Although goat's milk has been slow to catch on in the United States, the rich, slightly sweet milk has enjoyed worldwide popularity for many years. Because it is higher in fat and protein than cow's milk, goat's milk is popular with dog breeders with finicky eaters in their litters. According to Mary Wakeman, D.V.M., in Breeder Vet online magazine, undiluted evaporated goat's milk is a good choice for puppies that need supplemental feeding but have trouble digesting the larger fat globules in cow's milk.
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Goat's milk is commonly used as replacement or supplemental formula for newborn puppies that can't get nutrition or adequate nutrition from the mother. The fat globules in goat's milk are much smaller than those found in cow's milk, making goat's milk more easily tolerated by puppies. Once dogs are weaned from milk or formula and are eating regular dog food, they should not be fed either goat's or cow's milk.
Where to Buy
Goat's milk is available in many grocery stores and health food stores. The canned evaporated goat's milk recommended for feeding is more likely to be in the baking aisle of your local grocery store than in the dairy section. Many pet supply stores also sell liquid and powder goat's milk formulas labelled as Goats Milk Esbilac.
For supplemental feeding purposes, purchase goat's milk should in canned, evaporated form rather than in fresh form. Add a bit of corn syrup to the milk to make it more palatable and boost calories. If the formula will be the puppy's sole source of nutrition, Breeder Vet suggests blending in the syrup and an egg yolk for additional protein. As with human infant formula, puppy formula made from goat's milk should be warmed to body temperature--35 to 37.8 degrees Celsius in canines.
Risks and Cautions
Adult dogs lack enough lactase in their digestive systems to adequately break down the lactose in milk. Although goat's milk is slightly lower in lactose than cow's milk, it is still not recommended for adult dogs, as it can cause stomach irritation and diarrhoea.
If a formula made from goat's milk is your puppy's primary food source, begin weaning the puppy from the formula at around 1 month of age. Mix small amounts of puppy food with the formula or water to make a thin gruel and allow the puppy to lap it up. Gradually reduce the amount of moisture and add small amounts of solid food until the puppy is completely on solid puppy food. Once this process is complete, stop feeding the puppy goat's milk.
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