While browsing through any of our Doodle Dog stores, either in person or online, you may have noticed small jugs of goat’s milk. You may have even heard one of our staff members rambling off facts or telling another customer that "it is great to put in molds or freeze into Kongs!" But what exactly is goat’s milk and why should I give it to my dog?
What is goat's milk?
Goat’s milk is consumable, just like the cow’s milk we buy at a grocery store. It is much tastier than cow’s milk and comes with many amazing health benefits.
FUN FACT: according to Dogs Naturally Magazine, goat’s milk is the most consumed milk in the world!
Goat’s milk is better tolerated than cow’s milk due to a lack of, or an extremely low content of a protein called alpha-s1-casein. Cow’s milk contains higher quantities of this protein, as well as beta-lactoglobulin and alpha-lactalbumin proteins, which are linked to milk allergies.
Allergies aside, goat’s milk is easier to digest because it has smaller fat globules, looser curd formation and a high concentration of small and medium chain fatty acids. This allows for quicker digestion, with much less effort. Goat’s milk is digested by the body within 20 minutes, whereas cow’s milk takes 90+ minutes!
Goat’s milk contains vitamins, probiotics, enzymes, minerals, electrolytes, protein, and fatty acids. All of which are great supplements to a healthy dog's diet.
What are the health benefits of feeding my dog goat’s milk?
Besides the many amazing health benefits for your furry friend, goat’s milk can also help to prevent or treat chronic diseases such as:
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease
- Gastro-intestinal disease
- Poor digestion
- Brain disorders
Goat’s milk is also great for transitioning to raw food, treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), restoring and rebuilding gut flora, promoting a healthy digestive system, strengthening the immune system, and reducing allergens.
Have you heard of fermented goat’s milk called KEFIR (not to be confused with Kiefer Sutherland!) ?
Fermented goat’s milk is even more nutritional for dogs as the process adds more probiotics and can metabolize the lactose in the milk to reduce allergens or upset to the digestive tract.
Kefir takes the fermenting process even further. Kefir is a strain of multiple yeast and lactic acid bacteria. It gets its name from the appearance of the starter culture, which has an almost cauliflower, grainy texture: kefir grains.
Be careful with pasteurized milk because the pasteurization process, which uses high heat, can strip the milk of its good bacteria and lactose enzymes which promote healthier digestion.
What goat’s milk products are carried by Doodle Dogs?
We carry 3 brands of goat’s milk in our stores - all of them are products from our raw food company suppliers. Each kind is used as a supplement in your dog's diet and can offer the following benefits:
Primal - We carry Original goat’s milk from Primal, but we also now have their 3 other “bowl boosting” milks. All three (3) are unpasteurized, fermented, and raw:
Pumpkin Spice is an all around great digestive booster with added pumpkin for fibre, aiding in regular bowel movements and constipation relief.
Cranberry Blast is good for the urinary tract with added cranberries and apple cider vinegar.
Big Country Raw – Commonly known as the probiotic powerhouse, Big Country Raw goat’s milk is a great supplement to your pup's bowl. Their unpasteurized, fermented, and raw goat’s milk has 2 added probiotics to ensure your dog is getting the best nutrition required in their digestive tract.
Open Farm – Doodle Dogs carries Open Farm’s Kefir milk as well as an organic grass-fed cow’s milk kefir. This goat’s milk is pasteurized, fermented, and carries tons of probiotics, cinnamon, and turmeric to ease inflammation all while promoting good gut health. The 3 additional blends we carry are:
The Digestion Blend - contains chicory root and fennel to promote good digestion.
The Relaxation Blend - has chamomile, ginger and passionflower to help calm and relax your dog.
The million-dollar question: “How do I incorporate goat’s milk into my dog's diet?”
So, you're interested in adding goat’s milk to your furry friend's diet, but still unsure how to feed it? There are so many ways!
You can use it as a treat (in treat molds for example) or freeze goat’s milk into feeding toys. You can also add other supplements to the treats to make a super healthy snack that your pup will surely enjoy. For an extra digestive kick, you can mix a raw milk with some pumpkin puree or add some peanut butter for a tasty treat (and some added calories). Another excellent idea is to freeze the goat’s milk with some berries or small cut up veggies.
Image courtesy of Big Country Raw. Lots of ways to use goat milk in molds.
Already have too many treats or wanting to add to your dog's meals? That's also possible! Goat’s milk is so versatile that you can pretty much pour it over or on their kibble, mix it in with their bowl of raw or just give it straight and let them drink it.
Indigestion, stomach bugs or other ailments that your pup has experienced :
If your dog has experienced poor digestion or had a stomach bug, drinking straight goat’s milk, or mixed in with a bone broth, is an excellent meal idea. It allows for extra electrolytes and nutrition to be added into their system and it isn’t too harsh on their already upset digestive tract.
Goat’s milk truly does have a ton of benefits for your dog. It is an AMAZINGLY EASY add to any dog's diet, no matter your lifestyle.
Be sure to visit us (online or in store) to find the best way to supplement your pup's meals with this healthy add-on!
Written by Arianna Korbett, found at Doodle Dogs Bridgeland.