Home » Goats » Can Goats Eat Dog Food? (Answered)

Can Goats Eat Dog Food? (Answered)

Can goats eat dog food?

If you are very observant about the nature of goats, you should be able to conclude that they eat almost everything.

You might be trying out a chocolate from a candy store only to find out a goat has been staring at you all the while.

In the goat’s head, he’s just like…

  • Oh, How does this taste?
  • I’ll have to try this when he drops the sachet on the ground?
  • The taste must be amazing for him/her to smile like that.

Pardon me for my informal expressions, but that’s just the best way I feel I can explain this for everyone reading to understand it quite clearly.

In essence, goats will eat anything as long as it passes through the mouth. This is their unique nature and nothing can change that about them, not even isolation.

You shouldn’t even find it new when you see a goat eating weird stuff like paper, raw food, and many more. Their food curiosity has no limits!

From these that I have pointed out, you should make an inference that goats will also be able to eat dog food.

Dog food is just another food to satisfy their taste buds yet again. However, does this mean it’s healthy for goats to feast on dog food?

Goats love dog food, No doubts about that! But, it is not healthy a tiny bit for goats to eat such. It’s not healthy for them at all. If you read a goat, or you are planning to do so soon, you might want to know why you shouldn’t feed your goats with dog food and also, the consequences of doing so.

Before I kick off fully, it might be interesting to let you know that feeding goats, dog food has been known to cause them major health problems and complications.

I’m quite sure you must be curious to know how and why that happens.

In this article, we will discuss the effects of goats eating dog food, what to feed, and what not to feed goats. So sit tight and read on!

Can goats eat dog food?

Over the weeks, I’ve received this particular question from different goat-rearers, and I felt the best way to give an answer is by composing an article, which you are already reading.

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This will go far beyond answering if goats can eat dog food or not, but will also mention the reasons why goats can eat or must not eat dog food. In addition, you get the opportunity to ask further questions and you’ll get a reply as soon as possible.

Dry dog food in bowl

Farmers who rear different kinds of animals together, which may include goats and dogs, must have observed the goats trying to steal bites from their dogs’ trays.

This is to show you how much goats love dog food. If you are a farmer, you must be wondering if this is safe to do or not at all.

It’s quite unsafe for goats to eat dog food. The reason for this is not far-fetched, but we will have to go into simple biology or let’s say basic science. I will prefer the term “Basic Science” because I feel everyone should know about this.

Goats are ruminant animals. Ruminant animals are these animals with complex digestive systems.

Most importantly, they are ruminant herbivores. Herbivores feed directly on plants and their products alone. This means goats should not feed on anything that isn’t planted or made from plants alone.

The digestive systems of goats are uniquely evolved to break down only cellulose molecules.

Cellulose is a complex polymer, commonly known as plant sugar. This is the form in which plants store their energy.

On the contrary, animals store their energy as glycogen. This kind of sugar is impossible to be broken down by the digestive systems of goats. This can cause serious complications when goats consume them.

Dog food contains some plant ingredients which may include yellow cornmeal, corn gluten meal, whole wheat meal, barley, maize, etc.

Most times, animal products like meat, are added to dog food, due to their omnivorous nature. That is, they feed on plants and animals.

Unlike goats, the digestive system of dogs can digest both plants and animal products and will not face complications that goats will face when they eat the same meal.

Goats love dog food because it contains numerous amounts of nutrients found in the grains in dog food.

We can summarize that goats are capable of eating the same food you wi feed your dogs, but it is very harmful to their health.

You won’t want to lose all your goats to a mistake like this. You should not feed them with what is not safe for them.

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Also, in some regions, it is illegal to feed goats with food that care derived from other ruminants. This is sometimes a crime, which might attract a fine or even a jail term. So, in all of these, make sure you are careful. Don’t feed your goats dog food, even if that’s what you have left!

What happens if I feed my goats with dog food?

Even after advising you not to make any attempt to feed goats with dog food, I must tell you the consequences in case you end up doing so. The consequences could be very drastic.

1) Urolithiasis

This is a medical condition in goats that occurs when you feed goats with too much grain. Urolithiasis is commonly known as urinary tract stones.

In essence, the urinary tract of the goat is obstructed by stones, which might vary from small to large.

The grain products in dog food can cause mineral imbalances in goats and tend to obstruct their urinary tract. This condition is usually common among the make goats.

If a goat continues eating dog food for a very long time, the condition can escalate into a complete urinary obstruction.

This can cause quite a several complications later on such as, rupture of the bladder, which will, in turn, result in electrolyte imbalances.

2) Obesity

Asides from a goat getting urinary tract stones, obesity can also occur. Goats are more prone to obesity than they are to urolithiasis. This means you should watch out for this better.

The grain products found in dog food contain large amounts of calories. Too many unused calories in animals bring about obesity.

Obesity puts an extra strain on the joints of goats and also predisposes them to early-onset arthritis. When obesity occurs in pregnancy, the goat might experience complications during birth.

Feeding dog food to a goat can also cause bloating which will irritate the animal.

When all is said and done, it’s quite unhealthy for goats to eat dog food! If you own a dog and a goat, feed them separately, each with its appropriate food.

Also Read:

What can I feed my goats?

There are many things you can feed your goats and of course, are healthy for their digestive system.

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So what are they? Well, I have mentioned quite a few here. Let’s see what they are.

  1. Hay: This is an essential element for goats. It usually comes in handy when pasture is unavailable. Hay is cheap and provides goats with proteins and other necessary nutrients. The most preferred hay are clover, alfalfa, soybean, vetch, and lespedeza.
  2. Pasture: It contains sufficient nutrition and aids in digestion. They include Sudan grass, Bahia grass, Sorghum, Millet, and a mixture of grain grass and clover.
  3. Chaff Aye: This is mostly grass/ hay that is cut early into small chunks and spread with molasses. After this, it’s put in bags. This combines it with bacteria that make the feed easy for the goats to digest. It’s rich in minerals and nutrients.
  4. Black Sunflower Seeds: Contains vitamin E which is essential for milk production, development of muscles, and reproductive systems of goats.
  5. Garden and Kitchen Leftovers: Scraps like tomato ends, banana peels, onion skins, and orange peels can provide great nutrition to goats. Human foods like fruits and vegetables can also be used.
  6. Grain: One can use 12-16% of grains if they are unable to provide the goats with the necessary foods. These include oats, corn, rye, barley, and moil.
  7. Kelp Meal: Kelp meal is a source of iodine, which helps in the development of bones in goats. It also helps to increase milk production in goats.

Already knowing all these, you don’t have to feed your goats with dog food anymore.

It’ll even help if you get any of these mentioned above for your goats. Trust me, they’ll do just fine, no matter how long you plan to rear them.

Mark Lockett

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