6 Best Lamb and Rice Dog Food in 2021 (For Better Digestibility)

Edited by: Mike Powell
Reviewed by: Abby Texas

Last Update:

Quick Picks

  • Best Lamb & Rice Dog Food Overall: NUTRO Natural Choice Dry Dog Food
    “This clean, digestible recipe packs everything your dog needs in a single bite—vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fatty acids, and more! Its whole, deboned lamb provides plenty of protein while brown rice inclusions support all-day energy.”
  • Best Value for the MoneyDiamond Naturals Premium Dry Dog Food
    “This premium yet affordable lamb and rice dog food formula contains pasture-raised proteins for optimal digestibility. In addition, its carefully crafted blend of prebiotics speeds up nutrient digestion and boosts healthy bacteria in the gut.”
  • Best for Skin AllergiesNatural Balance Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food
    “This formula’s 22% protein content and unique profile of amino acids support excellent muscle development in agile dogs. Plus, its gluten-free rice offers a kick of fiber that aids digestion in dogs with sensitive stomachs.”

Lamb is one of the best sources of protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. Compared to white meats like chicken or fish, lamb is jam-packed with iron, which allows the body to oxygenate. Pair it up with rice, and you get a delicious recipe that is easy to digest and will satisfy even the fussiest eaters.

In this guide, you’ll learn the benefits of a lamb and rice diet, what you should look out for, and our top picks.

Product Name
Best Lamb & Rice Dog Food Overall
Our ranking
Ranked #1
Ranked #2
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
Nutro Wholesome Essentials Healthy Weight Pasturefed Lamb Rice Adult Dog (30 Lb)
Diamond Naturals Adult Real Meat Recipe Premium Dry Dog Food With Real Pasture Raised Lamb Protein 40Lb
Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Dry Dog Food with Grains, Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Formula, 28 Pounds
Our grade
Our Rating 95/100
Our Rating 94/100
Our Rating 92/100
Feature 1
Formulated to include essential antioxidants for immune and digestive system support
Nutrient-dense and highly digestible formula comes from a proprietary probiotic blend
Contains real lamb and gluten-free brown rice for a complete and balanced meal
Feature 2
Contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to promote healthy skin
Affordable recipe contains lamb and fish proteins for lean nutrition
High fiber content from brown rice promotes seamless digestion
Best Lamb & Rice Dog Food Overall
Our ranking
Ranked #1
Thumbnail
Nutro Wholesome Essentials Healthy Weight Pasturefed Lamb Rice Adult Dog (30 Lb)
Our grade
Our Rating 95/100
Feature 1
Formulated to include essential antioxidants for immune and digestive system support
Feature 2
Contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to promote healthy skin
Buy Now Button
Custom Button
Best Value for Money
Our ranking
Ranked #2
Thumbnail
Diamond Naturals Adult Real Meat Recipe Premium Dry Dog Food With Real Pasture Raised Lamb Protein 40Lb
Our grade
Our Rating 94/100
Feature 1
Nutrient-dense and highly digestible formula comes from a proprietary probiotic blend
Feature 2
Affordable recipe contains lamb and fish proteins for lean nutrition
Buy Now Button
Custom Button
Best for Skin Allergies
Our ranking
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Dry Dog Food with Grains, Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Formula, 28 Pounds
Our grade
Our Rating 92/100
Feature 1
Contains real lamb and gluten-free brown rice for a complete and balanced meal
Feature 2
High fiber content from brown rice promotes seamless digestion
Buy Now Button
Custom Button
Sources researched
13
Sources researched
Customer reviews
12,765
Customer reviews
Hours spent testing
10
Hours spent testing
Products tested
6
Products tested

Health Benefits of Lamb and Rice for Dogs 

Altering your dog’s diet is not as easy as you’d anticipate. If you’re on the fence about starting them on a lamb and rice diet, here are a few reasons why you should. 

1) Avoid Food Allergies

Some dogs are picky—others suffer from food allergies. So if your dog is sensitive towards ingredients like chicken or beef, shifting brands isn’t going to do the trick. Instead, you’ll have to swap out their proteins for something gentler on the stomach. 

Compared to standard products, lamb-based foods are often hypoallergenic. Plus, rice makes any meal easier to digest!

