nature's domain dog food review

Nature’s Domain Dog Food Review

Perhaps you have heard of Diamond Pet Foods, and you may have even heard of the Kirkland brand at Costco. However, did you know that they are actually the same company?

Diamond Pet Foods owns the Kirkland Signature Dog food brand. From the Kirkland Brand comes Nature’s Domain dog food.

Now that you understand where this brand comes from a bit better, you can start to see that there is a long history with this company. The Nature’s Domain line specifically caters to those that have allergies to grain or don’t need more taurine in their dog’s diet.

This is actually the product we use with our dogs, as he has a lot of food allergies, and it is nice to see what the ingredients exactly are when we are feeding him.

Despite being our personal favorite, we are only going to give this brand a 4.6 out of five.

Want to know why we don’t score this grain-free dog food higher? Keep reading to learn more about our Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain dog food review and why we rated it where we did.

About Nature’s Domain

about nature's domain
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Though not all of their products are listed specifically as organic, Nature’s Domain dog food consists of mostly organic ingredients and comes in large bags that are cost-friendly and contain little to no fillers and artificial ingredients.

So what’s the catch? Unfortunately, this brand is located in Costco only. Though you may be able to find other places online to purchase it, the cost is often heavily inflated. However, that means you are left either searching for a different product or shelling out extra for Costco’s yearly membership.

But trust us when we say this product is worth it. Often, when you look for comparisons for Nature’s Domain dog food, you come across the Taste of the Wild brand.

However, that brand has been known to not work well for dogs that have more sensitive diets as it can cause skin allergies and health problems. They also have a problem with a lot of recalls in their history.

Another brand you might see often is Diamond Pet Food. However, these two brands are actually more similar than you might think, with Diamond Pet Foods actually being the parent brand for Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain, so it isn’t really even fair to compare them until you start getting into the nitty-gritty details of the specifics your pet may need.

With natural ingredients that aren’t highly controversial and that are similar to what you or I would eat, you can start to see why Nature’s Domain dog food is well worth it, and why we gave it a 4.6 out of 5.

Keep reading to learn more about why we highly praise this dog food, as well as why its rating is a little lower than you might expect.

Nature’s Domain History

nature's domain history
Photo by 龙 赵 on Unsplash

Nature’s Domain was founded all the way in 1981. While this may not seem like a long time, it is a pretty good length for dog food, and they have been making quality ingredients for upwards of thirty years.

The parent brand is Diamond Naturals, though they don’t promote it on their website.

The brand ownership can get a little confusing as the head brand is Diamond Pet Foods. One of their labels is Kirkland, which is a small label that only sells its products in Costco. One of Kirkland’s lines is called Nature’s Domain.

Nature’s Domain product line consists of organic ingredients. It is also completely grain-free, no matter which product you buy.

Since it is still a Kirkland Signature dog food. However, due to the organic ingredients and lack of poor-quality grains, it’s a great option for dogs with more sensitive stomachs or allergies.

There are also plenty of options, no matter what your dog prefers or their age, you can find the Kirkland Dog Food and Nature’s Domain line that works for you.

However, since the line for the dog food is pretty convoluted, it can make it hard to really understand the history of the Nature’s Domain line vs Kirkland Signature dog food, vs Diamond Pet Foods.

Where is Nature’s Domain Dog Food Made?

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Nature’s Domain dog food is made around the United States in three different areas. These are:

  • Meta, Missouri
  • Lathrop California
  • Gaston, South Carolina
  • Two facilities in Arkansas, though the towns are not provided

Each site is Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certified and tries to work to the highest standards.

There are 10 principles of GMP that all certified manufacturing plants must follow. This not only maintains that the facilities and products are of good quality, but that people are treated right and quality is top-notch.

Most of the ingredients are from the United States as well, except for certain ingredients where it is easier to get high-quality ingredients from other countries.

Their examples of this are dried chicory root from Belgium and potato protein from Germany.

