Can Goats Eat Dog Food?

Goats seem to be able to eat almost anything but can goats eat dog food? Let us find out!

You have probably seen that goats can eat anything from the green grass leaves to the hard seeds. Goats’ bodies can digest most of the food, but some food they may not be able to digest. According to research, some foods are poisonous for goats to consume, including Chinese Tallows, Crotalaria, Sicklepod, and Yellow Jessamine.  

Goats can also eat dog food; however, the question is, “will it be safe for them.” The answer is that goats are herbivores, so meat products are practically indigestible for them. That is why dog food is off the table (pun intended).

Can Goats Eat Dog Food

Dog food contains grain and vegetables, but they also have other ingredients like meat that can develop medical conditions in goats. If you are a dog owner living with loveable dogs and goats, you should read this article as it helps you understand your pets better. 

Can Goats Eat Dog Food?

No, since goats are herbivores, they cannot eat meat products. You should not give them more than a small amount.

Goats can eat dog food. You should not be surprised that your goat is trying to feed on your dog food, but it is not safe for them. 

However, dog food is not suitable for goats because goats are naturally herbivores species while dogs are carnivores. Their digestive system is built differently from each other. Goats digest plant-based food as their body quickly breaks down the cellulose found in plants. 

Although dog food has grain and veggies as its ingredient, it also contains meat and other components not suitable for goats to eat. 

Goats eat what they find nutritious and delicious in nature. If you have a dog and goat that live together all the time, you must have observed that goats try to steal some food from your dog’s trays. 

Can Goats Eat Dog Food

Goats also love to eat dog food as it contains corn gluten meal, yellow cornmeal, barley, and ground wheat in large amounts. These ingredients are very nutritious for plant-eating animals like goats, cows, and horses.  

You can feed goats on your dog food, but you should not do it because some ingredients in dog foods are not safe for goats. These ingredients, including poultry by-product meal, processed chicken fat, and meat by-product, are found in dog food. 

You should also not feed your goat dog food as it contains products that come from other ruminants and can impair the health condition of your goat.  

Is Dog Food Harmful to Goats?

Yes, any meat products are harmful to goats.

Urinary Tract Stones

Goats should not eat dog food as it is unhealthy and can increase their risk of developing certain medical conditions. Feeding dog food to a goat can increase their risk of urinary tract stones. 

This happens because dog food containing grain products can cause a mineral imbalance in goats. Goats that feed on dog food for extended periods are more likely to develop complete urinary obstruction, making their bladder rupture.

Excess Fat

Dog food is rich in fat from animal products. Goats have a delicate digestive system that can not digest such heavy fat. Protein is good for goats, but fat is not. The fat from processed meat can coat the stomach of goats and prevent their stomach from absorbing nutrients. 

If goats don’t absorb the necessary nutrients, they will likely starve to death. Dog food can also involve bloating in goats that are unhealthy and dangerous.  

Can Goats Eat Dog Food


You should avoid your goat getting dog food as another condition, and obesity can develop from eating it. Dog food contains grain with high calories, and when goats feed on them, they intake more calories than they spend, resulting in weight gain. 

Obesity is harmful to goats as it puts more strain on their joints and increases the risk of joint issues like early-onset arthritis. You should also discover the reason behind your goat’s obesity as some goats can also gain weight after eating whole grain. 

Pregnant goats are also at risk of eating dog food as it causes obesity that can cause complications during birth.  

What Type of Feed is Safe For Goats to Eat?

Instead of feeding your goat dog food, you should provide them some healthy snacks packed with nutrients, including:

  • Chaff aye: It is grass combined with bacteria that makes it easy for goats to digest it. It is cut into tiny chunks and spread with molasses. It is very nutritious as it contains several minerals.
  • Pasture: It combines several feeds for goats, including Bahiagrass, Millet, Sorghum, Sudan grass, clover, and grain grass. It has necessary nutrients and helps goats to digest them easily.
  • Sweet feed: It is a mix of whole grain and molasses. It contains irons, sugar, and other nutrients that make it palatable for goats.
  • Kelp meal: You can serve this to your goats to increase their iodine intake as it helps in increasing milk production in them. 
Can Goats Eat Dog Food
  • Hay: Generally, goats feed on hay as it is affordable and available to most people. It has sufficient nutrients and provides roughage for balancing the moisture. You can use various types of hay, including soybean, alfalfa, lespedeza, and vetch. 
  • Grain: You can provide your goats with about 20% of grain as the food component when other feed is unavailable. You can feed your goat these grains, including barley, rye, corn, and moil. 
  • Black sunflower seeds: It is a good source of energy for goats. It helps develop muscles, production of milk, and reproductive system in goats. 
  • Garden and kitchen leftover: You can feed your goats the leftovers such as banana peels, tomato ends, onion skins, and orange peels. However, you should not feed goats any pieces containing meat like cat or dog food.

What Should You Avoid Feeding Goats?

As a goat owner, you should not feed your goats on unhygienic and unhealthy food as it can cause severe health conditions. Goats often eat things they should not eat while they graze on the ground. 

Goats eat leaves, grass, twigs, and other food content, but sometimes they eat non-edible things like paper. There is also some edible food that is not safe for goats to eat, including:

  • Dog foods
  • Chocolate
  • Avocado 
  • Milkweed
  • Wild cherries 
  • Burning bush berries
  • Chinaberry trees
  • Leaves of chokecherry
  • Ficus leaves
  • Dog hobble
  • Japanese Pieris
  • Red maple 
  • Lily of the valley
  • Monkhood
  • Oleander 
Can Goats Eat Dog Food

How to Avoid Your Goat Eating Dog Food?

You should feed your dog and goat separately to prevent goat consuming dog food. When goats eat feeds that contain animal products, they are more likely to develop health issues like an upset stomach. You should also avoid your goat eating your dog food, as dogs may injure your goat while defending their food.

You need to find a different place to feed your dogs, such as a pen. The pens keep your goats away from your dog when eating dog food. You can feed your goat hay, pasture, or goat food that is rich in nutrients, making your goat’s stomach full. 

You can also try feeding your dog and goat at the same time while you serve dog food to your dog. Keep an eye on your goat and what they eat, and immediately stop them from eating dog food.    

A Few Final Words

Goats love to snack on other animal food, especially your german shepherd. However, it is not always healthy to eat dog food. In conclusion, goats can eat dog food, but it’s very unhealthy for them. Some dog food can cause significant health problems and complications to goats. You should avoid feeding unhealthy food to goats. 

Thank you for reading the article, we hope that we answered your queries do leave us a comment in case we didn’t and we will get back to you with your answer.

There are other animals that also try out dog food but shouldn’t including deers. Read all about them.