Is Goat’s Milk Healthy for Your Pets?

Alana here again.

I’d like to continue the subject of nutrition that I started earlier this week on the topic of goat’s milk. By now, many cat owners have heard that cats could not and should not drink cow’s milk, but have you heard that your cat or dog can and even should drink goat’s milk?

©freefoto.com

The Mighty Goat

 

DIGESTIBILITY

For those familiar with milk in its raw state, cow’s milk separates into cream and a more watery milk if left to settle and must be shaken to combine them. This is where homogenization comes in; although a few small studies suggest that homogenizing milk may be harmful to one’s health, companies do this so people don’t have to shake the milk before drinking it. (I’d prefer to shake it if there’s any doubt.) Goat’s milk, on the other hand, does not ever separate (Edit: 6/30/15 Goat’s milk can eventually separate, but does not do so as easily as cow’s milk), does not need to be shaken, and does not require homogenization. Due to its smaller molecular size, goat’s milk is more easily digestible (it takes about 20 minutes to digest, compared to 3 hours for cow’s milk). In addition, raw milk (cow OR goat) contains the necessary enzymes to aid in its own digestion, something pasteurized milk is lacking. This is why those of us that are lactose intolerant can drink raw milk but cannot digest processed milk.

BENEFITS

Goat’s milk is a, or possibly THE, most nutritionally complete food. In fact, the American Journal of Medicine states that goat’s milk is “the most complete food known.” It does not stimulate the production of mucus (cow’s milk does) and can counteract inflammation. It also seems to have some antiviral properties that can benefit and enhance the immune system, and has a nutritional and compositional profile very similar to human mother’s milk. It is often well tolerated by infants, adult humans, and cats and dogs. Rescueguide.com advises that orphaned kittens should be fed goat’s milk when their own mother’s milk is unavailable.

PERSONAL EXPERIENCE

In my personal experience, goat’s milk has been extremely welcome in the diet of my cats and dog. Though they can be picky eaters, the occasion is rare that they turn down a bowl of goat’s milk. Two of my four cats have sensitive stomachs, one of them extremely sensitive. If he strays from his diet at all, the result is usually regurgitation of his meal, yet he’s able to easily tolerate goat’s milk without a problem. When Crepes was having herpes flare ups as a kitten, the change in her diet from a highly-processed, grain-based diet to an all raw diet that included goat’s milk cleared up her symptoms entirely and she no longer suffers from any respiratory issues.

WHERE TO GET IT

Goat’s milk tends to be seasonal; the goats do not produce milk year-round, so farmer’s often freeze their surplus to be able to accommodate customers during the off-season. You may not be able to find fresh goat’s milk, but the frozen variety works, as well. Ask your local pet store if they carry it in their frozen section.

Your cat or dog may benefit from the inclusion of goat’s milk in their diet, or they  might simply enjoy it because it’s tasty!

If you’ve tried it, what did you think? What did your pet think? Let me know!

 

 

 

Sources:

http://www.naturalnews.com/031586_raw_goats_milk_health.html

http://dancingdogfarm.wordpress.com/2011/07/22/benefits-of-drinking-goats-milk/

http://www.roseofsharonacres.com/raw_goat_milk_benefits

 

38 thoughts on “Is Goat’s Milk Healthy for Your Pets?

  1. crepes……thiz message bee a dressed two ewe

    KNOT de gator

    we haz never tried goat’s milk but R mom did let uz try sum catsip from de store once…..with boomer N hiz love oh butter bein de onlee eggs ception….we iz knot much inta dairee…knot even cheeze….did sum one menshun pizza 🙂

  2. Thank you for this information as it was very interesting and full of facts that I was unaware of. I’m going to track down some goat’s milk and see how it works with both humans and furpersons.

