What to Feed a Puppy With Coccidia? [Recovery Guide]

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

When it comes to puppy parenthood, there are few things as disheartening as discovering that your furry bundle of joy is battling a pesky intruder called coccidia.

These microscopic parasites can wreak havoc on a young pup’s delicate system, causing distressing symptoms and leaving us, as caretakers, feeling helpless and uncertain about the best way to nurture our beloved companions back to health.

So what to feed a puppy with coccidia? In this post, you will find a few options that works well and a supplement that is proven and tested too.

Beyond that, you will also learn more about what coccidia is, challenges, and useful care tips.

Let’s jump right in.

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3 Best Dog Foods for Puppies With Coccidia

Best Dog Foods for Puppies With Coccidia

Discovering that your pup has coccidia can send any pet parent’s stress levels skyrocketing.

While you may be focused on other aspects of their treatment, it’s also important to know that providing them with the right food plays a surprisingly significant role in managing coccidia effectively.

The appropriate dog food promotes digestive health, supports nutrient absorption, strengthens the immune system, and avoids trigger ingredients, aiding in your pup’s recovery from the condition.

1. Wellness CORE Digestive Health Puppy Chicken & Brown Rice Dry Dog Food

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Highly digestible, probiotic-coated kibble with digestive enzymes, prebiotic fibers, and guaranteed levels of probiotics for gut health and overall wellbeing.
High-quality protein from chicken and grains from brown rice optimize nutrient absorption and support high digestibility for puppies with sensitive stomachs.
Guaranteed levels of DHA, EPA, calcium, and phosphorus to promote healthy cognitive development and bone growth.
Aids in maintaining a healthy microbiome, which is essential for optimal immune function.

When a pup suffers from coccidia, its digestive system becomes a bit sensitive, and this premium dry dog food is made specifically to address that.

With high-quality chicken, brown rice, and a blend of beneficial probiotics, it helps soothe their stomachs, supports nutrient absorption, and promotes healthy digestion. 

2. Zignature Limited Ingredient Formula Trout & Salmon Meal Dry Dog Food

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High-quality fish protein #1 ingredient
Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins B12
Smaller kibble for small dogs
Ideal for rotational diets with limited ingredients
Fortified with probiotics for gut health support

Is your pet allergic or sensitive to certain foods?

These dietary restrictions are so hard to cater to since there are a lot of ingredients you may need to stay away from.

Well, this dry dog food boasts of limited ingredient formula, making it an excellent option for pets with sensitivities.

Made with trout and salmon as the primary protein sources and carefully selected wholesome ingredients, it provides a balanced and easily digestible meal. 

It’s even grain-free, reducing the likelihood of triggering any grain-related sensitivities.

3. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food

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Smaller kibble enriched with Vitamin E and omega 6 fatty acids for skin and coat nourishment.
Prebiotic fiber supports small dog’s microbiome for digestive health.
Specifically formulated for miniature and toy breed dogs, providing optimal nutrient balance.
Suitable for sensitive stomachs and dogs with sensitive skin, with precise balance and digestible ingredients.
Made with natural ingredients and trusted global ingredients, produced in the USA.
Veterinarian recommended.

Although labeled as adult food, this dry dog food can still be suitable for puppies with coccidia. 

It features high-quality chicken and gentle ingredients like rice to support easy digestion. 

The added prebiotic fiber helps maintain a healthy gut flora, while essential nutrients contribute to your pup’s overall well-being.

Best Probiotics for Dogs With Coccidia

When it comes to dealing with coccidia in dogs, probiotics are super important!

They help keep your pup’s tummy healthier and boost their immune system. 

These beneficial bacteria help restore the natural balance of the gut flora and this helps in digestion and nutrient absorption. 

Yogurt, kefir, and fermented vegetables are good natural sources of this bacteria.

However, if you’re looking for a more convenient option, probiotic supplements are your best bet.

These can provide a concentrated dose of probiotics to help your furry pal combat coccidia.

My personal choice is the following from Purina Pro Plan.

