Can Dogs Eat Lamb?
Nutritional Benefits of Lamb in Dog Food
Lamb is an excellent source of high-quality protein and essential amino acids, which are vital nutrients for your dog. Protein is critical to build, heal and maintain body tissues and to protect and regulate body processes (e.g., immune function, etc.). Protein is essential for muscle, skin and hair coat and is also used by the body to make antibodies for the immune system and hormones like insulin.
Lamb, like other meat sources, provides dietary fats, which serve as a source of energy and help transport essential fat-soluble vitamins. Plus, many dogs love foods with the taste of lamb.
What Is Lamb Meal and Why Is it Used in Dog Food?
If you’re looking at the label on your dog’s food, you may notice an ingredient called “lamb meal” and wonder how lamb meal is different from lamb. Both are, as their names state, sourced from lamb, but the difference lies in how the two are processed.
Lamb, as an ingredient, is described as the muscle tissue of a young sheep. Lamb meal, made from lamb, is processed, condensed and repackaged at a rendering facility before being included as an ingredient in pet foods. During this process, most of the water is removed, thus, it provides a highly concentrated source of protein and other essential nutrients to your dog. Both are an excellent source of essential nutrients like protein and fat, but lamb meal contains higher concentrations of key minerals like calcium.
What Should I Look for in a Lamb Dog Food?
When you’re looking for a lamb dog food, lamb isn’t the only ingredient you should pay attention to. Like you, your dog can’t get all of the nutrition he needs from a single ingredient, so look for a dog food that is complete and balanced and formulated for your dog’s age and activity level. A complete and balanced lamb and rice dog food, for example, will provide your dog with all the nutrition he needs, from protein and fat to vitamins and minerals.
In addition, if your dog is over the age of seven, you might want to switch to a diet specially formulated for dogs seven and up. Looking for a dog food formulated without corn, soy, or wheat? Try a grain-free lamb dog food.