You’ve seen the most common meats on dog food packages: chicken, beef, turkey, and maybe even bison. But have you ever considered feeding your dog lamb?
Lamb is an excellent protein source, yet consumers and manufacturers often overlook it. It’s also easier to tolerate than many other protein sources, making it an excellent choice for pups with food allergies.
If you want to give your dog something new, a lamb recipe may be just what the doctor ordered, but unfortunately, the quality of lamb dog foods can be all over the map.
In the reviews below, we’ll discuss our favorite recipes so you can be sure to give your dog a nutritional meal.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2024
|Ollie Fresh Dog Food Lamb recipe
|Click to Save 50%
|I and Love and You Lamb & Bison Recipe Dry Dog Food
|American Journey Lamb Dry Puppy Food
|Zignature Lamb Limited Ingredient Formula Dry Dog Food
|Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Lamb Recipe Adult Dry Dog Food
The 10 Best Lamb Dog Foods
1. Ollie Fresh Dog Food Lamb Recipe — Best Overall
Ollie is a dog food company that specializes in home-cooked human-grade dog food. It allows pet owners to select the best dog food, frequency of delivery, and optional add-ons. Ollie collaborates with veterinarians and nutritionists to ensure its food contains all the nutrients your dog requires to thrive.
The recipes contain only high-quality ingredients and are appropriate for all life stages, including puppies and senior dogs. Ollie’s Fresh Lamb recipe with lamb, cranberries, and butternut squash is ideal for dogs with sensitive stomachs, allergies, or sensitivities.
Lamb is the first ingredient; it’s high in essential amino acids and low in fat. The recipe is packed with other fresh ingredients like kale, which is a superfood rich in vitamins and minerals that supports a healthy immune system and promotes a healthy coat.
Ollie does not use corn, wheat, or soy fillers; all its recipes are free of artificial flavors, preservatives, and by-products.
2. I and Love and You Naked Essentials Lamb & Bison Recipe — Best Value
While lamb is the first listed ingredient on each bag of I and Love and You Naked Essentials, it’s far from the only meat inside; the formula has six different animal sources. That’s a tremendous amount of meat for a food in this price range, and it makes this kibble a no-brainer pick for the best lamb dog food for the money.
The protein level is impressive, too, at 30%. To be fair, some of that comes from pea protein, which dogs don’t digest well. However, the price tag is even more impressive when you realize that the food contains exotic meat like bison, not to mention omega-rich fish meal.
The kibble isn’t just packed to the gills with meat, either. You’ll find peas, chickpeas, lentils, sweet potatoes, and flaxseeds. You’ll also notice an array of probiotics at the end of the list. Besides the pea protein, our only quibble is the salt content. It’s on the high side, but unless your dog has health issues, it shouldn’t be a deal-breaker for I and Love and You Naked Essentials.
3. American Journey Lamb Puppy Dry Dog Food
If you have a little pup that you want to get started on a lamb-based dog food, American Journey provides a fantastic recipe for growing dogs. It’s high in protein, which all puppies need, and has a lot of fiber. The fat levels are lower than we’d like, however.
In addition to the lamb, you’ll find chicken and turkey meal, fish meal, and chicken fat. The fruits and vegetables make this food stand out, and it has blueberries, kelp, sweet potatoes, chickpeas, carrots, and more.
There are also quite a few added vitamins and minerals, like vitamin E, taurine, zinc, and niacin, all of which are important for puppies. Of course, it’s not a great food for adult dogs, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better puppy kibble than this American Journey formula.
4. Zignature Lamb Limited Ingredient Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
There’s not much inside each bag of Zignature Lamb Limited Ingredient, ingredients-wise, but what is in each bag is exceptional. Lamb and lamb meal are the first two ingredients, ensuring your dog gets every part of the animal. That means they won’t miss out on any essential nutrients since the lamb meal provides vitamins and minerals that aren’t found in leaner cuts of meat.
There’s sunflower oil and flaxseed, and your dog will get plenty of omega fatty acids. Peas and chickpeas are the primary veggies and boast a robust nutritional profile. The manufacturer included additional taurine, which is an amino acid that’s essential for heart health.
