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Diatomaceous Earth For Pets and Livestock

cows eating food with diatomaceous earth in it
cat

In the world of pet care and livestock management, there is a growing interest in natural and non-toxic solutions to various challenges, including pest control and overall health maintenance. Diatomaceous earth (DE), a remarkable substance derived from the fossilized remains of diatoms, is gaining recognition as a versatile and eco-friendly option for promoting the well-being of pets and livestock. Diatomaceous earth is a fine, white powder composed primarily of silicon dioxide, sourced from the silica-rich skeletons of diatoms, microscopic aquatic organisms that accumulated on the ocean floor over millions of years. When processed and ground into a fine powder, diatomaceous earth becomes a powerful tool for a wide range of applications, including its use in animal care.  In this comprehensive article, we will explore the diverse applications of diatomaceous earth for animals, its safety, and its efficacy in various aspects of animal care.  Please see our table of contents below so you can navigate faster to the information you need!

The Role of Diatomaceous Earth in Pet and Livestock Care

Diatomaceous earth (DE) plays a crucial role in pet and livestock care, offering natural and non-toxic solutions to various challenges in animal husbandry. DE is a fine powder derived from the fossilized remains of diatoms and is gaining recognition for its versatility and eco-friendly attributes in promoting the health and well-being of animals. Its key applications include natural pest control, internal parasite management, pet and livestock food additive, bedding for animals, and pest control in poultry.

 

DE is known for its non-toxic nature, effectiveness, and safety, making it a valuable tool for animal enthusiasts and farmers seeking sustainable and natural solutions for animal care. Using food-grade DE and consulting with veterinarians for appropriate dosage are crucial safety considerations, ensuring its responsible and effective use in animal care. In summary, diatomaceous earth is emerging as an essential element in the toolkit of conscientious animal caregivers and livestock managers, contributing to healthier and happier animals.

Natural Pest Control

Cat Staring at Mouse

One of the most prominent applications of diatomaceous earth in pet and livestock care is natural pest control. DE has proven efficacy as an insect control agent. When applied to animals, it provides a non-toxic solution for repelling and eliminating external parasites like fleas, ticks, lice, and mites. DE's abrasive texture and desiccating action disrupt the exoskeleton of these pests, leading to their dehydration and eventual demise.

 

Benefits of DE for Pest Control:

  • Non-toxic: DE is a safe alternative to chemical pesticides, posing no harm to pets, livestock, or the environment.

  • Effective: Its broad-spectrum effectiveness makes it a valuable tool in combating various external parasites.

  • Residue-free: DE leaves no chemical residue on animals or their bedding.

Crawling Insect Control Diatomaceous Earth kills by physical action, not chemical.  After walking or crawling through the product, the tiny diatoms polish off the insect’s waxy coating when they move.  When the waxy coating is finally polished through the product sucks the body fluids from the insect, rendering it dead.

Drs. Kim Bloomer & Jeannie Thomason, hosts of the online radio show, Animal Talk Naturally, have this to say about our Perm-Guard Crawling Insect Control Diatomaceous Earth:

"Our work is based on natural, preventive care for animals, so of course we are always on the lookout for good, quality NATURAL products to help our clients and our listening audience that won’t break the bank.  We have long been proponents of Crawling Insect Control Diatomaceous Earth as a natural pest control for all animals. EARTHWORKS HEALTH has provided us the high quality and affordability in their Perma-Guard product that we look for in our own personal use as well as for our clients."

Thank you Dr. Kim Bloomer & Dr. Jeannie Thomason!

Internal Parasite Control

Food-grade diatomaceous earth is suitable for oral consumption by animals. It is believed to help control internal parasites, such as roundworms, tapeworms, and other gastrointestinal pests. The abrasive particles in DE may assist in disrupting the life cycle of these parasites, ultimately leading to their expulsion from the digestive system.

 

Benefits of DE for Internal Parasite Management:

  • Natural approach: DE offers a non-toxic and natural alternative to chemical de-wormers.

  • Digestive health: Some animal owners have reported improvements in overall digestive health after incorporating DE into their animals' diets.

Livestock Feed and Pet Food Additive

Diatomaceous earth can be used as a feed additive for livestock and mixed into pet food for dogs and cats. It is considered an effective means of promoting overall health and well-being. DE is believed to have benefits for gastrointestinal health, particularly in cattle, horses, and poultry. Its abrasive action can contribute to improved digestion, while its silica content may enhance bone and joint health.

 

Benefits of DE in Pet Food and Livestock Feed:

  • Improved digestion: DE's abrasive nature can help break down feed more effectively.