Purina Pro Plan Fortiflora Canine Nutritional Supplement 

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Veterinarian-recommended probiotic supplement.
Specifically formulated for puppies and adult dogs with diarrhea.
Contains a proven probiotic for promoting intestinal health and balance.
Supports a strong immune system and includes antioxidants for dogs.

Lots of dog parents love this probiotic supplement because it’s specially made for dogs, and it’s the top recommendation in the clinic where I used to work.

It contains a strain of beneficial bacteria called Enterococcus faecium SF68, which supports digestive health and helps maintain balanced gut flora. 

Even better, this supplement comes in convenient single-serving packets, making it easy to give to your pet.

Doggy says, you might be keen to read this too: What if my dog ate my probiotics?

What is Coccidia?

Coccidia are microscopic parasites that can affect dogs and they are most commonly found in areas where dogs poop.

Your pet can get infected if they come into contact with the parasite at its infective stage. These live in contaminated water or food.

These icky parasites primarily target the intestinal tract, causing symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, and poor appetite. 

What Are Some Natural Remedies for Dogs With Coccidia?

Looking to go down the natural route? There are some natural remedies you can try out. 

  • One is adding plain, unsweetened canned pumpkin puree to their diet, as it can help soothe the digestive system and firm up loose stools. 
  • Another option is incorporating plain, probiotic-rich yogurt into their meals to support healthy gut flora. This community of good bacteria lives in your pup’s digestive system and boosts their digestion and immunity.
  • Additionally, some pet owners have found success with herbal remedies like slippery elm or chamomile, which can help alleviate gastrointestinal discomfort. 

Potential Challenges and Solutions To Coccidia

Parasites lurking in your pet’s system must be uncomfortable for your pet. But fret not, because there are ways to help your furry friend overcome the challenges.

How to deal with a dog’s decreased appetite when it has coccidia?

You need to be a little creative when your dog’s appetite takes a nosedive.

Whip up small, tasty meals using easily digestible foods and serve them at frequent intervals. 

You can even heat the food a little to make it extra tempting. The smell as you’re warming the food may encourage your pup to eat more. 

How to manage dog diarrhea and loose stools due to coccidia?

Dealing with diarrhea and loose stools can be a messy affair, so it’s crucial to be a little patient.

Keep your pup hydrated by providing fresh water at all times.

Throw in drinks with electrolytes too.

If you’re cooking. I recommend preparing a simple and soothing diet of boiled chicken and rice to calm their tummy troubles.

Adding cottage cheese to their meals can be very helpful too.

And for an extra boost, your vet might recommend probiotics or anti-diarrheal medications to restore that delicate gut balance.

What is the Difference Between Coccidia and Giardia?

Coccidia and Giardia are both types of parasites that can affect dogs and they both affect the intestinal tract of infected dogs.

One key difference is in their life cycles.

Coccidia reproduced within the cells of the intestinal lining, leading to potential long-term damage and nutrient absorption issues.

Meanwhile, Giardia forms cysts that are shed in the dog poop and can survive in the environment.

In terms of symptoms, both parasites can cause diarrhea and vomiting that can lead to your pet losing weight. Giardia can also result in greasy stools.

The treatment for Coccidia and Giardia infections in dogs typically involves the use of specific medications prescribed by a veterinarian. 

How Does a Dog Get Coccidia?

How Does a Dog Get Coccidia

Dogs can catch coccidia by accidentally swallowing tiny parasite eggs called oocysts.

These eggs can be found in the poop of infected animals and can contaminate the area. 

Dogs can pick them up by eating or drinking from contaminated areas or even by eating infected animals.

The scary thing is that they can pick up the eggs by just playing on contaminated soil and licking their feet or fur.

Pups are more susceptible to getting infected because their immune system is still developing.

Plus, they tend to put everything in their mouth.

What about coccidia in puppy from a breeder?

Look, the fact is, puppies are more susceptible to coccidiosis because their immune systems are not fully developed yet.

And when they grow up in overcrowded or unsanitary living conditions, it can increase the risk of coccidia transmission.

That said, even reputable breeders might have their puppies running into this problem.

To me, the question then is, what do they do about it, and how do they handle the situation?

Keep quiet and let you discover it on your first vet visit?

