The Truth About Feeding Your Pet Raw Goat Milk

If you’re looking for a natural supplement to enhance your pet’s nutrition and hydration, raw goat milk can be an excellent option. This milk is often added to kibble, canned, and raw pet food to provide additional health benefits. Unlike pasteurized milk, raw goat milk retains essential nutrients and probiotics that can aid common digestive issues in pets. However, it’s crucial to keep in mind that consuming unpasteurized milk poses a higher risk of exposure to harmful pathogens. In this blog post, we will explore the scientific evidence supporting the use of raw goat milk as a dietary supplement for cats and dogs.

Truthfully? It’s Both Fact & Fictionraw pet food with goat milk

Many pet food companies claim that goat milk can be a miracle cure for digestive problems, allergies, and even appetite stimulation. However, these claims are not backed up by any scientific studies or peer-reviewed research specifically focused on cats and dogs. Of particular concern is the recommendation to use goat milk as a sole milk replacement for orphaned puppies and kittens. This is not a safe or sufficient source of nutrition, as we will explain below. While goat milk does have some benefits, it’s important to be aware of the misinformation that can surround it.

Goat milk is indeed different from cow milk and can be easier to digest due to its smaller fat globules.2 In addition, it contains a wide range of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and fatty acids that could potentially boost your pet’s immune system and help with common allergy issues. However, there is a lack of published research to support these anecdotal claims of benefit for cats and dogs consuming goat milk.

Is Goat Milk Complete and Balanced for Cats & Dogs?

As a supplement to a complete and balanced diet, goat milk and milk products have the potential to provide benefit. However, this should not be considered as the sole source of nutrition. The major reason for this is because goats are ruminants. The word ruminant comes from the Latin word ruminare, which means “to chew over again.”3 Ruminants are mammals that eat a plant-based diet. We know that dogs and cats are omnivores and carnivores respectively, and their diet is therefore vastly different. Because their diet is different, the composition of their milk will also be different from that of another species. Considering this it is important to note that goat milk is inadequate to nutritionally sustain other infant species on its own. 

For orphaned puppies and kittens, or those that need supplementation it is best to consider a balanced milk replacer or finding a species appropriate milk donor.4

Nutrient Content of Various Species Milk

Comparing the nutrient content of milk from dogs, cats, cows and goats we can consider the following5:

  • Fat contained in cow and goat milk is less than half that in dog and cat milk
  • Protein contained within cow and goat milk is less than half that in dog and cat milk
  • Calcium & phosphorus content of cow and goat milk is significantly lower than that of dog and cat milk which can risk deficiency and proper skeletal development
  • Lactose amounts are higher in cow and goat milk than in cat and dog milk. This can cause diarrhea and dehydration leading to further complications.
  • Because the fat content of cow and goat milk is much lower than cat and dog milk, the calorie content is also significantly lower. This means that dogs and cats, especially puppies and kittens would not adequately be able to consume all of the calories and nutrients necessary for proper growth and development
  • Per this chart, the analysis of cat and dog milk is closer to each other than either cow or goat milk

Not All Bad News

The above points do not negate the practice of feeding goat milk products to pets. In fact, especially for kibble fed pets, raw goat milk provides increased moisture intake, which can improve digestion. Probiotic benefits of raw goat milk also cannot be ignored. Goat milk can also entice picky eaters since dogs and cats both love the taste. It can be used intermittently, or during fasting for those pets who may need light or bland meals due to certain conditions. While most pets can benefit from raw goat milk as a dietary supplement, it is potentially most beneficial for pets with digestive issues and those in need of immune support. 

Raw goat’s milk can be given to your pet by itself as a treat, as a topper for raw food, canned food, or over kibble. 

About the Author: Nicole Cammack

Nicci is the owner of award-winning NorthPoint Pets & Company, in Connecticut. She is also the Founder & CEO of Undogmatic Inc. Her undergraduate and graduate education includes biology, chemistry, business, and nutrition. She has worked in the pharmaceutical industry on multiple R&D projects and has had the privilege to learn from leading international figures in the human and pet health industry. She regularly lectures at national conferences, including federal, state, and municipal K9 events. Her current research involves identifying pathogenic risk factors and transmission among raw fed pets through a comprehensive worldwide survey.


1. Katafiasz AR, Bartlett P, Lansing E. Motivation for Unpasteurized Milk Consumption in Michigan, 201. :5.

2. Lad SS, Aparnathi KD, Mehta B, Velpula S. Goat Milk in Human Nutrition and Health – A Review. Int J Curr Microbiol Appl Sci. 2017;6(5):1781-1792. doi:10.20546/ijcmas.2017.605.194

3. Latin Definition for: rumino, ruminare, ruminavi, ruminatus (ID: 33778) – Latin Dictionary and Grammar Resources – Latdict. Accessed June 6, 2020.

