The Benefits of Diatomaceous Earth for Dogs

Kate Barrington
by Kate Barrington
There are many natural and holistic remedies for fleas and ticks, but not all of them are up to par. If you’re curious about what diatomaceous earth is and how it can help your dog get rid of these pesky parasites, read on.

For many dog owners, fleas are a seriously frustrating issue- once they infest your pet, it can be difficult completely and permanently eliminating them both from your dog’s fur and from your home. When treating your pet for fleas, it is crucial to attack on all fronts: use anti-flea products on all of the pets in the family, clean the home and your pet’s bed thoroughly, and even use a flea-killing product to spray around the rooms if the infestation is severe.

Unfortunately, though, traditional flea and tick treatments can be expensive and, in some cases, they can irritate your dog’s skin and cause other problems, especially if your pet has known allergies and sensitivities. The same goes for pet owners, too- if you are usually using natural and herbal remedies and want to avoid harsh chemicals around your house, insecticides and fumes are the last thing you want in your home. Of course, there are suitable natural remedies available to help you eradicate fleas from your pet once and for all.

One of the most popular options, especially for those that dislike the strong herbal smells of other popular natural anti-flea products, is diatomaceous earth. This is a completely natural, inexpensive, and highly efficient substance that is the bane of existence for an array of insects, fleas and ticks included. To learn more about how exactly diatomaceous earth works and what it is really made out of, as well as if it will help you kill fleas and ticks on your pet, read on.

What is Diatomaceous Earth?

While the term “diatomaceous earth” may sound scary, it is completely safe and natural – it is nothing more than a powder that consists of the fossilized remains of diatoms. Diatoms are a type of algae found in both freshwater and saltwater and the cell walls are composed of silica. When the diatoms die and are fossilized, they form a flour-like powder with microscopic abrasive edges that can be used to kill fleas, ticks and other pests. All you have to do is sprinkle it on your dog’s coat and bedding to protect him from insect pests.

How it Works on Dogs

The main benefit of diatomaceous earth as a pest control method is that it is entirely natural rather than chemical – it has less risk of irritating your dog’s skin than traditional topical flea treatments. The way it works is actually quite simple. Fleas, ticks and other insect pests have hard exoskeletons but the abrasive glass-like edges on diatomaceous earth cut through the exoskeleton. When the exoskeleton is damaged, the insect dries out and dies – this is effective against both adults and their larvae.

In order to use diatomaceous earth effectively, you should treat both your dog’s coat and his bedding since these are the areas where fleas are most likely to be found. Additionally, you should consider dusting the furniture and carpet in your home to catch any fleas in those areas. It is important that you kill all of the fleas in your home because even a few that are left can cause a re-infestation. Treat your dog once a month brush it into his coat for the greatest benefit. When treating your furniture and carpet, wait at least 24 hours before vacuuming.

Other Tips and Tricks

Diatomaceous earth is effective against a variety of insect pests and parasites – it can even be used to treat internal parasite infections like roundworms, hookworms, and pinworms. To use diatomaceous earth as treatment for internal parasites you must mix the earth with your dog’s food once a day for at least seven days. For the treatment to be the most effective, it should be continued for 30 days in order to catch all of the newly developing eggs and larvae in addition to the existing adults. The dosage recommendations for diatomaceous earth are as follows:

For miniature and small-breed dogs up to 50 pounds, a dosage of only ½ teaspoon is needed. For dogs 50 to 100 lbs., the recommended dosage is 1 tablespoon and for dogs over 100 lbs. the dosage is 1 to 2 tablespoons.

When using diatomaceous earth internally it is essential that you use “food-grade” diatomaceous earth. Other types that are used for gardening purposes may not be safe for your dog.

If you are concerned about using chemicals on your dog, diatomaceous earth is a great natural alternative to traditional topical flea medications. This product is easy to come by and it is a much more cost-effective method as well.