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  4. I have been giving my dog and two cats plain goat milk kefir for a long time. I am constantly getting comments from friends about healthy my animals look and how soft their coats are. Both of my cats are adults. They have never once in their lives been sick. I attribute this to 1: following Lisa Pierson, DVM recipe for feeding cats a natural, nutritionally balanced diet, not over vaccinating them, and lastly, incorporating wonderful goat milk kefir (live bacteria eats the lactose) to their diets. I do all the with my dog, but he’s a young one and so, I’d expect him to be very healthy. The plan is, to keep the dog, and the cats healthy and with my family for a very very long time. Try the goat milk, your cat will thank you for it. And if possible try Redwood plain goat milk kefir. I’ve now started making my own goat milk kefir. It’s a keeper

    Thanks for the article, Alana. Glad you are adding the health and well being of animals.

    • That’s a great idea, Dani! Thank you. I know that Kefir is great. I make it sometimes from water in my kitchen. I’ll see if I can find some of that Redwood since getting goat milk here is a little tough. Thanks!

  5. My cat was diagnosed with feline aids. I was told he had 6 months to live.. that wad 8 months ago. Hr had always had a problem keeping his food down until I started feeding him goats milk. He loved it!! And it helps him keep his cat food down ss well. He id a strong healthy can now!

  6. Just started giving my cat goat milk and she truly loves it. Funnily enough i dont ever see her drinking it but its always gone when i come home from work or wake up in the morning ;). I feed her raw food anyway so she is a very healthy cat and goat milk seems to be contributing to her well being :).

  7. My cat loves the goat milk and is currently not eating anything else because he is very ill. How much goats milk per day for an underweight elderly cat currently ill?

    • Hi, Diane! I couldn’t say for sure. That’s a question for a veterinarian. If you don’t have one, I would look one up who has a background in nutrition and holistic pet care, since they’re more likely to be concerned about diet. I believe the milk has about 20 calories per ounce, which isn’t a lot when compared to high-calorie diet ingredients that senior cats might need, (our senior needed about 240 per day during his last months) so you’d want to make sure with your vet that your kitty is getting enough calories each day. Thanks for reading!

  8. i like goat’s milk, have had some frozen in the fridge. was going to throw it out as it had been in there since summer, but just adopted a cat and read that goat’s milk is good for them. so, i’ll try it, was getting it fresh locally, imagine it is still available. thanks for info.

    • Hi, i give my cat goatmilk and she loves it so i thought i get some ‘proper’ one 😉 from the place i get her raw food from and it gets delivered frozen. i thought she would love it but she dint touch it! suppose she got use to the supermarket one :(. Good luck

    • Hi Stacy,

      I’m sorry to hear about your kitty being ill! I would call and ask your veterinarian that question. She’ll know what your kitty is sick with and how much s/he weighs and what other diet is being fed, and also be able to calculate your kitty’s required caloric intake. If your kitty is sick, your vet is the best person to ask regardless. Good luck! – Alana.

  9. My yorkies have always had digestive problems and were at the hospital every other month with rectal bleeding, then one day I found a family owned pet store who recommended goats milk. They sell it frozen and I thought, I’ll give it a try. It’s been six months and Shubi and Chini have not been to the hospital since. They absolutely love it, they are the healthiest they have ever been. No more bleeding, nor more vomiting and happy as can be. Highly recommended. You’ll be happy you tried it.

  10. You are WRONG about goat’s milk not separating. It does – I know, I milk a goat twice a day and I can show you pictures of the cream that rises to the top. Yes, it takes longer, but it DOES separate.

    You need to get your facts straight before trying to “educate” people on something that you obviously know nothing about.

    • Thanks for your reply! We’re always willing to learn and receive constructive criticism on our posts, and since this one was written quite awhile ago, it’s good to go back and review it. Normally, we try to foster a positive attitude for discussion on the blog, but I thought I’d offer you a response, regardless of your less than respectful comment.

