The Best Lamb and Rice Dog Food – Reviews and Ratings of the Best Wet and Dry Brands for Optimal Health

When it comes to choosing dog food, the protein source is extremely important. Many dogs are sensitive to specific types of protein, especially those that are most common in commercial dog foods like chicken. Even if dogs aren’t born with a food allergy, it is quite common for dogs to develop a sensitivity to foods they consume a lot. 

If you only feed your dog one type of protein for years, they will likely develop a sensitivity to it eventually. 

Lamb is a decently rare protein to find in commercial dog food, which makes it good for dogs who have food allergies. While it isn’t hypoallergenic itself, it’s rarity means that dogs are less likely to develop a sensitivity to it. 

Female veterinarian holding jack russell terrier on hospital background

Why Should You Feed Your Dog Lamb?

The main reason you should select Lamb for your canine is that many dogs are not allergic to it. If your canine is having difficulty with their current food, switching to a completely different protein like lamb can be helpful. 

It is important to remember that lamb is not necessarily hypoallergenic, however. If you feed your dog nothing but lamb, they may develop a sensitivity to it eventually. 

Lamb just happens to not be a common protein source in many dog foods – not to the same extent as chicken. While you might find chicken in all sorts of foods, even those that aren’t chicken flavored, lamb is more of a specialty protein. 

In other words, if you’ve been feeding your dog the average commercial dog food and they have developed an allergy, it is likely the food allergy is to beef or chicken. If you feed your dog nothing but lamb, they may still develop an allergy, though it would be to the lamb. A dog has to be exposed to the food to develop an allergy to it.

Still, we do not recommend feeding your dog only lamb. Preferably, you would feed your dog a variety of different foods with varying amounts of protein sources. You might feed lamb one meat and then chicken the next. This ensures your dog gets complete nutrition and prevents the development of allergies. 

Is Lamb Good for Dogs?

Lamb is a type of red meat, like beef. It has a macronutrient breakdown of approximately 69% protein, 27% fat, and 4% carbohydrates. When compared to beef, which is 53% protein, 47% fat, and 0% carbohydrates, we find that lamb is quite high in protein. For comparison, chicken is approximately 80% protein, 20% fat, and 0% carbohydrates, however. 

Overall, this macronutrient breakdown is very similar to what dogs would be eating in the wild. According to various studies, dogs naturally eat a diet of about 44% protein, 52% fat, and 7% carbohydrates. 

Lamb is quite high in protein, like a dog needs. However, it is somewhat low in fat, especially considering that dogs get most of their calories from fat. In modern dog food brands though, this fat is often included through other ingredients, like vegetables and straight animal fat. 

Like always, you should take into consideration the complete nutritional breakdown of a dog food. Just because lamb is generally good for dogs doesn’t mean it is when mixed with a bunch of other ingredients. 

What is Lamb Meal?

We prefer to see real, whole lamb used. However, lamb meal is not necessarily a bad thing. In many cases, meal will actually be higher in protein than the whole lamb. This is because meal is basically a dry, powdery product that is created by cooking the lamb down. It is made by making a stew-like substance and then cooking it until all the water evaporates.

Because meal has very little water in it, it is higher in protein by the ounce. Of course, it is also more suitable for dry food because it is a dry powder. Typically, you’re more likely to find meal in dry food than wet food.

As long as the source of the meal is named – like “lamb meal” instead of “meat meal” – then you can safely assume that it is likely a high-quality product. 

Learn More: Best Venison Dog Foods

How We Chose the Best Lamb and Rice Dog Food

When we review each dog food, the primary things we look at are the macronutrient content and ingredient list. The macronutrient breakdown can be very telling. We want our dog’s food to be as close to what they would eat in the wild as possible. A dog food with tons of carbs is not the best choice for our canines. 

With that said, it is very difficult to find a dog food with an extremely low carbohydrate count, especially among dry foods. In general, we try to aim for dog foods below 30%. Of course, sometimes we can’t find any dog foods with the correct macronutrient breakdown in the category we’re reviewing. In these cases, we choose the absolutely best one we can find. 

The ingredients included in the dog food are also important. It is a common misconception that grains are bad for dogs, when in fact they have evolved to eat grains. Dogs are not very likely to be allergic to grains at all and are far more likely to be allergic to some type of protein. 

Furthermore, grain-free dog foods do not commonly have more protein or meat in them. Instead, many companies just switch the grain out with a low-quality vegetable, like peas or potatoes. These vegetables were found by the FDA to be linked to certain heart problems. Because of this, we try to avoid dog foods with these worrisome ingredients in large quantities. 

In general, we recommend you choose a dog food with a quality grain, like rice, instead of one that doesn’t have any grains at all. Grain-inclusive dog foods are almost always better for your dog as long as they do not have any sensitivities to grain. 

We also considered the quality of the rice included. Brown rice is preferred. White rice is okay, and we prefer to stay away from brewers rice. 

Reviews of the Best Lamb and Rice Dog Foods

Our Pick

Evanger’s Super Premium Lamb & Rice Dinner Canned Dog Food

  • Meets AAFCO dog food nutrient profiles for all life stages
  • High-protein
  • Contains healthy nutrients like folic acid and vitamin E

Doggypedia rating: 5/5

First 5 Ingredients: Lamb, Water, Liver, Rice, Spinach.

