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Although dogs are omnivores, meaning they can eat both animal and plant foods, they need diets high in protein. Protein helps maintain their muscles and provide the energy they need to stay active. A variety of dog foods are available in grocery and pet stores, so this Kirkland dog food review should be able to help you select the best food for your best friend.
Kirkland Dog Food Review
What Should Dogs Eat? When considering what types of food to buy a dog, several factors should be taken into consideration. They include dogs:
- Body type
- Activity level
It may seem weird that a dog’s gender can be a factor in what kind of food they should eat, but female dogs are usually smaller than their male counterparts in both height and weight. Also, female dogs are often more active than male dogs, though activity levels can depend on individual canines.
When selecting a dog food, good dog food will be well-balanced in these six nutrients:
- Fats & Oils
Types Of Dog Foods And Diets
A variety of different foods and diets exist for dogs. They include:
- Dry foods or kibble.
- Wet foods
- Semi-moist foods
- Homecooked dog food
- Raw diet
- Veterinarian diets
Dry Food Or Kibble
Dry dog food, also known as kibble, is one of the most economical types of dog foods you can buy. It doesn’t need refrigeration, and it lasts a long time in storage. It also helps to keep dogs’ teeth healthy as they fight tartar and plaque as they chew it.
Canned dog food has a long shelf life and is readily available in grocery or pet stores. It is important to read the label on canned foods to make sure they are made from nutritious ingredients. Some have indigestible proteins in them that do not provide nutrition for your pet.
Also, many canned foods are about 75% water, but some brands can have more in them. More water equals fewer nutrients that your dog needs to be healthy, plus it will eat more because it hasn’t been fed well. Look for “100% nutritionally complete” on the label and read the label to make sure it is made from nutritious ingredients.
These commercial dog foods are often found in shapes like hamburger patties, pork chops, or steaks. However, they are usually the least nutritious food on the market and have artificial food coloring and flavors in them. They should only be given to your pets as an occasional treat.
Home Cooked Food
Some dog owners want to ensure their pets are getting a healthy diet, so they go to the expense of home cooking their dog’s food. While it is a good way to control what goes into their diets, research what nutrients your dog should have before attempting to make their food at home.
Some dog owners feed their pets raw meats, bones (raw only), and animal organs. A dog’s digestive system can easily handle raw foods because they have strong stomach acids and short stomachs. However, there are risks to a raw diet like food poisoning, not getting all the nutrients your dog needs, and breaking teeth on bones.
Some diets are formulated for dogs with certain medical conditions like renal failure, liver disease, or urinary disease. They work by limiting some foods from the diet that cause problems for the dog. For instance, protein for dogs with renal failure should be limited as it means less work for the kidneys. Special diets like this should not be given to healthy dogs. Only a veterinarian should recommend a special diet if it is necessary because these foods don’t have all the nutrients that healthy dogs need.
What Is Kirkland Dog Food And What Is In It?
Kirkland makes a line of dog foods for every stage of a dog’s life, from puppyhood to senior dogs. The brand is made for the wholesale retailer Costco, but Diamond Pet Foods, Inc make Kirkland. Diamond is owned by Schell and Kampeter, which is a family owned and operated company in the United States.
Kirkland dog foods are also sold at retailers like Walmart and on several websites like Amazon and Chewy.com. Their dog foods feature nutritious ingredients at a more affordable price than many of its competitors. Some of the formulas they offer in their Nature’s Domain line are:
- Organic chicken and pea.
- Salmon meal and sweet potato.
- Turkey meal and sweet potato.
- Beef and sweet potato.
They also have dog foods with chicken, rice, and vegetables for puppies, adult, overweight, and senior dogs. Their dry foods are sold in 20 to 40-pound bags, depending on the size and age of the dog.
Kirkland also has a line of canned foods, dog biscuits, and dental chews to keep their teeth healthy and clean.
Sweet potatoes are found in dog foods because they are an important source of Vitamin A. This vitamin may be able to reduce cancer risks in dogs and provide protection for their hearts. The vegetable is also high in fiber, low in fat, and contains many of the minerals dogs need to stay healthy.
Along with quality ingredients, which include good sources of protein, Kirkland foods do not contain fillers like wheat, corn, or soy products, animal by-products, artificial sweeteners, or artificial colors.
They have received approval from the Association of American Food Control Officials, AAFCO.
The membership of the AAFCO is a voluntary group of federal, state, and local agencies that regulate the distribution and sale of animal food and drug therapies. They have found that Kirkland dog foods contain the necessary nutrients for all stages of a dog’s life.
What Makes Kirkland Dog Food Unique?
The most unique thing about Kirkland dog food is its nutritional value at an affordable price. Many dog foods that have quality natural ingredients can be very expensive. However, this dog food is affordable and can be bought on several websites and at large stores like Costco and Walmart.
