Kirkland Healthy Weight Formula (Dry)


Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

This Review Has Been Merged with
Kirkland Dry Dog Food

Kirkland Healthy Weight Formula dog food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of three stars.

The Kirkland dog food product line includes six kibbles… one of which has been designed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance.

Kirkland Signature Healthy Weight Formula

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 22% | Fat = 7% | Carbs = 63%

Ingredients: Chicken meal, brown rice, peas, cracked pearled barley, millet, powdered cellulose, oatmeal, chicken, rice bran, potatoes, beet pulp, chicken fat (preserved with natural tocopherols), natural flavor, flaxseed, fish meal, egg product, choline glucosamine hydrochloride, dried chicory root, chondroitin sulfate, L-Camitine, carrots, kelp, apples, cranberry powder, rosemary extract, parsley flake, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin, vitamin D supplement, folic acid

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 14.4%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis20%6%NA
Dry Matter Basis22%7%63%
Calorie Weighted Basis22%16%62%
Protein = 22% | Fat = 16% | Carbs = 62%

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

The second item is brown rice. Brown rice is a quality ingredient… a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) is fairly easy to digest.

The third ingredient mentions peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.

The fourth item includes barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. Unlike grains with a higher glycemic index (like rice), barley can help support stable blood sugar levels in dogs.

The fifth item is millet. Millets are gluten-free grains harvested from certain seed grasses. They are naturally rich in B-vitamins and fiber as well as a number of essential minerals.

Once cooked, millet can be easily digested by a dog.

The sixth item mentions powdered cellulose… a non-digestible plant fiber usually made from cotton or sawdust. Cellulose is sometimes added to dilute the number of calories per serving and to give the feeling of fullness when it is eaten.

Except for the usual benefits of fiber, powdered cellulose provides no nutritional value to a dog.

The seventh ingredient is oatmeal… a whole-grain product made from coarsely ground oats. Oatmeal is naturally rich in B-vitamins, fiber and is also (unlike many other grains) gluten-free.

The eighth item includes chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken contains about 80% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost… reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.

After processing, this item would probably occupy a lower position on the list.

The ninth ingredient is rice bran… a healthy by-product of rice milling. Though not as nutritionally complete as whole grain rice, brans are still unusually rich in fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals.

The tenth item lists potato. Assuming they’re whole, potatoes are a good source of digestible carbohydrates and other healthy nutrients.

Beet pulp is a controversial ingredient… a high fiber by-product of sugar beet processing.

Some denounce beet pulp as an inexpensive filler while others cite its outstanding intestinal health and blood sugar benefits.

We only call your attention here to the controversy and believe the inclusion of beet pulp in reasonable amounts in most dog foods is entirely acceptable.

The chicken fat mentioned here is usually obtained from rendering chicken… a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.

Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid… an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Though it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is a quality ingredient.

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.

fish meal. Because it is considered a meat concentrate, fish meal contains almost 300% more protein than fresh fish itself.

Unfortunately, this particular item is anonymous. The term “fish” does little to properly describe this ingredient.

Fish meal is commonly made from the by-products of commercial fish operations.

We are pleased to note that, unlike many fish meals, this particular item appears1 to be ethoxyquin-free.

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 two notable exceptions

First, we find no mention of probiotics… friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing.

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

Kirkland Healthy Weight Formula
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Kirkland Healthy Weight to be an above-average dry dog food.

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 22%, a fat level of 7% and estimated carbohydrates of about 63%.

Low protein. Low fat. And high carbohydrates… when compared to a typical dry dog food.

With no sign of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing only a modest amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Kirkland Healthy Weight is a grain-based kibble using a modest amount of chicken meal as its main source of animal protein… thus earning the brand three stars.


To see a list of (and learn more about) other low protein kibbles may wish to visit our article, Suggested Low Protein Dog Foods.

A Final Word

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

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

We rely entirely on the integrity of the information provided by each company. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the specific data a company chooses to share.

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.

We rely on tips from readers. To report a product change or request an update of any review, please contact us using this form.

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.

