Do Miniature Goats Make Good Pets? Two Are Better Than One

Written by Jennifer Haase
Published: February 28, 2022
Image Credit Henk Vrieselaar/Shutterstock.com
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There’s no question that they’re great farm animals, but do miniature goats make good pets? Yes, miniature goats make great pets when they have at least one playmate. It’s important to have more than one pet goat at a time so they don’t get lonely and bored. 

It’s also essential to provide miniature goats with proper shelter and fenced outdoor space to play. Though miniature goats are domesticated, they still prefer to be outside most of the time. 

Keep reading to discover the ways miniature goats make good pets, plus what you’ll need to do to give them the best life possible. 

Do Miniature Goats Make Good Pets? 

The American Pygmy is miniature goat that makes a good pet.
Pygmy goats are sweet and playful pets.

jitkagold/Shutterstock.com

Miniature goats make good pets because they are friendly, fun-loving, and quickly bond with people. In addition, miniature goats are social creatures that make great emotional support animals for better mental health. 

Though miniature goats make good pets, they’re still best suited for spending most of their time outdoors. Why? Because they chew on almost anything, are not potty trained, and are happier outside with their miniature goat friends.

Yes, it’s best to raise multiple goats together. This is because goats are rambunctious herd animals that need their fellow goats’ high-energy companionship. If you can handle that, the next thing to consider is which breed to choose. For example, do you prefer pygmy goats or Nigerian dwarf goats? Don’t worry; you can raise them together.

Pygmy Goats vs. Nigerian Dwarf Goats

Dwarf goats make good pets and wonderful emotional support animals.
Nigerian dwarf goats are fun-loving companion animals.

The most popular miniature goat breeds are pygmy and Nigerian dwarf. Both breeds are playful animals and originated in Africa. Their differences lie mainly in their builds and breeding. 

Pygmy goats are shorter than Nigerian dwarf goats. Pygmys have round, stocky bodies because they are often bred for meat. 

Nigerian dwarf goats are taller and leaner than pygmies, with more graceful builds. Well-bred Nigerian dwarf goats produce delicious milk in an abundant supply. If you’re looking to raise miniature goats for milk, the Nigerian dwarf goat is a great choice. 

Pygmy and Nigerian dwarf goats can be raised together as playful companion pets. They eat the same food and enjoy a similar lifestyle of playing, exploring, and bonding with their human caregivers. 

How Hard is it to Take Care of a Mini Goat?

Pet goats need sturdy shelter, fenced outdoor space, and other goats as playmates.

iStock.com/NikiTaxidisPhotography

Raising a miniature goat isn’t hard, but it requires special setup and farm animal care. Here’s a basic checklist of what you’ll need to take care of a pet mini goat: 

  • Create a fenced outdoor space where miniature goats can safely run and play. The fence should be at least 4 feet high, so goats don’t leap over it. Choose strong, durable fencing that goats won’t chew or push their way through. 
  • Provide a sturdy shelter to protect against bad weather, extreme temperatures, and predators. 
  • Place structures inside their pens that miniature goats can climb, leap on, and jump over. Mini goats love this kind of play! Make sure these structures are far enough away from fencing that goats can’t escape their pens.
  • Give them proper food for goats, like hay, alfalfa, wild grasses, and packaged goat feed. Also, know that goats love to graze. So they will eat their way through your lawn if given a chance. 
  • Provide a small amount of obedience training if you want your goats to walk with a lead and stop jumping on people.  
  • You’ll need access to a livestock veterinarian with miniature goat experience. Like any other pet, goats get sick, have injuries, and require regular health checkups.
  • Be prepared to care for miniature goats for a decade or more. The lifespan of a pygmy goat is about ten years. 

Unless you’re planning to breed your miniature goats, consider raising only one gender to prevent pregnancies. If you’re raising male and female goats, keep them in separate pens that do not share a fence. Uncastrated males work hard to get to female goats through shared fencing during their rutting season. 

Are Male or Female Goats Friendlier? 

Male miniature goats are slightly friendlier than females but only when castrated. Though both genders make good pets, non-castrated males – called billy goats or bucks – are occasionally aggressive with other goats.

A castrated male goat is called a wether goat. Most goat owners agree that wether goats make the best pets. 

Can You Keep a Mini Goat in the House? 

It’s a bad idea to keep a miniature goat in the house as their main living space. Miniature goats aren’t potty trained. Not only will they pee on your floors, but they’re also known for getting urine all over themselves. Also, keep male goats out of the house during their rutting season. 

Miniature goats make good pets if they have plenty of space to play. Ideally, you’re raising multiple goats together, so making room for them to play in the house would also be a challenge. 

Can You Keep a Miniature Goat in the Backyard?

Yes, you can keep a pet miniature goat in the backyard if the yard is fenced and a safe area to play. However, keep your pet goats away from the garden and flower beds if you want to protect your plants. In particular, mini goats love to eat flowering plants, leafy vegetables, weeds, shrubs, and grass.

Miniature goats also eat tree bark, so protect your trees too.

Why Would Miniature Goats Make Bad Pets? 

American Pygmy Goat kid likes to play and rest.
A miniature goat loves to jump and kick during play.

jctabb/Shutterstock.com

Miniature goats make good pets, but raising them comes with some drawbacks. 

In addition to getting aggressive, billy goats (non-castrated males) have active scent glands that make them very stinky and even sticky during their rut season. Raising wether goats (castrated males) significantly decreases the smell, though even wethers can stink now and then. 

Your pet miniature goats might damage property and belongings because they chew on, jump on, and kick objects while at play. Mini goats are cute and cuddly, but they might cost more than you bargained for with repairs and replacements. So instead, provide them with fun alternative ways to burn off their energy and enjoy life as part of your family.

American Pygmy Goats stand and lie on wooden platforms and tables in a pasture.
American Pygmy Goats stand and lie on wooden platforms and tables in a pasture.
Henk Vrieselaar/Shutterstock.com
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About the Author

I've been a professional writer for over 12 years, specializing in nature themes, including plants and animals. My areas of interest include pets, sea animals, and flowers. Plus, I can't get enough of red pandas and hummingbirds! I also enjoy gardening, nutrition studies, and snuggling with my cats in my spare time.

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