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5 Best Lamb Dog Foods: Tasty, Wholesome Meat!

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Dog Food By Ben Team 11 min read September 28, 2020 8 Comments

lamb dog food reviews

Whether your dog is suffering from food allergies and you’re looking for a new protein source, or you are just trying to tempt your picky pup into eating better, lamb-based dog foods are often a great choice for your pup.

Lamb is a valuable protein source in its own right, and many dog food manufacturers now include it in their recipes.

Read further down for more detailed info on the benefits of lamb-based dog food and lamb dog food reviews, or check out our quick guide below:

Best Lamb Dog Food: Quick Picks

  • Taste of the Wild Sierra Canine [Pick #1] Features lamb as sole animal protein, with lamb and lamb meal as first two ingredients for high-protein composition. Grain-free with probiotics to aid in digestion.
  • Zignature Lamb Dog Food [Pick #2] A grain-free formula with lamb as the exclusive animal protein. Lamb and lamb meal are first two ingredients. No common allergens like corn, wheat, chicken or beef.
  • Diamond Naturals Lamb [Most Affordable] This budget-friendly formula features lamb meal as the #1 ingredient, plus three different probiotics.

When Is Lamb a Good Dog Food Choice?

Lamb was historically somewhat rare among commercial dog foods, but it has become more widespread and readily available in recent years.

lamb dog food reviews

It was originally marketed as a hypoallergenic protein, but this is probably because relatively few dogs had eaten lamb-based foods at the time, rather than the meat having any fundamentally hypoallergenic properties.

As explained by AuthorityNutrition, lamb is a red-meat, somewhat similar to beef. It has more iron than white meats like chicken or fish, a full complement of amino acids and both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Cooked lamb is usually about 25% protein by weight.

Some of the best and most common reasons to offer your pooch a lamb-based food include:

  • Your dog is suffering from food allergies. It is often necessary to feed dogs that suffer from food allergies novel protein sources. Many dogs are raised on chicken- or beef-based diets, so lamb is an obvious choice.
  • You are interested in rotating your dog’s foods. Some owners like to rotate their dog’s food periodically in an effort to avoid any nutritional deficiencies or excesses. Lamb makes an excellent choice in such circumstances, as it offers a slightly different nutritional profile from the other commonly used protein sources.
  • You have a dog with a picky palate. All dogs are individuals, but many seem to love lamb. Accordingly, it is often a smart choice for dogs that turn their nose up at most other foods.

Characteristics of a High-Quality Lamb Dog Food

Regardless of the brand (or protein) you wish to purchase, it is important to provide your pooch with a safe and healthy food. Accordingly, it is important to keep the following thoughts in mind when making your selection:

  • High-quality dog foods rarely contain unnecessary additives, such as artificial dyes or flavors. Artificial colors are used solely for your peace of mind (your dog doesn’t care what color his food is), and good foods do not require artificial flavors.
  • Look for foods that are fortified with omega fatty acids and antioxidants. Additionally, if you are concerned that your dog may develop arthritis or other joint-related problems, select a food with glucosamine or chondroitin.
  • Avoid foods that contain unidentified meat meals or byproducts. “Lamb meal,” for example, would be fine, but “meat meal” and “animal meal” are not good ingredients. Byproducts – as long as they are identified by species – are not necessarily problematic, although they may contain anatomical parts that humans find unpalatable and are generally less desirable than meat-meals.
  • Always look for foods that are manufactured in the United States, Canada, Western Europe, Australia or New Zealand. These nations have strict food-safety guidelines in place, which provides you with some extra protection against unwanted ingredients showing up in your pup’s food. Fortunately, most lamb used in dog food is sourced from the USA or New Zealand.
  • Lamb (preferably fresh, de-boned lamb) should be the first listed ingredient, although foods that list lamb meal as the first ingredient can also be nutritionally sound. Avoid foods that list a carbohydrate as the first ingredient.
best lamb dog food

Best Lamb Dog Foods: Our Top Picks

The following five dog foods are made with lamb and provide the nutrition your pup needs. Remember to take your dog’s specific needs – especially his life stage and any health concerns — into account before making a choice.

1. Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food

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Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food

Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain

High-protein, grain-free, and made in the USA

Easily digestible dog food featuring lamb and lamb meal as the first two ingredients, with lamb as the sole animal protein source.

About: Taste of the Wild Sierra Canine Formula is a premium, lamb-based dog food, made from high-quality ingredients and little else. For example, it includes colorful and anti-oxidant-rich fruits, but it leaves out the grains that characterize many substandard foods.

Features:

  • Fortified with probiotics to help ensure smooth and problem-free digestion
  • Because Taste of the Wild is made in the USA, you can be confident it is made under the strictest safety protocols
  • Made with delicious and nutritious fruits and vegetables, including blueberries, raspberries, peas and tomatoes
  • Taste of the Wild contains Omega-fatty acids to help support a healthy coat

PROS

Taste of the Wild is an excellent option for owners who want to provide their pup with a high-quality, easily digested food that is packed with important vitamins, minerals and beneficial supplements, and yet contains no grains or soy. Because the recipe includes probiotics, it is one of the best choices for dogs with sensitive stomachs.

CONS

Taste of the Wild is one of the higher priced foods included on our list, but foods that are manufactured in the USA and made with high-quality ingredients are almost always more expensive than those that are not. Nevertheless, it is probably not the ideal dog food choice for budget-minded shoppers.

Ingredients List

Lamb, lamb meal, sweet potatoes, egg product, lentils...,

peas, pea flour, canola oil, potatoes, dried yeast, roasted lamb, tomato pomace, natural flavor, 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 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.

2. Zignature Grain Free Lamb Dry Dog Food

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Zignature Grain Free Lamb Dry Dog Food

Zignature Grain Free Lamb

Grain-free formula with lamb as the exclusive animal protein

Real lamb is the #1 ingredient and sole protein in this limited-ingredient formula designed for dogs with allergy issues.

About: Zignature Dog Food is a delicious and nutritious food that does not include any of the most common allergens, including corn, wheat, chicken or beef. Additionally, it is made with only natural flavors and preservatives.

Features:

  • Designed to be extremely palatable for dogs, which many picky dogs find appealing
  • Includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, including blueberries, carrots and cranberries
  • Real lamb is the first listed ingredient; lamb meal is the second
  • Higher fiber content than most comparable dog foods, which helps promote proper gastrointestinal function

PROS

Zignature is a reasonably priced, limited ingredient dog food that is both nutritious and delicious. It does not include all of the bells and whistles some other lamb-based foods do (such as pro-biotics and additional omega fatty acids), but it is a great choice for healthy dogs – particularly those who demand gourmet-quality food.

CONS

Zignature is a high-quality dog food, but you’ll have to pay for this quality – it is a little more expensive than many of the other foods in our list. Additionally, it does not include any pro-biotics, which is disappointing given that this is such an otherwise-awesome food.

Ingredients List

Lamb, Lamb Meal, Peas, Pea Flour, Pea Protein...,

Flaxseed, Chickpeas, Natural Flavors, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Sunflower Oil (preserved with Citric Acid), Dried Beet Pulp, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Chloride, Salt, Chorine Chloride, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Cobalt Proteinate), Vitamins (Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement), Blueberries, Carrots, Cranberries, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite. Naturally preserved with Mixed Tocopherols.

3. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Lamb & Brown Rice

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Blue Buffalo Life Protection Adult Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Lamb & Brown Rice

Budget-friendly lamb-based dog food

This budget-friendly recipe features lamb as the primary ingredient, along with healthy grains like oatmeal and barley. Plus, has probiotics for improved digestion.

About: Blue Buffalo Life Protection is a high-quality dog food available at a reasonable price. De-boned lamb is the primary ingredient, but it is also full of other healthy items, like spinach, cranberries and pomegranate, to ensure your dog benefits from a broad selection of vitamins and minerals.