2) Provide Better Muscle Maintenance

Building and maintaining muscle requires a significant amount of protein. Unlike chicken, lamb provides your dog with all nine essential amino acids for developing healthy muscle. 

For puppies and senior animals, high-quality proteins are critical to maintaining a healthy body. Their muscles are underdeveloped and highly malleable in your dog’s younger years, while muscles in senior dogs deteriorate quickly. 

Fortunately, beta-alanine, one of the amino acids found in lamb meals, produces carnosine, promoting healthy muscle functionality. 

3) Improve Digestive Health

Good digestibility matters to ensure your dog gets the essential nutrients it needs. Unlike other dog food formulas, lamb and rice recipes contain high fiber levels, preventing runny stool and allowing nutrients to absorb into the body quicker. 

4) Prevent Anemia 

Anemic dogs experience a severe lack of energy, are prone to bacterial infections, and incur bruises on the skin. A dog’s best defense against anemia is making sure they have enough iron. Fortunately, lamb is the perfect source for this mineral. 

Lamb helps increase red blood cells in your dog’s body, which allows them to produce more energy throughout the day. 


How to Choose the Best Lamb and Rice Dog Food 

Now that you know the benefits of a lamb and rice diet, you’ll have to familiarize yourself with ingredients to consider and especially the ones to avoid. Below are a few tips for selecting the best lamb and rice dog food for your dog. 

1) Look Out for the Following Features

  • Protein: High-quality lamb ingredients should provide the bulk of the protein in a particular recipe. This macronutrient is responsible for growing, repairing, and maintaining a dog’s muscles and tissues. Lamb also contains all nine essential amino acids, so you should consider levels of at least 18% to 25%
  • Fat: Contrary to popular belief, fat is an excellent source of energy for an agile dog. Unfortunately, lamb isn’t as rich in fatty acids as ingredients such as fish, so keep an eye out for these additives. Avoid uncooked fat trimmed from meat and artificial fillers.
  • Complex Carbs: Rice provides a modest sum of carbohydrates that dogs can utilize as a stable energy source. As such, they don’t put your dog at risk of becoming overweight. However, you’ll want to stay away from dense by-products that increase your dog’s carb intake. Grains, starchy vegetables, and sweeteners can sometimes cause complications.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: While lamb and rice provide ample resources for vitamins and minerals, you’ll also want to be on the lookout for ingredients like antioxidant-rich fruits and leafy greens. These might include blueberries, apples, bananas, carrots, and more.

2) Pick Between Brown or White Rice

Brown rice is cooked with its fibrous and nutritious shell still intact. White rice, on the other hand, isn’t. Thus, brown rice can provide double the vitamins and nutrients white rice can. 

However, some dogs take better to white rice, whose shell-less texture is easier to digest. If you are unsure about which rice to select, consider your dog’s past eating habits. Are they picky eaters? If so, you might want to consider white rice. 

3) Consider Your Dog’s Age, Size, and Activity Levels

What type of lamb and rice meal you select will ultimately depend on how it affects your dog. First, consider their age. Is your dog a puppy? If so, it may require a higher protein intake. 

Then, note their size. While larger breeds may take well to any lamb and rice recipe, smaller dogs may require a size-specific formula. 

Finally, if your dog is active, you’ll want to seek a formula with higher protein levels and easy-to-digest brown rice. 

4) Check for Food Allergies

If your dog suffers from food allergies or issues with their GI tract, it may require a medically formulated kibble. Consult with your veterinarian before adjusting your dog’s diet.

What Is the Best Lamb and Rice Dog Food?

  1. Best Lamb & Rice Dog Food Overall: Nutro Natural Choice Dry Dog Food
  2. Best Value for Money: Diamond Naturals Premium Dry Dog Food
  3. Best for Skin Allergies: Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food
  4. Best Option with Fresh Lamb: Blue Buffalo Life Protection Dry Dog Food
  5. Best for Small Breeds: Purina Pro Plan Lamb and Rice Dog Food
  6. Best for Active Dogs: IAMS High Protein Lamb and Rice Dry Dog Food

1. Nutro Natural Choice Dry Dog Food

Best Lamb & Rice Dog Food Overall: Ethically sourced recipe that packs an amazing blend of amino acids with highly digestible ingredients

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Healthy Weight Pasturefed Lamb Rice Adult Dog (30 Lb)
Check Price on Amazon
Check Price on Chewy

Key Features

  • Features real, non-GMO lamb as its first ingredient
  • Formulated to include essential antioxidants for immune and digestive system support
  • Contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to promote healthy skin

This delicious, natural, and nutrient-packed lamb and rice dog food offers highly concentrated amino acids blend, essential antioxidants that boost your dog’s immune system as they age, and glucosamine and chondroitin inclusions that keep the joints and muscles healthy. 