Though it is a Kirkland brand, it is made a specialty for Costco and therefore can only be found in their store or online on their website.

Nature’s Domain Dog Food Cost

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All in all, Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain dog food doesn’t cost very much.

On Amazon, it costs just under two dollars per pound. However, at Costco, you are looking at closer to one dollar or a dollar and a half per pound.

Their wet dog food tends to cost about ten cents per ounce, which is a steal compared to some other dog foods.

However, one large downside to this is since none of the dog foods in this line container taurine via grains, you may have to find a supplement as well so that they don’t risk heart problems.

While we just feed our dogs some rice and vegetables once a week, you can also buy supplements or meats high in taurine like shellfish and duck.

Nature’s Domain Ingredient Quality

nature's domain ingredient quality
Images from Unsplash

The Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain brand is designed to be organic and grain-free. But what does that mean for foods actually in the meal?

With meats like chicken, lamb, beef, and salmon, you can be sure your dog is getting great proteins to fill them up.

Usually, the first ingredient is a meal, such as a salmon meal or turkey meal. Then, you can see that sweet potato, peas, potatoes, and salmon oil are present as the next top ingredients.

Then there are vitamins and minerals that help your dog get the nutrients they need.

While meat meals like salmon meal get a bad rap, they are actually really good for your dog. They can contain over 300 percent more protein than regular meat.

Where they get a bad rap is from by-product meals, which are considered bad as they are the leftover parts of an animal, rather than the actual meat and organs that you would expect your dog to be eating.

Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain does contain some fillers and controversial items, but not as many as other brands. Currently, the only items on their ingredients list that are particularly controversial are:

  • Sodium selenite. While Sodium selenite is good for dogs in small doses and considered incredibly important, too large of doses or a different chemical form can be toxic.
  • Canola oil. While canola oil is generally considered good for dogs in small qualities, it can be made from GMO rapeseed, which makes it highly controversial.
  • Tomato pomace. Tomato pomace is considered controversial as raw tomatoes can be bad for your dog. However, cooked tomatoes contain a lot of fiber and are safe for dogs.

Top Nature’s Domain Product Lines

General Formula

Most of Nature’s Domain Dog Foods are their general formula. These are designed for an age range of dogs from puppies to seniors.

This is a great option for those that don’t want to have to worry about changing dog foods throughout their dog’s lifetime.

However, if you do want products that are more adjusted to your dog’s needs, there are puppy and senior dog food options as well.

These bags usually come in 35-pound bags, so you should have plenty of dog food to keep your dogs healthy and fed for quite a while, no matter their size.

There are also quite a few options compared to their other formulas, as you can usually have an option between a salmon meal and sweet potato formula, a turkey meal and sweet potato formula, a chicken and pea formula, and a beef and sweet potato formula.

Canned Dog Food

Currently, the only canned dog food that Nature’s Domain offers is a turkey and pea stew and an organic chicken and vegetables.

Their guaranteed analysis is 34 percent protein, 51 percent fat, and 15 percent carbs.

Like their other dog foods, the first few ingredients are meat, such as chicken or turkey. Then, there is broth, usually both the meat and a vegetable broth, so that there is moisture present.

Unlike Nature Domain’s dry dog food, there is really only one controversial item in these, and that is sodium selenite.

Otherwise, this dog food is a great topping on top of dry dog food as a way to entice your pet, or as a way to provide much-needed nutrients to an older dog who is unable to chew hard, dry kibble.

Compared to other wet dog foods, it actually has really high protein and fat and low carbs. This is due to a high amount of meat compared to other brands.

It is grain-free, like the rest of Nature Domain’s dog food line.

Small Dog Food

Their small dog food usually comes in smaller bags of 20 pounds instead of 35 pounds. this is a great way to prevent your dog’s food from getting stale while your dog is eating it.

Our dog is a large breed (100+ pounds) and can last on one bag of 35-pound dog food for about a month by following the food guidelines on the back of the box.