4. Can goat milk be used as a milk replacer for puppies and kittens? University of Wisconsin Madison Shelter Medicine Program. Accessed June 6, 2020.

5.  Hand et. al. Small Animal Clinical Nutrition. 5th ed. Mark Morris Institute


fresh strawberries for dogs

Should I Feed My Pet Fresh Fruits & Vegetables?

Should we be adding fresh fruits and vegetables to our pet’s meals?

It seems like every week, we hear one thing and the next week it changes (like the great butter vs margarine debate). When it comes to our pets, nutrition is almost like a religion with many different beliefs and philosophies. Unfortunately, many of these arguments are based more on emotion than science. Although there is scientific evidence to support various nutrition philosophies, the interpretation of evidence can lead to potentially unsafe practices.

To make matters worse, marketing practices can further confuse pet owners and veterinarians, leaving them unable to distinguish fact from fiction. Despite this, we have seen significant shifts in recommendations for both humans and pets and diet-related diseases like insulin-dependent diabetes and obesity cannot be ignored. In humans, there is ample evidence to support a causal relationship between high intake of processed foods (containing refined carbohydrates/sugars) and insulin-dependent diabetes, obesity, and other metabolic-related diseases. It makes sense that we would worry about the same issues in our pets, considering that most dry pet foods contain between 40-60% refined carbohydrates.

Can Pets Digest Carbohydrates?

We know vegetables are important in the human diet, some more nutritionally beneficial than others, and the same applies to our pets. While the debate amongst many within the pet nutrition industry may disagree – our dogs are not wolves (read more here), and they can digest carbohydrates. While the ability to do this varies between various breeds, the focus of this blog isn’t the ability of our pets to digest carbs – instead, it is the benefits they obtain from fiber, antioxidants, and other phytochemicals contained within fruits and vegetables.

Our canines & felines need muscle meat, organ & bone partly due to the bioavailability of amino acids and other nutrients. If you were to give your dog the option of meat or plants/vegetables, studies show they would choose meat. However, when offered together, most dogs and some cats will consume fruit or vegetables too. Some trial and error with various cooking methods, chopping, mincing, or even blending in a food processor may entice those who may be pickier.

Why Supplementing Your Pet’s Diet with Vegetables is Importanthungry dog with fruit and vegetable bowl

As a pet owner, you may wonder if it’s necessary to supplement your pet’s diet with vegetables, especially if they don’t seem to like them. After all, isn’t pet food already complete and balanced? While pet food does provide the necessary nutrients, adding vegetables to your pet’s diet can provide additional benefits.

Vegetables and plants are abundant in vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fiber, and even beneficial bacteria. However, for pets that primarily consume canned and/or kibble food, adding fresh plant-based foods can provide protective benefits. Canned and kibble foods tend to have high levels of carcinogenic chemicals called advanced glycation end products, or AGEs.

The Negative Effects of AGEs

AGEs are naturally present in animal-based products, and additional AGEs form during the cooking process. Since dogs and cats primarily eat these types of food their entire life, their toxic load is much higher as a result. Toxic loads can negatively impact various organ systems, overall health, and even shorten the lifespan of pets and people.

The good news is that antioxidants and other phytochemicals present in fruits and vegetables, particularly leafy greens and berries, help to ward off some of the negative effects of AGEs. By adding fresh, organic, raw, or lightly cooked plants and veggies to your pet’s diet, you can help to reduce the toxic load and improve their overall health.

The Limitations of Commercial Pet Food

Even the best raw, kibble, or dehydrated foods lack the benefits of fresh, organic, raw, or lightly cooked plants and veggies. By supplementing your pet’s diet with fresh plant-based foods, you can help to provide a well-rounded and balanced diet that supports their health and well-being.

Fruits and veggies you can feed to your pets include:
  • Leafy greens (rotate for variety)
  • Green beans
  • Broccoli/Cauliflower
  • Summer squash
  • Blueberries
  • Watermelon
  • Pineapple
  • Apples

….just to name a few!

What Foods are Safe for Dogs and Cats?

While there are only a few things dogs and cats can’t have, quantity is what matters. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Monitor Onion Intake – Large amounts of onions can cause Heinz body anemia in pets, but small amounts in tomato sauce are usually fine. Garlic is safe in moderation and may benefit the immune system, while also serving as an effective flea & tick preventative.
  • Avoid Grapes and Avocados – Grapes and avocados may affect pets differently, so it’s best to avoid them altogether.
  • Experiment with Fruits and Vegetables – It’s okay to experiment with new fruits and vegetables one at a time, and observe for any adverse reactions. Fresh and healthy table food can be shared with your pet in moderation. 
  • Cats and High-Starch Foods – For cats specifically, avoid high-starch foods like potatoes, pumpkin, and grain-based products. Cats lack adequate enzymes to digest carbohydrates. Instead, focus on low-starch vegetables that are rich in antioxidants to support their digestive system.

