Nutrition - 5/10
Ingredients - 6/10
Kirkland Nature’s Domain Beef Meal & Sweet Potato is an average-quality dry dog food. Its nutrient profile is slightly above average and it provides above average proportions of fat. It contains well sourced high-quality ingredients and limits its meat-based ingredients to Beef in the form of Beef Meal. It contains Chickpeas and Peas which are considered high-quality sources of carbohydrates. In addition, they provide fiber for healthy digestion. However, the use of mild fillers such as Pea Flour and Pea Protein is concerning. Kirkland Nature’s Domain Beef Meal & Sweet Potato contains a large range of vegetables and a single source of meat, this means it may be suitable for dogs that suffer from allergies or sensitivities associated with meat and fish ingredients.
High-Quality Beef Ingredient No Grains
Excessive Carbohydrate Proportion Contains Pea Flour, Pea Protein & Potato Protein
A Full review of Nature’s Domain Beef Meal & Sweet Potato by Kirkland
The ideal nutrition for a dog is entirely dependant on their unique circumstances. However, a high proportion of protein and fat combined with a lower proportion of carbohydrates is most appropriate nutrition profile for the vast majority of dogs. Dog’s are very capable of consuming a high proportion of carbohydrates, but a diet high in protein and fat is more appropriate and a better reflection of their natural ancestral diet.
Carbohydrate Content Analysis
Dogs use carbohydrates as a simple energy source. Dogs do not require significant carbohydrates in their diet and they are commonly added to reduce cost and increase shelf life. As the chart above displays, a maximum of 44% of Kirkland Nature’s Domain Beef Meal & Sweet Potato calories are derived from carbohydrates. Please note that this is the maximum amount of carbohydrates as calculated by the guaranteed analysis. In reality, this value of carbohydrates is likely to be a lot lower. This is below average for a Dry Dog Food.
The carbohydrate content of this recipe appears to be from the starch and vegetable ingredients of this dog food. This includes a range of legumes such as Peas and Chickpeas as well as Sweet Potatoes. This will be discussed later on. This proportion of carbohydrates is not satisfactory and should be notably lower to reflect a dog’s natural diet. However, the vegetables used are considered high-quality sources and this percentage is an overestimate.
Protein Content Analysis
Dogs use Protein for growth, development, and maintenance. Excess protein can be burned as calories. As the chart above displays, a minimum of 24% of Kirkland Nature’s Domain Beef Meal & Sweet Potato calories are derived from protein. Please note that this is the minimum amount of protein as calculated by the guaranteed analysis. In reality, this value of protein is likely to be higher. This is above average for a Dry Dog Food.
This will be a sufficient proportion of protein for lower than average activity dogs but may not be sufficient for those who are more active. This protein appears to be mostly sourced from the Beef Meal present which is the primary ingredient. However, some of this protein is from the range of legumes present. Plant-based protein such as Pea Protein is not quite as optimal as animal protein. Given the overall protein level is not impressive the proportion from ingredients such as Pea Protein may be significant.
Fat Content Analysis
Dogs use fat as a concentrated energy source. In addition, fats also play a role in development and maintenance. As the chart above displays, a minimum of 32% of Kirkland Nature’s Domain Beef Meal & Sweet Potato calories are derived from Fat. Please note that this is the minimum amount of fat as calculated by the guaranteed analysis. In reality, this value of fat is likely to be a lot higher. This is above average for a Dry Dog Food.
The fat present in this dog food appears to be sourced from the Beef Meal which is a high-quality source. This low estimate of fat content is sufficient to fulfill the energy needs of most dogs including those who are more active. Unfortunatly, the levels of the Omega 3 Fatty Acids in this formula are poor and will not provide any noticeable benefits.
Kirkland Nature’s Domain Beef Meal & Sweet Potato contains on average 3,500 kcals/kg or 327 kcals/cup
Once again please note that the values in this section are calculated using the products guaranteed analysis. The guaranteed analysis only lists the minimum and maximum values and as a consequence, these can sometimes be an inaccurate representation. As a rule of thumb, most dog foods will contain slightly more protein and considerably more fat than their guaranteed analysis. This will have the knock-on effect of reducing the relative amount of carbohydrates present. However also note that every dog food is different and some will be considerably closer to the guaranteed analysis than others.
Guaranteed Analysis – Kirkland Nature’s Domain Beef Meal & Sweet Potato
Pet foods in the United States are legally required by the AAFCO to have a guaranteed analysis on their packaging. A guaranteed analysis must display certain nutritional information. This is similar to how nutritional values are now commonly displayed on food for human consumption. The information that must be displayed includes Crude Protein, Crude Fat, Crude Fiber, and Moisture. Some guaranteed analysis will contain additional information. The guaranteed analysis for this product is listed below.