Be transparent with what transpired and provide you with records of shots and fecal checks?

Eventually, you will have to decide if you’re satisfied with the outcome and decide if you need to pursue further.

Coccidia is quite common though, and can be remedied quickly.

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What Are Signs That Your Dog Has a Coccidia Infection?

The signs of a Coccidia infection are so similar to other gastrointestinal problems. 

Common signs are varying severity of diarrhea, vomiting, deteriorating appetite, dehydration, lethargy, and weight loss.

Some dogs may also suffer from anemia due to the condition.

How is Coccidiosis Being Diagnosed?

The most reliable way to diagnose coccidiosis is by getting your pet’s stool at a lab.

Observing symptoms is not going to work because they are the same as with other gastro issues.

Once the vet has confirmed the presence of coccidia eggs in the stool, they will likely prescribe the medicines that will get rid of the parasites. 

How is Coccidia Being Treated?

The treatment for coccidia typically involves the use of specific medications like sulfadimethoxine and trimethoprim-sulfadiazine.

These kill off the parasite eggs effectively.

After completing the full course of medication, your vet may schedule a follow-up consultation to check if the treatment has successfully eliminated the coccidia parasites. 

Additionally, maintaining good hygiene and cleanliness in your pet’s living environment can help prevent reinfection.

Is Coccidia in dogs curable?

Is Coccidia in dogs curable

Yes, coccidia in dogs is curable.

With the right diagnosis and treatment, which may include medications to eliminate the parasites, coccidia infections can be successfully treated and eradicated.

What’s most important is to consult with a veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan for your dog.

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How Can You Prevent Coccidia Reinfection?

Do you want to spare your beloved pup from the misery of coccidia reinfection? Of course, you do! 

Taking proactive measures is crucial.

By implementing these simple steps, you can create a healthier environment for your furry friend and minimize the risk of catching the infection again.

Cleaning and disinfecting the living environment

Give everything a good scrub and use pet-safe cleaning products. Wash your dog’s bedding with hot water and soap to kill any remaining coccidia.

Proper disposal of contaminated materials

Bag up and seal any poop or litter that might have coccidia. Never touch the waste with your bare hands. Always use gloves and immediately toss the bagged poop in the right container.

Limiting exposure to potential sources of reinfection

Avoid places where infected poop might be, like dog parks or areas with lots of stray dogs. Also, wash your hands well after handling dogs or cleaning up after them.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to teach your dog not to eat feces?

Teach your dog not to eat their poop, redirect their attention to toys or treats, discourage the behavior with a firm “no,” and ensure they have a nutritious diet to meet their nutritional needs.

How contagious is coccidia in dogs?

Coccidia is highly contagious among dogs, especially in environments with poor sanitation. Direct contact with infected feces or contaminated surfaces increases the risk of transmission.

How do I disinfect my yard from dog poop?

Disinfect your yard from dog poop by promptly removing feces, using a pet-safe disinfectant or bleach solution, and allowing the area to dry thoroughly before allowing your dog access again.

How do you stop coccidia from spreading?

Stop coccidia from spreading by maintaining cleanliness in your dog’s living space, practicing good hygiene, limiting contact with infected dogs, and avoiding contaminated areas or objects.

Can my dog pass coccidia to me or my family?

Coccidia primarily affects dogs, and there is minimal risk of transmission to humans. Practice good hygiene by washing your hands thoroughly after handling feces. Stay away from infected animals so the infection does not get transmitted to you or your fam.

In Conclusion: What to Feed a Puppy With Coccidia?

As I pointed out earlier, understanding what to feed a puppy with coccidia is a crucial aspect of their recovery and overall well-being.

The right diet can make a remarkable difference in combating these microscopic parasites and supporting their delicate systems.

I encourage you to explore the various dietary options discussed above, consult with your veterinarian, and do share your experiences and insights too!

Check out these outher dog care tips too:

You’ve made it to the end, but I hope it’s not the end of our journey. We want to hear your voice! Share your thoughts, problems, suggestions, or anything related to your dog in the comments section. And don’t forget to join our newsletter today too.

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Daily Dog Drama!

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