Diatomaceous Earth for pets and animals

Diatomaceous Earth is a popular natural flea control solution for dogs and cats. Find out how diatomaceous earth can help your pets and animals today.

What is Diatomaceous Earth?

Diatomaceous earth is a plant-based powder that occurs naturally within the earth. The powder gets its unique name because it’s derived from “diatoms”, which are algae-like plants that have existed on earth for millions of years.

As diatoms broke down over the years, they left behind a chalky white powder called diatomite. Today, diatomaceous earth manufacturers harvest this powder, combine it with other diatom derivatives, and release it as diatomaceous earth.

The earth is popular for all sorts of different purposes, including gardening (where it acts as a natural insecticide) and house cleaning (where it helps fight off bed bugs, cockroaches, and other bug problems).

Today, more and more pet owners are also using diatomaceous earth to solve flea-related problems in pets.

Benefits of Using Diatomaceous Earth on your Pets

Many pet owners use diatomaceous earth as a natural pest-killer on dogs. Just like diatomaceous earth fights pests in your garden and home, it can also fight pests on your cats and dogs.

Best of all, diatomaceous earth kills pests using natural methods instead of a chemical-based toxic solution.

If you’re using diatomaceous earth on your dogs or cats, then be sure to use food-grade DE instead of filter grade. Filter-grade diatomaceous earth is the stuff typically used in pools and it can damage your pet (it has a higher silica content and is not suited for human or animal use).

Food-grade diatomaceous earth isn’t just safe for pets: you can safely ingest it as well! So if you like being extra careful about what you give your pet, then there’s nothing wrong with DE.

There are two ways to use diatomaceous earth on your pets:

Feeding Diatomaceous Earth to your Dogs and Cats Can Eliminate:

— Roundworms
— Whipworms
— Pinworms
— Hookworms

If you’re feeding diatomaceous earth to your pet, then you should feed the animal for at least 30 days. This will destroy adult worms while also targeting hatchling eggs and smaller worms throughout the lungs and stomach.

Dusting your Pet’s Fur with Diatomaceous Earth Can:

— Control External Parasites, Like Fleas And Flies
— Kill Any Ticks And Eggs In Fur
— Be Applied To Your Pet’s Fur Or To The Bedding And Carpet Areas Wherever Your Pet Lies Down

In addition to targeting pests and critters, there’s also some evidence that diatomaceous earth can absorb methyl mercury, e-coli, endotoxins, viruses, organophosphate pesticide residues, drug residues, and the bacteria created by intestinal infections. This can make it an effective overall cleanser for your pet.

How to Use Diatomaceous Earth on your Pet

As a Food

— For dogs, you should add one tablespoon per day of food-grade diatomaceous earth to dog food for dogs over 55 pounds.

— For puppies, smaller dogs, and normal-sized cats, use one teaspoon per day.

— Larger cats (cats over 13 pounds) can safely be given 1 ½ teaspoons of food-grade DE. Kittens and smaller cats (2 to 6 ½ pounds) can be given ½ teaspoon of food-grade DE.

If the kittens are still nursing or only taking milk, you should avoid giving them DE until they have moved to solid food.

Some pets may be picky when they see a white powder in their food and they might refuse to eat it. If that’s the case, then DiatomaceousEarth.com recommends adding the DE directly to the bag of cat or dog food. Then, shake the bag to distribute the powder evenly throughout the food. This will mask the scent. To use the right dosage of DE, simply take note of the number of servings in the bag of food, then multiply the appropriate DE dosage by the number of servings and add that amount to the bag.

If that doesn’t work, then you may want to try mixing a dosage of DE with a quarter cup of water. Then, pour it over your cat’s food.

As a Powder Coating

If you’re using diatomaceous earth externally to control parasites, simply rub the diatomaceous earth powder into your dog’s coat to control fleas while also sprinkling it on the bedding. You should wear a dust mask when applying the diatomaceous earth powder, as it can irritate your lungs and mucous membranes in your nose.

Some pet owners prefer the powder coating method instead of the food coating method because cats and dogs lick off the powder anyway. As the animal licks the powder off their fur, it works as an internal cleanser as well.