However, we do receive a fee from for each purchase made as a direct result of a referral from our website. This fee is a fixed dollar amount and has nothing to do with the size of an order or the brand selected for purchase.

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

Other spellings: Costco, Kirklands

Notes and Updates

02/23/2010 Original review
09/27/2010 Review updated

06/20/2012 Last Update

  1. Diamond Pet Customer Service, 7/7/2010
  • You’re welcome.

  • Chuck4getu

    Thanks for responding Manny. The Vet has her on milk thistle for 3 weeks now. It’s supposed to help stabilize liver function. We’ll see when I go back in another week or so. Molly will be 12 this summer so maybe life is just catching up to her. I read somewhere that the food at Costco contains some copper and that sometimes causes liver problems. But, there’s really no way of confirming that unless a biopsy is performed. Thanks again and I’m sorry for your loss.

  • No we never did find out. She ultimately died of liver cancer. It could have been a cancer she had all that time or something gave her the cancer. There was no way to figure it out. Good luck to your beagle.

  • Chuck4getu

    Did you ever determine the cause of your dog’s high enzyme count? I have a Beagle with similar issues and I’m also using Costco Healthy Weight formula.

  • Pamela Harper

    check online to we get our low fat prescription wet dog food for our dogs ….. regularly >$3.50 a can and chewy is $2.62 + free shipping and no tax its a bargain!!!!

  • Thanks Aimee. I didn’t consider the city water as a source of copper. I will have to look into that. The Vet has put our Lab on Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Hepatic Formula but that runs $85 for a measely 7.7 pound bag. If this is the long term solution, it’s going to cost an arm and a leg. If anyone has any recommendations, I’d appreciate it.

  • aimee

    Hi Manny,

    So sorry to hear about your dog. You will likely need to call the company to find out what the copper level is in the diet. If they give you a number you specifically should ask if the company is doing an actual analysis vs calculating using ingredient specification sheets.

    I recently questioned Nature’s Logic regarding a posted copper level in one of their diets. The company agreed with me that the posted value looked incorrect. So be aware that companies may not have proper testing/reporting.

    If your dog has copper storage using one of the veterinary therapeutic diets made for this purpose or home cooking may be best.

    Consider your water sources as well, if you have copper plumbing lines as I do you may need to change water source.

    Good Luck with your dog.

  • I have a yellow Lab that has issues processing copper. After being on Kirkland Healthy Weight for about a month, her liver enzymes have skyrocketed. Can anyone tell me what the copper nutrition level is in this dog food? It’s not on the bag. I’m trying to eliminate possible causes, and perhaps it’s caused by this food.

  • aimee


    The dietary component whose level you need to know is Chloride.  It is easy to assume that Cl will be the same as Na but it often isn’t.  As HDM said you will probably need to contact the companies.  You want an as fed or nutrient analysis number not a minimum.

    Good luck with your dog.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Debra Spear,

    If the amount isn’t listed on the bag or the product website you should call or email the company directly.

  • Debra Spear

    I have a GSD who is Epileptic.  I have switched him to this Kirkland Healthy weight formula and now he has developed severe ataxia.  I am looking for the sodium content in Kirkland Healthy Weight vs Iams regular adult food.  Ranger is on Potassium Bromide and needs to have a consistent Na level because if this.  I am unable to locate Na levels for either food.  Can you help me with this?

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  • concerned

    has been recalled check the product codes on bags and recall list they are not including all states az is not listed but we have a problem here

  • Ctprops

    i have an athletic dog (we jog and/or walk a good 4-7 miles daily) and he seems to like this food a whole lot. he has never been overweight and never had any problems on this particular diet. prior to introducing him to healthy weight he was on pedigree (bad bad bad).
    Pedigree caused him to have “the runs” constantly. My dogs vet recommended a few brands and healthy weight was one of them.
    I used this site for additional information and voila.
    Great value, my dog seems to like it and he is in perfect health.
    Way to go kirkland

  • DogFoodTunes

    This food makes my ridgeback/sharpei mix a veritable poop factory.  Will not be using it again.

