Nutrition - 7/10
Ingredients - 9/10
Kirkland Nature’s Domain Puppy Chicken & Pea is a high-quality dry puppy food. Its nutrient profile is above average and it provides above average proportion of protein and fat. While the proportion of carbohydrates could be lower, this balance of nutrients is satisfactory and suitable for the majority of puppies.
The formula contains a range of high-quality ingredients with a focus on poultry such as Chicken and Chicken Meal. These Chicken ingredients are the source of the recipes protein and fat content. The formula also contains a large range of Legumes and Starches such as Peas, Lentils, and Sweet Potatoes. These are considered to be high-quality sources of carbohydrates and superior to alternatives such as grains or by-products.
Kirkland Nature’s Domain Puppy Chicken & Pea contains a broad range of vegetables and a small range of poultry ingredients. This may make it unsuitable for puppies with serious allergies or sensitivities associated with vegetable ingredients. But for those without issues, this formula could be very suitable.
High-Quality Chicken Ingredients
No Grains or By-products
Excessive Carbohydrate Proportion
A Full review of Nature’s Domain Puppy Chicken & Pea 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 40% of Kirkland Nature’s Domain Puppy Chicken & Pea 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 Puppy Food.
The majority of this carbohydrate content appears to be from the vegetable and starch ingredients of this puppy food. Ingredients such as Chickpeas, Lentils, Sweet Potatoes, and Peas will be discussed in-depth later on.
This is above what we would consider the ideal proportion of carbohydrates. That being said, they are from reasonably 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 27% of Kirkland Nature’s Domain Puppy Chicken & Pea 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 Puppy Food.
This will be a sufficient proportion of protein for the majority of puppies but may be inadequate for those who are very active. This protein appears to be sourced from the small range of poultry ingredients present including Chicken and Chicken Meal.
These are considered high-quality sources and contain the full range of amino acids required for growth, repair, and maintenance. A small minority of this protein proportion is from plant-based ingredients. This plant-based protein is considered to be of a lesser quality.
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 33% of Kirkland Nature’s Domain Puppy Chicken & Pea 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 significantly above average for a Puppy Food.
The fat present in this puppy food appears to be sourced from poultry ingredients which are an ideal source. Examples include Chicken and Chicken Meal.
This low estimate of fat content is more than sufficient to fulfill the energy needs of most active puppies. Sadly, the level of the Omega 3 Fatty Acids in this formula is not impressive and are unlikely to provide a noticeable benefit.
Overall Kirkland Nature’s Domain Puppy Chicken & Pea contains an average of 3,650 kcals/kg or 340 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 Puppy Chicken & Pea
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) – 27.00%
- Crude Fat (Min) – 15.00%
- Crude Fiber (Max) – 4.50%
- Moisture (Max) – 10.00%
- Calcium (Min) – 1.2%
- Phosphorus (Min) – 1.0%
- Omega 6 Fatty Acids (Min) – 2.80%
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids (Min) – 0.50%
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.
- Chicken Meal
- Sweet Potatoes
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 dog’s ancestor’s diet. Therefore, the quality of a dog food formulas meat and fish ingredients is crucial. Kirkland Nature’s Domain Puppy Chicken & Pea contains two sources of meat or fish.
The primary meat source present is Chicken. Chicken is considered a high-quality source of protein. In addition to being a fantastic protein source, chicken has high levels of Niacin and Vitamin B6. Unfortunately Chicken does contain a high concentration of water.
Much of this water is evaporated during the cooking process leaving a lesser proportion of Chicken. However given that Chicken is the first listed ingredient, its proportion will still be relatively high even after the cooking process.
The secondary meat source present is Chicken Meal. Chicken 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.
Chicken Meal will contain the same vitamins and minerals as Chicken but in higher concentrations. This includes high levels of Niacin and Vitamin B6.
In-Depth None-Meat Ingredient Review
Kirkland Nature’s Domain Puppy Chicken & Pea contains Peas, Lentils, and Chickpeas. These 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 grains 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Puppy Chicken & Pea
Chicken, chicken meal, peas, garbanzo beans, lentils, fava beans, sweet potatoes, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), egg product, flaxseed, tomato pomace, natural flavor, salmon oil (a source of DHA), dicalcium phosphate, 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, 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.