What is Goat Milk
Goat milk is exactly what you would think: milk from a goat. While goat milk has been a staple for people all over the world for the past century, it is now gaining popularity in the United States. However it’s not only for human consumption anymore. In fact, goats milk for dogs is becoming increasingly popular.
Different Animal = Very Different Milk
Over the last century, researchers have closely studied the milk derived from different species. What sets one apart from the other?
A thorough analysis shows that the nutrient content and basic composition of the milk varies from species to species. This variation is primarily to cater to the specific needs of the species.
Goat Milk vs Dog Milk
Dog and cat milk have higher protein and fat content than ruminant animals such as cattle, sheep, and goats. This contrast is due to the fact that carnivorous dogs and cats have very different dietary and biological needs than cows and goats.
The species’ physiological needs determine the fat and protein make up of their milk.
Cow Milk vs Goat Milk
Although cow milk and goat milk have comparable compositions, they vary in several ways.
It’s pretty likely that you’ve heard someone say they are allergic to cow milk. In actuality, they aren’t exactly allergic to the milk, but rather the alpha-s1-casein protein found in cow milk.
Conversely, goat milk has extremely little or none of this protein, therefore, causing less allergic symptoms.
Furthermore, cow milk contains beta-lactoglobulin and alpha-lactalbumin proteins which are directly associated with allergic symptoms.
In addition to having less allergic reactors, studies show that goat milk is easier and quicker to digest due to its smaller fat globules, a higher concentration of fatty acids, and looser curd formation.
In fact, the fat molecules found in goat milk are one-fifth the size of those found in cow milk. This means that even dogs with digestive issues should easily be able to enjoy goat milk with no issues.
Goat milk can easily be digested by most mammals, therefore, getting the nickname of “the universal milk.”
Can Dogs Drink Milk?
Yes and no. Like their owners, all dogs are different.
While some dogs have no issues digesting milk, others may experience gastrointestinal distress such as gas or diarrhea. It comes down to how the dog is able to process a nutrient called lactose. But more on that in a second.
More and more often, we hear about lactose intolerance. It wasn’t too long ago that commercials flooded our television sets, promoting milk and its strong bone building abilities. Nowadays, we’re finding more and more individuals switching to lactose-free milk or a milk replacer, such as almond milk, due to issues related to lactose intolerance.
However, lactose intolerance and pasteurization are directly correlated. Issues of lactose intolerance increased as pasteurization grew.
We’ll break it down for you.
Lactose is a milk sugar. In order for it to be easily digested, lactose needs the enzyme lactase to split it into simple sugars. Pasteurization destroys the lactase enzyme.
For people and pets who don’t produce the lactase enzyme, digesting pasteurized milk can prove to be very uncomfortable. However, in many studies, they can digest raw milk without any issues. As we mentioned before, it really depends on the individual pup.
Raw Goat Milk Vs. Pasteurized Milk
Raw milk sold for human consumption is illegal. The milk in your fridge is pasteurized.
Pasteurizing milk removes dangerous bacteria such as Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria that may cause illnesses. However, pasteurization also removes the beneficial bacteria. Additionally, pasteurization removes the natural digestive enzymes and destroys the chemical make-up of calcium found in raw milk.
There’s not much we can do regarding the legality of raw milk for our consumption. However, raw milk for pets is completely legal and can be highly beneficial.
Benefits of Goat Milk for Dogs
Unpasteurized, or raw, goat milk has a significant number of benefits for your beloved furry companion.
Raw goat milk contains:
- Vital nutrients
- Digestive enzymes
- Trace elements
- Digestible proteins
- Healthy fatty acids
The easily digestible probiotics can aid in the treatment of chronic ailments, including:
- GI disease
- Heavy metal poisoning
- Liver disease
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- Kidney stones
- Digestive issues
- Fighting off yeast
- Allergies and skin irritations
- Arthritis and joint pain
- Over accumulation of mucous
Goat milk also increases the pH level in the bloodstream due to its high levels of the amino acid l-glutamine.
Just how does raw goat milk help manage these issues? Let’s get more detailed on a few of these benefits.
