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3 Health Benefits of Goat Milk for Dogs: Based on Science

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Cute little puppy or dog in harness licks out milk_bublikhaus_shutterstock

Have you heard about the benefits of goat’s milk for humans and wondered if your pooch might be able to have some as well?

Truth be told, researchers have not dedicated much time to studying the scientific health benefits of goat’s milk in a canine diet. However, we did find a few interesting studies that – pieced together with good old nutritional information – may give you some food for thought.

Plenty of research has been done on the differences between goat’s milk and cow’s milk, however. Generally, goat’s milk is more nutritious and has less of the common downsides of cow’s milk. If your dog’s tummy does okay with cow-based dairy, it may be worthwhile to try goat’s milk for a change! Here are the 9 health benefits of goat’s milk for dogs:

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Nutrition Information

Here’s some pertinent nutritional information on raw goat’s milk from the USDA, all based on a 128g serving:
A dog and a goat_gorb andrii_shutterstock
By: Gorb Andrii, Shutterstock

The 3 Possible Health Benefits of Goat Milk for Dogs:

1. Goat’s milk can help your dog gain weight

If your dog has lost weight due to an illness or malnutrition, the high amount of protein in goat’s milk could help them get back up to a healthy weight.

2. Goat’s milk supports calcium absorption better than cow’s milk

According to studies from the University of Granada in Spain, the bioavailability of calcium is much greater in goat’s milk than that from a cow.

Calcium is an essential nutrient for dogs that is used to build healthy bones and support the liver. Higher bioavailability means that dogs can metabolize and use the calcium present in goat’s milk more easily than that of cow’s milk.

The same study found that iron absorption is also higher in goat’s milk, though to a lesser degree.

3. Goat’s milk has lots of vitamin A

Goat’s milk is a great source of vitamin A, and that can be beneficial to your pup in a variety of ways. Vitamin A supports a strong immune system, reproductive system, good eyesight, and bone growth among other things.

The best part? The exact vitamin A precursor in goat’s milk is A2 Beta-Casein, which does not carry the added risk of diabetes like the A1 Beta-Casein in cow’s milk. Goat’s milk is also a more bioavailable source of vitamin A than cow’s milk.

Can Goat Milk be Bad for Dogs?

In short, yes. Many dogs are lactose intolerant, and though goat’s milk is generally easier to digest, it may still cause tummy troubles for your canine companion.

Every dog’s digestive system is different though, so approach any dietary change with caution. We do not recommend letting puppies or elderly dogs try goat’s milk, as their digestion is often much more sensitive than that of adult dogs.

The main thing to keep in mind about raw milk, in general, is that you should be very careful about where you source it from and how fresh it is. According to the CDC, raw and unpasteurized milk is more likely to contain harmful bacteria and viruses such as Listeria, Salmonella, and E. coli.

Super fresh raw goat’s milk is much safer and far less likely to have had time to grow any horrible germs. But if you choose to introduce some raw goat’s milk to your dog’s diet it would be wise to do it slowly, in small amounts, and to observe your pup for any adverse effects.

Signs of digestive upset that should precipitate a call to your veterinarian if severe:
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Bloating and lethargy

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Final Thoughts

As always, we advise talking to your veterinarian about any possible changes to your dog’s diet and nutrition.

But if your dog can handle small amounts of cow-based dairy products, chances are high that goat’s milk will be just fine for them and is likely more nutritious!

Featured image credit: bublikhaus, Shutterstock

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