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Best Lamb Dog Foods: 10 Meaty Diets to Consider in 2022

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There are so many choices when it comes to choosing the best dog food for your pup. Most dog owners want to make sure they are feeding their canine companions high quality and nutrient-dense dog food. One trendy ingredient that has been popping up in many dog foods is lamb. 

According to a new report from Advance Market Analytics, high-protein dog food (like those including lamb), are set to see huge growth by 2027. Lamb-based dog food is a great way to make sure your dog meets their protein needs. Keep reading to learn more about lamb dog food (and lamb puppy food), as well as the best lamb-based diets for dogs on the market. 

Best Lamb Dog Food: 10 Top Picks

All featured products are chosen at the discretion of the author. However, Great Pet Care may make a small affiliate commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Here are 10 of the best lamb dog foods broken down into various categories. 

Best Lamb and Rice Lamb Dog Foods

Purina One Lamb and Rice Dog Food

Purina ONE SmartBlend Natural Adult Lamb & Rice Dry Dog Food

This dry dog lamb food is described as “crunchy kibble.” The first 6 ingredients are: lamb, rice flour, whole grain corn, whole grain wheat, chicken by-product meal, and corn gluten meal. It also contains beef fat. Besides these ingredients, it also has added vitamins and minerals and is incredibly affordable.

Highlights

  • Lamb is the first ingredient
  • Affordably priced
  • Available in many different sizes
  • Contains Omega-6 fatty acids to help skin and coat health

Things to Consider

  • Does contain chicken by-product meal, so it’s not a good option for dogs that are allergic to chicken
  • The kibble has a unique shape and some dogs may not take to it

Kirkland Lamb, Rice and Vegetable Dog Food

Kirkland Signature Natural Formula Dog Food

The first 6 ingredients in this dry lamb dog food include: lamb, lamb meal, whole grain brown rice, ground white rice, rice bran, and egg product. Besides lamb, it also contains chicken fat and fish meal. There are also lots of added veggies and fruit, including: carrots, peas, dried kelp, apples, and cranberries. 

Highlights

  • Lamb and lamb meal are first ingredients
  • Formulated with glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health
  • Omega fatty acids provides skin and coat benefits
  • Is a good option for all breed sizes

Things to Consider

  • Not a good option for dogs with allergies to chicken 
  • As a premium dog food, it is on the expensive side

Best Grain-Free Lamb Dog Food

Zignature Lamb Dog Food

Zignature Limited Ingredient Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

This dry lamb dog food is grain-free, and only contains protein from lamb, making it a good option for dogs with food allergies or trouble with other protein sources. The lamb is sourced from New Zealand and is a high-quality protein. The first 6 ingredients include: Lamb, lamb meal, chickpeas, peas, and sunflower oil (preserved with citric acid). It’s on the expensive side, but is highly rated by pet parents.

Highlights

  • Lamb is the first ingredient and sourced from New Zealand
  • No chicken in this dog food
  • Lots of pet parents have used this for allergies and found success
  • Recent reformulation contains probiotics

Things to Consider

  • It is a grain-free dog food
  • Do your research regarding diet-related cardiomyopathy (DCM). Here is Zignature’s statement and there is no clear evidence that grain-free foods cause DCM in dogs.
  • It is expensive 

Merrick Lamb Dog Food

Merrick Grain Free with Real Meat + Sweet Potato Dry Dog Food

This dry lamb dog food is also grain-free and offers 60% protein and healthy fat and 40% produce, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It comes in pellets, and the first 6 ingredients include: deboned lamb, lamb meal, whitefish meal, sweet potatoes, potatoes and peas. This lamb formulation is packed with Omega 3 and 6 for skin and coat support and also contains glucosamine and chondroitin to help your dog’s joints. 

Highlights

  • Lamb and lamb meal are first ingredients
  • There are no poultry ingredients in this food
  • Contains Omega 3 and 6 for skin and coat health
  • Includes glucosamine and chondroitin for healthy joints
  • Made in the USA

Things to Consider

  • This is a grain-free food
  • A bit on the pricey side, but not the most expensive on our list

Best Lamb and Oatmeal Dog Food

Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Lamb and Oatmeal Dog Food

Wellness Simple Natural Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food, Lamb and Oatmeal Recipe

If you are looking for a high-quality lamb and oatmeal diet to feed your dogs, this one from Wellness is a nice choice. The first three ingredients are lamb, lamb meal, and oatmeal. What more could you want? This grain-free food is formulated for dogs with food sensitivities because it contains a single source of high-quality protein. This Wellness dog food also offers probiotics and prebiotics for healthy digestion and omega fatty acids for skin and coat health.

