What To Do If a Goat Bites You – Info From Experience

Goats are wonderful animals, and as a mad goat lady myself, I absolutely adore them! However, while goats can definitely bring joy into your life, it’s not always quite as happy-go-lucky as it might seem.

One of the biggest issues you might experience with your goats is getting bitten. But what are you meant to do if a goat bites you, and are goat bites dangerous?

I once ended up with a pretty bad infection in one of my fingers after a young goat kid chomped down on it – believe me, I wished I’d gotten it treated once the infection set in, as that was exceptionally painful.

Charlotte Riggs – Boer Goat farmer

I’ll be considering these key factors today to give you a little more insight into what you should do if you get bitten by a goat or for that matter suffer any animal bites. But, of course, the most crucial thing is to get proper treatment for your injury.

And, of course, every injury is different, as is every person. As such, while we’ve outlined some information as follows to help, we strongly recommend that you contact your local healthcare provider to determine whether you need professional help for your injury.

Picture of a goat being fed by a small child
Goats are nibblers and sometimes fingers get involved but usually no harm is done

What to Do if a Goat Bites You

If you have ever been bitten by a goat, then you know that it can be a scary experience. Goats are known for being playful and sometimes they can get carried away, which leads to them biting people. If you find yourself in this situation, what should you do? In this article, we will provide information on what to do if a goat bites you.

  1. Stay calm and assess the damage if any – Don’t panic
  2. Check to see if the skin is broken
  3. For unbroken skin – wash the area with anti-bacterial soap
  4. If the skin is broken, clean the wound immediately
  5. Cover with sterile gauze and antiseptic
  6. Check your Tetanus Vaccine is up to date
  7. If it is a deep wound, seek medical advice

If a goat bites you, the most important first thing to do is not panic. Indeed, especially when the bite comes as a surprise. It’s easy to be shocked when a goat bites you, and in many cases, goat bites won’t be malicious; instead, they’re often a result of goats getting either impatient or excited.

Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that a goat bite is any less serious; after all, while they’re usually fine, goat bites can be a significant problem. As such, staying calm can allow you to assess the level of injury and choose the most appropriate way forwards.

A picture of a goats teeth being exposed showing only one layer of teeth in the front, with an explanation of how goat bites are not malicious in most cases.
Goats are usually not attacking when biting and do not mean harm

Now, in many cases, a goat bite won’t break the skin. Since goats only have one layer of teeth in the front of their mouths, many goat bites won’t break the skin; in this case, you may be okay simply to wash your hands with antibacterial soap.

However, if the bite has broken the skin, it could be even more crucial to treat the wound carefully.

Ensuring the wound is cleaned as soon as possible is vital to help prevent an infection from establishing; furthermore, the wound may need professional care if it’s deep to help promote healing.

Goat Bites Can be Serious

Generally speaking, goats are avid nibblers, and a gentle goat bite may not do as much damage as say wild animals. However, goat bites can be incredibly serious – especially if the goat catches you between the back teeth, as this can represent a significant amount of pressure.

In addition, it’s important to consider that goat bites can easily get infected due to the highly unsterile conditions within a goat’s mouth.

A picture of a hand with broken skin and a small amount of blood
Don’t worry, a bite from a goat will rarely look like this

Therefore, you should always treat a goat bite as a serious matter and consider first aid, medical care, cover with sterile gauze, and perhaps even an up to date tetanus shot, since it could be a significant source of infection.

Playful Goats May Not Always Mean Harmless Fun

It’s important to consider that even the gentlest, most playful goats can do damage. Indeed, goats are innately curious, and a playful goat may be prone to nibbling or biting just as much as an aggressive goat.

In fact, you might find that an aggressive goat is more likely to attack by butting or charging you rather than biting. So, even if your goat is friendly, don’t overlook the potential that it could bite!

How to Get Goats to Stop Biting

Stopping goats from biting can be a pretty tricky action since it’s not often the case that goats are biting maliciously.

The best way to stop a goat from biting is likely to focus on keeping out of the goat’s way and don’t encourage them to nibble.

When to Seek Professional Help

If you notice that the goat bite has caused significant bruising or infection or has otherwise resulted in a very deep cut, we strongly recommend seeking professional help. This can ensure that the issue doesn’t progress further – because, while goat bites will often be minor, this isn’t always the case.

In fact, I once ended up with a pretty bad infection in one of my fingers after a young goat kid chomped down on it – believe me, I wished I’d gotten it treated once the infection set in, as that was exceptionally painful.

Additional Resources on Goat Behavior 

In many cases, biting isn’t necessarily a sign that a goat is being aggressive – it can just be part of their behavior. With this in mind, you may want to also consider the following references to learn a little more about goat behavior.




Final Thoughts 

A goat bite doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to panic immediately, but staying calm and rational is important to ensure that you get the right treatment for your goat bite. Indeed, even though most goat bites aren’t dangerous, it’s imperative to take steps to ensure you get the correct treatment if you have been bitten by a goat – because, invariably, a goat bite can do pretty significant damage. 

In my experience, the worst goat bites are those sneaky moments where a goat chomps down with its back teeth; however, even though goats only have teeth on the bottom of their mouths in the front, they can still cause a pretty painful injury if they bite with enough force. So, don’t leave this to chance.

Charlotte Riggs

A passionate owner and breeder of Boer Goats, Charlotte is ensconced in daily goat farm life at Himmon Boer Goats in the UK. A member of the British Boer Goat Society, she spends her spare time also involved with goats. You could say, and she would admit, she is somewhat obsessed!

Himmon Boer Goats – Dorset

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