How much to add?

These additions for cats should be kept low, however, they can be added to dog’s diets in greater amounts. Cats should consume no more than 5%, and dogs should be no more than 15-20%.


*This article is for informational purposes only. It is not meant to provide medical advice or replace the advice of a qualified veterinarian.


About the Author: Nicole Cammack

Nicole is the founder & owner of multiple-award winning NorthPoint Pets & Company, in Connecticut, USA. She has completed undergraduate work in biological sciences, business and holds an M.S. in Nutrition. Currently, Nicole is pursuing a PhD in Comparative Biomedical Sciences (Canine Nutrition/Metabolomics) at the prestigious University of Georgia in the USA.
Her background includes experience in the pharmaceutical industry on multiple R&D projects and has had the privilege to learn from leading figures in the human and pet health industries. Nicole has been heavily involved in police canine nutrition within the USA, helping to improve the modern care and feeding of working dogs. Her interests include working dog nutrition, raw feeding, pathogens, metabolomics, and nutrition’s relationship to disease in humans and canines. Her current research involves the exploration of the canine urinary metabolome and the relationship to diet.

Publications: Cammack, N.R., Yamka, R.M., and Adams, V.J. (2021). Low Number of Owner-Reported Suspected Transmission of Foodborne Pathogens From Raw Meat-Based Diets Fed to Dogs and/or Cats. Frontiers in Veterinary Science 8. doi: 10.3389/fvets.2021.741575.




Just Because It Looks Like Science Doesn’t Mean It Is

AVMA says, “Study: Raw dog food often contains drug-resistant bacteria” 

On April 21, 2020, the AVMA emailed a link to an original article published on April 20, 2020, by the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) examining the presence of multidrug-resistant (MDR) pathogens within raw meat-based diets (RMBD) for dogs. Within this article, the CIDRAP cites three separate abstracts of studies – not peer-reviewed papers. Two of which actually have no direct link to the feeding of RMBDs and pathogens. Like many other articles both peer-reviewed and opinion pieces, this article preys upon the fears of pet owners and the public by claiming the potential for pathogen transmission from RMBDs to humans or pets who consume RMBDs to humans. Unfortunately, CIDRAP and AVMA fail to put the entire situation into perspective, which I’ll discuss later on.

The AVMA introduces the CIDRAP article with a short paragraph, clearly showing the AVMA did not validate the sources within the article, before sending it to the veterinary community. This is unfortunate considering so many within the veterinary community hold this organization in high regard and trust them to promote and distribute true science-based literature to be used within the practice of veterinary medicine. However, as evidenced multiple times in the recent past this is just par for the course, (grain-free pet foods and DCM sound familiar?). 

A Look at the CIDRAP Article

If we examine the CIDRAP article we’ll find links to 3 abstracts that they use to create the perception that RMBDs post a significant public health risk. The problem with this assumption or theory is that data is lacking to support this concern, despite their ‘references’. In fact, the perception among the general public is that all organisms (e.g. bacteria) are bad, which is factually incorrect since many are beneficial. For example, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) references more than 2,500 serotypes that have been described for Salmonella; but, less than 100 serotypes account for most human infections. In addition, it is well known that companion animals may harbor pathogenic bacteria, as a part of their healthy gut flora without any signs of illness.

Studies Cited by AVMA & CIDRAP

Study 1: It is entirely focused on commercially available cooked dry and canned pet foods and RMBD available and purchased from various outlets within Portugal. This is not a sample that can be compared to the U.S., because we have different supply chains, manufacturing processes, and standards for our commercial RMBDs.  Commercial RMBDs within the U.S. have additional steps that reduce the risks of pathogen contamination, within the manufacturing and distribution processes, such as high-pressure pasteurization.  The authors state the following: 9 out of 9 of raw samples contained an MDR pathogen, while 8 out of 15 dry samples contained an MDR pathogen, and 2 out of 22 canned/wet samples contained an MDR pathogen. 

Limitations & Flaws of Study 1

The authors draw the conclusion that close contact between pets fed raw diets and humans are a public health risk if transmission of MDR strains occurs between dogs and humans. This conclusion is a glaring problem considering the aim of the study was not to identify the transmission of bacteria from dogs to humans. In addition, the authors focused on the MDR pathogens within the raw samples and did not fully study the dry and wet samples per their results – even though they clearly carried the same MDR pathogens. Further, both the CIDRAP article and the AVMA completely ignore the fact that these foods are isolated to Portugal, and that the same MDR pathogens also occur in dry and wet food varieties. This likely indicates significant agricultural and meat distribution problems within Portugal.

Absent from the discussion is the potential for the MDR pathogen prevalence to be originating from poor quality meat suppliers, or as a result of mishandling in the distribution and storage processes – which are all potential confounding variables.