They also address dogs at every point in their lives, from puppies to senior animals. So, a Kirkland food can be fed to your pet no matter how old he or she happens to be. They also offer canned foods for dogs with an emphasis on their health by using only quality ingredients.
Pricing For Kirkland Dog Food
Kirkland dry dog foods are offered at different price points. Their kibble is offered in 20 to 40-lb. bags and priced according to bag size and the formula of the food. For instance, a 20-lb. bag of puppy food costs $24.99, which is $1.25/pound.
Their Nature’s Domain Organic chicken and pea dry food is offered at $49.99 for a 40-lb. bag. It would make the price per pound $1.25 as well. However, their Signature Healthy Weight Formula with chicken and vegetables is only $38.99 for a 40-lb. bag, making it under a dollar per pound, 97 cents to be exact.
The canned food is available in cases of 24 – 13.2-ounce cans. Depending on where they are bought, you can pay approximately $55 for a case. The price for a single can of their wet food is about $2.29, but wet foods are typically more expensive than dry foods.
Public Perception Of Kirkland Dog Foods
According to buyers and online sites who have done a Kirkland dog food review, the food is seen favorably. The Dog Food Advisor site gives their dry foods four out of five stars, and their wet food receives five out of five stars.
On sites like Amazon, both types of food have received 3.9 out of five stars, not for how well their dogs like it, but for the price. It is usually more expensive than Costco.
Most of the complaints about dogs getting sick from the food was during the recall of Kirkland foods in 2012. The dry foods were recalled in a limited number of states and Puerto Rico. However, some owners didn’t know about the recall due to salmonella and fed their dogs the food, which made them sick.
The overall rating for Kirkland foods is 8.2 stars out of 10 at dogfood.guru. They gave the foods eight stars for ingredients and meat content, 7.5 stars for grain content, and nine stars for both availability and price. They consider it an above-average dog food, especially at its price point.
How Kirkland Compares To Other Dog Foods
Some of the other brands of dog food that Kirkland compares to include:
- Blue Buffalo
- Diamond Naturals
- Taste of the Wild
These dog foods feature better quality ingredients than the typical dry and wet dog foods found at large retail department chains and grocery stores. While there are other specialty dog foods like Acana, Fromm’s, Kiwi, and others, not all of Kirkland’s foods advertise as organic, and the other brands are at higher price points.
Blue Buffalo dog foods, which are available as dry or canned, is probably the most well-known competitor of Kirkland dog foods. They come in several formulas like Wilderness, Grain Free, Life Protection, and Earth Essentials, among others.
They have specially formulated foods for puppies, small and large dog breeds, for weight maintenance, and older dogs. They use ingredients like:
- Pea protein
- Brown rice
- Chicken Meal
- Chicken fat
- Dried eggs
- Sweet potatoes
Although they are formulated similarly to Kirkland dog foods, they are at a higher price point. Depending on the formula, they come in three to 30 lb. bags. Their price ranges from $7.99 for a three-pound Life Protection bag of food to $56.99 for a 22 lb. bag of their Basics formula.
They are available at various retailers or online at several pet supply sites. They are rated anywhere from 3.5 stars to 4.8 out of five, depending on the formula.
Diamond Naturals dog food is made by the same company that makes Kirkland dog foods. They also emphasize quality ingredients like:
- Superfoods like pumpkin, blueberries, kale, and proteins.
- Omega fatty acids from chia seeds, flaxseed, and fish.
- Glucosamine and Chondroitin
- Cage-free chicken
- Pasture-raised beef and lamb
The dog food is sold at retailers like Tractor Supply and online pet websites. Their dry food is sold in 28 to 40-lb. bags for $41.99 to $31.99 respectively, but the smaller bag is more expensive because the food is grain-free. The Diamond Naturals brand is rated a little better than Kirkland at 3.9 to five stars out offive depending on the flavor of food.
The next dog food that compares to Kirkland is Taste of the Wild. It is made by Diamond Pet Foods as well, and it is available in nine dry and canned dog foods. They are available in 15 and 30lb. bags, as well as 13.2-ounce cans. Some online pet food retailers have five-pound bags too. Their dry foods are all grain-free and include ingredients like:
- Lamb Meal
- Garbanzo beans
- Wild boar
- Ocean fish meal
- Salmon oil
They advertise themselves as an all-natural brand. The prices for the dry foods run from $13.99 for a five lb. bag, $29.99 for 15 pounds. and a 30 lb. bag is $41.99. Of course, the price depends on the retailer and the flavor of the food.
What We ThinkBased on the price, the perception, and the ingredients in the Kirkland dog foods, we find them to be a good buy for pet owners on a budget. If you have a dog and want them to have natural food with nutritional ingredients, then this Kirkland dog food review recommends their food for your canine companion.
The variety of ingredients that they offer, and the fact that their foods are made without artificial colors, sweeteners, and flavorings help make this pet food a good buy over many other brands, including the three competitors we included in this review. The dry and canned foods have received good ratings so that you can be confident in its quality for your dogs.