The sheer amount of vitamins, enzymes, fatty acids, and trace minerals alone cater to the overall health and immune system of your pup.
Raw goat milk also contains higher amounts of vitamin B-6, calcium, potassium, vitamin A, and selenium than cow milk, further boosting the immune system.
Raw goat milk has anti-inflammatory properties that can aid in making medication such as prednisolone and cortisone, along with their toxic side effects, a thing of the past.
Raw goat milk is packed full of probiotics. Probiotics aid in treating digestive issues such as colitis, diarrhea, and IBS.
Furthermore, goat milk is even more beneficial than probiotic pills or powders because of how quickly the raw milk is able to absorb.
Allergies and Skin Irritations
Dogs can get yeast infections in their ears, paws, and mucocutaneous areas and can make your dog extremely uncomfortable. Goat milk contains high levels of caprylic acid. Caprylic acid is a known yeast fighter.
If your dog has ever furiously licked or bit at their paws leaving hot spots, it could be because of the irritation from yeast allergies. Raw goat milk can help alleviate the irritation by targeting the source.
Arthritis and Joint Pain
The same digestive enzymes also serve as a natural anti-inflammatory for the joints. Raw goat milk also improves circulation which can alleviate symptoms of arthritis.
Fermenting goat milk can add even more nutritional benefits.
Fermentation adds extra probiotics which combine with the existing vital nutrients to aid in treating the chronic illness listed above.
Furthermore, the fermentation process has existed for thousands of years. However, only recently have studies started to show and people began to understand the extent of fermentation health benefits.
Additional chronic ailments improved with fermented milk and dairy foods include:
- Gastric ulcers
- Intestinal pathogens
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Brain disorders (Seriously!)
While pet owners are unable to reap the benefits of raw goat milk (remember, it’s illegal for humans), they can enjoy a fermented milk product known as kefir.
Kefir vs Yogurt
Kefir is similar in appearance to regular yogurt but has a few upgrades.
Kefir contains 30 different strains of healthy bacteria and beneficial yeasts. These strains regulate and eliminate harmful pathogenic yeast in the body.
When the body, dog or person, has high volumes of yeast, big time problems can occur. Luckily, the fermented milk product, kefir, can be an absolute game changer.
Where to Buy Kefir
Fermented goat milk or kefir can be found at most any supermarket. However, in order to ensure that it is fresh and GMO-free, we suggest getting it from your local farmer’s market.
Pet owners can also look online to find how to make kefir at home. It is surprisingly easier than you may think.
How to Use Goats Milk for Dogs
The more recognition goats milk gains, the more and more local health food stores and pet wellness shops are stocking their shelves with it.
Regardless of the form of goats milk that you purchase, you can easily add it to their meal.
Primal Dog Food
We really love the Primal Dog Food brand. Their raw goat’s milk is sold frozen and should be kept in the freezer until ready for use. According to Primal, the suggested dose is as follows:
Pet Wt: Serving:
< 20 lb. 2 oz.
20-40 lb. 4 oz.
40-60 lb. 6 oz.
60-80 lb. 8 oz.
80 lb. > 10 oz.
Dehydrated Instant Goats Milk
A convenient option is dehydrated instant goats milk. Pet owners simply add water and can give it to their pet as a standalone drink or over food.
Goat Milk Kefir
Be sure to check out Cheeseslave’s article on how to make your own kefir!
We recommend starting off with half the recommended dosage and increasing slowly so that your pup can get used to the additional good flora and other nutrients in their GI tract.
Goats Milk for Dogs – A Must Try
When most people think of milk, the first thing that comes to mind is cow milk or a mother’s milk.
Not many people in the United States would consider an animal drinking another species’ milk. However, it may surprise you that we are massively in the minority in this thinking.
Around the world, humans enjoy raw, fresh, and fermented milk from a variety of species including donkey, reindeer, camel, buffalo, and yak.
Interestingly enough, goats milk is actually the most consumed milk in the world. That’s right, even above cow milk!
With the amount of benefits for both you and your pup, its no wonder that goat milk for dogs is getting more popular by the day.