Can Pets Eat Goat Meat?

Written by Dr. Karen Shaw Becker
safe for pets
goat meat

Story at-a-glance -

  • Goat meat contains exceptional nutritional quality and may be considered the "healthiest meat"
  • Considered as a novel protein, goat meat may be used in elimination diets if your pets have been suffering from allergies, but it's also a wonderful protein to use as treats for healthy pets
  • If you opt to feed this protein as a food source, please follow a recipe that has been formulated to meet your pet's minimum nutrient requirements

Considered as "unconventional livestock," goat meat is mostly served and eaten in Asian, African and Central American countries.1,2 While consumption in Western countries is generally low, the interest in goat meat has been on the rise.3

Compared to other protein sources, goat meat has been found to have exceptional nutritional quality and is even considered as the "healthiest meat" due to its low calorie count and low saturated fat levels.4,5 It's a good protein source that you can give to your pets as the foundation of a nutritionally balanced homemade diet, or as a species-appropriate treat.

For years people have had the common misconception that goat meat causes blood pressure to spike — but there's actually another factor at play.6 According to a 2013 study from the Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences, the protein in goat meat is well-balanced. It contains both essential and nonessential amino acids and other compounds, such as taurine, carnitine and inosine. Its links to high blood pressure are mainly due to the seasonings and condiments added through cooking and flavoring.7 So, when giving it to your pet as a protein source, make sure to leave out any seasonings!

Goat Meat Is a Good Source of Dietary Protein

A 100-gram serving of goat meat can provide your pets about 20 grams of protein, which does not fall far behind pork, which provides about 21 grams per 100-gram serving.8 Dietary protein is an essential component of your pets' diet as it provides essential amino acids and replenishes your pets' protein reserves, which is important for slowing down lean body mass depletion. Remember that older dogs require about 50% more protein than younger dogs, with insufficient protein contributing to earlier mortality.9

Feeding high-quality, human-grade goat meat can be a nutritious component of a homemade diet, in conjunction with other ingredients that comprise a nutritionally balanced meal. If you opt to feed this protein as a food source, please follow a recipe that has been formulated to meet your pet's minimum nutrient requirements.

Iron, Potassium May Help Your Pet's Heart and Blood Health

Potassium is important for promoting cellular function, glucose control and heart health.10 The balance in blood potassium levels is crucial for both skeletal and cardiac muscle function, with imbalances possibly leading to weakened heart muscles, cardiac muscle paralysis and arrhythmias.11 There's a whopping 385 milligrams of potassium in every 100-gram serving of goat meat.12

In addition, goat meat contains iron, an essential trace mineral for pets that plays an important role in both biochemical and enzymatic processes. It helps facilitate oxygen transport and red blood cell production, or erythropoiesis.13 Your pets can get about 2.83 milligrams of iron in every 100-gram serving of goat meat.14

This Meat Helps Strengthen Your Pet's Immunity With Its Antioxidants

A 2019 study published in the Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences focused on a specific type of goat meat that comes from black goats. The researchers found that black goat meat contained high amounts of collagen and a variety of antioxidants, such as creatine, anserine and carnosine.15

Antioxidants are especially important for your pets as they protect them from free radical damage and inflammation. They are also responsible for counteracting memory loss and cognitive dysfunction, which are often brought on by aging.16

Goat Meat Can Be Used in Elimination Diets

If your pets have been suffering from year-round allergies and you're not quite sure what's causing them, goat meat is a good and safe choice to consider when contemplating a food allergy elimination diet. Goat meat, ostrich, beaver, quail and bison, are all considered to be novel proteins, or meat sources your pet hasn't consumed before.

Goat Meat Can Provide Pets With Exceptional Amounts of Nutrients

Goat meat contains high levels of essential nutrients and minerals required by your pets to promote optimal health. High in protein, iron and potassium, goat meat is a good option for your pet's meat ration. As with other meat sources, make sure that you source your goat meat from trustworthy farmers (ideally free-range) to make sure you're feeding high-quality, human-grade meat.

Remember that feeding goat meat as an entire meal must be done by following a nutritionally complete recipe that has been formulated specifically around this protein source. When fed as a healthy treat, goat meat should make up only 10% of your pet's daily caloric intake. If you're giving them meat treats, you can give them bits of goat meat raw, freeze fried or cooked.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Goat Meat for Pets

Q: Where can you buy goat meat?

A: You can buy goat meat from health food stores and markets. In some areas, you may find some farmers offering direct-to-consumer sources of fresh goat meat.17

Q: Is goat meat the same as mutton and lamb meat?

A: Mutton and lamb meat are sourced from domestic sheep, not goat. Lamb is sourced from sheep under 1 year of age, while mutton is sourced from sheep older than 1 year.18