Most people think of lamb as a leg or a rack of lamb you eat for a holiday meal, lamb chops butlered at a fancy cocktail party or in tacos at a Mexican restaurant but there are many other great ways to prepare lamb. You can even make patties from ground lamb and grill them like hamburgers!
Did you know many dogs enjoy eating lamb or that lamb is often used as a protein source for dogs who suffer from food allergies? Learn more about when and how to share this delicious protein with your pup!
When is lamb a good protein choice for your dog?
1. Your dog has food allergies or sensitivities
When it comes to pups and food allergies, the most common allergens are beef, dairy, wheat, egg, chicken, lamb, soy, pork, rabbit, and fish. While lamb is on this list, it is a suitable protein for dogs that are allergic to chicken or fish. Many people believe that lamb is hypoallergenic. This is not true. It was initially used for pups with food allergies since it was not a commonly fed protein and dogs were not developing allergies to it. Now, it is much more common to see lamb in dog food, so food manufacturers are choosing other exotic proteins.
If your pup does have allergies (or you think they might) consult your vet or a specialist to help you get to the bottom of it and select 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.
2. Your pup is a picky eater
Is your pup turning up his nose at mealtimes? Have you tried multiple kinds of kibble or wet food? If you are having trouble getting your dog excited about mealtime, rule out dental issues or pain first, but consider offering food made from lamb. Some picky eaters enjoy the rich smells and flavors. If your pup is older or has been sick, this can lead to decreased appetite. Consider wet or fresh food instead of dry as it can be more appealing to your pup as well as easier to eat.
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 ingredent that is most prominent in that food. A high quality food will list lamb or lamb meal as the first ingredient. One note, a sneaky thing some companies do is call ingredients by multiple names to allow them to fall further down the ingredient list. This practice is called ingredient splitting. You want to 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 and their coats shiny. A good food (lamb or otherwise) will have enough omegas for your pup. If you’re concerned, consult your vet and see if supplementing is the right choice for your dog.
3. Contains antioxidants
Antioxidants help keep your pup healthy by helping them eliminate free radicals. This is believed to help prevent some forms of cancer. High-quality dog food will contain plenty of antioxidants!
4. Does not contain unnecessary additives
When looking for a high quality food, choose a food that does not have unncessary additives or preservatives. While dry food does need some preservatives to keep it shelf stable, try to find a food that uses natural preservatives and as few as possible. If the label is full of chemicals or ingredients you don’t know, consult your vet or choose another food. There are many types of food and brands to consider. You can check with an independent reviewer like Dog Food Advisor to get unbiased information about dog food.
How to serve lamb to your pup
Find a high-quality dog food that contains lamb. This is probably the easiest way to add lamb to your pup’s diet. At Ollie, we have created a delicious Lamb recipe to share with your pup. We blend human grade lamb along with other amazing ingredients like kale, butternut squash, and cranberries to offer your pup something that is delicious and packed with nutrients they need. We bet your pup will be excited every time they see the Puptainer come out of the refrigerator.
If you are cooking lamb for your dog at home, remember to drain off as much of the fat as you can. Allowing your dog to have too much fat can lead to diarrhea, vomiting or in extreme cases pancreatitis . Like with any new food, introduce lamb slowly to make sure that your pup tolerates it. Start slowly and make the transition over a few days.
Whether it is chicken, turkey, beef or pork, dogs tend to love meat. If your dog doesn’t have food allergies or sensitivities you can try adding or rotating different meats into your dog’s diet. If you choose to feed Ollie's fresh food, ask about trying different recipes.
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.