Is Diatomaceous Earth Safe for Pets? Know Benefits and Safety

Pet owners are always looking for safe, natural ways to keep their animals healthy. One thing some people use is called diatomaceous earth. But is diatomaceous earth safe for pets?

Let’s take a closer look at what diatomaceous earth is, its proposed benefits, safety considerations, proper dosage, and how to use it.

What is Diatomaceous Earth?

Diatomaceous earth is a powder made from tiny fossils called diatoms. Diatoms are ancient algae that live in water. Over many years, the diatom skeletons piled up and hardened into chalky rock. People mine this rock and grind it into a fine, sandy powder.

Under a microscope, Diatomaceous earth looks like sharp, spiky glass. These pointy edges give it pest-fighting powers. The powder works by slicing into soft-bodied bugs like fleas. It absorbs the oils in their waxy coating and dries them out.

Diatomaceous earth used for pets must be food-grade. This type is purified and okay to eat. Industrial DE is treated with heat and chemicals and can hurt animals.

Is Diatomaceous Earth Safe for Pets?

Diatomaceous earth seems to be safe for pets if you use it carefully under a vet’s guidance. Start with tiny amounts and slowly raise the dose. Only use food-grade Diatomaceous earth from brands you trust. Watch your pet closely. Talk to your vet, especially about long-term use.

But there are still unknowns about Diatomaceous earth’s safety and more studies are needed. Use caution and put your pet’s health first.

Benefits of Diatomaceous Earth for Dogs and Cats

People think the Diatomaceous earth does good stuff for pets. Some possible benefits are:

  • Kills outside parasites: The spiky powder can cut through the shells of fleas, ticks, and mites. It’s said to keep pests away for a long time if used correctly.
  • Removes inside parasites: Eating Diatomaceous earth is thought to slash up worms and other creepy crawlies in the tummy. It helps the body push the bugs out.
  • Detoxification: Some believe Diatomaceous earth soaks up and takes away things like chemicals, drugs, and metals from the body. It may lower cholesterol too.
  • Provides nutritional benefits: Diatomaceous earth has lots of silica which is good for skin, nails, bones, and joints. Pets get a healthy mineral boost.
  • Reduces smells: The powder can suck up stinky odors from pee, poop, and general pet smells. It freshens up bedding, litter boxes, and more.

Safety Considerations for Using Diatomaceous Earth with Pets

It makes sense for pet owners to be careful about anything they give their animals. Here are important safety things to think about with Diatomaceous earth:

  • Breathing risk: Any fine dust can bother the lungs if inhaled. Diatomaceous earth is extra drying because it’s so sharp. Be very careful pets don’t breathe it in.
  • Right dose matters: Giving the correct amount based on weight is crucial. Too much Diatomaceous earth can be harmful. Follow dosing directions closely.
  • Long-term unclear: Experts say to limit Diatomaceous earth to short periods unless your vet says it’s okay. Much is still unknown about long-term, regular use.
  • May affect absorption: Some vets worry Diatomaceous earth might stop pets from absorbing nutrients, medicines, and supplements if given too much. More research is needed.
  • Not complete treatment: Diatomaceous earth can help lower bugs but should be used along with vet-recommended medicines, not instead of them.
  • Check quality: Only purchase food-grade Diatomaceous earth from brands you trust. Avoid industrial Diatomaceous earth products.
Also Read: Is Boric Acid Safe for Pets? Exploring Risks and Precaution
Is Diatomaceous Earth Safe for Pets

Proper Dosage Guidelines for Diatomaceous Earth

Giving the right amount of Diatomaceous earth is very important for safety and it working well. Here are some general dosing tips:

Typical Diatomaceous Earth dosage for dogs:

  • Small dogs under 35 lbs – 1/2 teaspoon per day
  • Medium dogs 35-65 lbs – 1 teaspoon per day
  • Large dogs 65-100 lbs – 2 teaspoons per day
  • Extra large dogs over 100 lbs – 1 tablespoon (3 teaspoons) per day

Typical Diatomaceous Earth dosage for cats:

  • 1/4 teaspoon per day

Start with even less and slowly increase over 2-3 weeks to the full dose. Always mix the powder fully into wet food. Some pets hate the gritty feel. Mixing disguises it and prevents breathing it in.

You can also blend Diatomaceous earth into homemade raw, frozen, or dehydrated pet foods. Watch your pet closely when first using Diatomaceous earth. Stop giving it if you see any problems.

Using Diatomaceous Earth Safely Around Pets

Some people put Diatomaceous earth powder around the home and yard for bugs and smells. Here are tips for safe use:

  • Wear a mask when sprinkling Diatomaceous earth to avoid breathing it. Keep pets away until settled.
  • Lightly dust carpets, beds, windowsills, and other spots. Allow to settle before pets can access.
  • Mix with water and spray in appliances, along baseboards, etc.
  • Sprinkle around the perimeter outside and in the garden. Avoid windy days.
  • Don’t let pets dig or play where Diatomaceous earth is until it’s fully soaked in.
Also Read: Is Bifen IT Safe for Pets? Exploring Risks and Precautions

Key Takeaways

• Only use food-grade Diatomaceous earth, not industrial-grade.
• Start with small amounts and slowly increase.
• Follow dosage guidelines carefully based on your pet’s weight.
• Mix powder into wet food to avoid breathing it.
• Watch for signs of problems and stop use if any occur.
• Limit to short-term use unless your vet says it’s okay for long-term.
• Consult your vet first, especially for older or sick pets.
• Avoid letting pets inhale Diatomaceous earth dust.
• Make sure Diatomaceous earth is fully settled before pets access treated areas.
• Don’t let pets lick Diatomaceous earth powder off themselves.
• More studies on safety are still needed.

Final Thoughts

Used with care, food-grade Diatomaceous earth seems to be safe for pets. But it can’t replace prescription treatments from the vet. It may provide an extra boost along with other steps.

If you wish to try Diatomaceous earth with your pet, be sure to talk to your vet first, start with tiny doses, raise slowly, and watch your pet closely. Research product quality. Follow all label instructions and handle the powder carefully.

With smart, careful use under a vet’s guidance, Diatomaceous earth may help control some pests, detoxify, and supplement diet. But more research is still needed, especially on long-term impacts. Use good judgment, patience, and care. Your pet’s health should always come first.

People Also Asked

Q1: What exactly is diatomaceous earth?

Ans: Diatomaceous earth is a powder made from ancient fossilized algae called diatoms. It looks like a fine, white sand. Under a microscope, it’s sharp and spiky.

Q2: How can Diatomaceous earth help my pet?

Ans: Diatomaceous earth may kill bugs on and in pets. It may detoxify, provide nutrition, and reduce odors. But more research is still needed on its benefits.

Q3: Is diatomaceous earth safe for my dog or cat?

Ans: Diatomaceous earth appears safe if used carefully, but can cause breathing issues if inhaled. Dosing correctly is important. Long-term effects are unknown. Talk to your vet.

Q4: How much diatomaceous earth should I give my pet?

Ans: The dose depends on your pet’s weight. Carefully follow label directions. Start low, go slow, and increase slowly. Mix into wet food.

Q5: Can I use Diatomaceous earth around my house and yard?

Ans: Yes, but keep pets away until settled. Avoid letting them inhale dust or lick powder. Handle Diatomaceous earth carefully when pets are present.

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