Meatball Treats with Lamb or with Substitutions
Lamb is commonly available here in New Zealand and my dogs are wild about it, whether it’s a sneaky shared snack from their furfather’s barbequing, lamb jerky dog treats, special occasion pupcakes, or other tasty treats. We know it’s not common in some other areas, but not to worry. You can substitute another lean ground meat to make meatballs using this recipe. They just won’t be lamburgers.
The basic method for how I make dog-friendly meatballs is quite similar to how I make hamburger patties, just with different rations and add-ins. Lamburger popped into my head for some reason while mixing these meatballs and it just kind of stuck. And yes – you can use this recipe to create mini slider patties for pups if you prefer. Although we’d recommend keeping them bunless for the doggos.
Just for Lamb Laughs
Need an extra smile in your day?
- Q: What’s Oli’s dream car? A: A Lamborghini
- Q: Why did Humphrey roll his eyes at Momma’s lamb joke? A: Because it was so baaaaad.
- Q: Why did Momma blush? A: Because she was feeling sheepish about the baaaaad pun.
Lamb Meatball Dog Treat Recipe
Homemade Lamb Meatball Dog Treats with Optional Herbs
The seasoning ingredients in the recipe below are optional, and can be adjusted up/down, omitted, or substituted to suit your preferences and your pet.
- 1 egg
- Approximately 150-200g lean ground lamb
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- Sprinkle of ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp ground flax or LSA
- 1/2 cup wholegrain oats, scotch oats, or equivalent substitute
- Wheatgerm, brown rice flour, or oat flour (optional) to adjust consistency for shaping.
When working with meatballs, especially making them miniature, I sometimes find adding a little wheatgerm or flour helps make the mix easier to handle and shape. This is, of course, optional. How much (if any) depends on the wetness of the mix (varies with base ingredients) and the texture/absorbency of what I add for the adjustment.
Making the Treats:
- Preheat your oven to 180C (or local equivalent) and gather together your baking ingredients and materials.
- Combine the egg, meat, herbs/seasonings, and flax in a mixing bowl. Mix in the oats.
- Rest briefly (optional).
- If using an optional add-in like wheatgerm or flour for consistency/handling, knead it into the mixture to combine to the desired consistency for shaping.
- Roll into small mini meatballs and place on a lightly greased baking dish or lined baking pan.
- Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes (time will depend on size), until cooked through. If you like, you can broil briefly for additional browning (optional).
- Cool before serving and storage (refrigerate or freeze). Pampered pooches might enjoy their treats warmed slightly for extra smell and flavour.
Meatball Dog Treat Making Tips and Tricks
- Meatball dog treats don’t have their own special post in our pet chef help section. They’re very similar to making meatloaf style dog-friendly cakes, so they’re grouped with our comprehensive post on homemade dog cakes. You can check it out for additional information on ingredients, storage, and more.
- Treats can be made smaller for little dogs or broken up for serving. Cooking times will vary depending on your meatball size.
- Want to swap flavours? Check out this little slideshow at Modern Dog for ideas on other dog-friendly herbs for ideas.
- We don’t intentionally give our dogs onion or garlic. We prefer to err on the side of caution, but opinion is divided about garlic and dogs. If you’re a garlic supporter, it would be a good scent and flavour match for the lamburger meatball treat recipe above.
Hungry for more tasty treats? There are all sorts of homemade dog treat ideas in our blog archives. You can also use the category and tag labels above/ below this post to find other recipes that might be of interest or use our internal search tools to find something specific. Remember, treats (bought or homemade) are for spoiling your pup in moderation. We share ideas from treats that we’ve made ourselves for our pets, but different animals have different preferences (likes/dislikes), just like people. Some pets may have special dietary requirements and/or food allergies/intolerances. If you are ever in doubt or have questions about what’s suitable for your pet, have a chat with your trusted vet.