Nature's domain dog food review.

The Nature’s Domain Dog Food Review: Tested & Reviewed 2024

Written By Eloisa Thomas | Canine Coach, Double M.A in Anthropology.
Edited & Fact Checked By Renae Soppe | B.A Journalism & Science. 
Last Updated: 9th January 2024

Are you looking for an affordable dog food option? Then today’s Nature’s Domain dog food review is for you. We’ve examined everything you need to know about this kibble so you can make an informed choice for your pup.

  • Nature’s Domain is a Costco US home brand
  • Australian Costco only has the Turkey and Sweet Potato formula available
  • This traditional kibble recipe is made by Diamond pet (the ones behind Taste of the Wild).

Quick Pick - Our Best Rated Dog Food

Petzyo Dog Food

Our Number 1 Pick
Petzyo Dog Food

  • Ethically sourced Kangaroo, Chicken or Salmon, sweet potato & superfood extras
  • Iron-rich & low fat proteins
  • Three Omega 3 and 6 rich oils with a well balanced 11% fat content
  • Made in Australia


Australia's Natures Domain Dog Food Reviewed

Nature’s Domain Dog Food

Nature's Domain - 4 Star Rating

  • Ingredients: Turkey meal, sweet potatoes, peas, potatoes, canola oil, tomato pomace, flaxseed, natural flavour, salmon oil (a source of DHA), salt, DL-methionine, choline chloride, taurine, dried chicory root, tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries, yucca schidigera extract, dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulphate, zinc sulphate, copper sulphate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulphate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin D supplement, folic acid.
  • Named Protein First: Yes.
  • Dog Food Type: Traditional kibble, grain-free
  • Recipe Range: Turkey meal and sweet potato
  • Suitable For: Adult dogs (no puppy-specific recipe)
  • Cost: $$
  • Australian Owned: No

Nature’s Domain is one of Costco’s home brands, so it’s sold under the Kirkland name. As with most groceries in Costco, this food comes in large bags and are relatively affordable. But is it worth adding into your rotation? See what we thought from our examination of the Turkey and Sweet Potato recipe.

Nature's Domain Dog Food Review

Taste

Ingredients

Protein content

Additives

Variety

Price

Taste 4/5

Dogs seem to love this kibble, and even picky eaters tend to finish their plate. On the flip side, there is no “small breed” option, meaning the actual kibble size is medium-to-big. If you have a medium dog (or larger) this shouldn’t be an issue.

As with other kibble, the flavouring agents are undisclosed. We’re giving this brand 4 out 5, mainly because of the limited size kibble for smaller dogs.

Ingredients 4/5

This dog food brand is made by Diamond Pet Foods, the same manufacturer behind Taste of the Wild. In Australia, we were only able to find the Turkey and Sweet Potato recipe, so we will focus on that for our review, although in the past a Salmon and Sweet Potato option was available.

This recipe starts well: turkey meal is the first ingredient. It’s followed by sweet potatoes, peas and potatoes. However, it’s important to note that for most processed dog foods the first two to five ingredients are roughly in the same proportion and their order is generally placed at the manufacturer’s discretion.

Looking at the first four ingredients, this is a potato-heavy food. However, the nutritional analysis looks fairly ok for a traditional kibble: 24% minimum crude protein, 14% minimum crude fat and 4% maximum crude fibre. This is above the minimum AAFCO requirements AAFCO (18% crude protein), although the overall carbohydrate content seems slightly high. This is a common issue with traditional kibble, which needs starch for the manufacturing process.

The best feature in this ingredient list is the add-ons: the vitamins, minerals, and other additives are itemised and high quality, which vastly improves the overall quality of the food. We will go over them in the following sections.

We’re taking off one star from the ingredients category because of the high quanitity of potatoes. Other than that, the overall composition is acceptable and in line with other mid-range kibble options.

Protein 4/5

As we mentioned above, the first ingredient in these recipes is turkey meal. Proteins in meal form are meats that were rendered, then powdered in order to add to pet food recipes.

