Cow’s milk may still dominate the dairy market, but today, more and more people are getting wise to the awesome power of raw goat milk. It’s not just good for people; it’s also good for your dogs. Adding raw goat milk to your dog’s raw food diet will provide a big dose of the necessary vitamins and minerals your pet needs to thrive.
Why you should give your dog raw goat milk
Raw goat milk is also known as the “universal milk” because it is very easy for all mammals to digest. Goat milk is also the complete package, containing vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, trace elements, enzymes, protein, and fatty acids.
The enzymes in raw goat milk aid the digestion process, making goat milk more tolerable for your dog to digest than cow’s milk.
Fermenting goat milk provides even greater nutritional value. The fermentation process adds more probiotics which metabolize the lactose in milk and combine with its other nutrients to create more health-supporting compounds mentioned above. Although fermented milk and dairy foods have been consumed for thousands of years, we’ve only recently begun to understand their benefits in fighting modern chronic illnesses such as arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, gastric ulcers, colitis, intestinal pathogens and even brain disorders.
Who should get raw goat milk?
All dogs can benefit from raw goat milk in their diet, but it is especially beneficial for dogs who need digestive assistance and immune support, as well as picky eaters and sensitive pets.
Raw goat milk vs. pasteurized goat milk
When it comes to goat milk, there are two options: pasteurized and raw.
According to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), pasteurization helps kill potentially harmful bacteria and pathogens found in raw milk. However, according to Dr. John Crewe, founder of the Mayo Clinic and author of Raw Milk Cures Many Diseases, unpasteurized milk is rich in enzymes and contains an array of nutrients. Still, some studies suggest that when pasteurizing milk, no significant changes were found in the nutrient value, but data is not fully developed.
Nevertheless, studies do indicate that pasteurization can decrease a number of nutrients: Vitamin C, vitamin B12, B9, B6, and B1. However, in these same studies, researchers argue that these nutrients are found in low concentrations to begin with, and pasteurization affects them on a minor scale. Additionally, in a 2019 review, researches point out that children and adults who are exposed to raw milk may increase their protection against allergies and asthma. Another study in Europe indicated that children who consumed raw milk were less likely to endure asthma and allergies as well.
Differences in the nutrient composition comes down to the goat’s diet.
High quality raw goat’s milk
In the words of Hippocrates, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”. While it’s no surprise our beloved canine friends enjoy just about anything they can get their mouths on, it’s important to consider the source of what your pets are consuming. This includes the quality of your raw goat milk. A healthy environment and nutrient rich pasture plays a huge role in achieving high quality raw goat milk that’s filled with viable nutrition. In fact, small pastures and minimal grass can lead to nutrition deficiencies and poor milk production.
This is all the more reason, as pet owners, to research where you purchase your raw goat’s milk. Mass goat milk production facilities may have the scale and ability to produce clean raw milk. However, keep in mind that a rich diet in nutrient-dense grass, in a stress-free environment, will definitely improve the quality and production of the milk. That said, some consumers argue that local farms may be the answer to providing nutrient-rich, high quality raw goat’s milk. Nevertheless, diligent research is key when looking for high quality consumables for your canine friend.
Having said that, let’s look at what goat’s milk can do for our four legged friends.
Goat’s milk for dogs
While there’s no conclusive studies regarding how effective goat’s milk is for dogs, anecdotal evidence suggests that incorporating goat’s milk into your dog’s diet may help manage unwanted symptoms or even improve digestion. It’s also been shown that goat’s milk is healthier and more beneficial than cow’s milk. That said, there is some scientific evidence that confirm the benefits of goat’s milk, which may support and even improve the health of your dog.
Benefits of goat’s milk for dogs
- Unlike cow’s milk, which is commercially homogenized through machines, goat’s milk is naturally homogenized. This means the fat molecules are broken down into smaller sizes that are easier to digest.
- The proteins in goat milk may potentially reduce the chance of type 1 diabetes. In fact, goat’s milk contains A2 Beta-Casein rather than A1 Beta-Casein, which is found in cow’s milk. Surprisingly, studies suggest that A1 Beta-Casein unfortunately triggers Type 1 diabetes.
- The curd in goat’s milk can improve digestion. This means the curds found in goat’s milk are much smaller and more flocculent than curd found in cow’s milk. One study conducted on dogs and humans concluded that hard curds not only required more time to digest, they were much harder to digest as well.
- Goat’s milk is less acidic. Like the milk of human mothers, goat milk is much more alkalizing, thus causing less of an acidic reaction. Cow’s milk, on the other hand, is much more acidic, which may promote fungi, virus, and bacterial overgrowth.
- Goat’s milk contains a higher amount of beneficial nutrients like calcium, vitamin B6, vitamin A, potassium, and niacin. It’s also been found that goat’s milk contains 88% water.
- The micronutrients found in goat’s milk are much more easily absorbed by the body than cow’s milk.
While it’s safe to say that raw goat’s milk is definitely growing in popularity for pets and humans alike, it’s in no way a “cure-all”. In fact, according to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), consuming raw milk may increase exposure to harmful germs like E. coli, Salmonella, Brucella, Listeria, etc. These germs can easily cause diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach upset.
Pet owners are cautioned to view raw goat’s milk as a food or supplement. In no way should raw goat’s milk be used in place of necessary medical treatments. If you are considering feeding your canine friends raw goat’s milk, we recommend consulting with your veterinarian first. Remember that anytime you introduce a new food, supplement, or medicine to your dog’s diet, always start low and slow. A little bit of raw goat’s milk goes a long way. Additionally, keep in mind that no two dogs are the same. What works for one dog may not work for another. That said, if you see that your dog is showing any signs of complications or upsets, discontinue the milk immediately, and consult with your veterinarian if necessary.