Diatomaceous Earth For Dogs? Benefits & Uses Explained

Diatomaceous earth sounds a lot more complicated than it is in reality – so don’t let the complex chemical name fool you or put you off trying this amazing natural product. As a pet owner, you’ll know how easy it is for your dog to contact a variety of potentially harmful bacteria and parasites over the course of their life that can harm both you and your pet. As any dog owner will know, dogs tend to eat things that they shouldn’t and often roll around in the dirt – it’s simply part of their nature. Parasites and bacteria can infect any breed of dog at any time, regardless of how healthy or well-treated your dog is.

Much like human beings, these parasites or bacterial infections can manifest themselves in a variety of ways and can cause serious health problems if left untreated. However, many of us have been disillusioned by the standard (or conventional) chemical-based treatments that are available today. This is in part, due to a large and ever-growing movement towards healthier and more holistic treatment methods or medications that we as humans have started embracing.

One could say that the ‘trickle down’ effect has even reached our pets and has started shaping the way we care for them in general. Owning a dog is a big responsibility and often requires a lot more work, attention and money than many pet owners originally take into consideration when deciding to get a dog. Visits to the vet, grooming, food, supplements and medications can all add up and become quite a large cost. It’s important to make sure that you know you are ready and can afford to raise a dog before deciding to get one.

With that being said, there are a few ways for you to cut down on the costs involved with pet ownership, and using natural products (such as diatomaceous earth) is a very effective way of doing so. The more you know, the easier raising a healthy and happy pet can be – so I’d recommend giving this article a read and educating yourself about the tremendous benefits of this amazing natural product.

What Is Diatomaceous Earth?

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a naturally occurring soft, sedimentary rock that can be found in the sediment of rivers, streams, lakes and even ocean beds. It is the product of tiny, aquatic organisms called diatoms that have died, and their remains gather to form this sedimentary material. The ‘skeletons’ of these tiny micro-organisms are made out of silica, a mineral that is greatly important for both humans and dogs, helping to treat internal and external infections.

Diatomaceous earth has been cultivated and utilized since as early as the mid-19th century and has been used for everything from pest control  in humans, pets and food-related practices and was even used as a key ingredient in creating the original formula for dynamite! This makes it one of the most versatile natural products around in my opinion, and one definitely worth investigating for use on your pet.

Can Diatomaceous Earth Help Dogs With Fleas, Ticks & Worms?

Diatomaceous Earth For Fleas & Ticks In Dogs

Diatomaceous Earth For Fleas & Ticks In Dogs

The advantage of diatomaceous earth is that it can be used both internally and externally. This means that you get all-round protection and treatment for a variety of different parasitic and bacterial infections from one, all-natural and totally holistic product. This makes me so happy – it’s very hard to find such an amazing combination from any product, let alone a natural one!

To treat flea and tick infections on your pooch, simply rub a few handfuls of the powder over their coat. I would recommend that you brush them down first to help untangle their hairs and always be sure to wash your dog with a suitable anti-flea/tick shampoo at least once a month to avoid infection altogether. However, fleas and ticks are almost unavoidable unless you keep your dog indoors all the time – not a very wise idea in my opinion.  I would recommend that you pour some of the powder on their bedding and any surrounding carpets. I’ll explain exactly how this works in the following section.

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Diatomaceous Earth For Worms In Dogs

Diatomaceous Earth For Worms In Dogs

We know that diatomaceous earth works to help treat ticks and fleas externally – but what about internal infections? How exactly does this work? The reality of this treatment is that it’s an entirely mechanical process. This means that it does not work on a chemical level and will not have an effect on your body’s natural hormone levels or cause any negative chemical reactions when ingested. This means it’s completely safe to ingest and use topically – so long as you stick to a safe and regulated dosage. On a microscopic level, the diatomaceous molecules resemble that of small shards of glass. They have sharp, almost razor like edges that cut through the outer-layers of the parasites (their protective coating) and this causes them to dehydrate and ultimately die.

It’s totally safe for humans, because the molecules are too tiny to have a serious effect on us, but it does massive damage to microscopic parasites and their larvae. With regards to internal infections such as worms, after giving your dog a tablespoon of diatomaceous earth once a day with their meals (you can mix it into their food), the worms and their larvae should be dead within 30 days of regular dosage. This is great news as it’s a cheap, effective and healthy alternative to the conventional treatments available for this type of infection. It’s important to note that lowering the dosage for puppies or small dogs to a teaspoon per day, rather than a tablespoon. Otherwise, you should be good to go!

DIY Diatomaceous Earth Treatment For Dogs

DIY Diatomaceous Earth Treatment For Dogs

Creating your own DIY treatment using diatomaceous earth is quite an easy process and can be done using only two other ingredients. However, this mixture would be better suited for treating external infections such as fleas and parasites. When it comes to treating internal infections such as worms, you can simply add the powder to your dog’s food ‘as is’ for the best results and an effective treatment – see the previous paragraph.

However, using this mixture is a fantastic way of preventing and getting rid of flea and tick infections on your pet and is a lot safer than the plethora of chemical-based treatments available on the market today. While it is true that these treatments are quite effective in an emergency scenario, the reality is that their effects often have a long list of negative consequences that can seriously affect the quality of your dog’s health. Trying to avoid these as much as possible is a pretty sensible decision and I’d highly recommend trying this natural mixture before resorting to a conventional treatment. What you’ll need:

Note that I’ll be listing amounts for larger breeds. If you have a smaller breed, replace ‘tablespoon’ with ‘teaspoon’.

  • 1 Tablespoon of diatomaceous earth.
  • 1 Tablespoon of NEEM (powder form).
  • 1 Tablespoon of Yarrow (powder form).

Simply mix these three ingredients together in a bowl and store the new mixture in an airtight container. To apply, simply part your pet’s hair and rub the powder directly onto the skin. Try and use a maximum of 3 tablespoons worth at a time (3 teaspoons for smaller breeds) and be sure to coat the neck and base of the tail vigorously. I would recommend doing this at least once a month to help treat and prevent further infections, however if your dog is suffering from a particularly bad infection, I would recommend that you use the powder twice a month.

Conclusion

To conclude, the rising cost of general living these days has meant that we often have less and less money available to treat ourselves from infections and disease, let alone our dogs! So trying to be creative about new ways of treating and medicating your dog is not only a good way to save cash, but can also be a healthier and safer alternative to the conventional treatments available today. It’s not uncommon for dogs, much like humans, to have a negative reaction the various forms of chemical-based medication on the market today. I find it ironic that the very medication we seek to help treat and heal our pets ultimately winds up making them more ill. Because of this, the use of natural and holistic alternatives are gaining more and more support and diatomaceous earth is fast becoming the go-to for pet owners dealing with internal and external infections. I’d definitely recommend it to any conscientious pet owner.

Read about the Health Benefits Of Honey and Fish Oil For Dogs while you're here at EduMuch!
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