If you are concerned about using chemicals on your dog, diatomaceous earth is a great natural alternative to traditional topical flea medications. This product is easy to come by and it is a much more cost-effective method as well. Of course, as it is usually the case with any product for pets, whether natural or not, you should always consult your vet to see if there are any contraindications for your pet to use diatomaceous earth. While fully natural and safe to use, there may be a reason why your pet shouldn’t consume it- each pooch is unique and so is their medical history, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Best Diatomaceous Earth for Dogs

So how do you make use out of diatomaceous earth for dogs? There are plenty of ways for your pooch to reap the benefits of this natural product- from external to internal use, you can rely on diatomaceous earth to keep your dog parasite-free both inside and out. Luckily, there are plenty of products that rely on this natural ingredients to provide help with fleas and ticks- here are our choices for the best products that use this antiparasitic powder:

Editor’s choice: Wholistic Pet Organics Wormer

This natural alternative to chemical-filled dewormers is not just highly efficient but completely non-toxic as well. Made in the USA and regulated by the NASC, this wormer supplement is made from fossilized diatoms sourced from freshwater deposits. As a result, this concentrated food-grade powder will both help remove intestinal parasites but also promote a healthy GI tract.

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Runner Up: DERMagic Diatomaceous Earth Dust

Ideal for pets with sensitive skin, this topical diatomaceous earth powder will help you get rid of fleas once and for all. Packed in a practical bottle with a sprinkle top, this powder is easy to dose and apply- and you can use it on cats and dogs both. Sprinkle it all over their fur to kill fleas and ticks on contact, or around their bed and room they spend the majority of their time in to eliminate these parasites in all life stages and all places. It’s all-natural, pure diatomaceous earth, which means toxins, preservatives, chemical insecticides, or sulfates that could irritate your pet’s skin.

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Customer’s Choice: NaturPet Intesti Care for Dogs & Cats

Designed to make sure your pet’s intestinal tract stays healthy without the need for chemicals, this proprietary blend includes ingredients such as diatomaceous earth, ground pumpkin seeds, ginger root powder, slippery elm bark powder, and thyme leaf powder. All of these natural and herbal remedies have been used for centuries back, and still remain popular and effective. This formula is tailored to ward off intestinal parasites and promote a healthy gut to boot. Tasteless and non-toxic, it is easy to mix in your pet’s food.

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Best for Internal Parasites: Fossil Power Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth Organic Powder

This food-grade and human grade diatomaceous earth is safe enough to be consumed on a daily basis as it contains no chemicals or additives. Even though it’s budget-friendly, it meets the highest standards for diatomaceous earth there are- which means it’s good enough for your precious pooch to use, even if it means consuming it orally. Feed to treat intestinal worms or use topically to eradicate fleas- this product works on both.You can either sprinkle some over your pup’s daily meals or apply on their fur when combating external parasites rather than internal.

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Best for Easy Grooming: DERMagic Shampoo Bar

Even if you don’t want to powder your pooch you can still use diatomaceous earth to eliminate fleas and external parasites- and it’s in a very convenient way. This dog shampoo bar contains diatomaceous earth in its organic and natural formula, so you’ll get to reap all the benefits of this powder while you’re simply bathing your pooch as usual. No mess, no hassle- just all the good stuff this natural substance brings to the table.

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Earthworks Health Pro Pet Powder

Why settle “only” for the benefits diatomaceous earth offers when you can have a formula that completely supports your pet’s digestive health to boot? In addition to the antiparasitic effect of diatoms, this powder contains yeast cultures, enzymes, and probiotics that are meant to keep your pet’s GI tract in optimal condition. No more upset tummies or nasty diarrheas!

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HARRIS Diatomaceous Earth

Cheap but of good quality, this food-grade and OMRI listed diatomaceous earth can be used both to treat external and internal parasites. To make things easier for you when you’re trying to powder your pet in order to eradicate fleas, this product comes with a free powder duster that will minimize mess and make your job much easier. And who wouldn’t appreciate some help with application?

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Kate Barrington
Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.

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