Giardia in Dogs & Puppies: How I Got Rid of it Naturally

June 14, 2021

This article contains photos of dog poop, but I will save them all for the very END!

This post aims to share the natural giardiasis remedies or, if you will, what will now be my holistic protocol for getting rid of giardia. 

After bringing home my 9 week old puppy on May 1st, 2021, he took to his balanced raw diet very well. He had zero issues with the transition and had some seriously impressive poops right away. Then we had a series of days with some heavy rainfall, and this is what I believe ultimately led to my puppy, Bo, contracting giardia. 

What is Giardia?

Giardia is a microscopic parasite that can infect most mammals, including humans

"The parasite invades cells lining the intestinal tract, causing bowel irritation and damage. There, the parasites reproduce and shed into the stool to pass out of the body. This stage of the parasite is very hearty and can remain infective in the environment for long periods of time. 

Infection occurs when parasites are ingested in contaminated water, stool, plant material, or food. Even licking a few drops of contaminated water, or a few parasites off of the paws or coat, can potentially cause infection.

Pets infected with Giardia may or may not show obvious symptoms. Pets that do not appear ill can still shed the parasite in their stool, acting as a source of infection for other pets or human family members. Common problems seen during infection may include decreased energy, weight loss, vomiting, or diarrhoea

Diagnosis can be difficult. Multiple microscopic stool examinations or other laboratory tests are usually necessary. Several medications exist to treat infection. Often, more than one course of therapy is needed to eliminate Giardia."

How can I test my dog or puppy to see if they have Giardia?

Parasite tests performed at your veterinarian's office may not be accurate, as these test can often return a false negative or even a false positive result. 

If you need to test your pet for giardia, ask your veterinarian about a fecal antigen test (aka a diarrhoea panel). An ELISA or PCR test for giardia can also be helpful if your pet has a history of gastrointestinal issues because they test for the presence of giardia antigens, even if cysts are not being shed in your pet's stool. 

The reason these tests are preferred over a simple fecal float is because when your pet contracts giardia, parasite cysts are not shed in every single stool. By definition, this would mean it is highly likely that a stool sample could potentially not contain the cysts, resulting in a fecal float returning a negative result, due to the fact that no giardia cysts were detected...even though your pet may in fact be infected. 

So when did I realise my puppy may have Giardia?

Initial Timeline

Sunday- May 2nd
single firm, dry log

Monday- May 3rd
two firm, dry logs in the AM; a single dry log later that day

Tuesday- May 4th
tiny dry log in the AM; soft serve pile of poop in the PM
(I started including probiotic powder with his meals to help firm up his stool)

Wednesday- May 5th
solid, slightly soft log in the AM; soft serve pile of poop later in the day; liquid poop late at night
(I book him an appointment to see the vet)

Thursday- May 6th
soft serve pile of poop; liquid poop later in the evening; ball of liquid and mucus between 12am-3am
(I decide to add slippery elm to his food on Friday because the probiotics aren't "working")

Friday- May 7th
soft pile of poop; liquid poop and lots of mucus later in the evening
(I start thinking he most definitely picked up giarida from trying to eat the grass and mulch after heavy rainfall)

Saturday- May 8th
Vet appointment; confirms Bo does in fact have giardia; they prescribe Panacur for 5 days

The standard treatment for a symptomatic giardia infection is antiprotozoal drugs like Metronidazole & Fenbendazole, though the parasite is growing resistant to many of these drugs.

I started Bo on his medicine (Fenbendazole- "Panacur" a broad spectrum benzimidazole anthelmintic) and his diarrhoea/pure liquid & mucus filled stool only got worse. I administered the medicine as instructed and for the duration it had been prescribed (the 5 days), all while still including probiotic powder in every meal, but his stool kept getting worse. During this 5-day period, there was a single day where Bo finally had 1 solid poop, and I thought the medicine was finally working, but alas, it went back to being awful & frequent liquid stool later that night. 

At this point, I figured he'd either be given antibiotics and more antiprotozoal drugs once I finished this round of Panacur, but I knew I didn't really want to go that route since there was zero improvement in his bowel movements and I didn't want to "destroy" his GI tract. So I hopped online and placed an order for an "all-natural" product that I was told may be helpful...

What natural products did you use to get rid of your puppy's Giardia?

MAKONDO PETS- 5B Probiotics for Dogs


I scoured the internet and I was able to find this product from Amber Naturalz called Kochi Free. I was told by the company that Kochi Free and Vibactra Plus are actually the exact same product, they are just under two different names, so depending on where you live, one may not be available to purchase, so look for the product under the alternate name. 

At the time, Bo had already lost a little over 1 pound from the constant diarrhoea, so he was weighing around 8lbs. Based on this and knowing that it may take 4 weeks or more of dosing Kochi Free, before I could potentially see a difference, I went ahead and ordered the 4oz bottle so I wouldn't run out of product. 

