes DHA so that your cute pup can develop healthy, sharp eyes and a brain to match;
- Dried chicory is one of the natural probiotic sources to aid digestion;
- First top ingredients in here are chicken and…chicken meal!
- Also features all the natural Omega acid goodness of salmon meal; and
- Provides Vitamin E that assists the protection of your pup’s skin.
- Contains potatoes, which owners of intolerant pets should note.
- Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain Puppy Dog Food
- 27% protein, with chicken as our very top ingredient;
- Other non-meat proteins include fava beans, lentils, peas, and chickpeas (varied and yummy!);
- Provides a nice healthy 15% fat — great for pups;
- Includes DHA- and Omega acid-rich salmon oil; and
- It’s naturally flavored.
- Some puppy owners might prefer a food with higher protein — although, 27% is usually fine for larger breeds.
The Wet Kirkland Dog Food Reviews
There aren’t too many wet Kirkland dog foods, but here’s a lovely one that all dog ages and sizes can enjoy. Judging from what we’ve seen so far, we hope they release more in the near future!
- Nature’s Domain Kirkland Dog Food
- It’s designed for all doggy life stages;
- Suitable for toy dogs, too, all the way up to larger pooches;
- Includes carrots for Vitamin A and peas for iron and fiber;
- Provides a minimum of 8% protein; and
- It makes great senior dog food.
- This is somewhat watery, as wet dog foods go. However, these are some healthy ingredients and it features fruit and veg as well as protein. Nice!
Hypoallergenic Kirkland Dog Food
Kirkland doesn’t create specialized hypoallergenic dog food (yet, at least). However, we’ve reviewed the weight management option for those doggies on a diet!
- Kirkland Signature Healthy Weight Formula Dog Food
- Contains glucosamine and also healthy chondroitin to keep those hips and joints in good shape!
- Features probiotics that aid in smooth digestion;
- Includes Vitamin C, A, D, and E from kelp, apples, carrots, and cranberries;
- Naturally preserved; and
- Offers zinc and Omega acids to protect your dog’s skin.
- This isn’t grain-free as it includes rice and oatmeal.
What is the AAFCO all about? Who are they?
AAFCO is an acronym for ‘Association of American Feed Control Officials’. They are a volunteer group of government agencies that began in 1901 to regulate pet food distribution and sale. The AAFCO doesn’t carry out any inspections or regulate dog food itself, but it draws out standards on nutrition. Examples include AAFCO nutrient profiles for what is considered a puppy food, and for All Life Stages food.
If a dog food manufacturer wishes to label its food as providing ‘balanced and complete nutrition for growth and development’, for instance, it must meet AAFCO requirements before it can receive approval from them. Generally, these will consider things like minimum protein and an adequate proportion of calcium to phosphorus.
How come there’s canola oil in some Kirkland dog foods?
Canola oil is usually included in dog foods because it is a source of both calories and fat. It also provides your pooch with Omega 3 acids. Canines aren’t able to make Omega 3 acids themselves, so they need to get it from their diets. One commonly known Omega 3 acid is DHA, although it should be known that canola oil doesn’t include DHA. Rather, it includes ALA, which dogs can then turn into DHA (although not super effectively).
So, in short, canola oil is usually added to kibbles like Kirkland dog food for fat and calories. If you’re looking specifically for something that includes DHA for your dog, one more effective source is salmon oil.
Last update on 2019-12-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API