How your dog’s diet affects giardia infections

dog in water

Giardia is a single-celled parasite that infects the gastrointestinal tract of dogs. It is by far one of the most common causes of diarrhea in dogs and its impact on their health can be significant.

When a dog becomes infected with giardia, the parasite latches onto the lining of the intestines which can cause inflammation, malabsorption of nutrients, weight loss, and diarrhea.

The symptoms of Giardia can vary depending on the dog but the most common ones are diarrhea with mucus, vomiting, weight loss, and a general decline in overall health. However, some dogs can be subclinical, or not show any signs at all.

Many pet parents aren’t aware that what they feed their dog can help tremendously, let’s look at some of the things that may help.

1. Probiotics

In humans, probiotics have been shown to help decrease parasite-induced damage to the intestines by increasing the antioxidant capacity. When Giardia parasites become attached to the intestinal lining they can induce a lot of inflammation and probiotics have been shown to help fight this.
However, much of the research available about probiotics and Giardia has been done in humans it certainly can not hurt to give them to your dog.

To read more about Giardia dogs and how probiotics may help click here.

2. Fiber

Increasing fiber in your dog’s diet can help by decreasing the chances that Giardia can become attached to the intestinal lining

3. Bland diet

Feeding a bland diet will help rest your dog’s stomach and may help improve any upset that commonly occurs with Giardia.

4. High-quality foods

You should feed a high-quality diet that is free of excess sugar, salts, and dairy

5. Herbs

There are some herbs that have been shown to help combat Giardia, like goldenseal and oregano. However, it is essential that you consult your veterinarian before introducing any herbal supplements to your dog’s diet to ensure safe and proper use.

While food alone will not get rid of an infection, it can help in how long your dog is infected and how severe their clinical signs are

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