Keeping goats for dairy or meat is a standard practice, but they can also make great pets. More and more people are doing it and are very happy with the results.
There are many breeds of goats and any of them can be kept as a pet, but in general, people prefer smaller breeds, like Pygmy goats. When fully grown, they are 16 to 23 inches tall, weighing up to 80 pounds. They don’t have a set breeding season, so you can have kids any time you want.
Another popular breed is Kinder goats. This breed was created by crossing Pigmy goat and Nubian goat back in the 1980s. Pat Showalter, president of the Kinder Goat Breeders Association. Says that this is one of the more popular breeds for pets.
“They are a nice size, so even children are able to handle them if they are bottle-raised and friendly, and they transport in a dog kennel if need be,” she says. “They are intelligent and affectionate and are easy to train, whether it’s for milking or something like cart-pulling. They love to be with their owners, so they make great companions for walking, hiking or even camping. They are natural comics and are great entertainment.”
Of course, keeping goats as pets is not all sunshine and rainbows. Things can get really messy really fats. Especially if you keep them in the house. They like to chew on things and climb, which can be a huge problem for any living room. A goat can easily destroy a piece of furniture in no time if left unchecked. This can be prevented by an effective management, but it requires time and commitment, just like with any other pet. Potty training them can also be a challenge.
One thing almost all goat owners noticed is that other pets, like dogs, like having goats around. They find their company very comforting, just like humans.
Goats are also on the list of Delta Society therapy pets. Delta provides pet owners with an opportunity to give back to the community through their pets, by accompanying those in need on their walk to schools, or in assisted-living facilities and community centers. To be able to register, a goat, just like any other pet, must pass a test. It should be well-mannered, well-behaved in public and be able to interact with strangers on regular basis.