Most foods available in supermarkets and warehouse stores rank at the bottom of what pet-food advocates say you should feed your dog. However, those who have a Costco membership do have one relatively high-quality and low-cost option: Kirkland Signature dog foods, including Kirkland Signature Lamb, Rice & Vegetable.
Mike Sagman at PetFoodAdvisor.com gives Kirkland Signature dog foods his second highest rating, 4 stars, and says that based on its ingredients it is an above-average kibble at a value price. Grains are certainly part of the mix, but they are high-quality grains like brown rice and barley, and lower-quality grains like corn and wheat are not used. Meat in the form of chicken and chicken meal makes up the first two listed ingredients. Though not completely free of controversial ingredients, what's there is on the low end of the concern scale, and minerals are chelated to help absorption.
DogFoodReviews.com is even more impressed, naming Kirkland Signature to its list of top dog foods. The site writes: Kirkland is a higher quality dog food than most of the supermarket brands and can definitely hold its own against some of the "higher-end" foods. PetFoodRatings.net cites value as well. It falls a little short compared to the top-tier foods, the site writes, but it's "cheap" without compromising "all that much."
Kirkland Signature dog foods are made for Costco by Diamond Pet Foods, which makes several high-quality pet foods, including Taste of the Wild High Prairie (*Est. $30 per 15 lb. bag), that cost much more. However, that means that it was caught up in the same spring 2012 voluntary recall that ensnared that brand, as well as certain batches of foods from other well-regarded brands, such as Wellness and Natural Balance, because of concerns over possible salmonella contamination at Diamond's South Carolina plant. The company does add that no foods from any of those brands tested positive for salmonella. Kirkland Signature foods meet Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) standards for nutrition.
Feedback on Kirkland Signature dog foods is not extensive, but several top-quality sites that rate based on ingredients and nutrition have weighed in. Those include PetFoodRatings.net, DogFoodAdvisor.com and Dog Food Reviews.
DogFoodAdvisor.com looks at Kirkland Signature dog foods and gives all but one variety its second highest rating (4 stars). The ingredients list places it in the "above-average" category and Mike Sagman say that it is "highly recommended."
Review: Kirkland Dog Food (Dry), Mike Sagman, Sept. 24, 2010
Earning a 4-star rating here as well, Kirkland dog foods are called "a pretty high quality product for the amount of dollars that it costs to buy." The biggest knocks are the use of white rice and rice bran and the fact that it's only available at Costco.
Review: Dog Food Listings & Reviews, Editors of PetFoodRatings.net
3. Dog Food Reviews
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.
Review: Kirkland Dog Food Reviews, Editors of Dog Food Reviews