  • Enhanced bone and joint health: The silica content in DE may contribute to improved bone and joint health in livestock.

The Following is the reocmmended daily doses for Dogs and Cats. The Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth seems to create an environment in the digestive system that promotes less toxin buildup. Also reported from customers are great results with sore and painful hips and joints and even a fuller, healthier shiny coat when fed regularly.  We have also developed an excellent vitamin and mineral product for your furry friends called Pro Pet Powder!  Don't forget to treat your dog with our Diatomaceous Earth Dog Treats.

Cats

Young /Adult Cats - 1 teaspoon
Kittens - 1/4 teaspoon

Dogs

Dogs 100 lbs. + 1-2 tablespoons
Dogs 50-100 lbs. 1 tablespoon
Dogs 10-50 lbs. 1 teaspoon
Mini dogs 1-10 lbs. 1/2 teaspoon

Goats, chickens, horses, cows, pigs, sheep, rabbits and others will benefit from the use of Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth.   As well as being beneficial to animal health, our Diatomaceous Earth also acts as an anti-caking additive to help feed ingredients from sticking together.

 

Livestock Benefits That Have Been Observed

  • Stimulates Basic Metabolism

  • Reduces Desire to Lick Soil

  • Reduces Odor and Moisture in Barns and Stalls

  • Better Coat and Hoof Condition

  • Reduces Annual Veterinary Bills

  • Reduces Stress in the Animal

For large animals, Diatomaceous Earth may be offered as “FREE CHOICE” as long as the dispenser is well protected from the wind. Your livestock will also gain benefits from the many trace minerals naturally provided by our Freshwater Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth, and DE helps reduce animal excrement odors that draw flies.

Suggested feeding rates for large animals when diatomaceous earth is mixed with their feed


Beef Cattle or Dairy Cattle – 1% of total weight of dry ration or 1 oz. per day


Calves – 4 grams in morning milk per calf or 2 oz. per day in feed


Chickens – 2% in feed, use at full strength in dusting boxes


Hogs – 2% of total feed ration, dust or spray on bedding and animals


Horses – 5 oz. (1 cup) in daily feed ration


Sheep – 1% in ground grains 1 part Diatomaceous Earth to 2 parts T-M salt

 

Goats – 1% in grain, 1/2 oz. per day, up to 50% in T-M salt

Livestock and Pet Bedding

Cow laying on bedding

DE can be sprinkled in animal bedding to help deter fleas, mites, and other pests. This natural pest control method ensures that animals have a comfortable and pest-free environment.

 

Benefits of DE in Bedding:

  • Pest control: DE helps create a pest-free and comfortable environment for animals.

  • Non-toxic: It poses no harm to animals or their handlers.

Dust Baths For Poultry

In poultry farming, diatomaceous earth is widely used for dust baths. Chickens and other birds take dust baths to help control mite and lice infestations. Dusting areas with DE provides an effective means of pest control for the flock.

Benefits of DE Dust Baths:

  • Effective pest control: DE helps in controlling mites and lice in poultry.

  • Natural and safe: DE is a non-toxic alternative to chemical pest control methods.

Using Diatomaceous Earth Safely For Animals

While diatomaceous earth offers various benefits for animal care, it's important to use it safely and responsibly:

  1. Choose Food-Grade DE: Use food-grade diatomaceous earth for animals, which is safe for consumption and direct contact. Avoid filter-grade DE, which may contain impurities.  Please use crawling insect control when using DE for insect control.

  2. Consult with a Veterinarian: Before adding diatomaceous earth to an animal's diet, consult with a veterinarian to determine if it is suitable for the specific animal's needs.

  3. Minimize Dust Exposure: When applying diatomaceous earth in dry conditions, consider wearing a mask to prevent inhalation of fine particles.

  4. Monitor and Adjust: Regularly assess the effectiveness of DE in controlling pests and internal parasites. Adjust application as needed.

  5. Safe Storage: Store diatomaceous earth in a cool, dry place away from moisture to maintain its efficacy.

 

Diatomaceous earth plays a multifaceted and vital role in pet and livestock care, offering a natural, non-toxic, and environmentally friendly solution for a range of challenges. Whether it's safeguarding animals from external parasites, promoting digestive health, enhancing overall well-being, or creating pest-free environments, DE has proven to be a versatile and safe tool for animal enthusiasts and farmers alike. As the demand for natural and sustainable animal care solutions continues to rise, diatomaceous earth stands as a testament to the effectiveness and safety of such alternatives in promoting the health and happiness of our beloved pets and valuable livestock. With its broad applications and benefits, DE is becoming an essential tool in the toolkit of conscientious animal caregivers and livestock managers.

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