What Treats Giardia in Dogs: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

What Treats Giardia in Dogs? Giardiasis is a common bug that can give dogs a tummy ache and make them poop a lot. It’s caused by a tiny bug called Giardia, and it can be in dirty soil, food, or water that has poop in it.

Some dogs with Giardia don’t feel sick, but young dogs or ones with weaker defenses might have a runny tummy. Dogs can easily get sick again, so treating them means giving them good medicine, cleaning up well, and keeping their home and play areas clean — inside and outside.


How do dogs get giardiasis?

how do dogs get giardiasis?

A dog can get infected with Giardia by swallowing the parasite’s cyst stage. In dogs that can easily get sick, the cyst changes into the Trophozoite after reaching the intestines. These trophozoites attach to the intestinal wall and cause damage if there are a lot of them.

The trophozoites multiply by dividing, and some turn into the cystic form. Eventually, the dog releases infectious cysts in its poop. It takes about 5 to 12 days for dogs and 5 to 16 days for cats from swallowing the cysts to passing them in the feces.

Giardiasis can spread when you eat or sniff tiny cysts from dirty ground or drink contaminated water. These cysts quickly infect another animal. In healthy adult dogs without diarrhea, finding Giardia cysts in their poop is usually not a big deal. But in puppies or weak adult dogs, it can cause serious, watery diarrhea that might be deadly if not treated.

The chance of getting sick is higher when there are lots of cysts in the environment from poop. Giardiasis is common in crowded places like kennels, pet stores, or animal shelters.

You may like to read: How much is Zyrtec for dogs? [Expert Guide 2024]

What are the clinical signs of giardiasis?

how is giardia diagnosed, or clinical signs

Tiny parasites can stick to the inside of a dog’s intestines and cause a sudden, bad-smelling type of diarrhea. This infection can make dogs lose weight, have on-and-off diarrhea, and pass fatty stool. The poop may be soft to watery, with a greenish color and sometimes even blood. Dogs with this infection often have extra mucus in their poop and may vomit too. These symptoms can last for a few weeks, and the dog may gradually lose weight.

Usually, this illness is not dangerous unless the dog’s immune system is not fully developed or weakened. Some dogs might not show any signs of being sick and can carry the parasites without getting sick themselves. Younger animals are more likely to show signs of being sick, but most dogs won’t have a fever and might be less active during the illness.


To check for giardiasis in your pet, the vet will need to look at a sample of their poop. Since the giardia parasites may not show up in every poop sample, the vet might need to do a second test. This second test can find other signs of giardiasis, like specific proteins produced by the parasite.


What is the best medicine for giardia in dogs?

The aim of treatment is to stop diarrhea and other signs of illness. Dogs without symptoms may not need treatment.

1. Medication:

  • Fenbendazole is a common deworming medicine used to treat Giardia.
  • Another option is an antibiotic called metronidazole.
  • Your vet might use both medicines together.

  2. Diet:

  • Your vet may suggest a special diet to help fix diarrhea and support your dog’s digestion.

3. Bathing:

  • Give your dog a full bath on the last day of treatment to get rid of poop and any leftover Giardia cysts in their fur.

4. Cleaning:

  • Use household disinfectants and steam-cleaning to effectively kill Giardia cysts.
  • Clean up and throw away poop promptly.
  • Giardia cysts in the yard can only be killed by direct sunlight drying them.

You may like to read: How To Prevent Hot Spots On Dogs? [Best Guide 2023]


With the right treatment, most dogs get better from giardiasis. If your dog still has diarrhea after treatment, the vet may check their poop again to see if they got infected again. It’s not a good idea to test for antigens because they can stay even after the dog is better, giving a wrong result.

Dogs might get infected again if their surroundings aren’t kept clean. Sometimes, if the medicine doesn’t work or isn’t given right, the infection can come back.


People and animals, like dogs and cats, can catch something called Giardia, but the kind that usually makes humans sick is not the same as the one that affects pets. The same goes for dogs and cats – they get a different type of Giardia. So, it’s not common for humans to get sick from the Giardia that pets might have, and vice versa. Still, it’s always a good idea to wash your hands really well with soap and water after touching pets or dealing with their poop, just to be safe.


how long is giardia contagious in dogs

If you have more than one pet at home, don’t worry too much if your dog gets sick with Giardia because it won’t affect your healthy cat. Cats can get Giardia too, but it won’t make your dog sick.

However, if your dog is infected, it can spread Giardia to other dogs in the house through their poop. To lower the risk, make sure they poop in different places, clean your infected dog’s bottom after they poop, and stop them from licking each other. Always clean up their poop quickly, give the sick dog a bath when the treatment is done, and wash your hands after touching them or dealing with their poop.

You may like to read: How To Relieve Gas In Dogs Naturally?

FAQs: What Treats Giardia In Dogs?

how do dogs get giardia

Still not satisfied? Here are some frequently asked questions:

What can I give my dog to treat Giardia?

The usual medicines to get rid of Giardia are fenbendazole, also known as Panacur and metronidazole. People usually take these drugs for three to ten days to treat giardiasis. Sometimes, doctors may give both medicines together if needed.

What naturally kills Giardia?

Luckily, giardia can be easily dealt with using natural remedies like garlic, oregano, and guava leaf. Other herbal treatments can also be useful, and in most situations, treating giardia naturally with herbs can work in just two weeks.

Can Giardia in dogs resolve on its own?

While giardia flare-ups can sometimes resolve on their own, the parasite needs medication for treatment. Metronidazole is the usual medicine prescribed to treat giardia.

What is the diet for Giardia?

To feel better from Giardia and get rid of the infection, it’s good to eat natural foods with lots of fiber and avoid too much fat, lactose, and sugary foods. Also, taking probiotics and wheat germ can help get rid of the parasites.

How long does Giardia last in dogs?

Pets can also get Giardia, and the signs can vary from nothing to the symptoms listed below. These symptoms may last for 1 to 2 weeks or even longer. They can come and go and may include diarrhea.

What color is Giardia stool?

If your pet has soft stools, a dull fur coat, excessive gas, or is losing weight or not gaining weight properly, it could be a sign of a problem. The poop may be light in color, have clear slime (mucus), and might have white, greasy spots of undigested fat.

What to feed a dog with giardia?

The vet might suggest giving your dog plain and easy-to-digest food that helps their stomach get better. You should feed them this simple food until their poop goes back to normal, which usually takes between three to 10 days.

Does yogurt help Giardia in dogs?

Probiotics help keep your pet’s tummy healthy and stop them from getting diarrhea again due to Giardia. You can give your dog probiotics as a supplement or mix them into their food. Good food choices include plain yogurt and kefir.



By Syed Habib Ahmed

Syed Habib Ahmed is a pet lover and writer having experience with all kinds of animals. Over the years he has cared dogs, cats, horses and other pets. Before writing became his full-time career, he has worked with different vets and organization who rescue animals.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *