Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★½☆

Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain Dog Food earns the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.

The Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain product line includes three dry dog foods, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.

The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.

  • Nature’s Domain Grain Free Turkey Meal and Sweet Potato
  • Nature’s Domain Grain Free Salmon Meal and Sweet Potato
  • Nature’s Domain Grain Free Beef Meal and Sweet Potato (3 stars)

Nature’s Domain Grain Free Turkey Meal and Sweet Potato was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Kirkland Signature Nature's Domain Grain Free Turkey Meal and Sweet Potato

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 27% | Fat = 16% | Carbs = 50%

Ingredients: Turkey meal, sweet potatoes, peas, potatoes, canola oil, potato protein, potato fiber, natural flavor, flaxseed, ocean fish meal, salt, choline chloride, dried chicory root, tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries, Yucca schidigera extract, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin D supplement, folic acid

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.3%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis24%14%NA
Dry Matter Basis27%16%50%
Calorie Weighted Basis23%33%44%

The first ingredient in this dog food is turkey meal. Turkey meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh turkey.

The second ingredient includes sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates in a dog food. They are naturally rich in dietary fiber and beta carotene.

The third ingredient includes peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.

However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

The fourth ingredient is potato. Potatoes can be considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates. Yet with the exception of perhaps their caloric content, potatoes are of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The fifth ingredient is canola oil. Many applaud canola for its favorable omega-3 content while some condemn it as an unhealthy fat.

Much of the objection regarding canola oil appears to be related to the use of genetically modified rapeseed as its source material.

Yet others find the negative stories about canola oil more the stuff of urban legend than actual science.1

In any case, plant-based oils like canola are less biologically available to a dog than fish oil as a source of quality omega-3 fats.

The sixth ingredient is potato protein, the dry residue remaining after removing the starchy part of a potato.

Even though it contains over 80% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

The seventh ingredient is potato fiber, a source of dietary fiber. Fiber in reasonable amounts can help stabilize blood sugar levels and reduce a dog food’s caloric content.

After the natural flavor, we find flaxseed, one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also rich in soluble fiber.

However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.

But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this product.

With three notable exceptions

First, we note the use of an ingredient listed as ocean fish meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.2

Unfortunately, this particular item is anonymous. Because various fish contain different types of fats, we would have preferred to have known the source species.

We are pleased to note that, unlike many fish meals, this particular item appears3 to be ethoxyquin-free.

Next, chicory root is rich in inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and found in certain roots and tubers.

Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.

And lastly, this food also contains chelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.

Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Nature’s Domain Dog Food looks like an average dry kibble.

But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 27%, a fat level of 16% and estimated carbohydrates of about 50%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 27% and a mean fat level of 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 50% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 58%.

Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

However, when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, potato protein, flaxseed (or pea protein and garbanzo beans found in some of the other recipes), this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a below-average amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain is a grain-free plant-based kibble using a below-average amount of meat or fish meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 stars.

Recommended.

Note: Although this recipe does not appear to have changed, we have lowered its rating due to the greater weight we now place on the use of plant-based meat protein substitutes.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content.

Special Alert

Rice ingredients can sometimes contain arsenic. Until the US FDA establishes safe upper levels for arsenic content, pet owners may wish to limit the total amount of rice fed in a dog's daily diet.

A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

To learn how we support the cost of operating this website, please visit our public Disclosure and Disclaimer page.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

05/15/2010 Original review
10/07/2010 Added new turkey product
10/27/2010 Review updated
01/03/2012 Review updated (minor recipe change)
03/30/2012 Added Kirkland Signature to product name
07/06/2013 Review updated
07/06/2013 Last Update

  1. Mikkelson, B and DP, Oil of Ole, Urban Legends Reference Pages (2005)
  2. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  3. Diamond Pet Customer Service via email, 7/7/2010
  • Angelica Reid

    I have used this dog food for years with my show dogs and brood stock and never have i ever had a problem with allergies etc…. i use the blue bag, salmon kind. Ive campaigned many best puppies, champions, grand champions, best of shows and best of opposites on this kibble…….

  • LabsRawesome

    How much salt is added to ND? I’m sure that you have no idea, so you shouldn’t be posting that it has too much. I’m sure the salt added is within normal limits.

  • Anita Horne

    Nature’s Domain from Costco sounds good but has a ton of salt added. The dogs drank so much and pee’d again and again. Awful and bad for kidneys. Dog food does NOT have to list how much salt.

  • brandi

    So I was feeding this brand and in the last week and a half I lost my lab and have had to treat all of my other dogs with activated charcoal and one was at the vet for 3 days with a bad outlook. He is doing fine now but if anyone is having problems do not wait to take your dog to the vet! Also contact Costco management.

  • Shayla Chippendale

    Any ones dogs get any skin issues with this food?

  • http://www.sproutedwellness.com Amanda Strong

    I just saw the Nature’s Domain Organic Chicken & Pea Protein in my store this week (Anchorage, AK). I’m off to search out the ingredients now.

  • Aubrey Walker

    Thanks for sharing this, I think I will switch to another brand. it was a good price and I like the ingredients. Has anyone tried Trader Joes dog food?

  • LuvMyMutt

    Thanks

  • Peggy LaLonde

    Unfortunately I did not keep the bag from the Turkey formula but on the bag of Beef formula it says :Best by 12 June 15 4163DL NOB0660581N SDL 2119

  • LuvMyMutt

    Could you please share the lot number? Thanks

  • Natalie Marie Alvarez Padilla

    Scary…Good call! Who knows what is in that food that is causing this. A lot of people on this site won’t feed their dogs kirkland, canidae or any food made by Diamond. They have had numerous recalls in the past. Thankfully my dog is still doing well but if this continues with other dogs I will look elsewhere for my next bag. If you have a petco near you try Whole Earth Farms grain free, it’s half the price of bil jac and is rated 4.5 stars. Bil Jac is only rated 3 stars. I’ve been feeding it to my lab/pit puppy and it completely regulated his stools.