  • Johnnie15767

    i have a lab with the same problem ihave him on healthy weight kirkland and to increase his fiber i added one cooking spoon of bradn flakes to each feeding.he no longer throws up or has runny bowel movements an is staying at vets recommed weight.Hope this helps

  • Hi Jen,

    You should be able to find the amount of calories per cup on the label. If you don’t see it there, you can call Diamond Pet, the current manufacturer of Kirkland dry dog foods.

    Hope this helps.

  • sandy

    Same dog.  Lost 10 pounds on Blue Wilderness.

  • sandy

    I diet my dogs with low carbs actually.  Dogs are made to burn protein and fats for energy, not as efficient with carbs.  They get fatter with a carb heavy food.  Also a food like this one starves them out of the amino acids (from meat) that they need to stay healthy and instead they are eating mostly cereal. There are 5 cereals listed in the ingredient list.  Dogs require certain amino acids for life.  10 of these amino acids are meat based only.  My fat to moridly obese pugs lost weight on foods such as Core, Core Reduced Fat, Core Ocean, Blue Buffalo Wilderness and Instinct.  They maintain their weights on Nutrisca, Amicus, Great Life GF and Brothers.  Foods like these give the dog nutrition and allows their bodies to maintain muscle mass while losing weight and doesn’t starve them down at the cellular level.  If you feed them a more biologically appropriate diet, they will lose weight but not be starved of nutrition.

  • Jen

    Yeah, I’ve done all sorts of searching.  I did just find one calorie listing on that listed it at about 275 calories per cup.  I’ve read others comments on here about how their dogs are still hungry on this food.  I have two labs who are ALWAYS hungry.  No matter what they eat or how much, they will eat more.  One suggestion by our breeder… put water in their food and let it soak prior to eating it.  Helps them feel full and is easier on digestion.  Also supplement their food with canned, no salt green beans.  Almost no calories and adds to fullness.

  • sandy

    If it’s not stated on the bag or online, call customer service or email them.  Natural Balance doesn’t list theirs either.

  • Jen

    Hi there… thanks for these reviews.  Anyone know how to find out how many calories per cup are in this dog food?

  • Niagarabeech

    Costco on-line sells 2 large bottles of wild pacific salmon oil at a very cheap price, shipped for free. It has a convenient pump, so I give them one “squirt”  twice a day in their food. They both love it! Great smooth coats on both dogs after a few weeks of use.

  • christe

    Hi All. I didn’t read every entry because I had to take a breather after the brutal verbal battle earlier in the year. Don’t you just hate it when responders attack other people’s opinions with such ugly venom rolling off their tongue. Anyhow, I want to give a word of caution about the Kirkland Healthy weight formula. I followed the food guidelines for weight on it and even snuck in a bit of table food and snacks here and there and my poor 110 lb lab lost 20lbs in 4 months. (While I was sleeping apparently-forgive me for being a bad pet owner going through a divorce, a move, and chasing a toddler around.) He wouldn’t stop bugging me everyday, all day, and I thought for sure he had developed Diabetes, until the vet did tests and we were both horrified to realize that my big boy simply isn’t getting enough nutrients or enough to eat. I should have caught it a month ago but was moving from state to state and had him in dog care for 2 weeks. When I returned I thought he had a bug. He easily lost 10 lbs of it during those ten days while he burned so many excess calories playing. (I am horrified at myself by the way.) We are working to put 10 lbs back on him by feeding him like a king- chicken dumplings, steak, pork chops, but mostly puppy food combined with the Kirkland Healthy weight and at nearly 6 cups a day combined- he is still starved. I am taking him off the kirkland ASAP. It is a starvation diet…I don’t know the facts, but it reminds me of the time I did a no-carb diet. I was always hungry!!! My poor Lab. Sorry Mr. Vegas.

  • sandy


    Look into Core Reduced Fat. It has more meat content and high fiber content but still low fat. It may help him feel more satisfied. It has potato so the other dog can’t eat it. Maybe give him a bone or bully stick or other tendon type chew to gnaw on to keep him busy, or elk antler or knew cap or femur bone. Lots of choices.

