How do I protect my dog from Giardia? Get Your Pet Thinking


The goal of treatment is to resolve diarrhea and other clinical signs. Dogs without symptoms may not require treatment.

  • Medication

    • Fenbendazole is a common deworming medication used to treat Giardia.
    • Another treatment option is an antibiotic called metronidazole.
    • Your veterinarian may also use the two medications in combination.
  • Diet

    • Your veterinarian may prescribe a diet that supports digestive health to help resolve diarrhea.
  • Bathing

    • Dogs should be fully bathed on the last day of treatment to remove fecal material and any remaining Giardia cysts in the dog’s fur.
  • Cleaning

    • Common household disinfectants and steam-cleaning are the most effective ways for killing Giardia cysts.
    • Remove and dispose of all feces promptly.
    • Giardia cysts on the lawn can only be killed by direct sunlight drying them.
  • Can Your Dog Give You Giardia?

    Technically, giardia is a zoonotic disease … meaning different species can get it. So if your dog tests positive for giardia, can you catch it from him?

    Fortunately, research says it’s not that easy for giardia to transfer between species. Even the CDC says the risk is small … because dogs and people get different types of giardia.

    If your dog has giardia, just take reasonable precautions, like …

  • Washing your hands regularly (especially after poop pick-up!)
  • Cleaning your dog’s bedding, toys, food and water bowls
  • Cleaning household surfaces
  • If you garden, wearing gloves to avoid contact with infected poop
  • Keeping your environment dry (giardia likes damp conditions)
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    What you REALLY need to know about treating dog GIARDIA at home

    In case you’re unfamiliar with giardia … it’s a parasite. That means it feeds off other living organisms (like dogs) to survive. Once inside your dog, giardia calls your pet’s intestines home and creates an infection.

    This leads to weakening of your dog’s small intestine. It starts to have trouble absorbing water, electrolytes, and nutrients. This can cause malabsorptive diarrhea … leading to difficulty in gaining weight or keeping it on.

    Your vet may want to prescribe medication for treatment. But drugs can cause avoidable and unnecessary side effects. So, you may be wondering: “Can dogs recover from giardia without medication?”

    The cyst form can survive several months in the environment … especially in water or damp conditions.

    If your dog swallows the cyst, it enters his intestines. Once there, it transforms to the trophozoite form and feeds from your dog’s intestinal wall.

    Some trophozoites transform into the cystic form. After about 5 to 12 days, your dog may pass infectious cysts in his stool.

    There are several reasons why dogs are so susceptible. Your dog could pick up giardia from …

    According to the CDC, giardia survives longer in cold temperatures. Take the following two scenarios for example:

    In fact, it’s quite common for dogs to get giardia in the spring. As the snow melts, it can contain fecal residues that carry the giardia protozoa. If your dog drinks from the melted snow puddles … she could pick up giardia.

    How long does it take for giardia to go away in dogs? The answer to that is … it depends on its environment. Giardia is a difficult parasite to get rid of because it’s easy for your dog’s environment to stay contaminated.

    If you don’t take extra measures to deep clean your dog’s space, she may need longer treatment.