Click to see more

If you love a healthy, shiny, and luscious coat, this dry dog food is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. 

Picky eaters shouldn’t have to worry about potential irritants either. This meticulously formulated recipe doesn’t contain any chicken by-product meals, soy, wheat, or corn. However, it does have nutrient-dense grains such as oatmeal, brewers rice, and barley. 

Keep in mind that this dog food is larger than most and will suit breeds with healthier appetites.

2. Diamond Naturals Premium Dry Dog Food

Best Value for Money: Reasonably priced yet nutritious dog food that contains high-quality ingredients and added probiotics for optimal health

Diamond Naturals Adult Real Meat Recipe Premium Dry Dog Food With Real Pasture Raised Lamb Protein 40Lb
Check Price on Amazon
Check Price on Chewy

Key Features

  • Affordable recipe contains lamb and fish proteins for lean nutrition
  • Nutrient-dense and highly digestible formula comes from a proprietary probiotic blend
  • Made without corn, wheat, filler, and artificial preservatives

This cost-effective lamb and rice formula is fortified with three unique probiotics to support healthy digestion and positive gut flora. It is also manufactured with real fruits and vegetables such as kale, blueberries, and coconuts—all rich sources of whole nutrients. 

Click to see more

Along with rice, this dog food also includes sorghum and barley, which protect against cardiovascular disease. Its omega fatty acid inclusions promote a healthy coat, while antioxidants help prevent inflammation in active dogs. 

While this recipe doesn’t contain artificial flavors, dyes, preservatives, or fillers, it does have some chicken fat. 

If you’re shopping on a budget, you can purchase Diamond Naturals kibble in 35 and 40-pound bags—talk about saving a buck or two!

3. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food

Best for Skin Allergies: Limited-ingredient dog food featuring lamb combined with wholesome ingredients that help reduce the risk of allergies

Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Dry Dog Food with Grains, Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Formula, 28 Pounds
Check Price on Amazon
Check Price on Chewy

Key Features

  • Contains real lamb and gluten-free brown rice for a complete and balanced meal
  • Essential amino acids help maintain strong and healthy muscles
  • High fiber content from brown rice promotes seamless digestion

This limited-ingredient dog food formula is grain-inclusive yet gluten-free and features lamb meal as its first ingredient. Its naturally occurring amino acid contents help reinforce your dog’s muscles, while its fiber inclusions prevent digestive problems. 

Because it contains few ingredients and is free of artificial additives, this recipe is ideal for dogs with sensitive stomachs or food allergies.

Click to see more

It is also made with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which help maintain your dog’s joints, skin, and immune system. 

Unlike most limited-ingredient diets, Natural Balance’s lamb and rice variant is appropriate for dogs of all breeds and life stages. 

However, note that this dog food doesn’t contain probiotics to support healthy gut bacteria.

4. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Dry Dog Food

Best Option with Fresh Lamb: Rather than lamb meal, this recipe contains fresh lamb fortified with probiotics for improved digestion

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Adult Lamb and Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food, 15 lbs
Check Price on Amazon
Check Price on Chewy

Key Features

  • Contains fresh, deboned lamb as its primary ingredient 
  • Manufactured with fresh spinach, cranberries, and pomegranate for essential nutrients
  • Fortified with omega-6-rich sunflower oil for a stunning and healthy coat

Unlike other lamb and rice meals, this dog food lists fresh lamb instead of lamb meal as its first ingredient. Protein-rich, deboned, and delicious, this diet will keep your athletic dog feeling energetic all day. 

Also on its ingredients list in Menhaden fish meal, which reinforces joint strength in dogs that love a daily run.

Click to see more

It contains added LifeSource Bits such as whole grains, garden fruits and vegetables, and antioxidant-rich ingredients for a much-needed immune system boost. Glucosamine inclusions keep your dog’s joints in excellent shape, while omega fatty acids give their coat a picture-perfect shine. 