  • Carol

    One of our corgis has gone from 40 to 35# eating the Kirkland Healthy weight formula, unfortunately, he is hungry and stealing raw potatoes from the pantry and has eaten the last zucchini plant roots and all out of the garden. He is getting 3/4 cup twice daily plus other raw vegies and fruits as snacks. I am afraid that the Healthy weight food may not be enough for him!!

    Our other corgi has allergies to POTATOES, venison, duck and milk products (he was allergy tested) he is underweight. He is not on a Kirkland food because of the potato allergy.

  • Linda

    We have a golden retriever who was up to 90 pounds and after being on the costco healthy weight food for six months she is down to 79 pounds with faithful walking. We think this is a great food and great price!

  • Faye

    I changed both of my dogs (toy poodle, 15# Japanese Chin) to Kirkland dog food from Castor and Pollux. Until I found this website I wondered if the Kirkland brand was adequate, even though I compared the ingredients to higher priced brands. I am pleased to see that I made the right decision. Both dogs love it, especially since I “fill them up” with a few cut green bean pieces, and my pocket book loves it because of the price. Thanks for helping me out.

  • Hi David… No dog food is perfect. But most commercial pet foods on the market (like Kirkland) meet the nutritional profiles established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). So, there’s really no reason to consider adding additional vitamins. As a matter of fact, adding too much of certain (mostly fat soluble) vitamins can actually be detrimental to your dog’s health.

  • david

    Thanks for all the info. My 12 year old lab sisters have recently switched to Kirkland Healthy Weight as one was crashing on 12-15 % fat and 4% fiber diet. The change to 6% fat and 13% fiber have both of them acting like puppies. We supplement a bit with a sweet potatoe, split, daily and a bit of chicken broth. My question is what vitamins might you suggest that they might be missing? Thanks

  • gordon

    Mike: Thank you for this website and the work you do to maintain it. I believe the Kirkland Dry Foods are a really good value. I had used the regular Kirkland dry food for a couple of years and had no problem with it. About a year ago I switched him to the weight management and he did trim down. I can’t say he is in love with the food but he does finish it. He is a 7 year old boxer. He’s had some vomting recently but it is not food related. I would recommend that people try this product especially in these economic times.

  • Sarah

    I’ve been feeding my 10 mo. puppy “Kirkland Puppy food.” She is a large breed and cannot have that much protein since she is growing too fast. I switched her to “Kirkland Weight Management” and transitioned her into this food by mixing in the puppy food for about two weeks. The more of the Weight Management Food she ate the more she would throw up. She threw up 5 times last night…all undigested Weight Management Dog Food that she had eaten about 8 hours earlier. Not sure what to do at this point. I am going to switch her to either Innova Large Breed or Nature’s Domain since she’s had both of these foods before and was okay.

  • Hi David… You’re probably on the right track with fish oil. But “pills” are no contest for the real thing. You may wish to try giving your dog a few sardines or anchovies (canned) once or twice a week. But refrigerate what’s left in the can, and to maintain freshness, be sure to use up this item within 48 hours. Hope this helps.

  • David

    We switched our yellow lab to this product last month. We were using the Nutro adult lite formula, but our budget needed some tweaking and we noticed the Kirkland lite and thought it could help. So we switched…His weight is maintaining, but I find his skin seems really dry and flaky and his coat is not as shiny. He just seems to be dried out. We have started giving him fish oil pills in the hopes to supplement the food. Any thoughts on this food product and dry skin/fur?

  • Kiki

    First of all, thanks for providing these reviews! It is greatly appreciated.

    I use this dog food as part of my rat food dry mix. I use it because it doesn’t have corn (toxic fungus contaminants and cancer) or soy (controversial for rats). It’s also easy for me to obtain as I live in between 2 Costcos.