The Turkey and Sweet Potato recipe features 24% minimum crude protein. This falls in line with AAFCO recommendations for adult dogs, although it is on the low side for highly active dogs. Recent studies have shown that working dogs need around 26% minimum protein [1] and even senior dogs did better with increased protein intake [2]. If you’re feeding an active dog, we recommend adding a high protein topping.

PRO TIP: Using boiled muscle meat, raw innards or even canned fish like sardines or tuna are easy add-ons to bump up the protein.

We’re taking one star off because the protein-to-carbohydrate ratio is skewed towards carbs. This is normal with traditional mid-range kibble, but it has less protein content than we’d recommend for active dogs.

Additives 5/5

This is where Nature’s Domain shines. This is a reasonably affordable food, but the manufacturers have added nice extras:

  • Fruits and vegetables: The recipe we reviewed has tomato pomace, blueberries, raspberries and other fruits. These extras seem to be moderate additions (since they appear after taurine and methionine) and do not make up the bulk of the food. However, the veggies will round up the micronutrient profile of the food and add some extra fibre.
  • Chelated minerals and vitamins: Unlike most dog kibble at this price point, all the minerals in this food are chelated. This means they have gone through a specific process that makes them easier to absorb. Because chelated minerals are more expensive than regular powdered minerals, most manufacturers don’t use it. Chelated minerals tend to signal a high quality ingredient list, and ensure proper nutrient absorption.
  • Prebiotics: Our team appreciated the addition of dried probiotics cultures and ferments. Although these cultures are killed off in the cooking process, their addition serves as food for the good microbes in your dog’s gut. Inclusion of pre and probiotics are generally a sign of a high quality food.

The additives in this food are simple but effective, particularly the use of prebiotics and chelated minerals. Most foods at this price point lack in this department, so we’re giving this food 5 out of 5 in this category.

Variety 2/5

Although this dog food has several recipes available at other Costco’s worldwide, we’re more limited with the selection in Australia. As of the time of writing, Costco Australia only lists one recipe up for sale (Turkey meal and Sweet Potato), without any other option.

If your dog doesn’t particularly like turkey, or you would like to vary the proteins, this food is not for you. Due to the lack of choice, especially considering there are other options available in other countries, we’re giving Nature’s Domain 2 out of 5 in this category.

Price 5/5

As expected for Costco, this kibble is fairly affordable. The company manages to accomplish this by selling the food in large bags exclusively and keeping the ingredient list relatively simple, save from the probiotics and chelated minerals.

We would place this brand firmly in the upper mid-range category, with a price that beats many of its direct competitors. We’re giving Nature’s Domain 5 out of 5 in this category.


Do not buy if…

This kibble is affordable and can be a great choice for many dogs, but you should keep looking if you:

  • Want to prioritise local foods: This dog food is made in the US, then shipped to Australia so its carbon footprint is high. Choosing locally-made dog food is a more sustainable option.
  • Would prefer raw or freeze dried food: Nature’s Domain only offers traditional kibble, meaning the food is cooked twice before being packaged.
  • Are looking for food with live probiotic cultures: Since this food is fully cooked, all probiotics added are killed. These cultures still serve as food for your dog’s gut microbiome, but won’t repopulate the good bacteria.

My Final Verdict

As a whole, Nature’s Domain is a great option if you’re looking for a budget dog food for adult dogs. Even though it has some shortcomings (slightly lower in proteins than other options, and heavy on potatoes), however the great additives make up for it.

This is a good option to add into your rotation, particularly if you also feed raw or freeze dried food the rest of the time.

References

  1. “Protein”. The Kennel Club. Retrieved June 27, 2023. https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/health-and-dog-care/health/health-and-care/a-z-of-health-and-care-issues/protein/
  2. Laflamme, D. (2008). “Pet Food Safety: Dietary Protein” . Topics in Companion Animal Medicine August 2008. Retrieved June 27, 2023. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1938973608000421

Eloisa Thomas


Eloisa Thomas is Gentle Dog Trainers Canine Coach & Anthropologist.

With a double master's degree in Anthropology and awarded a Chancellor's International Scholarship to pursue a PhD in History at the University of Warwick (UK), she's well equipped to write well written and factual canine information that will actually help people understand their dogs better.

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