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Are you looking for a cheap, natural remedy for your dog to help control fleas and ticks, fight worms and other parasites and provide other health benefits? If the answer is yes, then Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is the answer. Diatomaceous Earth is essentially a natural bug killer that you can eat. It’s deadly to insects and parasites, yet harmless to animals and has many benefits for dogs when used both topically and when ingested.
What is Diatomaceous Earth?
Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is a natural product made from the fossilized cell wall/shell remains of tiny, aquatic organisms called diatoms, an ancient form of algae. These microscopic shells consist mostly of the mineral silica which accumulates in lakes, stream, rivers, and oceans, forming huge silica deposits. When mined and ground into powder, these fossilized cell wall/shell remains become what we call diatomaceous earth.
This fine powder contains microscopic sharp edges, like shards of glass, that are abrasive and breakdown the exoskeletons of bugs and parasites that it comes in contact with. It essentially causes them to dry out and die.
There are different types of DE and what we are talking about is FOOD GRADE Diatomaceous Earth. FOOD GRADE is DE in its purest form and it is organic and safe to use around your home and safe to ingest for people and pets. Please make sure you buy only organic, food grade DE for your dog as the DE for gardens and pool use is harmful to dogs.
Top 6 Diatomaceous Earth Benefits for Dogs
1. Kills Fleas and Ticks and Other Bugs
The most common use for food grade DE is to effectively eradicate fleas, ticks, bed bugs and other insects on your dog or in your home and yard. Fleas and ticks are little blood-sucking parasites that cause extreme irritation for our beloved pets, and for us when infestation occurs. But, they also can carry and spread harmful diseases like tapeworms and Lyme disease.
How to Use
For effective use, first vacuum carpets, dog beds, blankets, and other areas before applying DE with a duster. Leave the powder on for a minimum of 3-4 days and then vacuum and reapply. Best if left for 3-4 weeks. Similarly, you can lightly sprinkle DE on your dog’s fur and then either rub it in with your gloved hands or comb it through your dog’s fur. After several days, bathe your dog and assess the situation. It’s unlikely that the fleas will survive the dusting, bathing, and combing. Plus, it’s much less expensive than the flea and tick medications and it’s a healthier option for your dog.
It’s important to note that the DE must remain dry to be effective in these instances of external parasite eradication.
In an informative flea control article by Dr. Karen Becker, integrative wellness veterinarian, she recommends the use of DE for flea control but also discusses an interesting fact about dog health and parasites …
Fleas aren’t attracted to healthy dogs. Parasites are drawn to the weakest of the species. So the first battle to be engaged in your war on fleas is ensuring your pet’s health is optimum and her immune system is strong. Feeding a high quality, species-appropriate diet is the foundation for your pet’s good health.
2. Natural, Chemical-free Deodorizer
The same DE that you sprinkled on the carpets, blankets, and bedding to kill pesky external parasites also acts as a natural deodorizer. Think of it as the new form of carpet fresh. It will help neutralize odors on pets too.
3. Fights Internal Parasites
A study published in the Oxford Journal of Poultry Science found that food grade diatomaceous earth has the potential to be an effective treatment to help control internal parasites. This study was done on free-range organic laying hens and in addition to the potential to be an effective treatment to help control parasites, it also proved other benefits relating to egg production, quality, and health.
In dogs, DE has the potential to lessen the parasite load to help control and kill internal parasites such as roundworms, whipworms, pinworms, and hookworms. DE is said to be less effective on tapeworms.
Use of DE kill internal parasites is most effective when used over a long period of time when mixed with food.
Personally, I’ve used DE as a preventative and have been worm free in all our dogs using this remedy for the life of our dogs. I have not tried it as a natural de-wormer once worms were present as I’ve not had the opportunity to test this case. This article provides helpful information about worms and how to know if your pet has worms.
Dogs Naturally Magazine states that Diatomaceous Earth can be used as a natural de-wormer to rid your dogs of parasites naturally and eliminate roundworms, whipworms, pinworms, and hookworms. DE is less effective on tapeworms. To be most effective, it should be fed for 30 days to kill any new eggs that have been hatched.
It is not advisable to use diatomaceous earth as the only treatment for internal parasite control, particularly in dogs with heavy parasite burdens. Instead, talk to your veterinarian about additional treatments that could possibly help your dog if they are dealing with worms or other parasitic concerns.
4. Detoxifies the Body, Improves Gut Health and Biome
DE is also a cheap and effective natural detoxifying agent within the body and digestive aid. It cleanses the digestive tract killing parasites and viruses that can contribute to illnesses while also helping to clean and absorb harmful toxins in the blood. The powder detoxifies the body by attracting bacteria, toxins, viruses, heavy metals and more and eliminates them while boosting liver function.
5. Reduces Bloating and Gas
Once your dog’s digestive system is detoxified using diatomaceous earth, it is free from bad bacteria that cause bloating and gas issues.
6. Healthy Supplement That Supports the Body
DE is a healthy supplement that contains calcium, magnesium, titanium dioxide, gallium, sodium, and other trace minerals that improve bone health, relieve joint pain and ligament health as well as helps clean and protect teeth, nails, and skin.
I should also mention that diatomaceous earth is great for people too and we can take it alongside our pup and stay healthy together.
Diatomaceous Earth for Dogs Dosage
Small Dogs and Puppies (hold off until moving to solid food)
- ½ tsp of food grade DE
Dogs (<50 lbs)
- 1 tsp of food grade DE
Dogs (50-100 lbs)
- 1 tbsp of food grade DE
Dogs (>100 lbs)
- 2 tbsp of food grade DE
Knowing that there are numerous benefits of diatomaceous earth for dogs, we make it a part of our daily feeding regimen for our dogs. We use it as a daily supplement added to our dogs morning breakfast with enough water to dissolve it.
- Shop for food grade diatomaceous earth.
- Look for trusted brands with favorable reviews.
- Purchase a brand that is 100% organic.
- Support local brands when possible in terms of being made in the USA.
- Price shop for a competitively priced brand with numerous size options as well as bulk bag and shaker-style versions.
- If buying large quantities, remember to store in a cool, dry place.
This is the brand I am currently using:
Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade 10 lb Bag – This is the best value for the money and the perfect size if also using for house and yard treatment, as well as flea control on your pet and as a consumable.
Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade – 5 lb Bag – Smaller quantity and still plenty for feeding and home use.
Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade – 2 Liter with Shaker – Smaller more manageable size with a convenient, built-in shaker.
Diatomaceous Earth Duster – A must-have item if you’re going to use DE for pest control.
- Always make sure to use FOOD GRADE DE for your dog. Pool grade is toxic to dogs.
- Do not get diatomaceous earth in the eyes.
- Do not inhale DE.
- If used as a topical flea treatment for dogs, it can dry out your dog’s skin with overuse. Remember to dust your dog, rub it in, leave on for a few days and then bathe your dog.
- Store in a cool, dry place.
We hope you’ve found these benefits of diatomaceous earth for dogs informative and see how they can provide improved health and happiness for your furry friends. With its many health benefits start incorporating it into your dog’s daily diet and add it to yours too for that matter.