    My rat mix includes Rolled Oats, Rolled Triticale, Rolled Barley, Rolled Rye, Blueberry Pomegranate Total (yes I know neither of those fruits actually exist in the cereal but my rats won’t eat regular Total…I ate a bowl of that and blech, so I buy them the flavored one, it’s given because it is fortified with vitamins), Kirkland Lowfat Dog Food, Dried Carrots, Dried Cranberries, Raisins, Dried Bananas, Shredded Coconut (used so the flaxseed meal adheres to it), Flaxseed Meal. Then they have a frozen mix that is cooked for them that contains broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, carrots, squash, peas, corn, mixed cooked legumes, kale, steamed basmatti brown rice, steamed quinoa and it is supplemented at each feeding with anything fresh I have on hand. The only animal specific food they get is the dog food, everything else is human food. This is only their base diet, I do mix other things in for variety for them. My rats really like this dog food. Good thing otherwise I’d have had a 40# bag of it. 😀

  • I’ve been feeding my 2 labs Kirkland for several years. Sheba, now 15…can you believe that, 15-year old lab?…..has corn allergies & I was feeding her more expensive brands. But when my entire pet-food bill topped $200 a month (I also have a diabetic cat), I had to find a cheaper alternative. Because of Sheba’s tendency towards high triglycerides, we switched to the weight management formula. She’s still doing terrific. Costco’s Kirkland dog food is the ONLY reason we still belong to Costco, as there is no Costco near me & we have to pay tolls to get there!

  • Cathy

    I definitely agree with Jonathan’s suggestion of grain-free dog food! Most grain-free formulas are higher fat, but quality fat is good for dogs – – even overweight dogs; and dogs utilize fat better than carbs. Dogs don’t need the carbs that are predominant in ‘healthy weight’ formulas, like the above listed ingredients… brown rice, barley, millet, oatmeal, rice bran, potatoes and powdered cellulose. 63% carbs on this formula is NOT the way a dog should eat! Feed less carbs and more meat (gradually), and the weight of your dogs should be ideal within a few months.

  • Jonathan

    Tina, while this food is better than Hill’s Lite, I would question why it’s necessary to feed a dog “lite” food at all. I would suggest finding a nice grain-free (and lower carb) food and using the correct amount for each feeding. You can use Mike’s dog food calculator to figure out how much of a certain food you should provide the dog. Higher protein foods are better processed by dogs, and will help them feel full and nourished longer. And by lowering the carb intake, you are reducing the potential for developing diabetes.

  • Hi Tina… Looking for just the rightr food for your dog can be truly overwhelming. Our ratings are based on ingredient quality and estimated meat content. They have nothing to do with trying to predict whether one is really better for your dog than another (or whether they are a national brand or not). Please see our reviews and our FAQ page for help. And be sure to check back later to see if you get a reply from another reader.

  • Tina

    Hi, I am currently feeding my 2 dogs (lab mix’s) Science Diet Light and considering switching them to Kirkland’s Healthy Weight. Can you please tell me is Science Diet really better for them or is it just because it is a more national brand and more expensive dog food? Any insight would be great!


  • Bob K

    Ed- I spent at least 30 minutes on the AVMA website doing all kinds of searches and found nothing. I also Googled about Cornell many different ways and the best I could find is a professor that recently wrote a book in 2010. “Feed Your Pet Right: The Authoritative Guide to Feeding Your Dog and Cat” (Free Press) by two Cornell professors.

    There are lots of dog foods less than $1.50/lb that do not contain Corn, Wheat and Soy.

  • Hey Ed… While you’re getting us “even more” of those “peer reviewed studies”, be sure to notice the thousands of legitimate reports by owners, forums and veterinary office sites reporting non-meat ingredients (including corn) as the cause of their dogs’ allergies.

  • ed

    I will get you even more. I am trying to find the 10,000 dog Cornell study that found Corn and Rice equal in allergy causation.

    Bob K, listen I don’t know what to tell you. Wheat and soy I can see but not corn. I do know a few companies that removed corn only because of consumer pressure. Eagle years ago took it out due to internet related pressure but when people complained about bad coats and weight loss they put it back in. True story. I am not suggesting corn be the core ingredients but kibble has to have starch so it might as well be whole grain corn, rice, oats….

