Can Goats Eat Dog Food?

While feeding your dog their daily bowl of kibble, you noticed the incessant bleating in the background.

For years, your goat and dog have enjoyed a companionship unlike any other.

Your dog doesn’t mind the goat’s presence and vice versa.

Therefore, you can’t help but wonder if letting the goat nibble on some of their food is okay.

So, can goats eat dog food?

Goats can’t digest dog food as well as they can digest their regular food.

Dog food is too high in protein and fat for goats.

It also contains harmful ingredients, such as artificial flavors and colors, which are poisonous to goats.

If you must give your goat a taste of dog food, do so sparingly and ensure it’s a healthy brand of dog food without any harmful ingredients.

This article will discuss whether goats can eat dog food, the benefits and risks of doing so, and the appropriate feed for goats.

Can Goats Eat Dog Food

Is Dog Food Safe For Goats?

Dog food isn’t safe for goats because they have different digestive systems.

Dogs are omnivores, and they have acids in their stomachs that breaks down meat products.

Goats are herbivores, and their stomachs are alkaline, which helps them digest plants.

For instance, goats have four stomach compartments, which aids in their ability to digest plants.

Their stomachs are also longer than a dog’s stomach.

This allows goats to ferment food and extract more nutrients from their diet.

The chief component of most dog foods is animal products such as meat, which is lethal to goats.

Dogs also consume grains and vegetables, but these make up a smaller percentage of their diet.

Grains and vegetables can be part of a goat’s diet, but they shouldn’t be the main food source.

Dog food is also high in protein and fat, which can cause health problems for goats.

dog food

What are the Benefits of Feeding Goats Dog Food?

Although dog food isn’t safe for goats, there are some benefits to feeding them this type of food.

Rich Source of Calories

Dog food is high in calories, which can help goats gain weight.

If your goat is underweight, you may need to feed them dog food to help them bulk up.

However, you should only do this under the guidance of a veterinarian or other animal expert.

Source of Minerals and Vitamins

Another benefit of feeding goats dog food is that it’s a good source of vitamins and minerals.

Dog food contains vitamins A, B, and D and phosphorus, potassium, and calcium.

These nutrients are essential for goats’ growth and development.

For instance, calcium is necessary for goats’ bones and teeth.

While Vitamins A, B, and D are involved in a goat’s immune system, metabolism, and reproductive function.

However, you should still feed your goat a balanced diet that includes hay, fresh vegetables, and fruits.

What Happens if Goats Eat Dog Food?

The nutritional content in dog food isn’t appropriate for goats.

Dogs are omnivores, while goats are herbivores; thus, the goat’s digestive system isn’t equipped to handle the high protein levels found in most types of dog food.

Read below to learn more about what could happen if your goat ate dog food.

Cause Obesity in Goats

The grain product and fat content in dog food lead to obesity in goats.

While a little bit of weight gain might not seem like a big deal, it can cause serious health problems for goats.

Obesity puts goats at risk for developing joint problems, fatty liver disease, and difficulty breathing.

Pregnant obese goats are also at a higher risk of developing ketosis, a potentially fatal condition.

Affects Kidney Function

The high protein levels in dog food can also cause kidney damage in goats.

When the kidneys are damaged, they can’t filter out toxins from the blood properly.

This lead to serious health problems like liver disease, kidney failure, and even death.

Urinary Tract Stones Infection

Feeding your goat dog food increases their risk of developing urinary tract stones.

These stones are caused by the high levels of calcium in dog food.

When the stones become lodged in the urinary tract, they cause urolithiasis infection.

This infection is very painful and may require surgery to remove the stones.

A urinary tract infection symptoms include increased urination, bloody urine, and pain during urination.

Urolithiasis is severe in male goats because they have a narrower urethra than females.

This makes it more difficult for the stones to pass through the urinary tract.

Males are also at a higher risk of developing an obstruction, which can be life-threatening.

If you continue feeding your goat dog food for years, complete urinary obstruction occurs in about 50% of male goats, which leads to bladder rupture and death.

Digestive problems

The proteins and fat content in dog food are hard for goats to digest.

This leads to digestive problems such as diarrhea, bloating, and gas.

For instance, the fat content in dog food coats the lining of the goat’s stomach, which prevents the absorption of essential nutrients and vitamins.

Thus, your goat will starve even though they’re eating enough food.

What Kind of Feed is Appropriate for Goats?

The digestive system of goats is designed to digest plant-based foods.

This means that you should feed your goat hay, grass, and other vegetation.

You can also supplement their diet with pellets and grain mixes.

These products are specifically designed for goats and contain the nutrients needed to stay healthy.

You should avoid feeding your goat dog food because it can lead to serious health problems.

Garden and kitchen leftovers are also great for goats.

However, ensure that you avoid feeding them anything high in sugar or fat.

You should also avoid feeding them avocados, chocolate, coffee, and onions because these foods are toxic to goats.

For instance, banana peels, orange peels, tomato ends, and watermelon rinds are all safe for goats to eat.

Can Goats Eat Dog Food FAQs

How do I stop my goat from eating dog food?

You can stop your goat from eating dog food by feeding them hay, grass, and other vegetation.

Supplement their diet with pellets and grain mixes.

Besides, enclose your goat in a pasture or pen to prevent them from accessing dog food.

Will dog food hurt a goat?

When fed in moderation, dog food will not hurt a goat.

However, dog food can lead to serious health problems, including obesity, joint problems, fatty liver disease, and difficulty breathing when fed in large quantities.

What constitutes dog food that is harmful to goats?

Dog food contains corn gluten, barley, wheat, and meat products harmful to goats.

These ingredients cause serious health problems in goats.

How much dog food can a goat eat?

A goat can eat about 0.45 kg (0.99 lb) of dry dog food per day.
However, this isn’t recommended because it can lead to serious health problems.


Although your dog and goat enjoy each other’s company, it’s best to keep them on separate diets.

Goats’ digestive system is designed to digest plant-based foods.

This means that you should feed your goat hay, grass, and other vegetation.

If you have been feeding your goat dog food and are concerned about their health, consult with a veterinarian.

They will help you create a diet plan that’s appropriate for your goat.

Megan Turner

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