Highlights

  • First three ingredients are lamb, lamb meal, and oatmeal
  • Formulated for dogs with food sensitivities
  • No chicken or poultry ingredients
  • Includes probiotics and prebiotics
  • Made in the USA

Things to Consider

  • This is a grain-free food
  • It’s an expensive lamb-based dog food
  • It’s made in a facility that also processes grains

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Lamb and Brown Rice Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult Dry Dog Food

This dry lamb dog food is labeled as a brown rice food, but it also contains oatmeal. The first 6 ingredients include: deboned lamb, fish meal, brown rice, oatmeal, barley, and pea starch. It also includes chicken fat and lamb meal. Plus, it offers a nice dose of fruits and veggies like carrots, blueberries, and cranberries. We like this formula because it also offers a blend of calcium, phosphorus, and other minerals to promote strong bones and teeth. Plus, dogs think it’s yummy!

Highlights

  • Deboned lamb is the first ingredient
  • Also contains oatmeal and healthy fruits and vegetables
  • Blend of calcium and phosphorus promotes strong bones and teeth
  • Moderately priced

Things to Consider

  • Not a poultry-free food as it contains chicken fat
  • Some dogs do not like the LifeSource Bits in the food

Best Limited Ingredient Lamb Dog Food

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet Lamb & Brown Rice

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet

This dry lamb dog food is designed for large breeds, which is great if you have a bigger pup. The first 6 ingredients include: lamb, brown rice, lamb meal, brewers rice, rice bran, and brewers dried yeast. Because this is a limited-ingredient dog food, lamb is the only protein source, making it a healthy option for dogs with food sensitivities. In addition to healthy brown rice and essential vitamins, this lamb dog food also offers taurine to help your dog’s heart health.

Highlights

  • Lamb and lamb meal are among the first ingredients
  • Lamb is the only protein source
  • Includes taurine for heart health
  • Made in the USA
  • Tested for food safety and backed by the brands With Confidence Promise

Things to Consider

  • Not meant for small dogs
  • No added glucosamine or chondroitin like some other formulas on our list

Freely Limited Ingredient Lamb Dog Food

Freely Limited Ingredient Diet, Natural Dog lamb food

While they may not have the name recognition of Purina or Blue Buffalo, Freely is doing some interesting things in the pet-food space. And we like this limited-ingredient lamb dog food from the brand because it’s made with healthy whole grains like brown rice, oat groats, and pearled barley. Because this food has one single source of animal protein and lamb is a novel protein, it’s a great option for dogs with food sensitivities.

Highlights

  • One single source of animal protein
  • Lamb is the first ingredient
  • Made with wholesome grains
  • Moderately priced
  • Made in the USA
  • Packaging is made with 30% plant-based material

Things to Consider

  • It does contain salmon oil, so not a fish-free food
  • It’s a newer brand of dog food without a ton of reviews

Best Lamb Puppy Food

Ziwi Peak Air Dried Lamb Dog Food

ZIWI Peak Air-Dried Dog Food – All Natural, High Protein

This limited ingredient lamb dog food is designed for all life stages, which means it’s healthy to feed to puppies and adult dogs. This is a nice lamb-based puppy option, since you won’t have to switch it as your dog ages. This grain-free puppy food offers lamb, lamb heart, lamb tripe, lamb liver, lamb kidney, and lamb lung as its first ingredients. It also includes the green tripe, green mussels, and organic kelp to support digestion and skin and coat health.

Highlights

  • Formulated for all life stages 
  • Lots of lamb-based ingredients in this formula
  • Includes green tripe, green mussels, and kelp for additional benefits
  • Made with sustainably sourced ingredients
  • Unique air-dried formula

Things to Consider

  • This is a grain-free recipe
  • It is not traditional kibble
  • A very pricey dog food

Eukanuba Puppy Dry Lamb Dog Food

Eukanuba Puppy Dry Dog Food Lamb & Rice

This dry lamb dg food is made specifically for puppies. The first 6 ingredients include: lamb, brewers rice, chicken by-product meal, corn meal, ground whole grain sorghum, and fish meal. It also includes lamb meal and chicken fat. This lamb puppy food also contains prebiotics to help with digestion and vitamin E to support a puppy’s developing immune system. 