Features:

  • Made in the USA, which ensures it has been made under stricter safety protocols than many substandard foods
  • Includes probiotics for improved digestion and gastrointestinal health
  • Fortified with Omega-6-rich sunflower oil which may provide benefits for your dog’s skin and coat
  • Contains no soy, wheat, corn or any artificial flavors, colors or additives

PROS

Blue Buffalo is a great option for any dog owner looking for a food made with the best ingredients possible. Unlike some other lamb-based foods, Blue Buffalo is made from fresh lamb, rather than lamb meal. Most dogs love the taste of Blue Buffalo, while dog owners love its reasonable price tag.

CONS

Like some other lamb-based foods, Blue Buffalo does include other proteins – in this case turkey meal – that make it unsuitable for dogs with allergies to poultry.

Ingredients List

Deboned Lamb, Oatmeal, Whole Ground Barley, Turkey Meal, Whole Ground Brown Rice...,

Peas, Tomato Pomace (source of Lycopene),Flaxseed (source of Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids),Natural Flavor, Canola Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols),Alfalfa Meal, Whole Potatoes, Sunflower Oil (source of Omega 6 Fatty Acids),Whole Carrots, Whole Sweet Potatoes, Blueberries, Cranberries, Apples, Blackberries, Pomegranate, Spinach, Pumpkin, Barley Grass, Dried Parsley, Garlic, Dried Kelp, Yucca schidigera Extract, L-Carnitine, L-Lysine, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Turmeric, Dried Chicory Root, Oil of Rosemary, Beta Carotene, Calcium Carbonate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1),Riboflavin (Vitamin B2),Niacin (Vitamin B3),d-Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5),Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6),Biotin (Vitamin B7),Folic Acid (Vitamin B9),Vitamin B12 Supplement, Calcium Ascorbate (source of Vitamin C),Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Choline Chloride, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate, Salt, Caramel, Potassium Chloride, Dried Yeast (source of Saccharomyces cerevisiae),Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, Dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation product, Dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product

4. Diamond Naturals Lamb

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Diamond Naturals Lamb

Diamond Naturals Lamb

Budget-friendly, grain-inclusive food

This dog food features lamb as the #1 ingredient, with white rice and pearled barley for the carbohydrate source.

About: Diamond Naturals Lamb Dog Food is a reasonably priced, yet nutritious dog food that contains all of the important supplements you could want, including probiotics, antioxidants and omega fatty acids.

Features:

  • Fortified with three different probiotics to help support digestive function and promote healthy gut flora
  • Lamb and rice make for an easily digested protein source, making it perfect for dogs with sensitive stomachs
  • Supplemented with vitamins, minerals and antioxidant-rich ingredients to ensure balanced nutrition

PROS

It is hard to find many foods that have as many beneficial supplements as Diamond Naturals at a similar price point. Additionally, it is packed with nutritious fruits and vegetables, such as kale, oranges and papaya, making it an excellent choice for pet owners who want a premium, lamb-based food without the premium price tag.

CONS

Diamond naturals uses lamb meal, rather than fresh lamb as the primary ingredient. Additionally, chicken fat is included in the recipe, making it unacceptable for some dogs with food allergies.

Ingredients List

Lamb Meal, Ground White Rice, Cracked Pearled Barley, Peas, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), Dried Beet Pulp...,

Egg product, fish meal, natural flavor, flaxseed, potassium chloride, salt, choline chloride, dried chicory root, l-carnitine, kale, chia seed, pumpkin, blueberries, oranges, quinoa, dried kelp, coconut, spinach, carrots, papaya, Yucca schidigera extract, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus reuteri fermentation product, vitamin E supplement, beta carotene, 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.

5. Natural Balance L.I.D. Lamb & Brown Rice Formula

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Natural Balance Lamb and Brown Rice Formula

Natural Balance Lamb and Brown Rice Formula

Easy-to-digest limited-ingredient recipe

Lamb-based diet with a limited ingredient list designed to leave out ingredients that could exacerbate allergies.

About: Natural Balance Lamb and Brown Rice Formula contains most of the important things your dog needs in his diet, without including any of the unnecessary fillers and additives many other dog foods do. Most dogs find Natural Balance both easy to digest and delicious.

