Purina Pro Plan vs. Kirkland Dog Food: Which is Better?

As a pet owner, has it ever happened to you that you have walked into a store looking for dog food options and suddenly felt overwhelmed by the number of choices available?

The market these days is filled with locally available brands and commercial names that boast top-quality ingredients and recipes. Amidst the sea of opinions and comments, it can get tough to take your pick.

After all, every dog parent wants the best ingredients and healthy options for their doggo. It becomes even more complicated when the brands in front of you are both popular and renowned.

In this case, I’m talking about Purina Pro Plan and Kirkland Dog Food. How do I decide between these famous names?

Well, fret not, for I’m here to help you solve your Purina Pro Plan vs. Kirkland Dog Food dilemma. Let’s dive deep and compare the essential elements to see which brand will best suit your dog’s needs and have them wagging their tails joyously.

FactorsPurina Pro PlanKirkland Dog Food
Owned byNestleDiamond Pet Foods
Launched in19861970
Special featureHigh-protein real meat with probioticsAn entire line of grain-free products
Number of formulas140+ recipes made using different meats and grainsOther categories of products and over ten types of recipes
Intended forCompetitive and high-performance dogs, those who have sensitive skin, are calm and require weight management.Active dogs and those who need help with digestion and joint pain

A Sneak Peek at The Winner: Purina Pro Plan

A Sneak Peek at the Winner: Purina Pro Plan

Purina Pro Plan offers dry and wet dog food options to many pet owners looking for recipes to improve their dog’s digestive health. It’s one of the many reasons it wins in this scenario.

The brand is committed to using high-quality ingredients, real meat, and live probiotics that improve your dog’s immunity. Dogs with sensitive stomachs and skin will benefit significantly from this line of recipes.

Suppose your dog participates in competitions, or you want them to remain athletic. In that case, their options for active dogs are something you can explore. Watch your dog’s skin and coat appear healthier after consuming Purina Pro Plan’s products.

All of their recipes are curated while keeping the requirements of every dog in mind, making them a well-loved brand.

History of The Dog Food Brands

Purina and Kirkland have been around for a long time, creating products that numerous dog owners have trusted for ages. They have built a reputation for themselves due to their dedication and hard work in creating and manufacturing recipes.

However, before we get into the details of their ingredients and other factors, we must learn more about their history and origin.

Purina Pro Plan

Purina Pro Plan

4.7 Overall Editor Rating

Purina Pro Plan

  • 30 percent protein and 20 percent fat
  • Fine-tuned nutrition
  • High-quality dry dog food
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Purina, as a brand, has numerous lines under its umbrella, including the Purina Pro Plan. The initiation of Purina can be traced back to 1894 when William H. Danforth partnered up with William Andrews and George Robinson to create products for farm animals.

Purina was the first brand that used the technology called extrusion to develop what we know as kibble in the current times.

Constantly coming up with innovative launches, the creation of Purina Pro Plan came about in 1986, becoming the first-ever brand to include real meat as the primary ingredient in kibble.

Purina Pro Plan has been around for more than 85 years, and its products apply the results from the studies conducted by the brand. It includes developing recipes that aim to boost a dog’s immunity.

In December of 2021, Purina was acquired by Nestle, thereby allowing their products to reach more people all over the globe.

Kirkland Dog Food

Kirkland dog food

4.5 Overall Editor Rating

Kirkland Dog Food

  • Small Kibble, Omega Fatty Acid Nutrition
  • Sensitive Stomach Formula
  • Probiotics and Prebiotics Help Support Healthy Digestive
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Diamond Pet Foods owns Kirkland Dog Food. Founded in 1970, they have been in the business of manufacturing dog food since 1970. They are a popular go-to option for dog owners.

Since its headquarters was located in Missouri, Kirkland’s products were initially distributed only within 100 miles of that location. Due to this, only a few people were aware of the brand.

However, once Nestle entered the picture and the manufacturer partnered with them, Kirkland Dog Food quickly became a common name in many households.

Today, the plants of Diamond Pet Foods are present in multiple locations, such as Arkansas, California, Kansas, and South Carolina.

Purina Pro Plan vs. Kirkland Dog Food: 4-Factor Comparison

Purina Pro Plan vs. Kirkland Dog Food 4-Factor Comparison

To give you a complete picture, you must look at both brands in association with all the crucial aspects. That’s why I will compare these brands in terms of their ingredients, recipes, nutrition, and recalls.