Their serving instructions are as follows:
In speaking to someone who works for Amber Naturalz, they shared how they tackled their puppy having giardia, using this product and how long it took them to see positive changes. I am actually happy I was able to have this chat prior to receiving the bottle of Kochi Free because everything the Amber Naturalz employee shared with me was definitely applicable to my puppy's situation, so I wasn't surprised by how his little body began responding to receiving his first few doses of Kochi Free. 

The package recommends dosing Kochi Free anywhere from 1-4x within a 24hr period. I began using it (I believe) on May 12th, the 5th and final day of my puppy receiving the last bit of Panacur the vet prescribed him. At this point, he had been pooping pure liquid and lots of mucus several times a day- made much worse by the Panacur. Sometimes a late night poop would be a blob of just mucus and nothing else. He was waking up at least twice between the hours of 12AM - 4AM, just to have a diarrhoea explosion, then would go right back to sleep.

On his first day receiving Kochi Free, I went ahead and began dosing it 4x a day. He received his first dose early in the morning (typically around 6am or 7am), before having any food or water. Most times he actually fell right back to sleep and because I didn't want to wake him, I just let him be and would feed him breakfast once he woke up again. Later in the day, after having a meal, I would give him another dose of Kochi Free (this would usually be around 11am or 12pm). His third dose would be give about 3hrs later, and then his final dose given 3hrs after the third. 

Something you may immediately notice is how frequently they need take a poop. Even though Bo was having crazy diarrhoea prior to being introduced to Kochi Free, he was doing most of his poos late in the evening and very early into the morning (so I was basically up all night). Once I started giving him Kochi Free, he needed to take a poo maybe once every 45mins or so. This was one of the things the Amber Naturalz employee warned me about when sharing his personal experience, so I was prepared for this ahead of time. These frequent poops lasted around 3-4 days for my puppy; and that was with me giving him a dose of Kochi Free 4x a day. 

Around day 4 and 5, I noticed a significant change- Bo was no longer needing to poop every 45mins (I'd say he was only taking 2 poos during the day, and 2 late at night), and his logs started looking better and better. Even on May 12th, the first day giving him Kochi Free, his day time poos were still very very soft, but with every potty break, they started looking better and better, until 11:19 PM that night, when he dropped some awesome solid logs! They were still a bit soft, but miles better than what he had been dropping all day long (pictures will be at the end of this post). 

I continued with his daily doses, 4x a day, for approximately 30 days! In addition to administering Kochi Free, I was also including a probiotic powder with his meals, every single day (Makondo is what I was using & I actually finished it during this process). This was the same probiotic powder I had been using for Nolo and it always did an excellent job with firming up his stool, so I wanted to be sure I was providing my puppy with a daily source of probiotics! Next, I made sure to increase my puppy's daily fiber intake. Instead of increasing the amount of vegetables being fed, I just offered him a furry animal chew as a daily treat- so he has snacked on lots of ears & feet throughout this process. Fur is another one of my go-to's whenever Nolo has diarrhoea because it helps bulk up his stool and is believed to act as sort of a "pipe cleaner" when moving through the digestive tract. I felt as though this trifecta was a great combination for Bo- Kochi Free, probiotics, and added fiber (so the fur).

I went ahead and stuck to dosing Kochi Free for a full 30 days because for the first 10 days, I noticed such an amazing improvement in his stool, but I knew he was definitely still shedding cysts, and he would also still wake up around 1AM and sometimes again at 3AM because he had diarrhoea. So even though his day time poos were looking awesome, he was still pooping some liquid and a decent amount of mucus later at night. 

Around day 11, I noticed another change. When I would give my puppy his Kochi Free, it was like he went back to the first day ever having it- he needed to poop every 45mins - every hour. I figured this was due to Kochi Free doing it's job and flushing out more of the parasites that had time to reproduce in the intestinal tract. This frequent pooping lasted around 48hrs before going back to how it was prior to the uptick. 

For the next 10 days, I continued to see nothing but incredible improvements in my puppy's stool. He was also putting on weight and seemed to be back on track with no more diarrhoea and only waking up once after 12AM to poop. His midnight/early morning poops also began looking much better- day by day they looked more and more like logs and got a slight bit firmer as the days progressed. 

I finally stopped giving Kochi Free by June 10th because I wanted to see several consecutive days of firm, solid logs before stopping his all-natural treatment.  At the beginning of last week, Bo went in for his scheduled vet appointment for a routine check, as well as, to see if he was still actively shedding cysts and giardia postive. The vet contacted me to let me know my boy was all clear! 

Did you have to bleach your floors and clean your puppy's toys every day because he had Giardia?

No. I did not once whip out bleach during this process. 

The advice commonly given has been shared below (this was taken from the packet my vet gave me):

"All stools should be cleaned up at least once daily during the treatment period and regularly thereafter.

Kennels and dog runs should be disinfected with a diluted bleach solution and rinsed well, daily, during the treatment period. "

I guess the beauty of me being a germaphobe is I already do loads to ensure I am not trekking tons of unwanted bacteria and germs into my living space. 

