Dogs are facultative carnivores, meaning that they can be quite adaptable when it comes to food; although their ancestors evolved to eat a primarily carnivorous diet, dogs can do well on diets that have a lot of, a little of, or even no, meat, provided they receive the right balance of nutrients (water, protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins & minerals). Most dogs enjoy eating meat, and many are keen to try new things, so you might wonder if you can put goat on the menu. Indeed, properly prepared goat meat is safe for dogs, and can even be a good option for dogs with food allergies. Let’s look a bit closer at the hows and whys of feeding your dog goat meat.
Is Goat Meat Safe for Dogs?
Yes, most dogs can eat goat meat without experiencing any issues. In fact, it’s often used in novel protein diets. A novel protein is any kind of meat that a dog hasn’t been previously exposed to, and novel protein dog food is often formulated for dogs with food allergies. So, dogs that are allergic to beef or chicken are often able to eat goat meat without experiencing allergic reactions.
A Caveat About Variety
As mentioned above, goat is a great option to offer dogs as a novel protein. Although dogs may enjoy trying different foods and flavors, the more different proteins you include in their diet, the fewer options there will be if you ever do need to place them on a novel protein diet. For this reason, unless they have a specific need for it, we would recommend limiting your dog’s diet to just a few types of meat.
What Are the Health Benefits of Goat Meat?
Along with being a novel protein, goat meat is an excellent source of lean protein. It has lower cholesterol levels and less fat and sodium than many other red meats. It’s also an excellent source of essential minerals.
How to Safely Feed Dogs Goat Meat
Your dog can enjoy eating goat meat as an occasional treat. As mentioned above, it’s not a good idea to include too many different meats in your dog’s diet, but goat is certainly a safe meat to choose. If you’re interested in incorporating goat meat into your dog’s diet, consult your veterinarian to decide if it is a good idea.
Cook It Thoroughly
When it comes to preparing goat meat, make sure that it’s cooked thoroughly. It’s not recommended to feed your dog raw goat meat because it can be contaminated with bacteria that can cause food poisoning. The CDC recommends grilling red meat to an internal temperature of at least 145°F. The meat shouldn’t be left out for more than 2 hours at room temperature or 1 hour at temperatures above 90°F.
If you wish to feed your dog a raw diet, meat should be frozen for 3 weeks, then thawed in the fridge before serving. This is the best way to reduce the risks of bacterial, viral or parasitic infection.
The goat meat also should be unseasoned. Certain seasonings and ingredients like garlic, curry leaves, and hot pepper flakes can either be toxic to dogs or cause gastrointestinal upset. Dogs also don’t need additional oil or salt added to their diets.
Cut the meat into normal bite-sized pieces for your dog. If it’s your dog’s first time trying goat meat, only give a small amount, as feeding your dog too much new food too abruptly can give them an upset stomach. If your dog shows signs of an upset stomach after eating goat meat, such as vomiting or diarrhea, refrain from feeding them more goat meat.
What About Goat Milk?
You may have heard that dogs shouldn’t drink milk, particularly cow milk. But if dogs can eat goat meat, shouldn’t they be able to drink goat milk? Goat milk is often seen as a better alternative to cow milk for dogs, and while there are some truths to it being more easily digestible than cow milk, it’s important to note that it still contains lactose. Goat milk has about 20% less lactose than cow milk, so dogs could technically drink a little more of it. However, dogs that are lactose-intolerant should still refrain from drinking goat milk.
Dogs do not need milk after they are weaned, so there is no requirement to include it in their diet.
Goat meat is a snack that most dogs can eat without experiencing any issues. Just make sure to prepare it properly so that your dog can eat it safely. Goat meat should be prepared correctly, and it shouldn’t have any oil or seasoning added to it. Goat meat is a great low-fat and low-cholesterol protein, and it’s a special treat that most dogs will love to eat.
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