    Too many nice people are getting railroaded into spending $1.5 -$2 lb for dog food just because there is potato in there instead of rice, oats or corn. I always sent puppies home with Pro Pac because the ease of finding it and the value.


  • Bob K

    Ed- Can you provide a link to this article you mention from AVMA? I am dying to read the details. Visit many dog food websites and you will clearly see them brag about, “No Corn, Wheat or Soy”. This is the dog food companies themselves. I wonder why? They don’t have a clue? I seldom see fat coyotes hanging around the corn, wheat and soy fields eating the plants, – they are after the mice, voles, chipmunks, rats and other vermin.

  • Ed… What? No reference details? No peer reviewed study? Looks like more Internet myth to me.

    I can’t help but wonder what that “survey” would report if it were based upon information scientifically and statistically aggregated from an audit of a few million dog owners and breeders.

  • ed

    “The foods most commonly incriminated as allergens in dogs are beef, dairy products and wheat and account for 66 percent of suspected cases of food allergy. Chicken, lamb, soy, eggs, pork, and preservatives account for only 22 percent of reported cases according to a recent survey of veterinarians in North America.”

    From AVMA, no grains listed, fish is 5%, so that is 93% of diet-related cases.

  • Jonathan

    Ed, since you so politely made your point without being rude or abusive to me, I would also, then, like to thank you for being a part of the overpopulation problem that leads to millions of dogs being euthanized every year because of vanity breeding for personal gain and enjoyment.

    Note sarcasm.

  • ed


    I would check your sources on this, respectfully, you are dead wrong. With the exception of wheat gluten, animal-based proteins are responsible for the overwhelming majority of allergy cases. Rice, corn, oats collectively represent less than 3% of confirmed allergy cases.

    This is just cold hard fact.

  • Hello Ed… Meat-based proteins are simply not the only proteins responsible for allergies. The proteins found in the endosperm of grains are notorious offenders to dogs, cats and people alike. And the lower the grade, the lower the quality, the more likely you’ll find nasty contaminants capable of producing serious allergic and toxic reactions, too. That is a known fact and not subject to the necessity for peer review.

    My argument has always been against the fact that the government permits manufacturers to simply state the word “corn” or “wheat” or the fact that they are ground rather than whole, etc. on pet food labels. Not important. They should state the grade, too. Most pet food companies are manically sensitive to price competition. That’s why they’re also notorious for using the cheapest ingredients (grains) they can get their hands on. Profit first. Pet health, a way-distant second.

    But let’s forget allergies and focus on the real culprits.

    Actually, you could be justified in your suggestion that corn should not be singled out. But I disagree regarding cereal grains in general. Dogs (and people, too) are not designed to carry a carb load anywhere close to what most kibbles present to their systems.

    Kibbles are not a part of the overall scheme of a dog’s natural dietary evolution. They are a modern invention of the last 75 years (or so). Ignoring a few possible (and rare) exceptions, kibbles are nutritionist-contrived, factory-assembled, food-like pellets. Their design is based upon the same obscenely unhealthy, insulin-producing, highly processed Western diet… a diet responsible for most of the modern ills of mankind (and now being exported to the rest of the world as well as dogs and cats, too). They are nowhere even close to what a dog should be eating in the first place. And corn, wheat, rice, barley (and potatoes, too) are the true culprits responsible for this inferior competitor to what we all know to be “real” food.

  • ed

    Jonathan, I have over a dozen dogs in a $50,000 kennel building at my farm. I have bred 3 NAVHDA Versatile Champions and had one dog go Best of Group at Westminster. You don’t have one clue about about dog food. Not one medium grade or better food uses “feed grade” corn, generally #2 corn is used. In addition, “feed grade” corn only means that the kernels are generally cracked. You be amazed that cows producing organic milk are fed “organic feed grade corn”.

    I am not judging the good Dr. I am merely pointing out that the data does not support the internet myth that grains causes allergies with the exception of wheat for a very small minority.

    So, are potatoes a more natural food for dogs?

