There are a number of products and perks with shopping at Costco, that make the cost of a Costco membership worth it, in my view. And if you don’t find the value, you can always ask Costco for a membership fee refund.
For starters, Costco gasoline is typically $0.20 – $0.30 less, per gallon, than other local gas stations on a given day. The Costco Kirkland Signature alcohol pricing is phenomenal. And one would be very hard pressed to find a better deal on a bundle (for lack of a better term) of toilet paper.
As a pet owner, one of the best deals in all of Costco has to be the quality and pricing of Costco’s Kirkland Signature Dog Food and Kirkland Signature Cat Food.
Let’s review each and compare the pricing to some of the best-selling non-Costco pet food brands.
Costco Dog Food Review & Pricing (Versus Leading Brands)
Costco has 11 different varieties of dog food. For comparison purposes, let’s look at the Kirkland Signature Adult Formula Chicken, Rice and Vegetable Dog.
When doing pet food comparisons, it’s extremely difficult to compare apples to apples. No two pet foods have the exact same formula. What I personally look for is a formula that has a protein source as the main ingredient, and zero-to-few cheap fillers (e.g. corn, wheat gluten, corn gluten) as ingredients. The Kirkland dog food ingredient list meets that criteria, as well as adding in some good vitamin supplements and nutrients (B6, B12, D, glucosamine):
Chicken, chicken meal, whole grain brown rice, cracked pearled barley, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), egg product, dried beet pulp, potatoes, fish meal, flaxseed, natural flavor, brewers dried yeast, millet, potassium chloride, salt, choline chloride, carrots, peas, dried kelp, apples, cranberries, rosemary extract, parsley flake, dried chicory root, glucosamine hydrochloride, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus reuteri fermentation product, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, chondroitin sulfate, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin, vitamin D supplement, folic acid.
At a price of $28.99 for a 40 lb. bag, in store (online is pricier due to shipping costs being added to the price), the price per pound comes in at just $0.72.
Let’s look at how this compares to the 5 best selling, chicken-first, no corn/wheat fillers, non-specialty (e.g. RX, organic), similar dry dog foods on the popular pet product site, Chewy.com:
- Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Chicken & Brown Rice (30 lb. @ $52.99): $1.77 per pound
- Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food (30 lb. @ $64.99): $2.17 per pound
- Purina ONE SmartBlend Chicken & Rice Adult Formula Dry Dog Food (31.1 lb. @ $35.99): $1.16 per pound
- American Journey Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food (24 lb. @ $42.99): $1.79 per pound
- Nutro Wholesome Essentials Large Breed Adult Farm Raised Chicken (40 lb. @ $64.92): $1.62 per pound
As you can see, only the Purina ONE comes close in price per volume, and it is still 61% more expensive than the Costco Kirkland dog food. The average price per volume of the top 5 brands is 236% more expensive than the Kirkland dog food.
Also among Costco’s dog food line, are a number of formulas with the “Nature’s Domain” moniker. This is their organic and grain-free line, and the prices also line up very favorably to similar offerings from other brands.
Who Makes Costco Kirkland Dog Food?
Who makes the Costco Kirkland Signature Dog Food? Diamond Pet Foods, based in Meta, MO. Diamond Pet Foods has been manufacturing in the United States since their founding in 1970.
You’ll notice that their “Diamond Naturals All Life Stages Dog Chicken & Rice Formula” formula is not identical, but very similar to the Costco Kirkland Signature Adult Chicken, with the first 5 (and many other) ingredients being the same:
Chicken, chicken meal, whole grain brown rice, cracked pearled barley, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols)…
How much does it cost on Chewy.com? $36.99 for a 40 lb. bag, or $0.92 per lb. (28% more than the in-store Kirkland version).
Costco Cat Food Review & Pricing (Versus Leading Brands)
On to the Costco Kirkland Signature Cat Food. Costco has just 3 dry cat food offerings. The standard “maintenance cat” chicken and rice formula is priced at $19.49, in store, for a 25 lb. bag ($0.78 per pound).
Similar to the Kirkland Signature dog food, the Kirkland Signature cat food has a high quality ingredient list, with its first two ingredients being chicken and chicken meal:
Chicken, chicken meal, whole grain brown rice, ground white rice, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), natural chicken flavor, flaxseed, sodium bisulfate, potassium chloride, choline chloride, taurine, dried chicory root, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product, zinc proteinate, vitamin E supplement, niacin, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, zinc sulfate, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin A supplement, biotin, potassium iodide, calcium pantothenate, riboflavin, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, manganous oxide, sodium selenite, vitamin D supplement, folic acid.
How does this compare to the 5 best selling, chicken-first, no corn/wheat fillers, non-specialty (i.e. urinary, RX), similar dry cat foods on Chewy.com?
- American Journey Turkey & Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food (12 lb. @ $28.66): $2.39 per pound
- Blue Buffalo Indoor Health Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Adult Dry Cat Food (15 lb. @ $35.98): $2.40 per pound
- Nutro Wholesome Essentials Indoor Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Adult Dry Cat Food (14 lb. @ $34.99): $2.50 per pound
- Purina Cat Chow Naturals Grain-Free With Real Chicken Dry Cat Food (13 lb. @ $18.99): $1.46 per pound
- Purina Beyond Simply White Meat Chicken & Whole Oat Meal Recipe Dry Cat Food (13 lb. @ $30.99): $2.38 per pound
None of the other brands come close in price, with the average price per volume of the top 5 brands being 285% more expensive than the Kirkland cat food! Two of these are grain-free (surprisingly the cheapest 2), as it was extremely difficult to find non-grain-free offerings that didn’t have corn and/or corn gluten as one of the main ingredients. Again – I tried to get as close as possible with the comparisons.
Who Makes Costco Kirkland Cat Food?
Who makes the Costco Kirkland Signature Cat Food? Similar to the Costco dog food line, it is also Diamond Pet Foods.
You’ll notice that their “Diamond Naturals Indoor Formula Dry Cat Food” formula is not identical, but very similar to the Costco Kirkland Signature Chicken and Rice, with the first 2 ingredients (and many others) being the same:
Chicken meal, chicken…
How much does it cost on Chewy.com? $25.99 for a 18 lb. bag, or $1.44 per lb. (85% more than the in-store Kirkland version).
Costco Kirkland Signature Dog & Cat Food Review
I have fed both the Costco Kirkland Signature Dog Food and Cat Food products to my pets. The high-quality ingredients, without corn and wheat fillers rival much more expensive non-Costco brands. And as the price comparisons above show, they are an excellent bargain.
My veterinarian is familiar with the ingredient list of the Costco pet food offerings, and had no hesitations recommending their products. And I don’t either. In fact, he said that he feeds the Kirkland brand to his dogs. I realize that this is a very positive review, so it is worth noting that I have zero financial or other affiliation with Costco, other than being a customer.
Have you researched and fed these products to your pets? What’s your take?