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  • Writer's pictureAndy Hemmer

Diatomaceous Earth Benefits for Dogs

Updated: 2 days ago

adult golden retriever

As pet owners, we are always on the lookout for natural and safe solutions to keep our furry friends healthy and happy. One such remedy that has been gaining popularity is Diatomaceous Earth, safe for dogs and safe for you. Derived from the crushed fossils of freshwater organisms and marine life called diatoms, DE is a fine, powdery substance that offers a range of benefits for dogs. This blog post delves into the numerous advantages of using diatomaceous earth (de) for your canine companion, including its role in parasite control, as a digestive aid and colon cleanser, and overall well-being.

What is Diatomaceous Earth?

scoop full of diatomaceous earth

Diatomaceous Earth is composed of the microscopic shells of diatoms, which are a type of algae. These fossilized remains are rich in silica and have a unique structure that makes DE effective as both a mechanical insecticide and a health supplement. It is important to use food-grade DE when considering it for your dog, as industrial-grade DE can be harmful due to its higher silica content.

Benefits of Diatomaceous Earth for Dogs

1. Natural Parasite Control

  • Flea and Tick Prevention: DE is widely acclaimed for its ability to combat external parasites. This is a great product for flea control and as a flea preventative. When sprinkled on your dog's coat, it acts as a desiccant, absorbing the oils and fats from the exoskeletons of these pests, causing them to dehydrate and die. It does kill fleas and other crawling insects.

  • Internal Parasite Management: Some farmers and ranchers believe that adding diatomaceous earth to livestock feed helps kill parasites such as roundworms, whipworms, pinworms, and hookworms . But there's no scientific proof that this works. Food-grade DE can be ingested to help eliminate internal parasites such as worms. It works by mechanically disrupting the outer layer of the parasites, which leads to their dehydration and eventual death. If you think your animals or you have parasites, please consult with a doctor right away.

2. Improved Digestion

  • DE can aid in digestion by promoting a cleaner digestive tract. It helps in absorbing toxins and waste products, which are then excreted from the body, leading to a healthier gut environment.

  • The silica content in DE contributes to better nutrient absorption and overall digestive health.

3. Detoxification

  • The detoxifying properties of DE help in removing heavy metals and other impurities from the body. This leads to an improved immune system and overall vitality in dogs. As Dr. Lauren Deville states, "Most commonly, diatomaceous earth is used for detoxification purposes. It is an efficient binder for certain mycotoxins, including aflatoxin, zearalenone, and ochratoxin. If it works for these, my suspicion is it likely works well for other mycotoxins that haven’t yet been studied, as well. This may be why diatomaceous earth has been used for food storage, mixing it in particularly with grains and legumes. This is said to protect them from both mold and also from insects, as it is a natural insecticide".

4. Joint and Bone Health

  • The silica in DE is essential for the formation of collagen, which is crucial for healthy joints, ligaments, and connective tissues. Regular use of DE can contribute to better joint health and mobility in dogs.

5. Healthier Coat and Skin

  • DE can improve the health of your dog’s coat and skin by providing essential minerals that promote hair growth and skin health. It also helps in reducing odors by absorbing oils and toxins from the skin.

How to Use Diatomaceous Earth for Dogs

happy dog eating at table

1. Internal Use

  • To use DE as a dietary supplement for your dog, start by adding a small amount to your dog's food. For small dogs and puppies, 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of DE per day is sufficient. For larger dogs, 10-40lbs 1 teaspoon per day is recommended. Dogs larger than that will enjoy 1 tablespoon per day. Always ensure that the DE is thoroughly mixed with the food to avoid inhalation, which can be irritating to the lungs. We have an excellent product called Pro Pet Powder that is 90% diatomaceous earth with some added cultures, probiotics, and a vitamin/trace mineral complex with it. Excellent for your pooch!

2. External Use

  • For external parasite control, lightly sprinkle DE onto your dog's coat and gently rub it in. Be cautious around the eyes, nose, and mouth to prevent irritation. Reapply every few days, especially during flea and tick season, and after bathing your dog.

3. Environmental Use

  • DE can also be used around your home and yard to control fleas and other pests. Sprinkle it on carpets, bedding, and outdoor areas where your dog frequents. Leave it for a few hours, up to a week before vacuuming or washing to ensure maximum effectiveness.

Precautions and Considerations

  • Quality: Always use food-grade DE for your pets to avoid potential health risks associated with non-food-grade DE.

  • Dosage: Stick to the recommended dosage to prevent any potential digestive upset or respiratory irritation. Always consult with a veterinarian before starting any dietary supplement for your dog.

  • Consistency: Regular and consistent use of DE is necessary for effective parasite control and health benefits.

  • Veterinary Advice: Consult with your veterinarian before starting any new supplement regimen to ensure it is appropriate for your dog's specific health needs.

Additional Benefits and Uses

1. Allergy Relief

  • DE can help in reducing allergic reactions caused by mites and other pests. By keeping these pests under control, your dog is less likely to suffer from skin irritations and allergies.

2. Natural Deodorizer

  • DE can act as a natural deodorizer, both externally and internally. When used in the environment, it helps to absorb odors from pet bedding, carpets, and other areas. Internally, it aids in reducing bad breath and body odor.

3. Environmental Safety

  • Unlike chemical pest control methods, DE is non-toxic and environmentally friendly. It poses no risk of poisoning to pets, humans, or wildlife, making it a safe choice for use in homes and gardens.

4. General Health and Maintenance

  • Regular use of DE can contribute to overall health maintenance by ensuring that your dog’s system remains free of harmful parasites and toxins. This, in turn, supports a stronger immune system and a more robust overall health profile.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Is Diatomaceous Earth Safe for Puppies?

  • Yes, food-grade DE is safe for puppies when used in appropriate doses at 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon per day. Always start with a smaller amount and monitor your puppy for any adverse reactions. We recommend you wait until the puppy is eating hard food. Please consult with a veterinarian before starting.

2. Can I Use Diatomaceous Earth on Pregnant or Nursing Dogs?

  • While DE is generally considered safe, it is best to consult with your veterinarian before using it on pregnant or nursing dogs to ensure it won’t interfere with their health or the health of their puppies.

3. How Often Should I Apply Diatomaceous Earth to My Dog's Coat?

  • For external parasite control, it is recommended to apply DE every few days, especially during peak flea and tick seasons. After each bath, reapply DE to maintain its effectiveness.

4. Can Diatomaceous Earth Be Used in Conjunction With Other Medications?

  • Generally, DE can be used alongside other medications, but it is always best to consult your veterinarian to avoid any potential interactions or side effects.

Diatomaceous Earth is a versatile and natural solution that offers numerous health benefits for dogs. From effective parasite control to improved digestion and detoxification, DE can be a valuable addition to your pet care routine. By understanding how to use it safely and effectively, you can help ensure your dog enjoys a healthier, happier life. As always, consult with your veterinarian to tailor the use of DE to your dog's individual needs and health status. At Earthworks Health we offer the diatomaceous earth in various sizes packaged in factory sealed plastic and liners. So there is no worry about broken glass or compromised products.

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