Even for a medium-sized dog at 30 pounds, that bag can easily last two months. So having a smaller-sized bag is a great way to prevent your food from going stale.

However, that isn’t the only benefit. The kibble is usually smaller. This helps to reduce the risk of choking.

Currently, on their website, the only small dog formula is salmon. This contains salmon, salmon meal, lentils, chickpeas, and peas as your first few ingredients, so you can be sure your dog is getting all the food they need.

Plus, with Costco’s guaranteed Analysis, you should never have a proportion of protein less than 25 percent.

Alternatives to Nature’s Domain

Diamond Pet Foods

Diamond has been around just as long as the Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain brand. They have had a lot more recalls, but have actually worked hard to repair their image and have better quality control.

Like with Kirkland Signature’s dog food, their last recall was in 2012, and since then they have significantly improved their control standards.

They have a variety of different products including Naturals, Pro formula, Care, and Grain-Free, so you figure out what works best with your dog.

Our favorite part about this company is that they even have a quiz that you can take if you aren’t sure what dog food is best for your pet.

Kirkland Signature Dog Foods

Technically, this is the same dog food brand, just a different line. However, even the various lines can have some major differences between them.

The biggest difference is that most of Kirkland Signature’s other lines aren’t grain-free.

We do prefer non-grain-free formulas to grain-free, as it has the necessary taurine in them to keep our dog’s heart healthy, so this is a win for us. However, grain-free diets do work well for other dogs.

Their other lines also tend to cover a lot more proteins. Our dog struggles to eat salmon and chicken, so having lamb as an option is great.

Where to Buy Nature’s Domain Dog Food

where to buy nature's domain dog food
Images from Unsplash

Unfortunately, at this time, and likely far into the future, the only place to buy Nature’s Domain dog food is at Costco or online at their store.

It can be found on Amazon, but often costs at least $20 more than at Costco.

This is a huge bummer as there are many towns that don’t have a Costco near them. Also, Costcos require memberships that start out at sixty dollars a year at a minimum to even enter the store and complete a purchase.

Costco only accepts Visa cards at their store, so if you have a different major credit card company, you will not be able to use them in the store.

Online, their member and credit card requirements are much more relaxed, though the prices of their dog food go up due to shipping and handling.

Nature’s Domain Dog Food Recalls

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Diamond Pet Foods has had a fair number of recalls in its products. However, in the Kirkland Brand, including the Nature Domain dog food, we have only seen two in their 60 years of being in business.

Both of these times, the products were recalled before any dog ever got sick. Those at Diamond Pet Foods realized that they couldn’t be completely certain in 2007 that their dog food didn’t have any melamine and they recalled it as soon as they realized.

A similar incident in 2012 occurred when they weren’t positive that the dog food didn’t contain salmonella. The contamination leak was false, so no dog food ever contained salmonella and no dog ever got sick, but they recalled all of their products just in case.

This, we think, is a great example of how well this dog food line and the parent companies can be trusted. Too many times, we see dog food companies recalling their products only after sickness has been directly linked to them. However, in both cases, these Kirkland dog food brands were recalled as soon as people at the company realized the potential for harm.

Though Nature’s Domain has been recalled a few times, they are careful with theirs as well and recall their products for safety reasons even before dogs get sick.

This shows that they are companies that can be trusted and actually have your pet in mind, which we can’t always say about other brands.

Wrapping Up

Full of natural flavor that leads to healthy dog food and healthy skin, this dog food is perfect for those dogs that need grain-free diets.

However, with it being grain-free dog food, we know that this dog food isn’t for everyone. Most dogs need grain in their diet. Though the Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain Dog food is great, the fact that you might have to supplement a dog’s meal and buy a Costco membership before you can purchase does lower the score a little.

But if you already have a Costco membership, then go and get that salmon meal sweet potato dog food! We promise your dog won’t regret this delicious meal, and you may even find your dog’s health improves from eating a more natural and protein-heavy diet.

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