It may sound somewhat odd to use diatomaceous earth in dogs. Still, if you knew its properties, you would check that diatomaceous earth turns out to be a natural antiparasitic for plants and animals, as well as a dietary supplement rich in minerals such as calcium.
What is diatomaceous earth?
Diatomaceous earth is a powder-shaped product formed by the calcareous remains of millions of diatoms embedded and fossilized in rocks.
Now, you may wonder what diatoms are: it is a group of microscopic unicellular algae that make up marine phytoplankton.
The most characteristic of these algae is their ‘skeleton’ formed by a silica compound that covers the seaweed, for which they form hard plates of very varied forms and by which each species is identified.
Properties of diatomaceous earth
Diatomaceous earth is a natural antiparasitic against mites, insects, mollusks, and even intestinal parasites such as worms.
It is a physical-mechanical insecticide, that is, its insecticidal action is produced by tears or perforations in the oral apparatus, exoskeleton, and internal organs, or by the absorption of the cuticular wax, steps that lead to the death of the insect by dehydration.
It can be applied directly or combined with another insecticide to increase its effectiveness. And is that diatomaceous earth has been used since the 50s to eliminate pests such as mosquito larvae.
Diatomaceous earth is rich in micronutrients such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, sulfur, copper, iron, and sodium. It is also used as a natural fertilizer for crop soils. Its use in dogs as a food supplement is also known.
Also, ingesting diatomaceous earth is a way of preventing eggs and larvae from internal parasites. Dogs can swallow it with feed or water.
How to use diatomaceous earth in dogs?
As an external antiparasitic
To use it as an external antiparasitic, the diatomaceous earth must be sprinkled on the animal’s skin, taking care that the dust does not penetrate the dog’s eyes, nose, mouth, or ears. We will focus well on the areas that parasites usually frequent when they have attacked our dog.
Diatomaceous earth is safe for both animals and people. You have to be careful that it does not get into your eyes or nose to avoid irritation from vacuuming the dust, so it is advisable to use a mask to protect us.
As internal antiparasitic
To do this, mix the diatomaceous earth with the dog’s feed or water for a minimum period of 30 days. Its insecticidal effect is effective in preventing the proliferation of worms, tricocephals, hookworms, and eggs, or even tapeworm larvae, but no specimens of adults.
In case you suspect a tapeworm infestation, you should go to a veterinarian to prescribe the appropriate treatment.
As a food supplement
We apply it as if it were an internal antiparasitic treatment. Diatomaceous earth provides minerals and improves the appearance of skin, hair, bones, and joints.
Can other animals take it?
Yes, diatomaceous earth is also suitable for cats, rabbits and birds, and other farm animals such as sheep, goats, cows, pigs, or horses. Its administration and effects are the same as those seen in dogs, and we can observe results in a few days.
But what you should keep in mind is that it is merely a natural antiparasitic, not as effective in the short term as others that we can acquire in veterinary centers. And, also, once the disease has developed in the animal, such as the development of an adult tapeworm or the migration of hookworms to the lungs, we must put treatment for our dog in the veterinarian.