Kirkland Costco Dog Food 2021 Review & Recalls
Dog food review time. Pet owners have to think about potential allergies, recalls, and what can be digested by your dog. When it comes to dry dog food, Kirkland Signature is one brand that has become popularized. And it is no longer necessary to buy straight from Costco; pet owners can now find Kirkland products on Amazon.
In this review, we will save you the headache by discussing some of the most popular Kirkland dog food products, their recall history, as well take an in-depth analysis of one representative product!
We’ll also cover…
- Is Kirkland Costco dog food made in the United States?
- Has Kirkland been recalled?
- Which flavors and recipes get our top ratings?
Which Kirkland Costco Sub-Brand Is Right for You?
Here are Kirkland Costco’s 6 most popular sub-brands. Below, we’ll share what makes each one different. So you can choose the food that best suits your dog.
Kirkland Costco Dog Food Reviews – The Top 6
1. Kirkland Signature Adult Dog Chicken, Rice, & Vegetable Formula
- Includes: Kirkland Signature Adult Formula Chicken, Rice and Vegetable Dog Food 40 lb.
Super Premium Adult Dog supplies a lot of energy with its grain-inclusive formula, making it great for active dogs.
- Fat content may be too high for overweight dogs
- Probiotics included supporting good digestion
2. Kirkland Signature Healthy Weight Dog Formula
- 275 Calories per Cup Chicken & Vegetables
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ½
Super Premium Healthy Weight is a smart choice for overweight dogs who need a low-fat diet.
- High in fiber and probiotics for good digestion
- Glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support
Best for Puppies
3. Kirkland Signature Puppy Chicken, Rice, & Vegetable Formula
- Chicken, Rice & Vegetable Formula,For Puppies Up to 1 Year.
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ½
Super Premium Puppy food incorporates salmon oil, a great source of omega fatty acids, giving your pup healthy skin and a shiny coat. A great choice for active puppies.
- Includes probiotics for digestive health, but is low in fiber
- Not a lot of joint support
4. Kirkland Signature Small Dog Chicken, Rice, & Vegetable Formula
- Fresh Chicken is the #1 Ingredient
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ½
Super Premium Small Dog has prebiotics and probiotics for sensitive stomachs. Small kibble size for smaller mouths, just right for small breeds.
- Taurine for heart health
- No joint support
5. Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain Beef Meal & Sweet Potato Dog Food
- Grain-free: This formula provides your special pet with optimal nutrition for overall good health.
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ½
Nature’s Domain dog food with beef meal and sweet potato is a grain-free formula that provides overall nutrition for dogs with special needs.
- Rich in antioxidants like vitamin E and selenium
- Includes dried chicory root for good digestion
6. Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain Salmon Meal & Sweet Potato Dog Food
- Salmon meal & sweet Potato grain-free 35 lb. bag
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ½
Nature’s Domain Salmon Meal & Sweet Potato is a grain-free formula suitable for all life stages.
- 24% protein and 14% fat
- Contains omega-6s which are great for skin and coat
Who Makes Kirkland Costco Dog Food?
Though the Kirkland brand is available exclusively at Costco, it is actually manufactured by Diamond Pet Foods, Inc. This is one of the biggest pet food production and manufacturing companies in the U.S. The manufacturing facilities are located in Missouri, South Carolina, and California. Other brands produced by Diamond Pet Foods are Taste of the Wild, Solid Gold, Premium Edge, and Artemis.
Has Kirkland Costco Dog Food Been Recalled?
Kirkland Signature dog food products are manufactured in Diamond Pet Foods’ facilities. The company website says they follow testing protocols for pre-production, production, and post-production. These tests examine the following: mycotoxin level, microbiological level, oxidative stability, nutrition of ingredients, and the finished product.
Despite their strict testing, the Kirkland brand has experienced a few recalls. Diamond Pet Foods itself has had many recalls, a couple of which have involved the Kirkland product. One occurred in April 2007 when the FDA recalled Kirkland Signature Premium Dog 2-Flavor Variety Packs.
The reason for the recall was stated as a potential melamine contamination. Another recall happened in May 2012 when the FDA recalled a few different Kirkland Signature products due to risk of salmonella contamination. These products included Super Premium Adult Dog Food, some Super Premium cat foods, and a Nature’s Domain recipe.
Is Kirkland Costco a Good Dog Food?
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ½
Kirkland Costco Dog Food receives our second-highest rating of 4.5 stars.