- Crude Protein (Min) – 24.00%
- Crude Fat (Min) – 14.00%
- Crude Fiber (Max) – 5.50%
- Moisture (Max) – 10.00%
- Omega 6 Fatty Acids (Min) – 2.40%
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids (Min) – 0.30%
The ingredients of pet food are disclosed on the packaging of the product as a list in descending order. Therefore the ingredients at the start of the list make up the bulk of the pet foods content. As a consequence, the quality of these primary ingredients is the most significant factor in determining the quality of pet food.
However, ingredients listed further down the ingredient list should not be ignored, especially if they could have adverse or harmful effects on a pet.
- Beef Meal
- Sweet Potatoes
- Pea Flour
- Brewers Yeast
- Potato Protein
Dangerous / Harmful Ingredients
In-Depth Meat/Fish Ingredient Review
The meat and fish ingredients of dog food are without a doubt the most important. They are critical as they provide the majority of the protein and fat that dogs desperately need. Also, these ingredients would have made up the bulk of dogs ancestors diet. Therefore, the quality of a dog food formulas meat and fish ingredients is crucial. Kirkland Nature’s Domain Beef Meal & Sweet Potato contains a single source of meat or fish.
The primary meat source present is Beef Meal. Beef Meal is considered a high-quality source of protein. Meat Meal is a concentrated form of meat that has already had the majority of its moisture removed. This means that gram for gram it is much richer in protein and other nutrients. Beef Meal contains the same vitamins and minerals as Beef but in higher concentrations. This includes high levels of minerals like Iron and Zinc.
In-Depth None-Meat Ingredient Review
Sweet Potatoes are a starchy vegetable and a source of complex carbohydrates. Sweet Potatoes are considered superior to traditional Potatoes as they contain more fiber and a more extensive range of vitamins and minerals. Some examples of vitamins and minerals that are abundant in Sweet Potatoes are Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Calcium. The higher amount of fiber and the range of micronutrients in Sweet Potatoes mean that they are considered a high-quality ingredient despite containing mostly carbohydrates.
Chickpeas and Peas are members of the legume family of vegetables. Legumes are famous for having a relatively high amount of protein for a vegetable. Legumes also contain a high amount of fiber, which is important for healthy digestion. Pet foods often use legumes as a replacement for in grain-free pet food. Protein from vegetables such as legumes should not be a replacement for protein from meat. Instead, it should act as an additional protein source.
A noteworthy ingredient present in this formula is Tomato Pomace. Tomato Pomace is made up of tomato skin, seeds, and pulp. Its most beneficial feature is that it contains very high levels of soluble fiber which can aid and regulate digestion. Those high levels of fiber are the primary motivation behind this ingredients inclusion in most formulas as Tomato Pomace has little nutritional value.
Flaxseed is a beneficial ingredient that is commonplace in higher quality dog food. Flaxseed contains high levels of the Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids which provide a range of health benefits such as healthier skin and fur and improved cognitive function. Also, Flaxseed contains high levels of protein for a plant-based ingredient. Finally, Flaxseed provides Lignans which can help reduce inflammation and cholesterol.
Potato Protein is a by-product of Potatoes and is a protein-rich liquid. It is considered a low-quality ingredient due to its use as a cheap protein inflating ingredient. In addition, protein from plants such as Potatoes is considered less complete and doesn’t contain all the needed amino acids. Potato Protein is a common ingredient used in a technique known as Ingredient Splitting.
Pea Protein is a by-product of Peas. Pea Protein is considered a low-quality ingredient. It is often used as a cheap way to increase the overall level of protein in a dog food without including additional meat or fish content. While the protein in Pea Protein is not harmful, plant-based proteins such as this are considered inferior to meat and fish-based proteins as they do not contain the full range of needed amino acids. Pea Protein is one of the most common ingredients used in a technique called Ingredient Splitting.
Dried Chicory Root or Chicory Root Extract is an additive or supplement to dog food. It can provide a range of health benefits including soluble fiber to enable regular passage of stool, probiotics to aid and promote digestion, as well as potentially eliminate or prevent intestinal worms. While these benefits are not fully proven, there is strong evidence behind them. The proportion of Chicory Root used in most dog food recipes is tiny and does not contribute meaningful nutrition. Find out more in Dried Chicory Root In Dog Food.
Full Ingredient List – Kirkland Nature’s Domain Beef Meal & Sweet Potato
Beef meal, sweet potatoes, garbanzo beans, peas, canola oil, egg product, pea flour, tomato pomace, flaxseed, brewers yeast, natural flavor, potato protein, pea protein, salmon oil (a source of DHA), salt, choline chloride, dried chicory root, yucca schidigera extract, tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries, 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 (vitamin B1), manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin D supplement, folic acid.