3 min read


Why Don't Dogs Like Lamb



3 min read


Why Don't Dogs Like Lamb




Does your dog turn his nose up when you offer him a piece of lamb? Does he wrinkle up his lips and bare his teeth if a piece of lamb gets anywhere close? It'll be surprising if he does. If you're barbecuing some lamb chops on the grill in the garden, does he run hell for leather and hide in the house? Does he sit there drooling saliva from his muzzle anticipating you might just drop one within his reach or does he show a complete disinterest until you get the hamburgers out? Which in itself, as far as most dogs go, would be quite unusual, but it can happen. So why don't dogs like lamb or do they?

The Root of the Behavior

If you chop up some lamb into small pieces and drop them in your dog's food bowl, it's very unlikely he will refuse to eat them. In fact, he will probably snaffle them up so fast, you will think they've done a disappearing act. Dog's love meat of any description. It's their favorite food. They much prefer meat to kibble and would eat it every day if that's what we offered them. It doesn't matter if its lamb, beef, chicken or kangaroo. Fresh or well past its consume by date won't make much difference either and as lamb is one of the tastiest, aromatic meats going, more so when it's cooking, it would be very difficult and highly unusual for him to turn it down. Dogs do eat vegetables sometimes, but are natural carnivores and need a protein-rich diet. They're genetically programmed to eat meat. 

When they have an excess of it which they're too full to eat right away, they bury it and keep it for later. If you were there when he dug up his store, you'd realize just how much dog's love meat because he will eat it even when it's stinking and crawling with maggots. If your pup does shy away from eating lamb there's probably an underlying reason for that which you might not be aware of or have just simply forgotten. It may be that sometime when you've been cooking lamb, he's been so enticed by the smell of it roasting that he's got to close to the oven door, stuck his nose on it and got burnt. If he got too close to the barbecue, he might have got splashed by spits of flying lamb fat without you noticing. Your dog might associate the smell of lamb with pain and so will shy away from lamb as he's expecting something bad to happen to him.

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Encouraging the Behavior

It's our responsibility as pet owners to keep our dogs safe and prevent accidents happening to them in and around the home. They weren't created to be in a domestic situation and are quite often, especially when young, not ready for all the technology we have around. That said, sadly accidents do occur. It can be very hard to keep a watchful eye on your pup especially when you're multi-tasking at various chores in the kitchen or have guests round for a barbecue party. Prevention is better than cure and so it's a good idea to make sure your pup is safe and out of harm's way when you're cooking. 

Dogs do love meat and given the chance will gorge themselves on it. This isn't particularly a good thing. If your dog has, at some time, eaten too much lamb in one go, it's possible it's made him feel pretty unwell. Lamb is a very rich meat with a lot of fat content which can be hard to digest in large quantities. If your pup has overindulged on lamb at any time and it made him feel unwell, caused him to vomit or gave him diarrhea, he will remember and quite possibly not want to eat it again.

Other Solutions and Considerations

If you think your dog might have had an accident in your home, has been accidentally burned or hurt himself in any way, you will need to get him checked over at the vet's as soon as possible. They will be able to make sure he's okay or give him the medical treatment he needs. If you're not sure about how much or what food is right for your dog, you might want to consider consulting with your veterinary surgeon. They'll be able to advise on what type of food to give your dog and in what quantities so it doesn't upset his delicate digestive system. 


It is quite an unusual thing for a dog to not like lamb, but if he doesn't, there may well be a good reason for his aversion to the tasty chops. It could be he got too close to the stove tempted by the smell of lamb cooking, but then again, he may have decided to undertake a voluntary dietary change and become vegetarian.

By a Chihuahua lover Liz Correal

Published: 04/01/2018, edited: 01/30/2020

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