Individual Recipe Ratings
Kirkland Signature Dog Food product line consists of 12 varieties. For easy reference, we have included those currently listed on Amazon here along with their Amazon rating. This enables you to easily check prices and package sizes.
- Kirkland Signature Puppy (5 stars)
- Kirkland Signature Small Dog (4.5) stars)
- Kirkland Signature Healthy Weight (4.5 stars)
- Kirkland Signature Adult Lamb, Rice and Vegetable (4.5 stars)
- Kirkland Signature Adult Chicken, Rice and Vegetable (5 stars)
- Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain Puppy Formula (4.5 stars)
- Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain Chicken & Pea Formula (4 stars)
- Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain Turkey Meal & Sweet Potato (4.5 stars)
- Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain Beef Meal & Sweet Potato (4.5 stars)
- Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain Salmon Meal & Sweet Potato (4.5 stars)
Recipe Ingredient Analysis
Kirkland Signature Adult Dog Chicken, Rice, & Vegetable Formula was chosen to represent the Kirkland brand for analysis of its contents. Ingredients are listed by predominance in weight. This weight also includes their water content.
- Chicken is the #1 ingredient in this product. Although this indicates a quality product, raw chicken is made up mostly of water. Once it is cooked, a lot of that moisture will evaporate and the meat will not have the same weight. This could mean there is less of the ingredient in the kibble than we may think.
- The second ingredient, however, is chicken meal. Though probably not the most quality animal protein out there, chicken meal is still concentrated meat, and has about 300% more protein than pure chicken. You cannot technically call it meat, though since all the fat and water have been rendered out. It contains some part of the animal you wouldn’t think of “meat” including any blood, hair, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach, and rumen contents. Meat meal is not exactly appealing to us, but our pets think a bit differently.
- The third ingredient is whole grain brown rice, which is a carbohydrate that provides your dog with energy. It is full of fiber, which is great for digestion. It also contains essential vitamins and minerals like calcium, iron, and riboflavin.
- The fourth ingredient is barley, another grain that provides energy. It supplies fiber and a few other nutrients.
- The fifth ingredient is chicken fat. This is the fat that is rendered on the chicken when cooking it. It contains linoleic acid, which is an omega-6 fatty acid. Omega-6s help your dog’s ability to promote healthy bone and muscle tissue. It also helps maintain healthy skin and fur.
- Sixth is the egg product. It is unclear if the shell-free egg product is wet or dry. Keep in mind that the quality of these eggs can vary; some lower quality egg product can come from eggs that failed to hatch. Regardless, for dogs, eggs are easily digestible and can cure your puppers upset stomach. They are also a good source of proteins, essential amino acids, and fatty acids.
- The seventh listed ingredient is beet pulp. Beet pulp is high in fiber and will help your dog maintain good intestinal health, as well as easily absorb other ingredients. Some believe that beet pulp is simply added to the product as an inexpensive filler. But most of us believe it is a great choice for maintaining healthy intestines and stabilizing blood pressure.
- Eighth on the ingredient list is potato. Potatoes are a great source of energy that are easily digestible. Every dog is different, however and some may have an issue digesting potatoes. It is best to start with a small amount of potatoes to make sure it agrees with your dog. Some advantages of potatoes as an ingredient is that they are gluten-free carbs and contain vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, calcium, potassium, magnesium and iron.
- The ninth ingredient is fish meal. Like chicken meal, this is another meat concentrate that is packed with protein. Also like chicken meal, fish meal is made of the parts that we wouldn’t consume. It is usually made from ground-up bony trash fish and forage fish like anchovy, menhaden, or herring from commercial fish operations. Unfortunately, we are unable to determine what fish the fish meal consists of. Regardless, this ingredient is a high-quality source of protein and omega-3s.
- Flaxseed is the tenth ingredient. Flaxseed is an anti-inflammatory that can ease arthritis, improve kidney function, and lower blood pressure. The omega-3 fatty acids will keep your dog’s skin healthy and coat shiny.
Thus concludes the first ten ingredients of this Kirkland product. They are the most prevalent ones, and therefore where the focus of this analysis must be. However, we will highlight some of the ingredients farther down the list that may be controversial or affect your decision to buy this product.
Less Prevalent Ingredients
Brewer’s yeast can be a controversial ingredient. Some dogs may be allergic to yeast and should therefore avoid products that contain it. There are some people that claim that brewer’s yeast can increase the risk of the dog developing bloat. This, however, has yet to be proven.
