Dogs and cats are carnivores and as such thrive on protein-rich diets. The cleanest lamb products in the world today come from New Zealand farms where Northwest Naturals sources most of our lamb products. We also use a small percentage of US lamb from long-standing, reputable farms in our area. If you haven’t incorporated lamb into your dog’s or cat’s diets this month, National Lamb Month might be a good time to try out the advantages of lamb with your pet.
What Is Lamb?
Lamb is the term given to sheep under one year of age when the meat is tender and mild flavored. Mutton is from sheep over one year of age when the meat is chewier with a stronger taste and the meat is fattier. Here at NWN, we use lamb not mutton in our recipes. This is important because having higher palatability for our pets reduces pet food wastage, resulting in happier owners and causing fewer environmental problems. Most dogs find lamb meat appealing, but lamb’s unique flavor may not be your cat’s favorite taste. Reactions to lamb in cats are highly individual. One good way to have your cat occasionally consume lamb is to try the NWN Raw Rewards lamb liver treats in the 3 oz. bag. Since the liver of any species tends to be rich in vital nutrients your cat may occasionally enjoy these unique, single-ingredient treats.
Why Choose Lamb for Your Pet’s Diet
Lamb is considered red meat and contains a larger percentage of fat than beef, chicken, turkey, and other common proteins used in the pet food industry. It is also a “complete protein,” meaning our pet’s bodies can easily assimilate lamb’s nutrients. Plant proteins are not complete and are much harder for carnivores to digest.
The mineral iron is crucial for red blood cell production, and lamb is notably rich in iron. Considered a strengthening mineral, iron is essential for activity and well-being. It also contains a wealth of B vitamins, especially B12 which is an energy builder and folic acid known for preventing certain birth defects and fighting free radicals. Additionally, lamb also contains significant amounts of zinc and selenium which help preserve bone density and joint health. Zinc, of course, is a great immune booster and blood sugar regulator. Selenium is a trace mineral essential for heart and thyroid wellness and fights free radicals.
Did you know that lamb is considered a hypoallergenic protein? Most dogs digest lamb very well with few allergy symptoms. If your dog has food sensitivities you might want to try novel proteins, including lamb, which most dogs find appetizing.
Always Switch It Up
Rotating proteins is always a smart idea. Dogs enjoy variety in their diet, but more importantly, every protein has a unique nutritional profile and your pets should enjoy the benefits of them all. With spring right around the corner, give your dog a dining delight by adding lamb to his or her diet.
By: Carol Kendig