Let’s get going, shall we?

1. Ingredients


Since both Purina and Kirkland use numerous ingredients in their recipes, I will discuss their products’ most common or critical ingredients.

Purina Pro Plan

Purina Pro Plan

Listed below are some of the ingredients one can find in the Purina Pro Plan line:

  • Real Meat

Purina Pro Plan uses a variety of meat in its recipes, including lamb, beef, tuna, salmon, and chicken. These are a great source of lean protein, healthy fats, and essential fatty acids.

They help keep your dog’s coat and skin healthy, boost their immune system, and are perfect for maintaining your pet’s muscle mass.

  • Grains

Although some pet owners are often wary about including grains in their pet’s food, Purina Pro Plan utilizes high-quality grains, including barley and rice. Since these are rich in carbohydrates, they help keep your dog energized.

  • Organ Meat

Organ meats are packed with highly beneficial nutrients for dogs. The liver, for example, is among the organ meats that Purina includes in its recipes.

  • Additional Components

Additional substances also form a part of Purina Pro Plan’s range to amplify the nutritional quality of the products. These components include pea proteins, beef fat, sunflower oils, and beet fiber.

Kirkland Dog Food

Kirkland Dog Food

The following are a couple of the central ingredients used by Kirkland Dog Food in their recipes:

  • Meat

Kirkland Dog Food’s products include meat in the form of lamb, chicken, beef, and turkey, and together they help in building lean muscle mass, keeping your dog active and fit and boosting their energy levels.

Lamb, for instance, is ideal for dogs allergic to other types of meat. While chicken is a source of lean meat, beef is high in protein, and the magnesium and zinc that turkey contains are great for the health of your dog’s coat.

  • Fruits and Vegetables

Some vegetables and fruits that are a part of the products from Kirkland include blueberries, tomatoes, sweet peas, and raspberries.

These work together to help them fight obesity. They look after your pet’s skin, heart, and eyes, keeping them full longer.

  • Brown Rice

Brown rice forms a primary element in many of the brand’s products. It helps regulate their bowel movement, keeps their immune system healthy, and multiplies their energy levels.

  • Fiber

Constituents such as flaxseed, dried chicory root, and dried beet pulp combine to make Kirkland Dog Food’s recipes rich in fiber. Maintaining your pet’s intestinal health helps reduce inflammation and nurture its skin and coat quality.

Who Won?

Both brands have ingredients that work to your dog’s advantage. Still, Purina Pro Plan wins by a narrow margin since the protein content in its products is slightly higher.

Purina and Kirkland employ high-quality ingredients. Even though Purina has meat byproducts in some of its recipes, some pet owners may not see Kirkland’s inclusion of fruits and vegetables as a positive thing.

2. Recipes

Since Kirkland Dog Food and Purina Pro Plan offer many recipes, how about we focus on the main pointers related to this topic? Let’s go.

Purina Pro Plan

  • Grain-inclusive as well as grain-free choices available
  • Soothing for dogs with sensitive tummies and skin
  • Sports formulas and weight control options present

Kirkland Dog Food

  • The healthy meals contain about 275 calories per cup
  • Elements such as vitamin B, probiotics, and omega fatty acids look after a dog’s digestive system as well as their joints
  • Two lines with 14 available formulas

Who Won?

Purina Pro Plan wins in this department purely because it has many more recipes when compared to Kirkland Dog Food.

3. Nutrition

A brand’s nutritional value is one of the first things a pet owner notices before purchasing. The level of nutrients present in their respective products is provided clearly by both Kirkland and Purina.

One can fabricate a complete comparison of the brands regarding the protein, fiber, fat, and other essential nutrients found in their recipes.

Crude Protein

The average protein content in Purina Pro Plan’s products usually ranges between 26% to 32%, while the protein content of Kirkland Dog Food’s items is between 27% to 28%. Kirkland might have certain sources of protein that could be considered objectionable.

Crude Fat

The fat content in both brands is the same. By possessing plenty of omega fatty acids and animal fats, they ensure that your dog stays active and energized all day long.

Who Won?

Purina Pro Plan wins this one because its recipes hold more proteins than the ones from Kirkland Dog Food.

