Kids playing with three pet goats in a backyard.

Goat ownership is rising in popularity. This could be explained by their enormous, cost-effective contributions to landscaping control, or perhaps their delightful, charming personalities that keep  people curious. Keeping goats is a fire-wise choice for many Californians, but there’s so much more to owning pet goats than providing land for them to clear. 

Where to Start

Regarding the welfare of pet goats, it’s essential that your municipality approves such an undertaking. The City of San Diego, for example, allows residents of single family homes to keep a maximum of two miniature (dwarf or pygmy) pet goats.

These animals need companionship and should never be forced to endure isolation or loneliness. Additional regulations include the setbacks of any goat housing (which must be predator-proof, properly ventilated, and accessible for regular cleaning) be at least 5 feet from the side property lines, and 13 feet from the back side.

Furthermore, an outdoor enclosure of at least 400 square feet, and behind a five-foot tall fence,  is required to maintain goat health and wellness. You might be surprised at their agility and intelligence; if there are weak spots in your fencing, they will find it quickly.  

What Else You Should Know

In addition to keeping grass and weeds down, goats can provide milk and cheese to their owners. On average, you could get up to a half gallon of milk a day! Plus, their waste can be added to compost piles or used as a nutrient-rich fertilizer. 

All goats must be dehorned and males are required to be neutered within city limits. An understanding of normal goat behavior, including aggression, is critical. If you ever notice any changes in their behavior, or see signs of illness like shaking, lethargy, or decreased appetite, it’s time to seek exotic veterinary care. Check out this guide to goat health care problems for reference. 

What Do Pet Goats Love?

You’ll probably learn quickly that your pet goats love to climb and jump on things. Large wooden spools, platforms made out of wooden palettes, and old tractor tires make excellent additions to their yard. Be sure that all additions to their outdoor enrichment are sturdy and free of hazards like nails or screws. 

In addition to a balanced diet of grain, hay, and minerals, pet goats are also quite fond of treats. They’ll scarf down table scraps just like chickens do, just be certain they can’t choke or get sick from any fruit or veggie offerings. Remember, don’t feed your goat cat or dog food, meat, or avocados, and let us know if you need specific diet recommendations for optimal health. 

Caring for Pet Goats

There’s no question that pet goats have earned their place among the most entertaining companion animals out there. If you’re considering opening up your large yard to care for these delightful pets, you have plenty of planning and preparation in front of you. Once you bring home your two miniature pet goats, get ready to make some memories!

Give us a call at (818) 614-9929 with any questions or concerns. Shiloh Veterinary Hospital is always here for you!