Zignature uses relatively few ingredients, so it’ll be as good for your pup’s tummy as for their ticker. You’ll pay a premium for this recipe, but we feel it’s worth it.
5. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Lamb Recipe Dry Dog Food
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula has a well-balanced assortment of fruits and veggies to compliment the lamb, but we wish it had a little more protein inside. The overall protein levels are a mere 22%, making it a better choice for aging dogs than active ones.
That number is low even though it has lamb, lamb meal, fish meal, and chicken fat inside, not to mention a dollop of pea protein (which we feel that they could omit entirely). It also includes an impressive array of fruits and vegetables.
You’ll find oatmeal, brown rice, kelp, sweet potatoes, carrots, flaxseed, and more in each bag. There are also LifeSource Bits sprinkled in, which are the company’s proprietary blend of vitamins and minerals. They provide an excellent health boost, but many dogs don’t care for how they taste.
All in all, Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula is a good kibble, but it needs a little more protein to make the leap to greatness.
6. Rachael Ray Nutrish PEAK Grain-Free Natural Open Range Recipe Dry Dog Food
Rachael Ray Nutrish PEAK is a budget brand that packs the nutritional wallop of a much more expensive food. This kibble could have seriously challenged the top spot without the inclusion of a few ingredients.
Our biggest issues are the heavy-handed use of potatoes, which can give many dogs gas, and a reliance on pea protein. The kibble pieces are also extremely large, so this may not be a great choice for smaller dogs.
Another reason Nutrish PEAK sits lower on the list is that it’s not purely lamb. Beef is the first ingredient, and you’ll also find fish meal, chicken meal, and venison. Still, lamb and lamb meal feature prominently on the ingredients list, and it all adds up to a large amount of protein—30%, to be exact.
There’s beet pulp for fiber, flaxseed and fish meal for omega fatty acids, and cranberries for just about any other vitamin that you can think of. You’ll even find added vitamins and minerals like vitamin E, biotin, and niacin inside. It all adds up to a great food at a great price. With a few tweaks to the recipe, Rachael Ray Nutrish PEAK could find itself climbing this list in the future.
7. Natural Balance L.I.D. Lamb & Brown Rice Formula Dry Dog Food
Natural Balance L.I.D. is a limited-ingredient formula that’s excellent for dogs with sensitive digestive systems. Unfortunately, in trying to keep their ingredients list down, they neglected to add a few important components. Lamb and lamb meal make up the first two ingredients, but despite that, the overall protein levels are a mere 22%.
Varieties of rice take up three of the top five spots, making us believe that they use a practice called “ingredient splitting.” That is where a manufacturer will call the same ingredient by different names to drive it down the list, making it look less plentiful than it is.
The fat levels are also low, and there’s too much salt inside. There’s still much to like about Natural Balance, however. It should be gentle on your dog’s stomach, and several vitamins are included. We also like that the formula is gluten-free.
Natural Balance L.I.D. may be a great way to go easy on their digestive tract if you have a dog with a touchy tummy. Otherwise, we think you can find a better brand for the money.
8. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Lamb & Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food
Nutro Wholesome Essentials is another food that likely uses the ingredient-splitting technique to disguise how much lamb is inside it. However, it has enough going for it otherwise to earn a spot on this list. We suspect ingredient splitting because the first two ingredients are lamb and chicken meal, yet the protein levels sit at a paltry 21%.
It’s hard to keep the protein percentage that low if real meat makes up most of your recipe. After those two ingredients, you’ll find a large amount of rice. There are plenty of other grains, like oats and sorghum, with a dash of peas thrown in for good measure.
That should make the formula easy to digest but may spike your dog’s insulin levels. There’s little fiber included, and we’d like to see more omega fatty acids.
However, it is loaded with glucosamine and chondroitin, making it suitable for aging dogs or those with joint issues. Overall, Nutro Wholesome Essentials is a decent food that should be better.