      We, too, have had plenty of goat milk – frozen, fresh, from the farm, etc. And in the time that it’s taken us to consume/use it, it has not separated. Many articles state that it does not separate like regular cow’s milk, which was the point we were making here, and does not require homogenization, which is in itself a suspect process. We are proponents of using goat’s milk for people and for cats and were hoping to share our ideas here. We’ve never claimed to be experts at anything, just writers who try things, who are proponents of health for pets, and of animal rescue and welfare.

      We will happily remove the tern “ever” in our article since further research does show that, after a time, it can separate, but generally still does not require homogenization.

      Thanks for reading and taking part in our discussion.

      Respectfully,
      Alana and Crepes.

    • If you read it does state that it does separate but takes a lot longer than milk and does not need to be homogenized. Maybe you should read before being so rude.

  11. Susan “ass”el indeed! Rude much? Anyway awesome info for people not sure if it’s safe to give something raw to their pets. My cats are curious about the goat milk, but not lapping it up the way I’d hoped, but we shall see what happens. Thanks again.Such a cute site!

    • Lol Funny comment:) on that name. Maybe a lil goats’ milk wud cheer her up, & her innards too,:)
      Thankq folks for a great article. My 23! year old kitty is healing from a tooth & ear infection caused by Prion parasites, couldn’t eat, & raw goats’ milk was a great discovery that’s helping him!

      • PS the goats’ milk is aiding in his healing. The primary healing is via a harmonic combo “zapper” technology & a supplement called Prion Ease

  12. Thanks for the informative post. I’m a huge milk fan of raw organic cow’s milk– its sooo delicious! I recently heard goats milk is a much healthier option. So I’ve done extensive research on it over the last week. I tried goats milk for the first time last weekend. I wasn’t too fond of the “goaty” taste. I think I’ll stick with raw organic cows milk :-). However, I gave the goats milk to my dog, and she absolutely loved it! I’ve never seen her drink anything so fast Lol. So I will keep buying it for her. I also read from another trusted site, that goats milk can help relieve arthritis symptoms and joint pain in dogs. My dog is 8yrs old, so she’s at that age where she’s starting to have beginning/mild arthritis. So I will give her goats milk, along with her daily glucosamine supplements, and I’ll see what happens.

    • No one else in the house can get any milk with OUR dog around. She’s more into it than she’s into sniffing our butts, which is a lot to say for a dog. Thanks for stopping by and for your comment. We hope her arthritis feels better! – Crepes.

  13. I have an 8 year old kitty who has been basically food intolerant most of his tiny little life, he weighs just 5 pound. Everything I feed him, more often than not, comes right back up. One day he will eat people chicken the next not!!! Not interested at all in other people food. I use goat milk yogurt for myself, due to dairy intolerance so, decided to give him some…he loved it….but only after I had just opened a new container. It separates on day two and I think the tartness is stronger so he walks away. I appreciate the suggestion of kefir and will try it today with hope it will make a difference. I am also wanting to try “fresh pet”…..any experience out there? Thanks for all your great comments.

  14. I have a 13 week kitty who likes to eat all the time( small portion)
    Also, he prefers milk instead of water. The milk is 99% la those free = Lowfat
    ( Faria dise AI laity authentic ue pour chats et cha tins.) kittens and adults.

    . how to make him to drink more water and, which kind of water ?
    please and Thank you.

    • Hi, Maria!

      Cats aren’t really big drinkers of water by nature. They get most of their moisture content from food, which is why cats who only get dry food drink more water than those who eat primarily wet food. You can try a cat-safe fountain – the splashing noises tend to get the cats interested in drinking more. You can also add a bit of water to the food or moisten any dry food that you feed. I like to use purified water so it doesn’t have a chlorine smell. And you can try leaving several small bowls of it around the house. I also use goat’s milk products for my cats, which tends to help them get a bit more water. Check with your vet, of course, but if your cat seems healthy and is getting a lot of moisture in his diet, he may not need to drink more water than he’s already getting. Cats drinking excessive amounts of water should always be seen by a vet.