After a few days of leaving DE on your dog’s skin, it’s time to bathe them and vacuum the area you covered with DE. This will collect any dead bugs (and half-dead bugs) that may still be lying around.

Thoroughly shampoo your dog or cat. Consider using a soap-free shampoo or moisturizing shampoo. Since diatomaceous earth dries out the skin, your pet’s skin ,is likely a little dehydrated, so you should avoid drying out their skin even further.

After your dog or cat has been washed and dried, comb through the fur with a flea comb to help remove any fleas and eggs that may have been left behind.

How Does Diatomaceous Earth Work?

Diatomaceous earth works by physically attacking harmful parasites inside your pet. Instead of killing these pests using toxic chemicals, the diatomaceous earth actually targets them using microscopic sharp edges in its particles. These microscopic sharp edges tear apart the bug’s exoskeleton, then lodge themselves on the bug to dry it out. This kills the bug.

Fortunately, these microscopic sharp edges are too small to harm dogs, cats, or humans. You can safely rub food-grade diatomaceous earth between your fingers without cutting yourself. It passes through your dog or cat’s body without any negative effects.

Source: diatomaceous.org; https://tinyurl.com/y7nqvh43

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Replies to This Discussion

Great stuff

I bought a 50# bag at feed store that was about 26.00 but it wasn't food grade.  

just a thought i bought food grade a while back for my cat who is now deceased (old age sadly but I used it on him :(  ... but got my neighbour onto it & he's been taking it himself & swears his arthritic knee is way better since taking it. 

Great stuff for pets and keeping our home's free from Flees etc etc, some say it is safe to take for us as a Parasite cleanse, food grade only.  The one I found is based in Tauranga, 

BIOGROW (2013)Ltd,

PO BOX 9232


yes definitely safe to take, as mentioned with my neighbour. I take it regularly myself also & got mine from the same outlet as you describe Paul.

Cool Bananas,  can I please ask what is the way you take it as I am interested in cleaning or helping my inards as I become more mature loloud,

all answered I see by Rose. And yep I just add it to smoothies. Built up slowly. Brilliant info Rose, didn't know most of that. 

Hi Danielle, and such a full ansmer too

Pool filter grade diatomaceous earth has been heat and chemically treated and will poison an animal or human who ingests it, so it is always of utmost importance to only obtain food grade DE to use in and around your household.

DE is also very hard. On a scale of hardness, if diamonds were a 9, DE would be a 7. This helps us as this powder makes its way through our digestive tract, it gently scrubs the packed-on residue and sweeps it out of our bodies. Because of this quality, it is very sharp so don't forget to cover the animals nose and mouth with a damp cloth so they don't breath it peeps.  Organisms such as parasites, lurking in our intestines, are sliced up and killed, and swept away, and we are left unharmed.

A good rule of thumb is mix a spoonful into some water or other liquid, and drink. Follow with another cup of water. (DE can make you thirsty – make sure and drink plenty of water while using this supplement.) You can also add it to smoothies.

Dosage: (NOTE: We aren't doctors ~ use DE with discretion): If you are just beginning your diatomaceous earth journey, start with a teaspoon mixed in liquid once a day. Slowly increase to twice a day, and then slowly increase the amount taken, up to a heaping tablespoon, and up to three times a day.

Please hear me: slowly. DE is a way to detox your body, and if you start with too much, your body will get rid of toxins too quickly and leave you feeling under the weather although that could be the dieoff effect also.  Yes, it really does work that well. If you start experiencing light headaches, you’ll know you took it a little fast. But don’t stop altogether, just do yourself a favour and take it slowly – no need to rush.

If you don't want to drink the mud then try mix a spoonful with about six ounces of coconut water and add 1/2 a teaspoon of honey.  Vege juice works too or put it in your smoothie.

Food grade diatomaceous earth: human benefits

Hi Rose and Many Thank's.   I can now use myself and on pass to my 4 adult son's,  Adam my oldest use to do lots of Grape Detox, pretty hard to be near him though due his blowing off, ie farting so much, he thought it was a great laugh.  Yeap Slowly Slowly, and it is Great to be able to trust People I don't really know, so glad I found ur Site and community

Hi also  Paul. Been looking at the grape detox myself actually. And re the gas, give him carraway seeds works a treat 

Nice one Danielle :))


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