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:
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