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So Cannoli (14 weeks) just got diagnosed with Giardia.  Everything came back clean at his 12 week checkup so it's pretty recent.

Our vet said that he needs a separate spot to potty for the next few weeks so when he is clean and goes back to our backyard he won't reinfect himself.  She also said that he can't go on walks for the next few weeks which is a major bummer.

Walk's are Cannoli's favorite part of the day (after eating) as we've been going on three 15-20 minute walks each day.

Now that he's going to be locked up inside for the foreseeable future I'm pretty concerned about how we're going to keep him from going stir crazy.

Does anybody have any toy recommendations that I should pick up that can work his brain and hopefully mentally exhaust him?  I have a Kong which he does OK with and we also have a toy with squirrels that he's supposed to try and get out but that really doesn't do much for him.

Any help would be appreciated as I watch him now sitting at our backdoor basically begging to go out...Thanks.

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We had a thaw here for a day or so a couple of weeks back, so I'm thinking that's when Cannoli got infected. The ice melted into puddles everywhere. I was having a heck of a time keeping Jasper away from them. 
But then it sank back into single digit temps and below zero windchills and everything is ice again. So whatever giardia cysts were there are dead now. 
Spring thaw is usually when you really have to watch out for giardia. 

We had a bit of a thaw here too.  Makes sense.  

I still wonder how it survives our -30 temps :p  plenty of things do I suppose.

I tend to think that when dogs get it in such cold weather, it's probably from other dog's or animals' poop. But who knows. 

There's also the  liquid water under any  such ice (such as the bottom of streams or lakes or deep puddles) in winter.

Even with it being that cold around here there is often running water from the melting snow and ice when the sun is out during the day.  Even when it is 20-25 degrees.  About to get much warmer around here (high 30s today and up to 50 in the next few days).

The problem right now is that all he wants to do is sniff and chew everything.  We go out to a little side area of our house and he is immediately chewing on the cut back plants and sniffing the ground.  All he wants to do is explore.  I took him on a walk this morning and we stayed in the street so he couldn't sniff the snow/grass.

He's miserable but I know that all he wants to do is go outside and chew and sniff.  He rings his potty bells all the time to go out but then doesn't need to go or just won't.  I'm sure he's going to start having accidents in the house which will make this all even worse as it could mean he'll pass it to one of the humans.

I put some artificial turf on our backyard porch and am thinking I might have him potty there for a while so when he asks to go outside there is nothing fun about it.  

If you happen to be using a retractable leash, throw it in the garbage. In addition to being very very dangerous for both the dog and the human, it gives you no control over the dog. Google it and you'll find dozens of warnings and horror stories.
Using a regular 6 foot leash and a plain buckle collar or martingale collar, you should be able to control his head and keep him from sniffing or chewing on much of anything. 

I'm not using a retractable leash.  I use a 6 foot leash when I take him out to potty and a 5 foot leash with a harness for walks. 

The issue isn't his head down on walks so much but when I take him out to go to the bathroom or just to play on our lawn.  As soon as he is outside he puts his head down and unless I'm walking him somewhere he is sniffing and chewing.  He also sniffs all around to find the right spot to potty.

I guess my main question is if sniffing and chewing are OK assuming we're not on a walk and in a relatively safe area (my front or back yard) or if he really shouldn't be sniffing the ground at all when outside.  I'm not really sure how to prevent him from doing that since as soon as we stop walking outside his nose is in the ground.

Thanks!

Snifing is normal and natural, and you're right, they do use it to find the "right" spot to potty. So I wouldn't stop him from sniffing at all, especially in a safe area. I'd just watch closely to prevent him from then sampling whatever he's sniffing, and move him along if he seems overly fixated on a particular spot for too long. The sniffing is fine, but you need to stop the chewing. 

Lol whenever I see/hear about dogs searching for a poop spot I think of this video.  The whole thing is great but poop part is at 2:15 :p

https://youtu.be/Xw1C5T-fH2Y

When Maci was a puppy, we feared she had giardia. We only had her “go” in one area which I later bleached. Also every time she did poo, I caught it on a paper plate so it didn’t hit the ground. 

The effort was worth it to me to get rid of that messy stuff fast. Plus we had another dog. 

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