If there is one truth to feeding dogs, it’s that it can be expensive. You want the best quality ingredients for your budget, but some brands are very high-priced.
However, you may be unaware that Costco carries its own store brand of dog food, and there is a lot to love about it. If you’d like to learn more, read below for 15 things to know before buying Costco dog food!
15 Things To Know Before Buying Costco Dog Food In 2022
1. Costco Dog Food Comes in Many Varieties Under the Kirkland Signature Label
Costco sells its own brand of dog food under the Kirkland Signature label. Incredibly, the warehouse chain sells 11 different types of dog food, ranging from puppy food to adult dog food.
Here is the rundown on what you can expect to find in Costco’s dog food aisle:
- Super Premium Puppy
- Regular Puppy
- Adult Formula – Chicken
- Adult Formula – Lamb
- Mature Formula
- Healthy Weight Formula
- Small Dog
- Nature’s Domain Organic Chicken
- Nature’s Domain Grain-Free Turkey
- Nature’s Domain Grain-Free Salmon
- Nature’s Domain Grain-Free Beef
2. These are Some Of the Better Costco Dog Food Options
Some of the best Costco dog food options, according to Midogguide.com, are:
- Nature’s Domain Turkey
- Small Dog
- Puppy Formula
- Nature’s Domain Grain-Free options
- Nature’s Domain USDA Organic
These dog food blends ranked the highest on The Dog Food Advisor website, which gave the product types an “above average” rating for their healthy and wholesome ingredient lists.
3. You Can Even Find Organic Costco Dog Food
One great thing about Costco dog food is how there is an organic option for the super health-conscious dog owner.
The first ingredients on the packaging include organic chicken, organic pea, organic lentil, organic garbanzo bean, and organic sweet potato.
These are all wholesome ingredients with lots of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
As well, there are no artificial colors, preservatives, or animal by-products, but just whole, organic meats, legumes, and potatoes.
4. Costco Dog Food Bags are Big and Heavy
Adult-dog formula from Costco comes in 40-lb bags, the organic option weighs 30-lbs, and the grain-free food falls in the middle at 35-lbs.
Finally, Puppy, Super Premium Puppy, and Small Dog formula food come in more manageable 20-lb bags.
5. Prices for Costco Dog Food are Super Affordable
Costco dog food is incredibly affordable, even more so considering the quality of the food for the price you’re paying.
For example, consider the price of Kirkland Signature Grain-Free dog food compared to Rachel Ray Nutrish grain-free.
You will pay $51.99 for a 35-lb. bag of Kirkland Signature, or $1.48 per pound, while the Nutrish brand comes out to $1.54 per pound.
As well, Castor & Pollux Organix dog food costs a whopping $5 per pound, while Costco’s organic dog food comes out to just $2 per pound.
A writer for Business Insider estimated that she saved as much as 0 a year buying her pet food from Costco, instead of at a major pet store chain, like Petco.
6. Critics Laud Costco Dog Food as High Quality
Costco’s Kirkland Signature label dog food is considered to be very high quality. What’s most impressive is that it’s not just the organic dog food that scores well, as you might expect, but all Costco dog food scores quite high with customers.
The Dog Food Advisor article, as mentioned above, singles out the basic adult formula dog food as a nutritious, high-quality option.
7. Costco Dog Food Even Stands up to Blue Buffalo
One of the name brands that receive the most love from critics is Blue Buffalo, but Costco dog food stands up even against them.
Midogguide.com remarks that even though Blue Buffalo edged out Kirkland Signature in a number of categories, it was always just barely.
That’s near-equality, combined with a jaw-dropping price comparison. For example, Blue Buffalo grain-free sells for $52.99 for a 20-lb. bag, while you can buy almost double the amount for less (only $50.99) for a similar product from Costco.
8. You Might Recognize the Manufacturer Of Costco Dog Food
Rather than manufacture its own, Costco outsources the making of its store-brand dog food to another company (as do many companies).
Costco uses Diamond pet foods for manufacturing products, which also sell pet food under its own brand name, as well as several others you might have heard of, such as Taste of the Wild.
DogFoodCare says there are plants in Missouri, South Carolina, and California. Unfortunately, the South Carolina facility has been the subject of a few FDA investigations over the years, though none since 2012.
9. Pick up Some Treats in the Costco Dog Food Section
Costco isn’t just the place for dog food, you can also find many pet accessories, including treats, in stores.
These include the following:
- Treats and toys
- Leashes and collars
- Kennels and crates
- Flea and tick
- Waste management solutions
Check it all out here.
10. All Costco Dog Foods List Meat as the First Ingredient
All of Costco’s dog food options list meat or a meat meal (a highly ground-up version) as the first ingredient (you can see the ingredients on the chart here).
This ingredient list is quite significant, as not all dog food companies list meat as the first ingredient, especially brands that are as inexpensive as Costco’s Kirkland Signature.
However, Costco takes pride in offering customers a low-budget, high-quality dog food selection, proving further that Costco truly values its customers.
11. There Have Been Some Recalls On Costco Dog Food Over The Years
Unfortunately, Kirkland Signature dog food, which is sourced from the Diamond pet food company, has been recalled a few times over the years.
Most recently was 2012, as part of a larger pet food recall that occurred when there was possible salmonella contamination from the plant in South Carolina (an earlier recall took place in 2007).
Since then, however, there have been no recalls involving Kirkland Signature dog food, which is a good sign that the food continues to be safe and healthy.
12. There Was a Costco Dog Food Class Action Lawsuit
More recently than the recalls, however, in the spring of 2021 Diamond pet foods, the supplier for Costco dog food, agreed to a class action settlement for making false claims.
The suit alleges that the company included more than “trace” amounts of grain in its supposedly grain-free dog food.
Costco dog food was part of this claim, and customers who purchased the food were entitled to between $5 and $100.
13. Monitor Your Dogs For Signs Of Allergy to Costco Dog Food
Not all dog foods are going to agree with all dogs, which is why it’s important to monitor your dog for any signs of an allergic reaction.
While Costco dog food is high-quality food, your dog could be allergic to any number of the ingredients in it.
Therefore, look for itchy skin and constant scratching, constant licking or chewing of feet, hair loss, vomiting, and/or diarrhea.
14. Have Your Costco Dog Food Delivered to Your Front Door
When Costco partnered with Instacart to facilitate home grocery delivery, this also included dog groceries, meaning you can get your dog food from Costco delivered with your regular grocery order via Instacart.
15. You Can Pick up Pet Medicine With Your Costco Dog Food
Costco actually carries a number of dog medications, which you can pick up on your next food run.
Check out this list here for all the different medications and treatments that Costco carries, and ask your vet if you can have their prescriptions sent to the store from now on.
Costco dog food is a surprisingly nutritious and wholesome option for dog owners who have the room (and the available funds) to buy in bulk now and save over the following months.
With recipes that nearly match the quality of the much more expensive Blue Buffalo options, Costco’s Kirkland Signature dog food, with 11 varieties, is sure to please any pooch.