Take a look through some of the food options at your local pet store, and you're going to realize that most formulas contain similar ingredients. This is especially true when it comes to protein! Most brands stick with the basics like chicken, beef, or fish.
While those protein sources are nothing to turn your nose up at, there are alternatives out there.
The best lamb and rice dog foods give your furry friend something new to try! It's a change of pace that could also have a significant impact on their health.
Lamb is a unique protein source that supports your dog's body differently than chicken or beef. Pair that with a high-fiber carbohydrate like rice, and you have a recipe for success!
If you're thinking about switching your dog to a lamb and rice diet, here are some top-notch dog foods to try out.
9 of the Best Dog Foods that Contain Lamb and Rice
1. Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Lamb & Brown Rice Formula
This lamb-based dog food from Natural Balance is all about keeping things simple. It's a limited-ingredients formula that contains a single protein source, which is lamb meal.
The contributes to the 22 percent protein content. The lamb meal provides a unique profile of amino acids to support the muscles.
Brown rice is the other essential ingredient. The rice is gluten-free and safe for canines. Not only that, but it offers a kick of fiber to help with digestion. In total, about four percent of the recipe is crude fiber.
2. Purina ONE SmartBlend Lamb & Rice Adult Formula Dry Dog Food
The Purina One Smartblend formula is a fantastic choice for dogs of any breed or size. The very first ingredient on the list is real lamb.
It acts as a source of protein, contributing to the 26 percent analysis. However, it also serves as a source of glucosamine. The meat supports the joints, which can help your dog stay comfortable and healthy as they age.
Alongside the lamb and rice, Purina adds a healthy collection of antioxidant-rich ingredients. The recipe is high in vitamins and minerals, providing a well-rounded diet to keep any pup healthy.
3. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Large Breed Adult Lamb & Rice Recipe
Nutro is no stranger to creating unique formulas that stand out. This lamb and rice one is catered towards large dogs. It's packing about 20 percent protein.
Most of that comes from deboned lamb and chicken meal. The meat sources are non-GMO. Plus, the recipe doesn't contain any unnecessary fillers.
It does, however, contain several nutrient-dense grains. In addition to whole grain brown rice, the formula has brewers rice, oatmeal, barley, and more. The ingredients support the body inside and out.
4. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Lamb & Brown Rice Recipe
Blue Buffalo's lamb and rice formula fits the bill and can serve any dog well. With about 22 percent protein, it's more than capable of supporting the muscles.
Most of that protein comes from lamb and Menhaden fish.
Like many of the brand's other products, this one contains the iconic LifeSource bits. The tiny morsels are rich in antioxidants and vitamins. They support several bodily functions and help to keep your dog body safe from free radicals.
5. Diamond Naturals Lamb Meal & Rice Formula Adult Dry Dog Food
If you're on the hunt for a premium food that supports your dog's gut, look no further than Diamond Naturals. This recipe contains high-quality ingredients like lamb meal, white rice, coconut, carrots, and more.
The ingredient list is vast. This product contains many plant-based constituents, which is excellent for providing your dog with tons of vitamins and minerals.
Another thing we like about the formula is the digestibility. It contains a blend of prebiotics that supports the bacterial flora responsible for digestion and nutrient absorption.
Best Lamb and Rice Food for Puppies
6. Purina Pro Plan Puppy Lamb & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food
Treat your pup to lamb and rice at an early age. The Purina Pro Plan puppy formula has an impressive 28 percent protein.
Also, the first two ingredients on the list are lamb and rice!
This recipe is meant to support your pup's growing body. It has just the right amount of protein, the ideal ratio of calcium and phosphorus, and omega fatty acids to develop visual strength and brainpower.
It's a high-quality formula that gives your puppy everything they need and nothing more.
7. Hill's Science Diet Puppy Large Breed Lamb Meal & Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food
Made for large breed puppies, the Hill's Science dog food uses lamb meal and brown rice as the stars of the show. They help to provide plenty of protein and just the right amount of calcium for bone growth.
The formula is packing natural DHA from fish oil, too. The DHA supports brain development and visual acuity.
In addition to the DHA, Hill's Science includes a blend of antioxidants. They help to keep the immune system in check so that your puppy grows up big, strong, and healthy.
Best for Seniors
8. Nature's Recipe Senior Lamb Meal & Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food
Senior dogs can enjoy the taste of lamb and rice, too! This Nature's Recipe formula is specifically made with the unique needs of older dogs in mind. It has a decent amount of protein to support and maintain the muscles. Most of it comes from lamb and chicken meal.
The recipe also has a few different types of rice. They include brewers rice, brown rice, and even rice bran. Pair that with the beet pulp, and this dog food has all the fiber your older dog needs to stay regular.
Nature's Recipe also included glucosamine and chondroitin to support the joints and alleviate pain.
Wet Canned Lamb and Rice Dog Food
9. Purina ONE SmartBlend Tender Cuts in Gravy Lamb & Brown Rice Entree Adult Canned Dog Food
Have a dog that prefers wet food? Check out this lamb and brown rice product from Purina One. It utilizes real lamb as the primary protein source.
However, it also contains pork lungs and liver! The organs provide some much-needed vitamins and nutrients.
Brown rice and several vegetables accompany the meats. They're all swimming in a lamb and chicken broth. The wet food is highly palatable and nutritionally complete for adult dogs. Plus, it's soft enough for any dog to eat comfortably.
What’s So Great About Lamb Meat?
The dog food industry has evolved a lot in the last couple of decades. In the past, kibble was made from meat industry byproducts and food waste. Luckily, we value our dogs' health a lot more these days!
One way that manufacturers started to prioritize canine health is by introducing new forms of protein. Protein is the largest constituent of commercial dog food.