4. Recalls

The safety of pets is of utmost importance. However, it often happens that certain brands or companies create products with harmful elements. There have been cases when their products failed to live up to the expectations of their customers for an extended time due to certain issues.

Hence, it’s vital for dog owners to carefully evaluate a brand before purchasing it for their pet, and looking at the recall history of a company is necessary for this purpose.

Purina Pro Plan and Kirkland Dog Food have had past recalls and have taken the steps required to remedy the situation.

Purina Pro Plan

Purina Pro Plan

In March 2016, some of the wet dog food products from Purina Pro Plan were recalled since their vitamin and mineral levels needed improvement.

In February 2023, the brand voluntarily recalled selecting lots of Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EL Elemental (PPVD EL) prescription dry dog food. It was done because the product had high levels of vitamin D.

There were two cases where two dogs showed signs of vitamin D toxicity. Fortunately, once they stopped feeding this product, they recovered soon after.

Pet owners were asked to immediately stop feeding this product to their dogs and consult their vet if their pet displayed any more worrying signs related to their health.

Kirkland Dog Food

Kirkland Dog Food

2007 saw the Great Melamine Recall, where it was discovered that the foods manufactured in a Chinese facility were contaminated with melamine. Kirkland Dog Food was a part of this recall.

The subsequent recall from this brand happened in 2012, and the reason was known to be a possible Salmonella contamination. No injuries were reported from it, thankfully.

Who Won?

Kirkland Dog Food wins in this category as the brand has seen fewer recalls compared to Purina. Whenever you research a brand’s recalls, it’s vital to see how they react to the claims, hold themselves accountable, and implement the necessary changes.

Highlights For The Food Brands

Before we see which of the two brands is the winner, let’s briefly summarize the critical aspects discovered so far.

Purina Pro Plan

  1. The products from Purina Pro Plan are made using real meat.
  2. Their range includes recipes for dogs with sensitive skin and stomachs.
  3. The brand was the first to use real meat in its products.
  4. Purina was the one to invent the concept of kibble.
  5. They have been present in the market for 85 years.

Kirkland Dog Food

  1. Diamond Pet Foods owns Kirkland Dog Food and can be found at Costco.
  2. The brand makes use of traditional recipes and ingredients.
  3. Real meat is the central ingredient in most of their products.
  4. The protein levels of Kirkland Dog Food’s recipes are pretty high.
  5. The price range is affordable, and the recipes are created using fresh vegetables and fruits.

Purina Pro Plan Gets the Crown

We sometimes go for brands that have impressed their customers for decades, hoping they will serve us well too. Purina is one of those brands that never ceases to win over the hearts of pet owners.

Here’s a list of the pros and cons of the Purina Pro Plan so you can decide whether it’s the ideal range for your dog.


  • Athletic dogs and developing puppies benefit from their products
  • Wide variety of options available
  • There are products present for dogs at various life stages
  • Healthy fats and high-quality protein gets utilized in the range


  • Slightly more expensive than some brands
  • Some dogs could be sensitive to certain ingredients in the range
  • A few recipes contain meat byproducts

Why Did Kirkland Dog Food Lose?

Why Did Kirkland Dog Food Lose

Although Kirkland Dog Food has several remarkable qualities, its packaging must match Purina Pro Plan offerings. Even though its products are more affordable when compared to Purina, it has fewer options and varieties to choose from.

What could seem discouraging about Kirkland is that it’s only available at Costco, so it’s challenging for some to buy.


Who is the owner of Purina Pro Plan?

Nestle is the owner of Purina Pro Plan.

Where can I find Kirkland Dog Food’s products?

Kirkland Dog Food’s products can be found at Costco.

When was Purina Pro Plan established?

Purina Pro Plan was established in 1986.

Does Kirkland Dog Food make use of real meat?

Yes, Kirkland Dog Food uses real meat in its recipes.

Does Purina Pro Plan have options for puppies?

Yes, you can find options for puppies in Purina Pro Plan’s range.

Who owns Kirkland Dog Food?

Diamond Pet Foods owns Kirkland Dog Food.

Final Words

Purina Pro Plan and Kirkland Dog Food are respected names in the dog food world. They have created an identity through products and recipes that make them stand out.

While both brands have distinctive qualities, it’s ultimately on you to pick the one that best suits your dog’s health requirements. Go through the detailed analysis in this article to make an informed decision.

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