If you follow me on Instagram, then you already know my boys are always booted up when going outside. Not only can this protect their paws from hot pavements or icy roads, but because I also hate germs so much, I would probably pass out if they ever ran around outside with naked paws, then tried to come back into my home without getting their feet thoroughly cleaned. 

Turns out, when you have a puppy who contracted giardia, putting little booties on before they go outside can be super helpful. I did not have to worry about cleaning his feet when we came back inside, nor did I have to worry about him trying to lick or chew on his paws, then re-infect himself over and over.

I also clean both my boys' private areas after all their potty breaks. This is something I have always done because of my paranoia and not wanting them to get specs of poop or drops of urine on my furniture. So when my vet recommended wiping my puppy's bum/genitals after potty breaks, I quite literally said, "That's the norm for me."

In terms of disinfecting his crate, this is also something I do at least 2x every single day. Both of my boys are raw fed, which means they receive their meals in their crate. When they have finished eating, I clean up their faces with a damp Swedish dish cloth (and their paws if necessary), then I go in and disinfect their crates so raw meat juices aren't just marinating in there all day long. I typically use a plant based antibacterial spray that is free from any harmful chemicals because my fear is that they fall ill from ingesting something as harsh as bleach. I also do not like the idea of them laying on, sleeping, and eating on a space that is constantly being disinfected with bleach. 

When it comes to blankets and toys, I switched out my puppy's blankets often and threw them all to wash. Neither of my boys are interested in the toys I've spent so much money on, instead they are much more interested in chewing socks & underwear, so I didn't have to worry about constantly disinfecting toys. Instead, they find different pairs of socks to wrestle and chew on every single day, so I was glad I didn't have to worry much about this bit. 

The last thing I was advised to do was give Bo a bath right before he started his round of Panacur, and then again once he had finished it. This was to be repeated if additional rounds of antiprotozoal drugs were prescribed. Because I obviously did not continue with these drugs after his initial 5 day prescription, I chose to give him a bath on his last day of taking Panacur, then only 2 more times while administring Kochi Free. The 2 additional baths were because of some insane diarrhoea days; I wanted to make sure I cleaned up his entire backside and tail because I didn't want to rely on wet wipes alone, so I made sure to give him a full bath both times. Beyond that, I actually didn't see the need to give him frequent baths because his stool firmed up/improved fairly quickly and I felt as though wiping him down after potty breaks was good enough. 

Is there anything you can do to prevent your puppy or dog from getting Giardia?

Well for one, when it rains, I no longer let my puppy go potty anywhere near puddles of water...I don't even let him walk past them because he's still so young, it only takes a few licks of contaminated water to get him sick all over again. I've also worked on his training, so he knows not to try to drink or reach for dirty water when we're outside (if he starts eyeing a puddle, I am so much more attentive and I correct him right away).

I now also make sure to have some Kochi Free on hand, so if this were to happen again, I will be prepared!

Is there anything else "all-natural" that I can use to get rid of Giardia?

I was not able to try this method because Kochi Free was working so well for me, but I will still share what someone in a private Facebook group sent me when I was initially searching for a more holistic way of getting rid of my puppy's giardia.  

I did not come up with this protocol!

Prozyme was the product specifically recommended because you will need a product/digestive enzyme that contains plant or fungal enzymes.

Follow the product instructions to know how much to dose, but Prozyme should only be given on an empty stomach.

Mix the powder with water and use a syringe if you have to, in order to administer the entire dose to your pet. Do not present food/meals, until 1 hour after dosing Prozyme. Then you want to repeat this process 3x a day, for 8-10 days. 

Take 7 days off and do not administer anymore Prozyme. After the 7-day break, repeat the 3x daily dosage for the same length of time you did in round 1 (8-10 days).

And that's it. This is what they did with all of their puppies and they said it worked every single time. If you try it out, be sure to let me know if it worked for you!


For those who feed kibble/dry processed foods and to pet parents who feed balanced raw, but include STARCHES in your pet's may want to STOP (for now).

Thanks to Dr. Karen Becker, I learned the following:
Eliminating or limiting starch in your pet's diet will limit the amount of sugar in their small intestine, which will decrease the osmotic draw of water into the intestine, diminishing the amount of watery stools produced.

So for pet parents feeding kibble, you may want to stop feeding kibble during giardia treatment because kibble contains a significant amount of starch, which "feeds" the parasite and ultimately exacerbates diarrhoea and poor stool.

If you are able to switch to a balanced home-cooked or balanced raw diet temporarily, until you've taken care of the parasite, this would be best!


For more photos and details tracking my puppy's stool during this all-natural protocol, check out my Instagram Highlight labeled "Poo 🧻"

To learn more about how I firm up my dogs' soft or loose stool (unrelated to any medical conditions or infections), check out my article- FIRM UP YOUR DOG OR CAT'S SOFT/LOOSE STOOL- MY SOUPY POOPY PROTOCOL


As always, I hope this post was helpful to some of you!

Please consult physicians/veterinarians, and/or other trustworthy science-based sources for advice on human and animal dietary questions.

Follow me on instagram @nolorlin for more raw feeding content & recipes!


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