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Home > Dogs > Goat’s Milk for Dogs: Vet Reviewed Benefits, Uses & More

Goat’s Milk for Dogs: Vet Reviewed Benefits, Uses & More

farmer pours goat's milk into can

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Dr. Marta Vidal-Abarca Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Marta Vidal-Abarca

Veterinarian, BVSc GPCert (Ophthal) MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Many people add milk to cereal or use it in a favorite cake recipe. For dog owners, a splash of cow’s milk is a common treat for their canine companions.

However, cow’s milk has its downsides, as it can cause allergic reactions and gastrointestinal upset. Due to this, many dog owners prefer goat’s milk as a healthy alternative. Although goat’s milk can still cause problems for certain lactose-intolerant dogs, it’s usually much easier to digest since it contains less lactose than cow’s milk. It has several other benefits too.

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What Is Goat’s Milk?

Goat’s milk is quickly becoming the preferred alternative to cow’s milk, especially among pet owners. In fact, it’s the most consumed type of milk in the world. Many pet owners also give their dogs plant-based milk instead of cow’s milk.

Beyond its creamy consistency, goat’s milk is favored because of its extra health benefits. It’s generally easier to digest and promotes heart health. It also contains fewer allergens but higher amounts of protein, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and vitamin A.

For dogs, it is thought to have many of the same benefits that it does for humans. It can be used as a treat and to potentially help with certain illnesses.

Reasons for giving goat milk to your dog include:
  • Lesser amount of lactose (better for lactose intolerance)
  • Fewer allergic reactions
  • Soothing gastrointestinal upset
  • Good source of nutrients
  • Fighting inflammation and infections
elaboration of natural yogurt with goat's milk
Image By: Agorca, Shutterstock

How Is Goat’s Milk Given?

Goat’s milk is one of the easiest treats to give to your dog, but you have to be careful not to give them too much. Making exact recommendations is not possible since it depends on each dog’s individual situation. The recommended maximum amount is approximately 2-3 tablespoons (1 ounce) of goat milk for every 20 pounds, so a 40-pound dog can have 2 ounces. Remember to adjust the amount based on your dog’s diet, and consider how you want to give goat milk to your dog.

Dog Treats

You can make homemade dog-friendly snacks that contain goat’s milk or freeze an ice tray full of it. Frozen goat’s milk is a great way to give your dog a cold treat on hot days.

Meal Topper

Adding something new to your dog’s kibble is a great way to make their meals more interesting. Goat’s milk makes a great meal topper and can add extra moisture to their dry diet.

miniature schnauzer dog standing on sofa and eating dog food from bowl
Image By: DegrooteStock, Shutterstock

Pasteurized

Raw goat’s milk is milk that has not been pasteurized. During the pasteurization of milk, harmful bacteria are killed while most of the nutritional benefits of drinking milk are kept. The benefits of feeding raw milk to dogs or people have not been proven, while the risks of this practice are widely documented.

What Happens If You Miss a Dose?

Strictly speaking, goat’s milk is not medicine, so like other treats that you give your dog, it should never become a major part of their diet. Giving too much goat’s milk to your dog can cause a few problems, especially if it interferes with their nutritional intake from their main diet.

However, if you’ve been told to give goat’s milk to your dog in order to treat a health issue, it’s best if you keep up with your veterinarian’s advice on dosage and frequency. Double-check about the right dosage and when you should give goat’s milk to your dog.

Missing a dose when your vet has recommended a certain amount should not be a major problem. Usually, it’s recommended that you give the dose when you remember unless it’s almost time for the next one. Contact your veterinarian if you are unsure about when to give your dog’s their goat’s milk portion.

Goat's milk
Image By: Ha11ok, Pixabay

Potential Side Effects of Goat’s Milk

Even good things have a downside and goat’s milk is no different. Despite the presumed benefits associated with the product, it can still potentially harm your dog if it’s overused or used incorrectly.

Some dogs might be more sensitive to goat’s milk than others and might have a strong negative reaction. This is why you need to watch your dog carefully whenever you introduce something new to their diet and take steps to give them the new product slowly.

Certain health issues can also make goat’s milk not recommended for dogs, such as pancreatitis, obesity, or history of food allergies or lactose intolerance. If your dog has a sensitive stomach or a bad reaction to goat’s milk, they can suffer from the following side effects:

  • Changes to the stool consistency and/or frequency
  • Flatulence (intestinal gas)
  • Vomiting

Most veterinary nutritionists recommend pasteurized goat’s milk if your dog is a healthy weight and it won’t interfere with a balanced diet. Raw milk has a much higher chance of containing harmful bacteria like E. Coli and Listeria.

dog drinking milk from bowl in kitchen at home
Image By: Dean Drobot, Shutterstock

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Is Goat’s Milk Good For?

Goat’s milk has not yet been scientifically studied to prove its benefits on dog’s health as it has been in humans. Nevertheless, its nutritional profile makes it a healthy treat as long as your dog can tolerate it. Goat’s milk contains a good proportion of protein, fat, carbohydrates, and other nutrients like Vitamin A with desirable health benefits. It is thought to be good for reducing inflammation, and fighting infection.

Is Goat’s Milk Better Than Cow’s Milk?

Goat’s milk is considered superior in terms of health benefits when compared to milk from other species. Most dogs—and humans—seem to find goat’s milk easier to digest. Its lactose content is slightly less when compared to cow’s milk. So, some lactose-intolerant dogs will find it easier to digest goat’s milk, and others will still suffer from digestive upset or allergic reactions to the proteins in it.

Deciding whether goat’s milk is right for your dog means paying attention to how your dog acts after consuming it and making sure they don’t have a bad reaction.

Where Do You Buy Goat’s Milk for Dogs?

Goat’s milk is incredibly popular, which makes it easy to find both in powdered and liquid forms. Despite the fact that you can purchase pasteurized and unpasteurized goat’s milk for both human and canine consumption at regular grocery stores, unpasteurized milk poses a higher risk of foodborne pathogens.

glass of goat milk on a wooden table and a white goat in the Altai mountains in summer
Image By: MargoLLL, Shutterstock

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Conclusion

Goat’s milk is a popular alternative to cow’s milk when it comes to giving your dog a healthy treat. It contains slightly more nutrients, and many dogs find it easier to digest. It can potentially help some dog’s gut health, possibly help reduce inflammation and fight infections, although these benefits have not yet been proven.

Make sure you introduce goat’s milk to your dog’s diet slowly to ensure that there are no adverse reactions and use it in moderation. Too much can cause diarrhea and gastrointestinal upset.

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Featured Image Credit: Stock Media Seller, Shutterstock

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