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29 July 2023


Is Lamb Good for Dogs? Reasons to Feed Your Dog Lamb Meat

Lamb isn’t just for dogs with sensitive stomachs! This rich but gentle protein is packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and flavor for an unparalleled nutritional experience your pup will beg for.

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Lamb is more than a special protein you share once a year at the holiday table. This red meat protein is also a fantastic—often overlooked—addition to your dog’s dish. Lamb-based dog food is an excellent option for pups with food allergies or sensitivities and picky eaters. Read on to learn more why, when, and how to share this delicious and gentle protein with your favorite pup.

When Is Lamb a Good Protein Choice for Your Dog?

Your Dog Has Food Allergies or Sensitivities

The most common food allergies in dogs are beef, dairy, wheat, egg, chicken, lamb, soy, pork, rabbit, and fish. While lamb is a known allergen for some dogs, it is considered a suitable protein for pups with chicken or fish allergies. 

Originally, lamb was an uncommon ingredient in dog food and therefore a unique protein for dogs with allergies to chicken or beef. This gave dog owners the incorrect impression that lamb was hypoallergenic, which it is not. Now that lamb is a common protein, lamb-based allergies have also increased, forcing manufacturers to seek more exotic (i.e., novel) proteins for their allergy or sensitive diets.

If your pup does have allergies (or you think they might) consult your vet or a specialist to help you get allergy testing and select an appropriate food for your pup. Eliminating allergens is only one part of picking good food. You want to consider your dog’s age, breed, energy level, and weight when you create their perfect diet. You also want to ensure your dog is getting the right vitamins and minerals to keep them healthy.

Your Pup Is a Picky Eater

Is your pup turning up their nose at mealtime despite your efforts to tempt them with new kibble or wet food? If your dog isn’t excited about eating, visit your veterinarian to rule out dental issues and pain, then consider offering a lamb-based food. Lamb’s rich flavor and aroma may be enough to persuade your picky eater.

Senior dogs and dogs recovering from illness may struggle with bouts of decreased appetite. If your picky pup routinely eats dry food, try Ollie’s wet or fresh lamb recipes instead. The fresh flavors, soft texture, and increased moisture provide increased palatability and make our foods easier to eat. Ollie is proud to offer fresh meals for dogs that contain real lamb, chicken, beef, and other proteins to keep dogs healthy and thriving. 

Ollie Recipe Spotlight: Fresh Lamb with Cranberries

4 Characteristics of High-Quality Lamb Dog Food

1. Lamb Is the First Ingredient

Dog food manufacturers are required to list their ingredients in order by volume. Therefore, the first ingredient is the ingredient that is most prominent in that food. High-quality food will list lamb or lamb meal as the first ingredient. One additional note, some dog food companies list ingredients by multiple names to allow them to fall lower on the ingredient list. This practice is called ingredient splitting. Read the label of your pet’s food carefully to ensure you aren’t being deceived.

2. Loaded with Omega Fatty Acids

Omega fatty acids keep your pup healthy inside and out—right down to their shiny coat. High-quality dog food—lamb or otherwise—will have sufficient omegas for your pup. If you’re concerned that your dog’s food doesn’t contain enough omega-3 fatty acids, consult your vet to determine if supplemental omega-3’s are the right choice for your dog.

3. Contains Antioxidants

Antioxidants keep your pup healthy by eliminating harmful free radicals—destructive molecules which are linked to some cancer types. High-quality dog food will contain plenty of antioxidants!

4. No Unnecessary Additives

When searching for a high-quality dog food, select one that doesn’t contain unnecessary additives or preservatives. Although dry dog food must include some preservatives to keep it shelf-stable, look for a recipe that uses natural preservatives and as few as possible. If the label is full of chemicals or unrecognizable ingredients, consult your vet or select another food. There are many food types and brands to consider, so check with an independent reviewer such as Dog Food Advisor to get unbiased dog food information.

Read more: Best Food for Dogs with Sensitive Stomachs & Digestive Issues

How to Serve Lamb to Your Pup

The easiest way to add lamb to your pup’s diet is to feed a high-quality dog food that features lamb as the first ingredient. At Ollie, we’ve created a delicious Lamb recipe that satisfies your dog’s health and their taste buds. We blend human-grade lamb along with other amazing ingredients such as kale, butternut squash, and cranberries to offer your pup a meal packed with flavor and the nutrients they need. We bet your pup will be excited every time they see their Ollie Puptainer come out of the refrigerator!

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If you are cooking lamb meat for your dog, drain off as much of the fat as you can. This will prevent diarrhea, vomiting, and pancreatitis—an emergency condition that occurs when dogs consume too much fat. As with any new food, gradually introduce lamb in small quantities to ensure your pup tolerates it. Start slowly and make the transition over a few days.

Lamb Benefits for Dogs

In addition to being an excellent protein source for dogs, lamb also provides increased quantities of important nutrients for total body support. These include:

  • Dietary fats — Lamb is higher in dietary fat than other traditional dog food proteins. Healthy fats fuel your dog’s activities, insulate vital organs, and aid in vitamin absorption.
  • Vitamin B12 — This vitamin supports healthy brain, nerve, and blood cell function and helps build DNA.
  • Zinc — Zinc is a multi-purpose mineral that aids in growth and development, DNA synthesis, wound healing, and immune system support.
  • Selenium — This trace mineral acts like an antioxidant, helping to protect against cell injury, damage, and conditions such as cancer and heart disease.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids — Compared to beef, lamb contains 20% more omega-3 fatty acids, a polyunsaturated fat that supports cell membrane health, reduces inflammation  (i.e., protects against arthritis, allergies, and other chronic inflammation), and promotes skin and coat health.

Can Dogs Eat Lamb Organ Meat?

Organ meats such as liver, heart, kidney, or spleen are concentrated vitamin and mineral sources. Each organ type contains a unique nutrient boost for dogs which may include taurine, iron, zinc, potassium, copper, super enzyme CoQ10, and vitamins A, D, and E. 

But because these organs are so incredibly rich, they should only be fed in small portions to avoid excessive nutrients or digestive upset. Ollie’s lamb recipe includes a precise amount of lamb liver for added flavor and nutrition.

Whether your pup prefers lamb, chicken, turkey, beef or pork, dogs love meat. If your dog doesn’t have food allergies or sensitivities, try adding or rotating different meats into your dog’s diet for well-rounded nutrition and flavor variety. 

At Ollie, we understand the enormous health benefits that come from feeding lamb to your dog, so we provide fresh lamb recipes with a blend of fruits and veggies to ensure your pup gets the complete and balanced nutrition they need to stay healthy. Learn more about how Ollie works or take a quick quiz to discover the recipes that are right for your pup!

The Ollie blog is devoted to helping pet parents lead healthier lives with their pups. If you want to learn more about our fresh, human-grade food, check out MyOllie.com.

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