While traditionally seen as farm animals, goats are growing in popularity among city dwellers and homeowners due to their adorable appearance, their fondness for cuddling, and their relatively small size.
However, this popularity boom does not mean that goats are low maintenance pets. There are plenty of things to keep in mind if you want to have a happy and healthy pet goat.
Luckily, at GeoZoo, we have all the information you need. From grooming advice and health checkups to general information about goats, we’ve got you covered.
Goats require a strict diet consisting of hay and grains. Your back lawn will not be enough to feed them.
If you don’t have access to land or pasture, you’ll need to place the food into a feeder. Goats can be picky and will not eat their food off the floor if they have trampled on it.
Make sure you have plenty of food available for them and be sure to monitor what they are eating. Goats have a habit of getting into things they shouldn’t and can be poisoned by many common plants and fruit.
It is best to talk to a veterinarian or a professional about what you should and should not be feeding your goat.
Grooming Your Goat
Like most furry pets, grooming your goat is an essential routine that will keep them happy and healthy.
Brushing their coats allows you to examine their skin and check for any irregularities while providing some valuable bonding time.
If you live in a warm region or you have warm seasons, you might want to clip you goat’s coat to keep them cool and reduce the risk of lice or other bugs.
Finally, it is crucial that you regularly check your goat’s hooves to avoid diseases that could possibly cripple your pet. If you are new to goats, clipping your goat’s hooves might be a real challenge so ask your veterinarian for help until you get the hang of it.
A Cozy Home for Your Goat
Goats need plenty of space. A pygmy goat requires a minimum of 140 square feet to feel comfortable and a standard goat needs twice that amount. Since goats are herd animals, you may find them happiest when paired with other animals so make sure you have the space for everyone.
Having the right amount of space is not enough. You have to prepare the space to keep them safe. Goats are escape artists so you’ll want to construct high fences with secure gates.
Make sure the fences are sturdy, too. You do not want them falling apart from the constant chewing and head butting from your goats.
Health Checkups are Critical
Before you adopt a goat, make sure you find a veterinarian that has experience with goats. They can require lots of medical upkeep and you want to be sure that you have someone who knows what they are doing.
Goats are prone to several diseases and illnesses, and they need up to date vaccinations to make sure they don’t fall prey to these health conditions.
Grooming your goat and taking them for routine check-ups will help you catch any potential issues and allow for an early diagnosis before a condition becomes untreatable.
Contact your vet immediately if you notice a bad odor coming from the hooves, lumps on the body or anything else that seems out of the ordinary. Better safe than sorry.
Why Have a Goat as a Pet?
There’s a reason people love goats; they’re affectionate, cuddly, and very friendly.
Goats love being around humans and can make excellent companions. They are, however, a long commitment. A goat can live up to 16 years so be prepared to have your cuddly friend around for some time.
Like any other pet, goats are great for companionship but also a little fun and mischief. They are characters! Goats love the whole pet treatment and they will learn from you. If you don’t have a sense of humor, you might want thinking twice before adopting. A goat will keep you on your toes.
There is no such thing as a perfect pet. Like people, goats have their own personalities. But, there are some other, more practical things to consider when adopting a goat. Male goats, for example, have a strong odor that can be off-putting. And goats of all sizes are rather noisy animals. So, if you, or a close neighbor, is not found of loud background noise, a goat may not be right for you.
Goats are a fairly high maintenance pet. Do not adopt a goat if you are not willing to put in the time.
Choosing a Goat as a Pet
The goat you choose will depend on the size you want and the availability of space.
Pygmy goats are one of the most popular choices as they are adorable to look at and rather small in size. They are energetic and love playing with their owners.
Standard goats require twice as more space as pygmies and there are several available breeds. Each breed carries its own personality traits and can vary in appearance.
Whenever possible, you should try to adopt two goats. As mentioned before, they are herd animals and enjoy the company of other goats in order to stay their happiest.
Friendly Goat Companions
Whether you’re a beginner pet enthusiast looking for an out of the ordinary animal to keep as a companion or a seasoned pet owner who wants a new experience, goats make excellent pets. They bring joy and love to the entire family.
While they require considerable upkeep to stay healthy, the fun and affection they provide are more than worth the effort required.
They love to run, jump, and play but will also attempt to seek you out for some shenanigans before settling in for a warm cuddle.
What do you think about keeping goats as pets? Do you have one at home? What advice would you give our readers? Let us know in the comments.