      Thanks!

      Alana.

  15. Hi… good news about the raw goat milk…I have a ferral cat who just had a litter… (hidden somewhere on my property)…I am feeding the mama cat raw goat’s milk x 2- 3 times everyday…she LOVES it…drinks the whole bowl … (I watch from inside my home )… I have to take the milk away so she will eat the raw / cooked food I feed her as well. She is nursing so very thin although I know the milk and food she does eat/drink are sustaining her thru the next 4 -6 weeks. We LOVE our feline tribes !

  16. HI! I am a new mom of a 4 month old kitten that I exclusively cook for and looking into giving her the goat milk I purchase for my young children. I tend to buy Meyenberg powdered Vitamin D whole milk, is this safe or should I purchase raw liquid form of goat milk? Thank you for your very informative post!
    Much Appreciation!
    Heather

    • Hi Heather! Congrats on your new kitten! He sounds pretty lucky to have special home-cooked foods! I don’t see why it wouldn’t be safe ( as long as there are no other additives or flavorings that could be toxic to pets) but you may want to check with your vet just to be positive, if you’re concerned. However, it looks like Meyenberg has lots of information on their own website regarding feeding to pets that you can see here: http://meyenberg.com/breeders-vets/

      In our house, we use Answers Raw frozen goat’s milk because we’re lucky enough to have a source of it nearby that’s affordable. Whether you feed raw or not is your preference. Personally, our home is a raw home and we use both raw meat and milk for our pets. This, again, depends on the pet as some vets suggest not feeding raw to any immunocompromised animals (like FIV or FeLV cats). There is definitely a use for powdered goat’s milk since it’s easy to keep on hand at all times and can be mixed up when needed. Raw has a lot of natural probiotics in it, but some powdered milks have them added back in, too, like the Probloom from Honest Kitchen. Sometimes I sneak the powdered stuff into their food by mixing it in as an additive since a few of my cats don’t like to drink it on its own. And we just used raw frozen goat’s milk on some four week old kittens and they turned out nice and plump. Many choices, all good!

      Thanks for reading!

      Alana.

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  18. Hello all,
    I recently adopted a four week old kitten from a shelter in my town, where I was told that he was already eight weeks old and was eating a ton. However, that was not the case. He had a ton of energy, and ate well, but threw up everything he ate. I tried slowing him down and switching to a new food, but nothing was working until I tried goats milk. He’s now keeping everything down, and looking healthier than ever. SO glad I found this page!
    Best regards,
    Julie

    • That’s up to the individual. I can’t recommend what’s best for you and your cats. I have used both the powdered kind and the raw variety, depending on which cat needs it. There are some recommendations from vets not to feed raw to immuno-compromised cats, so it’s important to check and see what’s best for your individual case. At home, I am presently feeding raw goat’s milk with my dog and all my cats of various ages, none of which have any immune issues.

  19. My cat loves goat cheese, I’m allergic to dairy so I substitute goat cheese for cream cheese on my bagels and every time he sees me pull a bagel out he knows he’s about to get a treat. Glad to know its not bad for him.

  20. Our 14 year old cat began losing weight and was drinking large volumes of water. After the vet ruled out kidney failure and diabetes, she determined that my cat suffers from hyperthyroidism (overactive) with a rapid heart beat. Now after 2 months, her thyroid is regulated with a daily pill, but her weight remains low even though she eats like a small dog! I began giving her daily probiotics, but still no weight gain. Now, after 4 days of goat kefir (prebiotic), she has gained a 1/2 pound! She doesn’t like the taste, so I mix in 3 drops of kefir with her wet food, 3 times a day, and she inhales it.
    We also have a 20 year old cat in advanced kidney failure. We are keeping him with us by subcutaneous water (every 2 days), and Azodyl (probiotics that destroy renal toxins), but he continues to lose weight. Will start him on goat kefir today, and see if that helps!

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