9. Purina O.N.E. SmartBlend Lamb Formula Dry Dog Food
Reading the ingredients list for Purina O.N.E. SmartBlend is a bit of a rollercoaster ride, and for every high-quality ingredient, there’s at least one of dubious merit. Lamb is the first ingredient, and there must be quite a bit inside since the protein level sits at a respectable 26%.
After the lamb, however, you’ll find plenty of corn, wheat, and soy, which are cheap fillers that manufacturers use instead of better (and more expensive) ingredients. Those fillers are also packed with empty calories and have little nutritional value, so they’re a great way to fatten your dog up without giving them much benefit in return.
They may also upset your pup’s stomach. Rounding out the cavalcade of things that you don’t want your dog eating are chemicals like artificial liver flavoring and caramel coloring. Purina O.N.E. SmartBlend is a decent enough option if you’re primarily concerned with the amount of protein your dog’s getting, but other brands can give them more protein without the additives.
10. Iams ProActive Health Adult Lamb & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food
Iams ProActive Health may be worth consideration for budget-friendly shoppers, but it uses far too many objectionable ingredients to earn a hearty recommendation from us. Real lamb is the first ingredient, but it is followed immediately by chicken by-product, and further down the list, you’ll find wheat, corn, and artificial coloring.
There’s no soy, but ProActive Health makes up for that by adding eggs, which often cause digestive problems in dogs. The nutritional levels don’t justify feeding your dog all those questionable additives since they’re mediocre across the board. The recipe is grain-heavy as well, which can cause blood sugar spikes.
All of this adds up to a decent-but-not-good food. Iams ProActive Health will probably do in a pinch, but we recommend finding something healthier to feed your dog.
Buyer’s Guide: Finding the Best Lamb Dog Food
If you don’t know anything about feeding your dog lamb, it can be difficult to find one suitable for feeding your pup. You may not even know why you should feed your dog lamb at all. In the guide below, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about feeding your pup lamb-based food.
Is Lamb Dog Food Good For Dogs?
Lamb is high in protein and healthy fats yet gentle on sensitive stomachs. As a result, it tends to be a good choice for just about any pooch. Not only that, but dogs usually love the taste.
It makes for a nice respite from all the chicken and beef recipes out there, and many picky pups will eat lamb after turning their noses up at other foods. Despite all those advantages, it’s not as expensive as other exotic meats. Most lamb-based foods are well within the average owner’s price range.
Are There Any Downsides to Feeding Your Dog Lamb?
Yes. It’s not as popular as other meat sources, so your options will be more limited. For example, it can be much harder to find a lamb-based food than one made with chicken. Also, lamb is high in saturated fat.
That’s not a huge deal if your dog is active, but if you have an overweight pup, you may want to give them something less fattening. Finally, lamb has little taurine in it.
Taurine is essential for heart health, so you want to ensure your dog gets all they need. If you’re switching to a lamb-based food, ensure it has enough taurine for your pup.
What Else Should You Look for in a Lamb-Based Food?
We recommend avoiding foods with cheap fillers like corn, wheat, and soy. They are packed with empty calories and bring nothing to the table regarding nutrition; many dogs have trouble digesting them. Beyond that, check to ensure your pup has enough protein, fat, and fiber.
We also like to check the levels of essential nutrients like omega fatty acids, glucosamine, and chondroitin. The ingredients label should be full of ingredients you can pronounce. Generally, if it’s healthy for you, it should be good for your dog, too. Look for high-quality fruits and veggies, and avoid anything that seems like it was put in merely to save the manufacturer a few bucks.
Ollie Fresh Dog Food Lamb recipe is our favorite lamb-based dog food; it’s gentle on sensitive stomachs and full of quality ingredients. If you want something more budget-friendly, try I and Love and You Naked Essentials. Despite its low price, it’s full of quality meat and veggies.
Finding a high-quality dog food is challenging under the best circumstances, but it’s especially difficult when you’re unfamiliar with the primary ingredient involved. We hope these reviews have made it easier for you to find lamb dog food that your pup will be happy to eat and that you’ll be happy to buy for them.