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Home > Dogs > Kirkland Signature Puppy Formula Dog Food Review 2023: Recalls, Pros & Cons

Kirkland Signature Puppy Formula Dog Food Review 2023: Recalls, Pros & Cons

Kirkland Signature Puppy Formula Dog Food - Featured Image

Our Final Verdict

We give Kirkland Signature Puppy Formula Dog Food a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Stores that offer bulk items are a huge convenience for many people, and Costco is one of the favorites. One of the best ways to take advantage of a Costco membership is to purchase your pet food during your trips there as well. If you have a puppy, Costco’s brand of puppy food, Kirkland Signature Puppy Formula, is likely a big time-saver for you.

Is the Kirkland Signature food for puppies a good food, though? If you’re a Costco fanatic, you’ll likely be pleased to hear that this food contains a variety of necessary nutrients for supporting your puppy’s growth and development. Here’s everything you should know about this food.


The Kirkland Signature Puppy Formula Dog Food Recipe

Image Product Details
Kirkland Signature Puppy Formula Dog Food Kirkland Signature Puppy Formula Dog Food
  • Puppy Formula
  • Chicken, Rice & Vegetable
  • DHA, Vitamin E, Selenium & Active9™ Probiotics
  • divider-paw

    Kirkland Signature Puppy Formula Dog Food Reviewed

    Kirkland Signature Puppy Formula Dog Food

    Who Makes Kirkland Signature Puppy Formula Dog Food and Where Is It Produced?

    Kirkland Signature products are made by Costco. This private label brand is owned by Costco and it is exclusively sold there, although some people sell it via drop shipping through other sites.

    All of the Kirkland Signature dog and puppy foods are manufactured by Diamond Pet Foods for Costco. They are developed in five manufacturing plants in California, Missouri, South Carolina, and Arkansas.

    Cocker Spaniel puppy eating_Shutterstock_Switlana Sonyashna
    Image Credit: Switlana Sonyashna, Shutterstock

    Which Types of Puppies Is Kirkland Signature Puppy Formula Dog Food Best Suited For?

    Kirkland Signature Puppy Formula is suitable for most puppies. It is developed for puppies of all sizes and breeds, and the kibbles are small and manageable enough for small dogs to eat. It is not specific to large or small breed puppies and contains the nutrients necessary to support the necessary health and development of all puppies.

    Which Types of Puppies Might Do Better With a Different Brand?

    This food is not appropriate for dogs that have finished growing. Also, both of the puppy foods offered by Kirkland Signature contain chicken, so they’re not suitable for puppies with a sensitivity to chicken.


    Discussion of the Primary Ingredients (Good and Bad)


    Chicken is a great source of lean protein for the developing muscles of puppies. It supports overall growth, as well as muscle retention during illness and muscle repair after exercise.

    Chicken Meal

    Chicken meal is a combination of clean chicken flesh and skin, and it may or may not include bone. It does not contain organ meats or feathers. Chicken meal is a great source of glucosamine, which is an important nutrient for supporting muscle and joint health and development. It’s also a good source of collagen, which is a protein that helps build connective tissues within the body.

    Whole Grain Brown Rice

    Brown rice is a nutrient-dense grain high in fiber, which supports healthy digestion. It’s a good source of B vitamins and magnesium, which can support circulatory health and healthy energy levels and metabolism.

    labrador retriever puppy eating food from bowl outdoors
    Image Credit: SasaStock, Shutterstock

    Cracked Pearled Barley

    Barley is another nutrient-dense grain high in fiber and can support satiety between meals. It’s an especially good source of beta-glucans, which is a type of fiber that has been shown to help maintain stable blood sugar levels between meals. It’s also high in antioxidants, which support immune system function.


    Peas are a great source of plant-based protein. Unfortunately, peas have shown a potential link to causing heart disease in dogs, so it’s important to discuss this potential risk with your vet. There are only peas present in one of the two Kirkland Signature puppy foods.

    Why Add Chicken Meal?

    Chicken meal is an ingredient that is widely misunderstood and has been vilified for decades. What many people don’t realize, though, is that chicken meal is an extremely nutrient-dense addition to your dog’s food. Not only is it a good source of lean protein, but it also provides high levels of collagen and glucosamine. Chicken meal in puppy food can help your puppy’s muscles, bones, and joints grow and develop appropriately.

