Goats can make great pets, especially Nigerian Dwarfs due to their size and personality. Though they are not hard to care for, like any pet they do require specific management for their mental and physical well being. Here are a few basic tips:
- Goats should not be kept as indoor pets. They enjoy the outdoors and are hardy even in cold temperatures. Indoors they do not have proper traction for their hooves, space to forage or the ability to climb and explore.
- Goats should be kept in herds of 2 or more. A solitary goat is unhappy regardless of the amount of time spent with them or company of other species.
- Goats require routine hoof trimming every 6-8 weeks.
- Goats are particularly susceptible to tetanus and should be vaccinated annually.
- Goats require a specific diet, including high quality hay and breed specific mineral mixes including calcium, copper and selenium.
- Goats are inquisitive creatures and should be provided with appropriate toys and safe climbing structures.
- Responsible goat breeders will want to protect their herd from infiltration of disease, mainly Caprine Arthritis and Encephalitis (CAE) and Johne’s Disease. Once contracted, both of these diseases are life long; CAE causing painful joints and Johne’s weightloss and diarrhea and linked to Crohn’s disease in humans. To ensure the goat you are purchasing is healthy, they should come from a herd that is tested annually.