Dogs need a lot of it, so it made sense to go with a cheap source. But as owners started to invest more into their canine companions, so did dog food manufacturers.
Lamb is the meat of young sheep. At one time, it was considered a luxury in the dog food market. But these days, it's more widespread than you think.
Source of Protein and Nutrients
Lamb is a fantastic source of protein for dogs. Not only is it tasty, but it's rich in nutrients. Lamb meat is high in zinc, selenium, and Vitamin B12. Of course, it's also chock-full of unique amino acids that your dog can't get from chicken or beef.
Furthermore, lamb offers a natural source of omega fatty acids. Usually, dog foods add fatty acids through salmon or flaxseed oil. The acids help support the cardiovascular system, keep the skin supple, and protect against free radicals.
Your dog can never have enough of omega fatty acids, so having a natural source like lamb meat only sweetens the deal!
Finally, lamb is also nutritionally dense. By weight, about 25 percent of cooked lamb is protein. That's a pretty impressive figure that ensures your dog is getting all the muscle support they need!
Is Rice a Healthy Choice?
Rice has a lot to offer, too. But, you have to be careful about the type of rice you use!
Ask any canine nutritionist, and they'll tell you that too much white rice is a big no-no. In moderation, it can be healthy. But if it's used as a filler like it is in cheaper foods, it may lead to weight issues and blood sugar troubles.
The type of rice you want to look for is brown rice. Brown rice has more calories than white rice. Plus, it contains selenium, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, Vitamin B3, and so much more.
All kinds of rice also act as an excellent source of fiber. Let's face it: All dogs can use a little bit of digestive support. Issues like diarrhea and runny stools can become a thing of the past with some extra fiber.
The rice soaks up liquids, keeping your dog's stool firm and manageable. On top of that, a boost of fiber can keep your dog regular and avoid issues like constipation!
Why Switch to Dog Foods with Lamb and Rice?
If you're still on the fence about switching to a lamb and rice formula, we have some significant benefits to go over.
Changing your dog's diet is a big step. If your pup is doing just fine on their current food, the thought may not have even crossed your mind.But making that switch could lead to some positive changes.
Here are some reasons why you might want to give your dog's meals an upgrade.
The most common reason why dog owners seek out lamb-based food is because of allergies. Dogs can suffer from food allergies just like humans can.
The problem with allergies is that many dog food formulas use the same ingredients. So if your pup doesn't respond well to chicken, switching brands isn't going to make a difference. In cases like that, you have to make a drastic change to provide relief and keep your pooch healthy.
Originally, lamb-based foods were a hypoallergenic alternative to standard products. Fewer dogs are allergic to lamb, so it provided an option for those struggling with traditional kibbles.
Lamb and rice dog foods still serve the same purpose today. These products utilize unique ingredients. That alone can do a lot to avoid stomach troubles caused by allergies.
Related: Top 5 Best Hypoallergenic Dog Foods
Have a picky eater at home?
Some dogs are pickier than others. There's no rhyme or reason why. Dogs can get bored with eating the same foods over and over again!
Sure, you could try changing brands. But once again, what's the point if most foods utilize the same ingredients? A quick brand swap may buy you some time, but the flavors are too similar to satisfy a picky dog.
A drastically different formula, however, will do the trick. Lamb tastes completely different from chicken or fish. It's a brand-new flavor profile that will get your pup excited about dinner again!
Lamb and rice formulas are naturally more digestible than many other options on the market. The rice content alone adds more fiber, which can keep your dog regular and comfortable.
Good digestibility matters, but it's something that many dog owners overlook. If your pup is suffering from runny stools every day, it shows that they're not taking full advantage of the nutrients their food has to offer.
With a high-fiber lamb and rice formula, they can absorb tons of nutrients to achieve better overall health.
Features of a Good Lamb and Rice Dog Food
Now that you understand why lamb and rice dog foods are good let's talk about something you should look for. It takes much more than lamb meat and rice to fit the bill! Pay attention to the following factors.
High Protein Content
At the very least, your dog's food should have between 18 and 25 percent protein. If you're raising a puppy, you'll need between 22 and 32 percent.
Don't skimp on the protein content. It's the most critical macronutrient your dog needs. The higher the crude protein analysis, the better!
Also, pay attention to the source. Stick with foods that have whole lamb and lamb meal. Avoid any lamb byproducts or mystery meats you can't identify.
White rice is good in moderation. But if you're looking for a long-term dog food solution, stick with brown rice.
Brown rice is a high-fiber complex carbohydrate. It absorbs slowly into the body, providing your dog with a steady supply of energy throughout the day.
It's much better than random fillers that don't provide any nutritional content whatsoever. Brown rice is a healthy alternative that can support your dog all day long.
Related: Best Low Carb Dog Food Formulas
Vitamins and Minerals
Of course, we can't forget about the vitamins and nutrients! Lamb and rice might be the most essential ingredients, but it's not the only thing your dog needs.
The best dog foods have a wide variety of plant-based ingredients. Look for leafy greens, antioxidant-rich fruits, and more. The more varied the vitamin and mineral profile, the better it is for your pooch.
No Unnecessary Additives
Last but not least, ditch the foods that contain unnecessary extras.
There's no reason why dog foods need chemical preservatives, artificial flavors, or colors in today's competitive dog food market. Those additives can cause allergic reactions and digestive issues.
Avoid them at all costs and stick to natural formulas with none of the fluff.
There are so many great lamb and rice dog foods out there. Don't hesitate to try some of our recommended picks out. Just make sure to read the ingredients list and transition your dog slowly.
Once your pooch tries it, they'll never look back at their old bland food again!