Diatomaceous Earth for Dogs

Diatomaceous earth for dogs

Learn the uses of diatomaceous earth for dogs in flea control, eliminating worms and promoting general health. Also explained are its side effects and the properties that make it safe for dogs.

Diatomaceous Earth for Dogs

Diatomaceous earth is a chalk like powder which is hard, coarse and absorbent. It is made from the fossilized shells of diatoms; an ancient kind of algae. The microscopic shells mainly consisting of silica mineral accumulated in the beds of fresh water lakes and formed huge deposits. When these deposits are mined and ground, they form a powder which is referred to as diatomaceous earth. Depending on what your intended use is, there are three classifications of diatomaceous earth; food grade, pest control grade and pool grade.

In most cases, diatomaceous earth for dogs is used for control of pests. It possesses various unique characteristics that make it effective in various capacities it is used in. These are:

High Porosity

Diatomaceous earth is highly porous. It is made up of minute interconnected pores and voids. This gives it the ability to hold in air.

Highly Absorbent

The powder has a high absorption rate and can hold up to one time its weight of liquid while still appearing dry.

High Surface Area

Diatomaceous earth for dogs has particles which are characterized by spiny structures, irregular shapes and pitted surface. Their surface area is greater than that of other minerals of the same size. These are the characteristics that make it effective in getting rid of internal parasites in dogs.

Benefits of Human Grade Diatomaceous Earth for Dogs

There are a lot of benefits gained by using diatomaceous earth on your dog. It is good for its vital organs, its skin as well as digestive health. Here are the specific uses of this remedy.

Diatomaceous Earth for Fleas on Dogs

When it comes to the control of parasites on pets, diatomaceous earth move of action is mechanical. The powder is made up of particles with sharp edges which when they come into contact with the parasites pierce through their protective coat. This irritates them, dehydrates and eventually kills them. It is therefore effective on lice, ticks, fleas and mites.

Simply apply diatomaceous earth powder on your dog’s coat, carpeting, bedding and any other item of concern. Allow it to sit for up to three days so it can work on the parasites before vacuuming.

Diatomaceous Earth for Dogs Worms

When taken orally, it can help deworm your dog. It is capable of getting rid of hookworms, whipworms, roundworms and pinworms. Within a week of feeding, it is able to effectively eliminate them. To eliminate all the life stages of the worms, it is necessary to feed diatomaceous earth to your dog for about a month. This way even the hatching eggs will get eliminated. This remedy is however less effective in getting rid of tapeworms.

Mix diatomaceous earth powder with your dog’s food. Never feed it plain to your pet as this could lead to irritation in the lungs once breathed in.

Diatomaceous Earth for Mange in Dogs

Just like it works on fleas and ticks, diatomaceous earth is effective in eliminating mange mites. It is especially effective in getting rid of Sarcoptic mange. Online reviews show good results for this. Additionally, it is natural and has minimal side effects when used as it should be.

Diatomaceous Earth for Heartworms in Dogs

In case you are looking forward to controlling heartworms naturally, diatomaceous earth will help. It is an effective remedy that offers an alternative to their control. It can also be used together with other recommended drugs.

Aids Digestive Health

The benefits of this powder are unending. It helps to promote digestive health through its colon cleansing abilities. The fact that it can also eliminate internal parasites ensures that your dog reaps maximum benefits from the food it eats.

Natural Source of Silica

Food grade diatomaceous earth contains 85 percent silica which is an important trace mineral. It is necessary for healthy cartilage, bones, tendons and blood vessels. Additionally, the nutrient contributes to the wellbeing of lungs, heart and liver.

Dog Deodorizer

Diatomaceous earth can be used to get rid of dog bad smell. It acts as a natural deodorizer and can be used on the dog itself or on the areas from which a dog smell is emanating. It can be used to deodorize carpets, dog bedding, as well as the cat litter box.

How to Use Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth for Dogs

When buying diatomaceous earth for dogs, it is important to settle for food grade brands. Avoid commercial and pool grade diatomaceous earth. This can be used safely on your dog. Since diatomaceous earth absorbs moisture, it is best to use it in less humid climates where it is meant for external purposes.

Topical Application of Diatomaceous Earth

  1. To use it on the dog’s skin, run up the powder bottle down the back of the dog then rub it in.
  2. Use it once every week for flea control. It is advisable not to use it more than that since it has a drying effect on the skin.
  3. Once it has rested on your dog for a reasonable duration, wash your dog with a hydrating conditioner.

Oral Use of Diatomaceous Earth for Dogs Dosage

Is diatomaceous earth safe for dogs to eat? Food grade powder is safe for consumption. When administering it orally, there is a standard dosage for every pet.  It is recommended that you add one tablespoon of the powder for dogs over 55 pounds to their food. For puppies and smaller dogs, use a teaspoon per day.

External Use

Diatomaceous earth can be used in bedding, outside, around doorways and sleeping areas to get rid of external parasites as well as get rid of bad dog smell. Dust the areas of concern while ensuring that your dog does not inhale it. This can be done once a week for a month to be effective.

Diatomaceous Earth for Dogs Side Effects and Reviews

Food grade diatomaceous earth is recommended as safe for dogs. However, there are some accompanying side effects if not used as directed.

  • Inhaling diatomaceous earth could cause irritation in dog nose, throat and eyes. This could cause symptoms such as breathing difficulties, sneezing and coughing. It is thus recommended to limit exposure to avoid such occurrences. When feeding diatomaceous earth for dogs, mix it with food to avoid inhalation.
  • When exposed to high temperatures, it converts to crystalline silica. This results in lung disease when inhaled in large amounts. Whereas this is mostly an occupational hazard for persons working with it, it is advisable to protect your dog against consistent exposure.

Sources and References

Dr. Winnie
About Dr. Winnie 347 Articles
My name is Dr. Winnie. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Duke University, a Masters of Science in Biology from St Georges University, and graduated from the University of Pretoria Veterinary School in South Africa. I have been an animal lover and owners all my life having owned a Rottweiler named Duke, a Pekingese named Athena and now a Bull Mastiff named George, also known as big G! I'm also an amateur equestrian and love working with horses. I'm a full-time Veterinarian in South Africa specializing in internal medicine for large breed dogs. I enjoy spending time with my husband, 2 kids and Big G in my free time. Author and Contribturor at SeniorTailWaggers, A Love of Rottweilers, DogsCatsPets and TheDogsBone

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