 

Calories: 337 kcal/can

Macronutrients (Dry-Matter Basis):

  • 36.36% Protein
  • 27.27% Fat
  • 22.73% Carbs

This canned food included Lamb as the first ingredient. It does not contain any chicken, making it suitable for those with allergies. It includes rice as the only grain product and includes very few ingredients overall. If your dog is currently having a problem with their dog food, this might be a good option to switch them to. 

A number of vegetables, including spinach and kale are also included. These foods contain lots of nutrients and are not tied with any health problems, like peas and potatoes. They also aren’t used as fillers, meaning that their place in the ingredient list is due to their nutritional value not because the company was trying to cut costs. 

The macronutrient contents were within the optimal range. Protein is below 30% and both protein and fat are decently high. 

Also Great

Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Lamb & Brown Rice Formula

  • Limited-ingredient dog food with no preservatives
  • Omega-3 fatty acids and Omega-6 fatty acids included
  • Includes both vitamin A and vitamin B12 for a healthy immune system

Doggypedia rating: 5/5

First 5 Ingredients: Lamb, Lamb Broth, Lamb Liver, Brown Rice, Lamb Meal.

 

Calories: 500 kcal/can

Macronutrients (Dry-Matter Basis):

  • 36.36% Protein
  • 29.55% Fat
  • 20.45% Carbs

This is one of the better foods we reviewed. It is absolutely full of lamb. Out of the first five ingredients, four are lamb and the other one is rice. Because lots of lamb is included, this food is also quite high in both protein and fat. This food also does not contain peas, potatoes, or other fillers. In fact, this food basically just contains lamb, rice, and added vitamins. There is no chicken, including chicken fat. If your dog is allergic to many different foods, this is a good one to switch to. 

The macronutrient content is within optimal range. Carbs are around 20%, while protein and fat are both decently high. This is similar to what dogs would eat in the wild.

Furthermore, this pet food contains plenty of quality nutrients, including things like vitamin A, tocopherols, niacin, and vitamin B12. All of these added vitamins and minerals provide your dog with a complete diet, while still only using a few ingredients for those dogs who suffer from allergies. 

Budget Pick

Purina Pro Plan Savor Adult Shredded Blend Lamb & Rice Formula

  • Contains probiotics to support digestive health
  • Natural prebiotics included
  • Includes vitamin A and Omega-6s

Doggypedia rating: 3.5/5

First 5 Ingredients: Lamb, Rice Flour, Corn Gluten Meal, Whole Grain Wheat, Chicken By-Product Meal.

 

Calories: 389 kcal/cup

Macronutrients (Dry-Matter Basis):

  • 29.55% Protein
  • 18.18% Fat
  • 43.18% Carbs

This dog food is much more inexpensive than some other options. The ingredient list looks good and is free of peas and other common fillers that are known to be harmful to dogs. Whole lamb is included in the first ingredient, with rice flour as the second. 

Two other grains are also included in the first five ingredients. While these grains are whole-grains and considered to be quality ingredients by themselves, having so many packed into the first five ingredients is not what we like to see. We would have rather seen some protein sources, like more lamb or even different meat altogether. 

Chicken by-product meal is also included in the ingredient list. This ingredient is not necessarily bad. By-products are just the leftovers from processing that humans don’t typically eat. However, dogs would eat these parts of the animal in the wild and many are actually very nutritionally dense. Still, because this food does contain chicken, it is not necessarily a good option for dogs with allergies. 

This food also included a variety of other ingredients to make it more nutritionally complete, including fish meal, dried beet pulp, tocopherols

Runner-Up

Purina One Lamb And Rice

  • Doesn’t included potassium chloride or pyridoxine hydrochloride
  • Omega-6 for healthy skin
  • Includes natural sources of glucosamine

Doggypedia rating: 3/5

First 5 Ingredients: Lamb, Rice Flour, Corn Gluten Meal, Whole Grain Wheat, Chicken By-Product Meal.

 

Calories: 380 kcal/cup

Macronutrients (Dry-Matter Basis):

  • 29.55% Protein
  • 18.18% Fat
  • 43.18% Carbs

This is a popular, inexpensive dog food among dog owners who are looking for lamb and rice dog food. Sadly, we didn’t find much that we loved about this food. The macronutrient content is not within our optimal range. Carbohydrates are exceedingly high at 43.18%, while protein and fat could both be higher. We would have liked to see quite a bit more fat and protein sources to bring the protein content up. 

The ingredients themselves aren’t bad. Whole lamb is included as the first ingredient, and grain sources take up the next three ingredient slots. All of these grain sources are whole grain, which is the better option. Whole-grain foods contain some nutritional value, unlike refined grains that are basically just carbs. However, while the ingredients themselves aren’t bad, there are quite a few of them. We don’t mind to see one or two whole-grain products in a dry dog food, but this dog food contains quite a bit, which is likely why the carb content is so high. 

Furthermore, this food also contains chicken as the fifth ingredient. Because of this, it is not suitable for dogs who are allergic to chicken. 

Learn More: Best High Fiber Dog Food and Best Grain Free Dog Food

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