This recipe’s calcium and phosphorus inclusions also improve bones and teeth! It is free of any chicken or poultry by-products, corn, wheat, soy, and artificial flavors. 

5. Purina Pro Plan Lamb and Rice Dog Food

Best for Small Breeds: Nutrient-dense, bite-sized kibble formulated for highly active small and toy breed dogs

Purina Pro Plan High Protein, Small Bites Dog Food, SPORT 27/17 Lamb & Rice Formula - 37.5 lb. Bag
Check Price on Amazon
Check Price on Chewy

Key Features

  • High-energy lamb and rice formula is manufactured explicitly for smaller, more active dogs
  • Features a ratio of 27% protein and 17% fat to help maintain lean muscle
  • Fortified with live probiotics to support a healthy digestive system

This lamb and rice recipe is manufactured with premium lamb for muscle-building protein and contains higher fat levels for greater bursts of energy. 

Other than rice, it also contains oatmeal, which provides your dog with plenty of complex carbohydrates that are easy to digest. Furthermore, added probiotics increase this recipe’s digestibility.

Click to see more

Does your dog suffer from bad teeth? They won’t struggle with these smaller bites—they’re specifically formulated to be softer on the jaws. 

It also contains fish as an added ingredient, which is easy on dogs with sensitive stomachs or food sensitivities.

6. IAMS High Protein Lamb and Rice Dry Dog Food

Best for Active Dogs: Made with high-quality lamb meat and a unique fiber blend, this dog food provides balanced nutrition for high-energy dogs

IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Adult High Protein Dry Dog Food with Lamb and Rice, 30 lb. Bag
Check Price on Amazon
Check Price on Chewy

Key Features

  • High-protein lamb inclusions keep hyperactive dogs energized throughout the day
  • Compact kibble sizes are ideal for big and small dogs
  • Added prebiotics and fiber improve digestive and gut health

IAMS’ ProActive range is scientifically researched and nutritionally complete, perfect for active dogs that require a higher protein diet. With real, premium lamb as its first ingredient, energetic dogs will benefit from a steady release throughout the day. 

Click to see more

Its L-carnitine contents also help burn fat and maintain a healthy metabolism—perfect for dogs who put on weight quicker than most. Prebiotics and beet pulp support your dog’s digestive health, keeping them active for longer. 

Omega fatty acids keep the skin and coat looking and feeling their best. 

Customers have reported this particular formula to reduce instances of diarrhea and keep dogs full without encouraging overeating.


Questions & Answers

Q: Is Rice a Healthy Choice?

A: Yes, rice has a lot of nutritional benefits to offer—if you include it in your dog’s diet in moderation! White rice is an excellent source of fiber, but you’ll want to avoid overfeeding this ingredient. Otherwise, brown rice provides excellent digestive support and keeps sensitive stomachs happy.

Q: Is Rice Good for Dogs Every Day?

A: Yes, a daily dose of rice can do wonders for preventing diarrhea and aiding digestion! Thanks to its absorbent properties, rice can prevent additional moisture from creating runny stool. It can even prevent other bowel problems such as constipation. 

Q: Is Lamb a Better Protein Than Chicken or Fish?

A: That depends on your dog’s specific needs. However, unlike its white meat counterparts, lamb contains nine essential amino acids that allow your dog’s overall health to thrive. Lamb protein is especially effective in early development and in your dog’s later years, keeping muscles strong and bones healthy. 

Q: Is a Lamb and Rice Recipe Ideal for Dogs with Sensitive Stomachs?

A: How well your dog responds to a lamb and rice formula will depend on what diet they were on beforehand. As with any dog, shifting diets is a significant adjustment and should be done gradually. Otherwise, rice is an excellent digestive aid that any dog will enjoy. 

Q: What is the Difference Between Lamb Meal and Real Lamb?

A: Lamb meal is the dried and rendered portion of mammal tissues that undergo a live steam or dry rendering. It is a more concentrated source of minerals and satisfies your dog’s appetite quicker than its fresh counterpart. Thus, lamb meal can be beneficial in preventing obesity in dogs.

Mike Powell

Mike is an avid dog lover and writer. He’s based in Los Angeles, CA where he grew up in a household surrounded by pets. He’s been a dog owner all his life and he uses this extensive experience of having dogs as part of his family to share valuable, practical tips to improve other people’s dog parenting experience.