Study 2Again, isolated to Portugal, the authors investigated the occurrence of colistin resistance genes, in both human and companion animal feces. Ultimately, researchers did find the presence of mcr-1 (mobilized colistin resistance) gene in 1 dog and 2 healthy humans, which is quite rare. MDR genes confer plasmid-mediated resistance to colistin, one of a number of last-resort antibiotics for treating Gram-negative infections. 

Limitations & Flaws of Study 2

This study did not call out diet, as one of the variables, focused on for this research, meaning that it is likely that both cats and dogs were eating a variety of foods including dry, wet, and RMBDs. Therefore, this study should not have been used by CIDRAP or the AVMA in an attempt to substantiate their claim. It would have been nice to know the results of this study, based on the diet of the companion animal in the household. The prevalence of this gene is significant but is unlikely associated solely with the practice of feeding RMBDs to companion animals. Rather, the prevalence of this gene in humans and pets is likely multifactorial and complex. 

Study 3: This exploratory case-control study is still in progress and was presented as an abstract of a study protocol to assess the relevance of companion animal husbandry, in the colonization of MDR organisms of hospital patients. The authors examined a group of 1,500 humans, of which 495 (33%) tested positive for MDR organisms. In total, 296 (20%) participants owned at least 1 pet. There was no significant difference in the prevalence of MDR organisms, in the pet-owning and non-pet owning groups.

Limitations & Flaws of Study 3

This study was not related to RMBDs. The authors are looking for a much larger sample size, so it is not yet complete. Meaning, we must take into consideration the results above may not be representative of the final results. Much like study 2, the authors do not state that the companion animal diet was a variable that was considered, and it would be nice to know how diet potentially could play a role within the animal-owner group. 

Overall, preliminary conclusions from this study show that animal ownership does not play a significant factor, in MDR organism colonization in hospitalized human patients. 

Counting on Blind Trust or Ignorance?

So did the AVMA actually fail to validate its sources? Or do they know these studies are poor references and hope their readership (aka the veterinary community) do not critically appraise published articles? Its likely AVMA is likely counting on two things:

  1. The majority of veterinarians either don’t have time to do their own critical appraisal of articles and cited references to verify the conclusions reported and/or that they will trust that the information that AVMA is distributing is rooted in sound science and that it does not need to be challenged.
  2. The pet-owning public will either see this information in print or hear of it from their veterinarian and accept it as fact, rather than ask questions to obtain the whole picture or challenge the data – or in this case, lack thereof. 

A Need for Accountability

Regardless, this is yet another example of the scientific and veterinary medical communities needing to hold each other accountable. Failing to fact check or bending facts to fit an agenda is not only poor science, but it is also a disservice to the academic community and the animals that rely on their owners receiving factual and complete information from their veterinarian in order to make decisions on care. Providing only part of the story to the owner or veterinarian is unacceptable considering treatment decisions are based on such information.

As pet owners and professionals working in the industry, we need to demand better information. This entire situation highlights the necessity for pet owners to do their homework, in verifying sources. It is more important now than ever to read, ask questions, and challenge available data and opinions. The status quo obviously isn’t working, and until we start holding each other accountable we won’t see the change we so desperately need.

More research into how and where RMBDs are fed to pets and the effects, if any, on people living in the same household or coming into close contact with these pets. Potential confounding variables need to be recorded and controlled for in the analysis of such studies, looking at the effects of geographic region, method of manufacture of the RMBD, and mitigating procedures used in the processing of pet foods, including high-pressure pasteurization and other “kill steps” that are widely used in the US and other countries.

*This article is for informational purposes only. It is not meant to provide medical advice or replace the advice of a qualified veterinarian.

Link to AVMA e-mail:

Dall C. ECCMID studies probe resistant pathogens in pets, pet food, and people. CIDRAP News. 2020. Accessed on 21 April 2020 and available at




improving bowl of dry kibble

How to Improve the Quality of Dry Food

We recommend a variety of supplements for varying reasons, however the most common reason is to improve upon a kibble. Here are some of our favorite tips for improving the health of your pet on dry food:

Tick-Borne Diseases: Types, Symptoms, and Prevention

Ticks can transmit a number of harmful diseases to both pets and humans. It’s crucial for pet owners to be aware of the signs and symptoms of tick-borne diseases.

gut health, immune system, pet health, nutrition, microbiome, good bacteria, bad bacteria, microbiome

The Importance of Gut Health for Pets: The Role of Bacteria

Throughout the past 3 months, several peer-reviewed articles indicated how critical the microbiota and micro-biome are to canine behavior, health and performance, each warranting its own discussion. The following article discusses why canines should regularly receive probiotic supplementation to support their unique needs, and prevent common ailments and diseases