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. If you’re not sure, there are a number of ways to check out Costco without a membership.
For starters, Costco gasoline is typically $0.40 – $0.60 less, per gallon, than other local gas stations on a given day. The Costco Kirkland Signature alcohol pricing is phenomenal. Costco’s extended appliance & electronics warranty is great. And one would be very hard pressed to find a better deal on a bundle (for lack of a better term) of toilet paper or a vat (also for lack of better term) of peanut butter.
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 Costco pet food 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. This Costco dog food has a rating of 4.6/5 stars with close to 2,500 customer reviews. Coincidentally, our trusted vet fed his dogs this exact same food.
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.
This dog food comes in at price of $35.99 for a 40 lb. bag in the store (important note: the Costco.com online price for dog food is much higher than the price in the warehouse, as Costco adds shipping costs to the price). The price per pound comes in at just $0.90.
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. @ $60.98): $2.03 per pound
- Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food (30 lb. @ $77.99): $2.60 per pound
- Purina ONE SmartBlend Chicken & Rice Adult Formula Dry Dog Food (31.1 lb. @ $43.28): $1.39 per pound
- American Journey Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food (24 lb. @ $59.90): $2.50 per pound
- Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food (30 lb. @ $53.99): $1.80 per pound
As you can see, only the Purina ONE comes close in price per volume, and it is still 54% more expensive than the Costco Kirkland dog food. The average price per pound of these 5 comparable products, at $2.06 per pound, is 226% more expensive than the Kirkland dog food, at $0.90 per pound.
Also among Costco’s dog food line, are a number of formulas with the “Nature’s Domain” moniker. These products are 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 4 (and many other) ingredients being the same:
Chicken, chicken meal, whole grain brown rice, cracked pearled barley…
How much does it cost on Chewy.com? $46.99 for a 40 lb. bag, or $1.17 per lb. – a great price, but still 30% more per pound 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 the most popular. This Costco cat food has a rating of 4.7/5 stars with over 1,850 customer reviews.
This version of Costco cat food is priced at $23.69 in store, for a 25 lb. bag (important note: the Costco.com online price for cat food is much higher than the price in the warehouse, as Costco adds shipping costs to the price). The price per pound comes in at just $0.95.
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, with lots of vitamins, minerals and supplements included:
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 (e.g. urinary, RX), similar dry cat foods on Chewy.com?
- American Journey Turkey & Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food (12 lb. @ $40.81): $3.40 per pound
- Blue Buffalo Indoor Health Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Adult Dry Cat Food (15 lb. @ $43.98): $2.93 per pound
- Nutro Wholesome Essentials Indoor Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Adult Dry Cat Food (14 lb. @ $38.98): $2.78 per pound
- Purina ONE True Instinct Natural Real Chicken Plus Vitamins & Minerals High Protein Grain-Free Dry Cat Food (14.4 lb. @ $30.79): $2.14 per pound
- Purina Beyond Simply White Meat Chicken & Whole Oat Meal Recipe Dry Cat Food (13 lb. @ $29.94): $2.30 per pound
None of the other brands come close in price, with the average price per volume of the top 5 brands, at $2.71 per pound, being 285% more expensive than the Kirkland cat food, at $0.95 per pound! 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? $33.99 for a 18 lb. bag, or $1.89 per pound (99% 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?
I buy a 30lbs bag of Nature’s Recipe adult dog food every 6 weeks from Petco (autoship) for $32.00. Switching would save me $90 per year. I’ve been debating jumping on the Costco train and this is just the logic that I needed to pony up that $60 membership fee! Thanks you!
Glad I could provide.
I have fed my dogs the nature’s domain food for several years now. My dogs CONSTANTLY get praised for their soft, shiny coats, their energy, the fact that my 10 year old acts so much younger than his age. I love this food and I will keep getting it as long as I have a Costco membership
Sorry….I love Costco… However the dog food is not the greatest….my dogs stomachs rumble and tumble and the farts? smell bad…Sniff a bag of the food..and then sniff one of the compared foods…way different….Also their poop smells even worse and there are more piles….I switched from the Costco Kirkland brand and am having much better results with my three Labs…And I can tolerate sleeping in the same room again!
I’ve never met a dog with good smelling farts. Which of the 11 varieties did you try?
I have heard of dogs dying/getting extremely ill after eating Kirkland brand dog food, dk which kind. My dogs get members mark lamb from Sams. They love it and its very high quality.
Sounds legit! Everyone switch to Sam’s!
This was great to read. I feel fortunate that my puppy is willing to try anything and has yet to have stomach issues. I have been thinking about ordering the kirkland brand regularly. This was great insight to it!
Since we switched to Kirkland cat food our kitties coats are so shiny and soft! And they love the food! And it’s way cheaper than the Nutro we were feeding them. We’re sticking with it!
My dog a St. Bernard weighs 178 lbs was 189 lbs a couple years ago. Switched to a Kirkland dry dog food , I add well water and 2 cooked eggs to his once a day meal . He is 10 years old very strong very frisky his coat very shiny , Loves to walk around in my 5 acre garden. Advice to anyone do not get a ST. Bernard if your home has carpets .. I pulled all my carpets and put down wood floors . Why ? the ST B. slobbers a whole lot and no amount of vacuming or cleaning will keep carpets free from his slobber mess. No such problem with the wood or wood laminate flooring. Lastly unlike small or toy dogs you cannot push the St.B. arround he pushes back . The children love him when they fall over . trying to climb on his back.
We’ve been using Nature’s Domain salmon & sweet potato dry food since 2014. We are wondering why the price of this has doubled since last month.