Can you give your canine buddy a bowl of goat milk once in a while? Is it healthy or should you steer clear of it? This is the question we’re going to answer in this article. We’ll also look at the benefits of goat milk, why it’s a better choice compared to other types of dairy milk, and what it can do for your canine companion’s health.
Can dogs have goat milk? What are its benefits?
Goat milk contains a variety of vitamins, minerals, and fats that can support healthy digestion and a healthy immune system. In many dogs, it has been found to soothe the mucous membrane of the digestive system, so it can be given to pooches that have an upset stomach.
Another benefit of feeding goat milk to your dog is that it’s palatable, so your dog isn’t likely to refuse it. It can increase hydration levels since they like it more than water and they tend to slurp it as they would bone broth.
Many dogs that are fed goat milk are also known to have fewer skin problems than the rest. They aren’t as itchy, they don’t shed as much, and they also have fewer allergies.
How to give your dog goat milk
The types of cats and dogs that can have goat milk, get all the benefits, and experience no digestive distress are kittens and puppies. They haven’t grown so much so as to develop lactose intolerance, which is why they can process it without any problem whatsoever.
For dogs that are under 20 pounds, you can serve them 2 ounces of goat milk per day. In puppies, it can make up to 20% of their daily diet.
If you want to keep giving your dog goat milk as he or she becomes an adult, anything between 4 and 8 ounces per week should be enough.
Raw vs. pasteurized goat milk
No matter the type of milk we’re discussing, the raw option is always better from a nutritional standpoint. However, it also comes with a number of risks, which are almost always associated with its exposure to bacteria or other types of germs that would otherwise be killed by the pasteurization process.
On the other hand, pasteurization kills most of the healthy probiotics and enzymes that exist in raw milk. So, if you were to give your dog strictly pasteurized goat milk, it wouldn’t do much good in the way of improving their immune system, for example.
Raw goat milk can add plenty of nutrition to your dog’s diet, but you also have to get it from a safe source. If you are lucky enough to personally know a goat farmer, you could buy it from them.
There is another solution to this problem that isn’t as frequently discussed, though. If you didn’t know, freezing inactivates most of the bacteria that are capable of causing digestive distress and food poisoning. Therefore, if you freeze goat milk and then give it to your dog, you can eliminate this issue.
However, we do have to note that freezing doesn’t completely kill the germs and that if you leave the goat milk to thaw outside for a number of hours, the bacteria could just as well be reactivated. Simply lightly heat up the milk and then give it to your canine buddy right away, without waiting for the milk to be risky in terms of food poisoning.
Fermented goat milk
Fermented goat milk made with raw goat milk is a better option than having to pasteurize it by yourself or buying it already pasteurized. The numerous probiotics that grow in fermented milk are capable of inhibiting the rest of the potentially pathogenic bacteria, which means that kefir or yogurt is safer than actual raw milk.
If you can’t buy fermented goat milk from a manufacturer, consider making it at home. You can use a yogurt maker for the purpose or buy kefir grains online.
Goat milk vs. cow milk
Goat milk has a number of nutrients that can’t be found in other types of dairy milk, including cow milk. For example, goat milk is richer in vitamin B6, fatty acids, vitamin A, selenium, calcium, magnesium, niacin, and potassium.
On top of that, it’s homogenized as it contains more fat. But this type of fat comes in smaller globules, which means that it’s spread throughout the milk.
Compared to cow milk, goat milk is easier to digest, has less of a likelihood to cause allergies, and it also improves lactose intolerance. So, in a nutshell, if you were to have to choose between these two, goat milk is simply a safer and better choice.
Is goat milk safe for geriatric dogs?
Since partial lactose intolerance is quite common in adult dogs, goat milk is not a good idea for senior dogs. However, you can use goat yogurt instead, as it contains a variety of healthy bacteria that improves your Fido’s intestinal flora and contributes to improving his or her immune system.
If you want your canine buddy to get the benefits of goat yogurt, make sure to introduce it into his or her diet gradually. Some dogs can experience digestive distress if you add too much at once.
Is goat milk safe for puppies?
Orphaned puppies or those that have to be weaned can benefit from being fed a goat-milk based formula. Because goat milk is safer and somehow mimics the natural milk formula of a dog mother’s milk, it’s easy to digest and break down.
As they grow older, our canine friends begin to produce less lactase, which means that they gradually become lactose-intolerant. While goat milk is safer than cow milk, it’s still not a good idea to give it to your pooch frequently, especially if he or she is now an adult.
However, in most puppies, it doesn’t cause the classic lactose intolerance signs you’d notice in an adult (bloating, diarrhea, or gas).
So, can dogs have goat milk?
Yes, they can. Adults can have it in very small amounts, so do geriatric dogs. But it can be healthy to add to a puppy’s diet, especially if they’ve lost their mother. Goat milk doesn’t cause the same digestive problems as cow milk and it’s far richer in nutrients than the latter, too.