What every best Dog Food has:
- Complete nutrition.
- Whole meat or a named meat meal as its top ingredient.
- No fillers or low-quality grains.
Meat first, with decent-quality grains. Mike Sagman at PetFoodAdvisor.com gives Kirkland Signature dog foods his second-highest rating, 4 stars, and says its ingredients make it an above-average kibble. Grains are certainly part of the mix, but they are mostly decent-quality grains like brown rice and barley, and you won't find lower-quality grains like corn and wheat. Meat (chicken and chicken meal in the case of Kirkland Signature Chicken, Rice & Vegetable) leads the ingredient list. Though Kirkland Signature isn't completely free of controversial ingredients, what's there (like brewer's yeast) is on the low end of the concern scale, and minerals are chelated to help absorption. Most other experts that review the food give it ratings that are comparable to Sagman's.
Recalled in 2012 for risk of salmonella. Kirkland Signature dog foods are made for Costco by Diamond Pet Foods, which also makes several high-quality pet foods that cost much more. However, that means that it was caught up in the same spring 2012 voluntary recall that ensnared Diamond, as well as certain batches of foods from other well-regarded brands, because of concerns over possible salmonella contamination at Diamond's South Carolina plant. It has not been recalled since. Kirkland Signature foods meet Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) standards for nutrition.
Best budget-priced dog food. Kirkland Signature is a much better choice than most supermarket kibbles, experts say. For the price, you won't find a higher-quality dry dog food. For example, pound for pound Kirkland Signature is similar in cost to Purina Beneful (Est. $30 for a 31.1 lb. bag), but with a much better line up of ingredients. You can get even better quality dog food, of course -- but you'll have to spend a bit more. Taste of the Wild High Prairie (Est. $50 for a 30-lb. bag) is a well-reviewed and relatively inexpensive grain-free kibble, but it costs two-thirds more on a per-pound basis than Kirkland. Super-premium foods like Orijen Adult Dog Food (Est. $105 for a 25 pound bag) pamper your pet with human-grade meat, but they're the priciest of all.
Mike Sagman likes some Kirkland Signature dog food varieties better than others, but the brand as a whole -- and the Kirkland Signature Chicken, Rice & Vegetable specifically -- earns the site's second-highest rating (4 stars). The ingredients list places it in the above-average category, and Sagman calls it "highly recommended."
Kirkland Signature earns a 4-star rating here as well. Chiara Fucarino says that "It's not one of the best brands on the market, but it's definitely one of the best in its price range."
Here, Kirkland dry dog foods earn the highest 5-star grade for offering "quality ingredients at a price that everyone can afford." It's called an excellent choice that holds its own even against more expensive kibbles.