    Made in the USA

    Some people distrust pet foods that aren’t manufactured in the United States. This has increased in the past decade or so as many recalls of foreign produced pet foods have occurred. While Kirkland Signature is not immune to recalls, it is a great comfort to some people to purchase food produced in the US. On top of the safety and security aspect, many people feel better about supporting US-based businesses over international businesses.

    jack russell terier puppy eating food from bowl
    Image Credit: Gladskikh Tatiana, Shutterstock

    Grain-Forward and Grain-Free Foods

    Whether to feed your puppy grains is a great debate among pet owners and scientists alike. While grain-free foods have shown a potential connection to causing heart disease in dogs, many pet owners still opt for feeding grain-free diets to their dogs. Kirkland Signature offers two puppy foods, one is the Kirkland Signature Puppy Formula and the other is the Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain Puppy Formula. The Nature’s Domain recipe is a grain-free food, while the other food is a grain-forward food.

    It All Contains Chicken

    Unfortunately, there are only two Kirkland Signature puppy food recipes available, and both contain chicken. Chicken is a healthy, lean protein source, and it is perfectly appropriate for many dogs. However, chicken protein is one of the most common allergens in dogs. This means that if you have a puppy that may have a sensitivity to chicken, the Kirkland Signature foods are unlikely to be a good fit.

    Recall History

    Although the Kirkland Signature Puppy Formula foods have not experienced a recall to date, there was a recall of Kirkland Signature dog and cat foods that occurred on May 4, 2012. This recall impacted multiple dog and cat food recipes, as well as some other foods manufactured by Diamond Pet Foods. This recall occurred due to concerns of salmonella in the food. It only impacted certain Kirkland Signature recipes sold in 16 US states, Canada, and Puerto Rico.

    Hungry Welsh corgi Pembroke or cardigan puppy eats from ceramic bowl standing on fleecy carpet
    Image Credit: Masarik, Shutterstock

    divider-paw Kirkland Signature Puppy Formula Dog Food Review

    Kirkland Signature Puppy Formula Dog Food

    The Kirkland Signature Puppy Formula dog food is a healthy and nutritious food option for your puppy. It sells at a reasonable price point, making this a great option if you have a Costco membership. However, your option for purchasing this food without a Costco membership involves purchasing the food from drop shippers, which often involves an upcharge.

    Chicken and chicken meal make this food a great source of lean protein and glucosamine. It also contains whole grain brown rice and cracked pearled barley, both of which are great sources of fiber that support digestive health. This food contains plenty of B vitamins to support your puppy’s metabolism and healthy energy levels, and it contains nutrients that help with muscle development and repair after exercise.

    • Budget-friendly puppy food
    • High in lean protein
    • Good source of glucosamine for joint health
    • Good source of fiber for digestive health
    • B vitamins support metabolism and energy levels
    • Supports muscle development and repair
    • Can only be purchased with a Costco membership

    Ingredients Analysis

    Crude Protein: 28%
    Crude Fat: 17%
    Crude Fiber: 3%
    Carbohydrates: Unlisted
    Moisture: 10%
    Vitamin E: 250 IU/kg
    rottweiler puppy done eating
    Image Credit: otsphoto, Shutterstock

    Calories per cup breakdown:

    ½ cup: 195 calories
    1 cup: 390 calories
    2 cup: 780 calories

    What Other Users Are Saying

    We wanted to see what other people are saying about this puppy food, and we think you’d like to know as well. Here’s what we found.

    • Costco: “As first-time puppy owners we did a fair amount of research on what we should feed our new family member. Only the best will do. We went back and forth on grain vs grain-free options. After talking to our vet and selecting food with grain, we chose the Kirkland signature puppy food. It is a super premium formulation like other top brand dog foods…Chicken is its first ingredient. The quality mixed with the price point made it our first selection…Seeing our puppy transition from what the breeder fed him to gobbling this food confirmed our selection. We’re very very happy, and recommend this product – and so does our puppy!
    • Amazon: “Quality ingredients….and my puppy loves it.” Want to read more Amazon reviews? Check them out here.

    divider-paw Conclusion

    The Kirkland Signature Puppy Formula food is a healthy dog food that retails for a fair price, making it suitable for just about any budget. It’s appropriate for puppies of all sizes and breeds, and the small kibble size makes this a small puppy appropriate food. It contains lean protein and nutritious grains, as well as DHA to support brain and eye health and development. This food and the other puppy food offered by Kirkland Signature do both contain chicken as the primary protein, but for puppies that don’t have a sensitivity to chicken, these foods are a reasonable option.

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