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Kirkland Signature Puppy Formula Dog Food Review 2024: Recalls, Pros & Cons

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on April 26, 2024 by Dogster Team

Kirkland Signature Puppy Formula Dog Food - Featured Image

Kirkland Signature Puppy Formula Dog Food Review 2024: Recalls, Pros & Cons

Our Final Verdict

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

Stores that sell bulk items are a huge convenience, and Costco is one of the favorites. If you have a puppy, Costco’s brand of puppy food, Kirkland Signature Puppy Formula, is an excellent choice. You’ll 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 Kirkland’s Signature Puppy Formula.

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The Kirkland Signature Puppy Formula Dog Food Recipe

Rating 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
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    Kirkland Signature Puppy Formula Dog Food Reviewed

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

    Costco makes Kirkland Signature products. It owns this private-label brand and exclusively sells it there. Diamond Pet Foods manufactures all of the Kirkland Signature dog and puppy 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 kibble is small and manageable enough for tiny 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?

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

    Our favorite chicken-free puppy food is the Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Lamb & Brown Rice Recipe puppy food.

    Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Lamb And Brown Rice Puppy Diet


    Discussion of the Primary Ingredients (Good and Bad)


    Chicken is an excellent source of lean protein for puppies’ developing muscles. It supports overall growth, muscle retention during illness, and muscle repair after exercise.

    Chicken Meal

    Chicken meal is a combination of chicken flesh and skin. It is a great source of glucosamine, an important nutrient for supporting muscle and joint health and development. It’s also a good source of collagen, a protein that helps build connective tissues.

    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 that can support satiety between meals. It’s an especially good source of beta-glucans, a type of fiber that has been shown to help maintain stable blood sugar levels between meals. Barley is 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 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 has been widely misunderstood and vilified for decades. Many people don’t realize that chicken meal is a 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, purchasing food produced in the US is a priority for some owners. In addition to the safety and security aspect, many dog parents 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. While grain-free foods have shown a potential connection to causing heart disease in dogs, many pet owners still serve grain-free diets to their dogs. Kirkland Signature produces two puppy foods: the Kirkland Signature Puppy Formula and the Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain Puppy Formula. The Nature’s Domain recipe is a grain-free food, while the other is a grain-inclusive formula.

    It All Contains Chicken

    Unfortunately, only two Kirkland Signature puppy food recipes are available, and both contain chicken. Chicken is a healthy, lean protein source and perfectly appropriate for most dogs. However, chicken protein is one of the most common allergens in dogs. If you have a puppy that is sensitive 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, a recall of Kirkland Signature dog and cat foods occurred on May 4, 2012. This recall impacted multiple dog and cat food recipes and some other foods manufactured by Diamond Pet Foods. It occurred due to concerns about salmonella in the food. It only impacted specific Kirkland Signature recipes sold in 16 US states, Canada, and Puerto Rico.

    There was also a recall in 2007 of their Kirkland Signature Premium Dog 2-Flavor Variety Pack.

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

    divider-pawKirkland Signature Puppy Formula Dog Food Review

    Kirkland Signature Puppy Formula Dog Food

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

    Chicken and chicken meal make it a great source of lean protein and glucosamine. It also contains whole-grain brown rice and cracked pearled barley, both of which are excellent sources of fiber that support digestive health. Kirkland includes 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 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.


    The Kirkland Signature Puppy Formula 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 it a puppy-appropriate food. It contains lean protein, nutritious grains, and DHA to support brain and eye health and development. The Signature formula and the other puppy food produced by Kirkland Signature contain chicken as the primary protein, and for puppies that don’t have a sensitivity to chicken, these foods are a reasonable option.

    See also:

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