  • Peggy LaLonde

    Seems like something odd is going on. I opened a new bag of Beef & Sweet Potato and they are having the same reaction. The older Lab has switched between all 3 formulas all of her life without any problem, the younger has only had the beef and now the turkey. I sent an email to Costco and plan on calling them tomorrow. I ran up to Petsmart and grabbed them a bag of Bil Jac and they have eaten that without any upsets…so far! They have not had any diarrhea or any personality changes. They are both active and happy except for the vomiting.

  • Natalie Marie Alvarez Padilla

    I will add the last few people who commented before you are complaining about the same issue so maybe there is a bad batch and you guys should contact kirkland for a possible recall?!

  • Natalie Marie Alvarez Padilla

    I had switched between both formulas with my dog for the last 2 years with zero issues. Sounds strange to me, do they also have diarrhea? I hear that switching formulas on a dog so fast can cause stomach upsets so it’s better to wean them off by mixing them both together and removing the older formula little by little from their food. However, my 12 year old american bulldog never had problems switching between the turkey formula and the salmon formula cold turkey. Some dogs might have more sensitive stomachs. Or maybe they simply prefer the Beef one.

  • Natalie Marie Alvarez Padilla

    I saw on some website that Nature’s Domain has launched an “organic” line with chicken. That is of high interest to me since I would prefer chicken without antibiotics and vegatables without pesticides in my dog’s food. Has anyone tried it or will dog food advisor be doing a review soon? I’m dying to know if the ingredients are any good! Here is the website where I found it: http://www.great-pet-supplies.com/natures-domain-brand

  • Peggy LaLonde

    My two labs have been throwing up every meal for the last day. They were eating the Beef & Sweet Potato formula but just started on the Turkey & Sweet Potato. Other than the vomiting and some reluctance to eat they seem fine. Is anyone else feeding the Turkey formula & having issues?

  • Stephanie Brown Vaughn

    Been feeding this for months. Suddenly my dogs don’t want to eat and are itchy and vomiting some. I think they either changed the formula or have a bad batch.

  • Jennifer Wehking

    Looking into the same problem. Fecals all neg at the vet’s office. Waiting on more specific results from the lab. Do you still have the bags? I’m wondering if they are from the same lot. Been happy with produce and results until till these last 2 bags were opened

  • sc3pilot

    We’ve been feeding our three dogs Nature’s Domain for a while now, but on this most recent bag (red), two of them have been vomiting very frequently, and none of them are happy to be eating it. They usually wolf down their food but this latest bag they eat very reluctantly. I went and got a bag of Wellness at the PetSmart and they’re loving it.

  • http://www.tomlinsons.com Jeremy

    This happened in Feb and also is one of the dangers of co-packing. Plus the lawsuit is from over two years ago,

  • HUGO CHAVEZ
  • HUGO CHAVEZ

    CAUTION: ATTENTION!!!!

    02/03/2014

    Costco Wholesale Corp. and Diamond Pet Foods Inc. agreed to pay $2 million to settle a class action lawsuit over dog food that caused a
    salmonella outbreak that sickened an untold number of pets and dozens of people who handled the food.

    The case was filed by Barbara Marciano, whose dog Benji died after
    eating Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain pet food she bought at a
    Westbury, N.Y., Costco and manufactured at Diamond’s plant in Gaston, S.C., where the outbreak began.

    She filed suit in federal court in Brooklyn, charging the company
    with negligence, breach of warranty, product liability, unjust
    enrichment and violations of state law. Diamond made three recalls of nine brands of dry pet food in 2011 and 2012.

    Diamond is a major manufacturer of pet foods and sells them under several brands:

    Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul
    Country Value
    Diamond
    Diamond Naturals
    Premium Edge
    Professional
    4Health
    Taste of the Wild

    FYI BEWARE!!

  • HUGO CHAVEZ

    YOU MAY BE ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION AS THE FOOD HAS SALMONELLA…

    Costco Wholesale Corp. and Diamond Pet Foods Inc. agreed to pay $2
    million to settle a class action lawsuit over dog food that caused a
    salmonella outbreak that sickened an untold number of pets and dozens of
    people who handled the food.
    The case was filed by Barbara Marciano, whose dog Benji died after
    eating Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain pet food she bought at a
    Westbury, N.Y., Costco and manufactured at Diamond’s plant in Gaston,
    S.C., where the outbreak began.
    She filed suit in federal court in Brooklyn, charging the company
    with negligence, breach of warranty, product liability, unjust
    enrichment and violations of state law. Diamond made three recalls of nine brands of dry pet food in 2011 and 2012.
    Diamond is a major manufacturer of pet foods and sells them under several brands:

    Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul
    Country Value
    Diamond
    Diamond Naturals
    Premium Edge
    Professional
    4Health
    Taste of the Wild

  • David Davis

    +1 that’s an excellent find win for sure. I’ve seen this at Costco a million times but never even gave it a thought cause I assumed it was from Pedigree or something. But you are 100% sure with TOTW yes?

  • Betsy

    both my dogs have been vomiting on this food, will be changing immediately.

  • 49ergirl

    I too am wondering about the chicken and pea organic formula. I have two small dogs, about 9lbs each but high-ish energy for a 6 & almost 8 year old dogs.

  • Crazy4cats

    Oh, I wasn’t planning on feeding it. Too many peas and not enough meat for my dogs. I don’t think they do well with peas. I was just being curious. It is in a few NW stores, but none very close by. Thanks for the info.