Goats as pets

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Dr Christian Nawroth showing how goats follow humans about.
Goats following humans.
Dr Christian Nawroth is a scientist that studies animal cognition and is pictured with one of his goats.
The attachment behaviour of a goat.

Despite their reputation for being slightly rebellious, goats are sometimes kept as pets because of their ability to form close bonds with their owners.[1] Goats are herd animals by nature and typically prefer the company of other goats, but because of their herd mentality, they will follow their owner and form close bonds with them, hence their continuing popularity.[2]

Ideally, one requires a minimum 200 sq feet (18.5 sq m) or more for every goat.[3]

Although goats are relatively hardy animals, domestic goats benefit from being provided with shelter from wind and rain. Regular feeding is essential, as is the provision of clean water. Hay is a necessary food source and a manger keeps it off the ground where they might urinate and defecate upon it. Providing a salt lick is also a wise adjunct so as to provide them with essential minerals. Being cloven-hoofed animals, they also need their feet to be examined from time to time and to be trimmed if necessary, since some breeds evolved in areas where hard rocky surfaces continually wear down their hoofs, whereas on soft land pasture their hoofs may overgrow. Such overgrowth can lead to problems requiring veterinary visits.

Another important consideration is to ensure that their enclosure has robust fencing, as goats rub up against things in order to scratch themselves and can destroy bad-quality fencing, only to then escape through the small gaps that they create.

It should also be noted that goats are carriers for several diseases that can pass to humans such as Leptospirosis, Q fever, Brucellosis, and Toxoplasmosis.[failed verification][4]

For owners who can provide all of these basic essentials, goats can be become very rewarding pets and companions.[5][6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Nawroth, Christian; Brett, Jemma; McElligott, Alan (5 July 2016), "Goats display audience-dependent human-directed gazing behaviour in a problem-solving task", Biology Letters, 12 (7): 20160283, doi:10.1098/rsbl.2016.0283, PMC 4971169
  2. ^ Deamer, Kacey (July 15, 2016), Man's New Best Friend Is a Goat?, Live Science
  3. ^ Kimberling, D.V.M., Cleon. "Introductory information on pet goats". Goatworld. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
  4. ^ "What are some diseases goats can transmit to humans? - eXtension". articles.extension.org. 2010-08-27. Retrieved 2019-06-02.
  5. ^ Pfalzbot, Gary (1999–2015). "Goats as Pets". Goatworld. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
  6. ^ Douglas, Catherine (July 8, 2016), Goats, sheep and cows could challenge dogs for title of 'man's best friend', The Conversation, retrieved 29 August 2016