Features:

  • Natural Balance contains no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives to avoid unnecessary health problems
  • Made with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to help protect your dog’s joints, skin and immune function
  • Unlike some other LID foods, Natural Balance is appropriate for dogs of all ages
  • You can purchase with confidence, thanks to Natural Balance’s 100% satisfaction guarantee

PROS

Natural Balance is a nutritious, yet reasonably priced food that most dogs appear to enjoy. While it makes a good choice for just about any owner seeking a lamb-based diet, it is especially valuable for dogs who suffer from food allergies.

CONS

There aren’t any probiotics included among Natural Balance’s ingredients. If your dog has an especially sensitive stomach, he may be better served by an option that is fortified with these beneficial bacteria, such as Taste of the Wild. Additionally, lamb meal, rather than lamb is the first listed ingredient.

Ingredients List

Lamb Meal, Brown Rice, Ground White Rice, Rice Bran, Canola Oil...,

Lamb, Tomato Pomace, Natural Flavor, Sodium Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Natural Mixed Tocopherols, Taurine, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B-1), Manganese Proteinate, Manganous Oxide, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Riboflavin (Vitamin B-2), Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Folic Acid.

***

These are a few of the best lamb-based dog foods available, and any of these would make a wise choice for your pup. Just remember to examine the ingredients carefully and select the best food for your individual dog.

Finding the perfect dog food is a trial and error process. Try one and see how your dog responds!

Have you found an ideal lamb-based dog food? We’d love to hear all about it in the comments below. What made you fall in love with the brand and product you use? Let us know!

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Written by

Ben Team

Ben is the senior content editor for K9 of Mine and has spent most of his adult life working as a wildlife educator and animal-care professional. Ben’s had the chance to work with hundreds of different species, but his favorite animals have always been dogs. He currently lives in Atlanta, GA with his spoiled-rotten Rottweiler named J.B. Chances are, she’s currently giving him the eyes and begging to go to the park.

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8 Comments

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ellie

I’ve been using Open Farm. The ingredients are way better than these. It is on the expensive side however.

Reply
Ben Team

Thanks for the tip, Ellie. We’ll check it out!

Reply
Kathy Swanson

I have been using FirstMate grain friendly lamb at the recommendation of my veterinarian after loosing one of my dogs to DCM. My other dogs love it and it is a healthy blend for all life stages. It is dense and doesn’t swell in water. My dogs look and feel great. It is manufactured in Canada in a human grade facility.

Reply
Mary Mead-Cantrell

4 of your 5 top picks are on the list to avoid:
The FDA is currently investigating more than 500 reports that appear to link dog foods that are marketed as “grain free” to canine dilated cardiomyopathy. The FDA has been warning about the foods based on peas, lentils or potatoes since July 2018, but the statement released late last week is the first time the agency has identified the 16 brand names.

The brands are ordered by the number of cases linked to them, which ranged from a high of 67 to 10:

Acana
Zignature
Taste of the Wild
4Health
Earthborn Holistic
Blue Buffalo
Nature’s Domain
Fromm
Merrick
California Natural
Natural Balance
Orijen
Nature’s Variety
NutriSource
Nutro
Rachael Ray Nutrish

Reply
Ben Team

Hey, Mary.
You’re right about the FDA’s list, but it is important to note that while correlation has been demonstrated, these foods have not been shown to cause DCM. That sounds like an academic distinction, but it’s actually quite important.They may ultimately demonstrate causality, but they haven’t yet.
We cover the issue in depth in a recent article about the link between taurine deficiencies and DCM. Go check it out!

Reply
Kathy

I lost a dog about a year ago to DCM who had been on a grain free diet most of her life heavy in peas, lentils, legumes and potatoes as fillers. The studies are showing that these fillers may be blocking the absorption of taurine which in turn is contributing to this heart problem. Become a label reader and consider staying away from diets using these fillers until the studies are complete. Many of the dog food companies on this list have foods without these fillers. I for one will never feed a diet with these fillers ever again but I am super sensitive after loosing one of my beloved girls. Please don’t take a chance!

Reply
Rae Kenney

I use Iams lamb & rice. Less expensive no issues

Reply
Gregory Martin

What about Nutro Essentials Lamb and rice?

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