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Keeping goats as pets

Owning a goat (or goats) is a big commitment and can be very time-consuming and expensive. Before getting goats, it's important you consider whether you have the time, resources, commitment, knowledge and facilities to care for them. Goats aren't gardeners, so an overgrown garden or hedge isn't a good reason to get one!

Do goats make good pets?

There are a number of things you'll need to bear in mind if you're thinking about keeping goats as pets:

  • Goats can be destructive to fences, housing and gardens.
  • They can be noisy, so may not be popular with your neighbours.
  • Uncastrated male goats have a very strong smell and can be aggressive, while larger castrated males are powerful and difficult to handle - so they aren't really suitable for keeping as pets. Instead, choose castrated males from smaller breeds.
  • Female goats need milking twice a day, everyday if they're producing milk (lactating), so you should only get a lactating goat if you're prepared to put in the extra work and time needed for this.

A note about breeding goats

Goats often produce twins, triplets or even quads, and as the owner, the babies (kids) are your responsibility. If you can't keep or rehome the kids, you'll need to organise for them to be humanely and legally put down. You should only breed goats if you're already an experienced goat owner.

For more on keeping goats as pets

To find out more about what's involved in owning and caring for a pet goat, download our introduction to goat welfare and ownership and check out the pages below for more on:

Always contact a vet if you're concerned about the health and welfare of your goats

Find out more