What Is Giardia and How Can You Prevent It?

What is Giardia?

Giardia in dogs is a barely discernible disease normally found in dogs and puppies. Contaminated water is one of the major causes of giardia in puppies in addition to general contact to the disease in the environment such as contact to infected surfaces in parks or even in your dog’s food.

Cause of Giardia

The most widespread causes of giardia in dogs are from drinking water outside, such as from a pond or stream that has been contaminated with another infected animals feces. The feces contain a cyst that enters the gastrointestinal tract of your dog. The cysts sheath Trophozoites which cause the situation. Puppies are very vulnerable as their immune system has yet to build up to its full capacity so Giardia typically transmits to dogs that are less than a year old.

Common Symptoms of Giardia in Dogs

In the early on stages, the giardia infestation is not so noticeable because a dog will not show any symptoms. Giardia also remains dormant for many days. Additionally, it takes a long time to identify the occurrence after the activation and multiplication phase has begun.

For the most part, dogs show no symptoms, but in those dogs that do, symptoms often build up in the later stages of the disease as it prevents nutrients from being absorbed into your dogs body.

Since Giardiasis affects the small intestine and also the digestive tract, diarrhea is then most obvious symptom. In fact, Giardia symptoms in dogs begin with diarrhea and vomiting so for this reason the importance of good dog care is all the more important.

Other common symptoms of giardia in dogs are flatulence, increasingly poor coat quality and vomiting, mucus in stool, light color stools (non bloody), and apathy and lethargy.

Giardia Diagnosis in Dogs

With giardia in dogs protozoa block nutrients from being immersed into the intestines, so gastrointestinal problems like intermittent diarrhea along with weight loss occur. It is seen most often in puppies.

As the disease expands a dog will show weight loss and exhaustion. Only a veterinarian can make a diagnosis of the problem. Vets will find an increase in the quantity of white cells and may identify traces of anemia in the blood tests as central Giardia symptoms in dogs.

The incubation period in dogs is typically between 5 to 14 days.


Dog care involves the use of prescription medication that assist to combat parasites. how to treat giardia in puppies is similar to the treatment supplied to older dogs by adding fiber to their diet. Herbal remedies and lots of water can also help to speed recovery. If not treated properly, a dog can remain infected for an indefinite period. The dog’s home has to be disinfected with bleach.

It is feasible for giardia to be transmitted from your dog to other humans including yourself, so even though this is uncommon, treatment for giardia in dogs is paramount as is using care when managing an infected pet.


While the transmission of giardia is impossible to completely prevent, there are a few steps that you can take to minimize the risk of transmission.

The first thing you can do to ensure that your dog does not eat or drink from any wanted items when playing outside. Giardia is most often transmitted through water and food. If you can prevent your dog from getting into things they shouldn’t, then you’re greatly minimizing the risk of transmission.

Another thing that you can do is make sure that your dog is only playing with healthy dogs. The most common places of transmission are dog parks, doggie day cares, and dog kennels. If you take your dog to a doggie day care or dog kennel, make sure that they have a policy where dogs have to be tested before they’re admitted. With dog parks, use your best judgment. If the dog park is clean and in a good neighborhood, you’re generally not going to have to worry as much. Odds are people in those parts are going to be taking good care of their dogs.

This article was written and provided by Joe of Best Dog Crates and Beds. Best Dog and Beds is a leading resource in dog training tips, advice, and dog product reviews. Follow them on Twitter @BDogCratesNBeds

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