Giardia is a single-celled parasite that lives in your pet’s intestine. It can affect your pet’s health at any life stage, however puppies are most susceptible.
Pets become infected when they ingest the Giardia protozoa that may be present in water or other substances that have been soiled with feces.
While the most common symptoms are diarrhea and weight loss, some pets show no signs of the illness at all. Giardia is also zoonotic, which means humans can become infected.
The best way to prevent Giardia infection is to make sure that your pet has safe, clean drinking water. It is also important not to allow your pet to drink water from areas where other animals have left their feces, i.e. lakes, rivers and streams.
To prevent spreading Giardia (and other parasites), pick up the feces left by your pet immediately and place it in the trash. Be sure to avoid contact with the feces by using gloves, a bag over your hand, or a scooping device.