For those who have been following Furever Network posts, you’ll know that we here at the home front are moving towards a naturopathic lifestyle for our dogs. We’ve published a few articles about alternatives to chemical warfare on fleas, ticks, bugs and other parasites that plague warm bloods like our dogs and us too. These past few summer weekends, we have been using an organic alternative treatment for fleas, ticks and other summer parasites while up north in Ontario’s cottage country.
How Diatomaceous Earth Works
Yes, its a mouthful to pronounce (die-ah-toe-MAY-shuss), which is why its also known as “D.E.” Recommended to us by Furever Member and Master Dog Trainer Lisa Marshall, we picked up a 400 gram tub for under 20 dollars at her local Global Pet Food store, so its an inexpensive option. For our three Chihuahuas, that tub will likely last 10 summers!
Diatomaceous Earth is obviously non-toxic to dogs, cats and other animals but deadly to any insect. , safe substance made up from crushed fossils of freshwater organisms and marine life. Crushed to a fine powder and observed through a microscope, the particles resemble bits of broken glass. It’s mode of insect and parasite control sounds rather violent because its strictly mechanical. The microscopically sharp edges contact the insect or parasite, and pierce their protective coating. Whether larvae or adult, they soon dehydrate and die.
To use D.E., you simply dust your dog with the super fine powder-like supplement. A little on bedding area and surrounding carpeted areas helps too. The first litmus test on our dogs had immediate results. Having arrived at the cottage dusk, the mosquitos and flies were out in full force. We took the pups onto the back deck, dusted them down, and watched with fascination as the mosquitoes hovered but did not land on any of them (while we were slapping ourselves like a bunch of circus clowns!)
The powder is very fine, so it will poof everywhere if you try to put it on with a powder-puff like motion. Rather just stroke it on, then work into the coat. It won’t damage floors or carpets if applied inside. In fact, it an area of home or cottage is already infested, a dusting every 3 – 4 days until under control is called for, after which a treatment every couple of weeks prevents a recurrance.
Diatomaceous Earth as internal preventative
D.E. is reported to be great for internal parasite control too. Specifically de-worming where it can eliminate roundworms, whipworms, pinworms, and hookworms within seven days of being fed daily. Dog Naturally Magazine suggests to be most effective, Diatomaceous Earth should be fed for at least 30 days, to catch all newly hatching eggs or the cycling of the worms through the lungs and back to the stomach.
Ensure that the product you choose is specifically “food grade” because the D.E. for gardens and pool filters is dangerous to animals. The D.E. we purchased was manufactured by Companion Pet Products based in Guelph, ON, under their True Raw Choice brand. They publish a flyer with a list of other benefits and dosages for internal use here.
Reports also suggest that D.E. is reported to help with arthritic inflammation, as a colon cleanser, digestive aid, is used to attain a shiner coat and reduce overall animal stress. We’ll be consulting with our new vet at East York Animal Clinic Holistic Centre to find out about its use with dogs like Gucci who have a history of pancreatitus.
Additional Source: Dog Naturally Magazine
McGee has yet to be bit by a bug this summer – we’re using Diatomaceous Earth!