Highlights

  • Lamb is the first ingredient in this puppy food
  • Prebiotics support digestion
  • Vitamin E provides immune support
  • Specifically formulated for puppies

Things to Consider

  • Does contain chicken by-product meal
  • Meant for puppies under 1-year old

Lamb Dog Food Buying Guide

Happy dog waiting for lamb dog food

With so many brands of lamb dog food on the market, it can be overwhelming to know which one to choose for your pup. So here are 5 tips to help you narrow it down:

Take formulation into account. Lamb dog foods are available in dry, wet, freeze-dried, and raw formulas. Make sure to discuss these options with your veterinarian and decide which one is right for you. 

“I recommend dry formulations for my patients,” says Dr. Andrew Koch, director of operations at Heart + Paw Pet Services. “This helps reduce plaque and dental tartar accumulation when compared with wet formulations. I stay away from raw-based formulations due to the inherent risk of food-borne illness, like vomiting and diarrhea.”

Find a food for your dog’s life stage. Pay attention and make sure the food is approved for your dog’s life stage, says Koch. Foods should be clearly marked for puppies, adults, or seniors. If the food says that it is for “all life stages,” it can be fed safely to dogs of all ages. 

Read customer reviews. “A large amount of positive reviews means the food has been used in many many dogs, and pet parents are pleased with its palatability and overall health effects,” says Dr. Koch.

Research testing procedures. Before buying, do your research to see if the brand you’re interested in conducts feeding trials and third-party testing of their products to ensure safety and quality. “I recommend sticking to product lines where research and development have played an important role in bringing the product to market,” says Dr. Koch.

The World Small Animal Veterinary Association’s (WSAVA) Guidelines on Selecting Pet Foods is a great resource to learn more about how to pick the best (and safest) dog food.

Consider the cost. “The cheapest food is likely lower in quality,” says Dr. Koch. However, that doesn’t mean the priciest lamb-based diet is the best for your dog. “The most expensive food may start to eat (no pun intended) into discretionary funds that could go towards regular vet care and other pet related expenses, like daycare or flea/tick preventatives,” adds Koch.

Lamb Dog Food FAQs

Puppy dog with empty dog food bowl

If you are considering feeding your pup lamb dog food, here are a few frequently asked questions that pet parents may have:

Can Dogs Eat Lamb?

Absolutely! Dogs can eat lamb. “It is high quality, palatable, and is well tolerated by dogs,” says Dr. Koch. Lamb provides dogs with protein and is used by commercial dog food companies as an alternative to other common protein sources like chicken or beef. 

Lamb Vs. Chicken Dog Food: What’s the Difference?

Dr. Koch says that the main difference between lamb and chicken dog food is the protein source—chicken muscle versus sheep muscle. “In my opinion, one is not superior to the other,” he says. “A pet owner may choose one versus the other based on the palatability preferences of their pet or if their pet has had previous ‘issues’ with the protein source.”

He notes that these issues could be related to skin and/or stomach/intestinal symptoms.

Is Lamb Good For Dogs With Allergies?

If your dog struggles with allergies, lamb might be a better option for them in comparison to other protein sources.

“The vast majority of dogs eat chicken, beef or fish as a protein source. The immune system can become sensitized to these proteins over time and overreact to their presence in the body,” says Dr. Koch. “In these dogs, if we switch them to lamb, which many times is ‘novel’ to them, we can see an improvement in ear, skin, stomach or intestinal issues.”

What is Lamb Meal in Dog Food?

If you see the term “lamb meal” in the ingredients list, it’s actually a specific kind of lamb.

“Lamb meal is young sheep muscle tissue that has been dehydrated then ground down into a powder,” explains Dr. Koch. “It maintains its nutritional content–protein, fat, minerals. This is a high quality choice and mixed in with other ingredients (rice, for example), to form a complete and balanced diet.”

Does Lamb Dog Food Cause Gas?

Lamb generally does not cause dogs to have more gas, according to Dr. Koch.

“In my opinion, not more than the other protein sources,” he says. “Microflora and fiber imbalances are more likely to contribute to this, as well as swallowing air in breeds that have trouble breathing (like in English Bulldogs).”

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