Fresh, Raw Goat Milk for Healthy Dogs & Puppies (& cats, too!)
One of the great things about breeding dairy goats AND Livestock Guardian Dogs is that it’s a mutually beneficial arrangement. The dogs protect the goats from predators and in exchange the goats give us plenty of sweet, creamy, nutritious raw goat milk. Our family drinks this milk because, well, it’s the best milk you’ve ever tasted! But since we have a LOT of goats and since selling milk for human consumption in California is too difficult to be feasible for us, we have to find a good use for it. And here’s where the symbiotic relationship comes in. What better thing to do with the excess milk than to feed it to our dogs and barn cats?! Talk about “feeding raw”, this is it! Our dogs and cats absolutely love the milk and it increases the nutritional value of their regular diet. It’s an easy and economical way to add lots of great nutrients while not needing to completely give up the convenience and balanced nutrition of traditional dog food. (We also add raw, farm fresh eggs from our hens to their diet.)
Raw Goat Milk for Healthy Puppies and Mom
And if the benefits of raw goat milk to our working livestock guardians and pets are great the additional benefits of feeding it to our pregnant and nursing moms and their puppies are out of this world. All of our females get goat milk daily in the last few weeks of pregnancy, as well as during lactation. This allows them to maintain their weight and bounce back from pregnancy and nursing quickly, as well as giving them extra calcium, vitamins, minerals, protein, healthy fat and other nutrients. If we have enough goat milk our females maintain their condition so well that they never really lose weight during their lactation and they have plenty of milk to feed their large litters.
Starting at 3 weeks old our puppies are given raw goat milk daily, as well. It only takes a time or two before they’re lapping it up like crazy. (We add mushed puppy food to the milk later.) Our puppies grow so big and strong and healthy on goat milk that they are bigger than the puppies we have bought from breeders who don’t feed goat milk.
If we ever need to supplementally feed any of the puppies we would do so with goat milk, but so far we haven’t needed to, probably because our females are so well nourished with goat milk themselves.
At times in the past we have not had enough goat milk for the puppies and moms due to poor planning on our part. We have bought milk from other goat breeders just to ensure our pups and moms were well fed. After going through this a time or two we decided we need to plan more carefully to make sure we have enough does in milk when the puppies arrive. We also bought another freezer just for stockpiling milk for the future. We freeze the milk in gallon freezer bags, which hold approximately 1/2 gallon of milk per bag. Nothing is more satisfying than knowing we have a freezer full of milk, as well as does in milk, when puppies are on the way!