  • Jonathan

    Ed, grains in general are an unnatural food stuff for dogs. And people, for the matter. Also, you will note that he only mentions the possibility of allergies at the end, sighting that the bigger problem with corn is that it is commonly “feed grade”. Maybe, Ed, when you have spent thousands of hours of your own personal time and tons you your own money to create a free website where people can learn about dog food, then you can judge Dr. Sagman.

  • ed

    Dr. Mike, with regard to you comments on Corn. You really should update this. There is not one published peer-reviewed study that shows corn to be any more allergenic than rice.
    You are a scientist and you should make comments along these lines. People wind up spending all kinds of money on corn-free or grain-free diets without any basis. The only grain that should be avoided is wheat, and even that is the odd-ball allergy case.

    90% of all food allergies (which are only 10%) of all all allergies are meat-related.

  • Hi Kathrin… Sorry to hear about your dog’s chronic pancreatitis. Unfortunately, since I’m not a veterinarian, I cannot provide specific health advice or product recommendations. Please see our FAQ page and our reviews for more information. Or check back for a possible response from one of our other readers.

  • kathrin

    I have an 11 year old dachshund with chronic pancreatitis. So far I am using Kirkland small kibbles dry food. She is right weight, but maybe I should use a lower fat content food. The vet recommends the Hill’s I/D, but I don’t like prescription foods. Any suggestions? Thanx, Kathrin

  • Hi Geoff… It looks like the information you present here may be what’s outdated. Kirkland hasn’t been manufactured by American Nutrition for years. The last I checked (9/24/2010), all Kirkland kibbles were still made by Diamond Pet.

    I personally update every product on this website as soon as it is brought to my attention. And this is the very first time I’ve heard this rumor. I’ll check it out as soon as I can.

    By the way, do you realize the review you’re reading here is for Kirkland’s Healthy Weight Formula product? The ingredients you list in your comment are the ones found in Kirkland’s standard dog food product line. Not this weight loss product.

  • ed

    This looks like a horrible, fiber-laden food. I would not use it. The larger companies with more resource and know-how have changed their diets for chubby dogs to one with more protein, less fat and lower fiber.

    This food is still made by Diamond.

  • Geoff Tamplin

    This information on Kirkland kibble is dated. Currently (2010), Kirkland dog kibble is manufactured for them by American Natural company, and contains all food-grade ingredients.
    The FIRST ingredient is “chicken” or “lamb”, then it is “chicken meal” or “lamb meal.”
    Based on reviews I have read, this manufacturer for Kirkland has been a relatively recent development.
    I believe that if you analyze one of the Kirkland Premium kibble products, you will find the quality greatly improved over what was analyzed originally for your current review.

  • Jenny

    Hi, I have an 11 year old Black Lab and he was getting pretty heavy because he is not as active anymore. We changed his diet to the Kirkland brand Healthy Weight Formula and within a week he had slimmed down to a very nice size. His coat is much shinier and He seems to be moving a lot better. He seems to really like the food and I did not have to change the amount I feed him or any of his other habits.

  • MBridgewater

    We use Kirkland Brand dog foods for both our 4 year old dogs. This is the only brand that has helped with allergy problems and created healthy bowel movements. We switch between the healthy weight and active formulas. Adding a little olive oil once in a while or green beans helps too. No two dogs are the same. Not only has Kirkland’s brand been a healthy choice for our dogs, but it has been cost effective for us as well.

  • Bruce Carrie

    Thanks for this review. My dog, a german shepherd/pinscher mix, gains weight using recommended servings, and I prefer “lighter” foods to reducing the portion size. As more “light” brands appear, I like the reassurance of an independent review.

  • Hi Dan… That’s certainly a reasonable question. After all, these days cost can be a critical factor when buying dog food. Unfortunately, due to the instability of the free market, it is impossible for us to keep track of all the constantly changing prices. So, we try to focus on the reviews and intentionally avoid making price recommendations. Sorry I can’t be more help.

  • Dan Vogdes

    Hello, I am looking for a quality dog food.I have 2 young dogs 1 Cockapoo 1 Labrador.They currently eat Acana @ 30.00 for a 15lb bag. What can I use that offers good nutrient value that i can add more protein to that won’t break the bank. Thanks Dan