Rearing goats for milk production is an age-old tradition in many parts of the world.
For centuries, people have relied on goats for their dairy needs.
Nowadays, goat milk is becoming increasingly popular as a healthy alternative to cow’s milk.
As such, you may be wondering; can a dog drink goat milk?
Dogs can drink goat milk but in moderation.
Goat milk contains high-fat content which can cause diarrhea and other digestive problems in dogs.
However, it’s a good source of vitamins A, B, and C, as well as potassium and magnesium.
Probiotics in goat milk can also help with digestive problems.
Moreover, it’s an ideal hydrating drink for dogs during hot summer days.
In this article, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of giving goat milk to your dog and some tips on introducing it to their diet.
Why Goat Milk Might Be Unsafe for Your Dog
Although rich in nutrients, goat milk isn’t recommended for dogs as their main source of hydration or nutrition.
The following are some notable risks:
If planning to give goat milk to your dog, it’s important to know that they might be lactose intolerant.
Lactose is a type of sugar found in milk and other dairy products.
Dogs lack the enzyme needed to break down lactose, which can cause stomach upset, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Therefore, your pet will depict allergic symptoms like itchiness, swelling of the face, lips or tongue, hives, and difficulty breathing.
If you see your dog experiencing any of these after drinking goat milk, discontinue and consult your veterinarian.
However, if your furry friend shows milder symptoms like soft stools or a little bloating, it’s probably because they’re not used to drinking goat milk.
In this case, you can start by giving them small amounts and slowly increasing the amount over time.
Relative to cow’s milk, goat milk has a higher fat content.
For instance, it has 4% milk fat compared to cow’s milk, which has around 0.08-0.15% milk fat.
Although fats are essential to a dog’s diet, too much can cause digestive problems like diarrhea and pancreatitis.
Goat milk is also higher in calories than cow’s milk.
One cup of goat milk contains 168 calories, while one cup of cow’s milk only has 102 calories.
While a little extra calorie intake might not be a problem for some dogs, it can lead to weight gain in others.
Why is Goat Milk Good for Your Dog?
Goat milk is a complete food, meaning it contains all the essential nutrients that your dog needs.
In addition to being rich in vitamins, minerals, and proteins, goat milk also contains electrolytes that help keep your dog hydrated.
Below are some of the benefits that goat milk provides to your dog.
Supply Vitamins and Minerals
Goat milk is an excellent source of vitamins A, B, and C.
It’s also rich in potassium and magnesium, essential for maintaining a healthy heart.
For instance, vitamins A and C help boost the immune system, while potassium and magnesium help regulate blood pressure.
Easy to Digest
The type of protein found in goat milk is easier for dogs to digest than the protein found in cow’s milk.
For instance, casein and serum albumin are the two main types of protein found in goat milk.
These proteins are smaller and have a simpler structure than those found in cow’s milk, making them easier for dogs to digest.
Caseins makes 80% of the proteins in goat milk and is easy to digest.
They are also slowly absorbed, making them ideal for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
Moreover, it contains A2 beta-casein, which is the same type of protein found in human milk.
This makes up 20% of the proteins in goat milk and is a high-quality protein that’s easily absorbed by the dog’s body.
It’s also rich in amino acids, which are essential for building muscle.
Moreover, serum albumin is easily absorbed and helps maintain a balanced pH level in the intestines.
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that help keep the digestive system healthy.
Goat milk contains a type of probiotic called Lactobacillus acidophilus, which helps improve gut health and digestion.
In addition, this probiotic also helps boost the immune system.
How can I Add Goat’s Milk to my Dog’s Diet?
If you want to add goat milk to your dog’s diet, obtain it from a trusted source and watch for any allergic reactions.
Moreover, start by giving your dog small amounts of milk and slowly increase the amount over time.
You can also purchase goat milk from health food stores or online retailers.
When purchasing goat milk, get whole milk free of preservatives and additives.
You can also choose to feed your dog raw goat milk, but it’s important to consult your veterinarian first to determine if it’s suitable for your dog.
Let your dog drink goat milk as is or mix it with their regular food.
For dogs that are lactose-intolerant, you can give them goat milk kefir, yogurt, or cheese as an alternative.
If you’re mixing it with food, start by adding a small amount and gradually increase over time.
You can also use it in recipes for homemade dog food or as a topper for their kibble.
You can also freeze goat milk into ice cubes and give them to your dog as a treat.
Can Dog Drink Goat Milk FAQs
Can puppies have goat milk?
Puppies can have goat milk but dilute it first since their stomach is still developing.
For every 8 ounces of goat milk, add 2-4 ounces of water depending on the age and size of your puppy.
Puppies have sensitive stomachs, and too much goat milk can cause diarrhea.
How much goat milk should I give my dog?
The amount of goat milk you give your dog will depend on their size, weight, and age.
For instance, a small dog can have up to ½ a cup of goat milk per day, while a large dog can have up to two cups per day.
Is pasteurized goat milk safe for dogs?
Pasteurized goat milk is safe for dogs because pasteurization kills harmful bacteria without affecting the nutritional value of the milk.
Can I give my dog goat milk every day?
Giving your dog goat milk daily is possible, but it’s important to consult with your veterinarian first.
This is because some dogs might be allergic to goat milk or have trouble digesting it.
Goat milk is nutritious and easily digestible milk for dogs.
It’s rich in vitamins, minerals, and probiotics that can help boost the immune system and improve gut health.
If you are planning to give your dog goat milk, obtain it from reputable sources and consult with your veterinarian first.