On the other hand, there are many positives to this ingredient. It is full of protein, supports the immune system, promotes good digestion, and helps control diarrhea. It is antioxidant-rich which is great for your pet’s skin and coat. If your dog has dry, itchy skin, brewer’s yeast may be a good choice in neutralizing the issue. It may even help repel fleas.
Peas are another controversial ingredient. These lentils may be great for fiber and carbs, but they may have an effect on your dog’s kidneys. Purines, a chemical compound found in peas, produce uric acid. This acid is filtered through the kidneys and can lead to kidney stones if too much is consumed. Therefore, peas are ok to feed your dog, but in small doses. Dogs don’t need fruits and vegetables like us humans do.
Chicory root is another ingredient located further down the list. Chicory is part of the dandelion family, and its root contains inulin, which is a natural source of fiber. Inulin is also a prebiotic which enables healthy bacteria to grow in the digestive tract.
Chelated minerals are another noteworthy ingredient in the list. These are minerals that have been attached to a protein, making them easier to absorb. This removes any inefficiency and enables your dog to absorb any trace minerals as they are ingested. This allows absorption anywhere from two to five times the rate of the inorganic forms of these minerals. Typically the appearance of chelated minerals are a good sign of a more quality dog food product.
Nutrient data is calculated on a dry matter basis. The Guaranteed Analysis panel, which is the equivalent of Nutrition Facts on human food products, allows for us to compare protein, fat, fiber, and moisture in our pet food products. However, these numbers can be misleading. These numbers tend to make it difficult to compare canned, raw products with a lot of moisture with dry kibbles.
The dry matter protein in this product is at 29%, fat is 18% and carbs are at 45%. This formula is meant for medium to large breed adults. With the protein content at 29% coming mostly from chicken and chicken meal, this is a sufficient nutrition level for the average dog. The chicken fat and flaxseed are the main factors contributing to the 18% fat content. This is a good level for active dogs like Golden Retrievers or Pitbulls. However, we wouldn’t necessarily recommend this food for an overweight dog since the fat content is relatively high.
The carbohydrates in this product come from barley and brown rice, which also are a great source of fiber and vitamins. Vitamins also come in the form of carrots, peas, dried kelp, cranberries, and apples. Additionally probiotics and prebiotics help promote your dog’s good digestion.
You can also find both glucosamine and chondroitin in small amounts. These help promote healthy joints by rebuilding cartilage and protecting the joints.
Our Rating of Kirkland Costco Dog Food
The Kirkland brand on average has a protein content of 28%, fat at 15%, and carbs at 49%. This comes out to a fat-to-protein ratio of 54%. This puts the Kirkland brand at just about average levels compared to other brands.
We consider Kirkland a mid-grade dog food brand. There is no corn, wheat, or soy in the top 5 ingredients, which is uncommon in store-brand products such as these. When it comes down to it, this brand comes with both grain-inclusive and grain-free varieties, features quality ingredients, and has varying sources of proteins. We give Kirkland dog food brand 4.5 stars.
What Do Others Say About Kirkland Costco
The Kirkland Signature Chicken, Rice, & Vegetable product that we have reviewed currently has a 5 star rating on Amazon. Many users are happy with this particular formula, saying their dogs love it, gives them great energy, and produces healthy skin and coat. Not only that, it is a great quality product for the money. Here is a review from an actual customer:
“I’ve been trying various dog foods, looking for one that doesn’t make the pups gassy. I had settled on Blue Buffalo (even though the dogs were still gassy) until I realized my babies were getting fat. Ok, now one of the dogs is a rolly polly blimp. The pups are now almost done with their first 40 lb bag. After one week on this Kirkland brand the gas subsided a bit and I noticed something amazing… They were playing and wrestling again. All 3 dogs are 2 to 3 years old so they should have plenty of energy, and I hadn’t noticed how lazy they had gotten on Blue Buffalo. Anyway, I read the ingredients in everything and the ingredients in this dog food is actually the best I’ve ever seen. My furbabies appear to be benefiting.”
If your dog is currently inhaling his or her kibble, this may be due to low-quality pet food. When dogs eat quickly, this may be due to lack of nutrients in your current pet food product. Check out some other reasons your dog may be eating so fast. It might be time to switch it up. If you are in the market for a new brand of dog food, Kirkland Signature may be the right choice for you. It contains real meat instead of low-quality by-products. And the good news is, you don’t need a Costco membership anymore to buy it. Get quality food for your dog delivered straight to your door.