Fleas are not only irritating and a nuisance to your dog but they also cause painful wounds to them and internal infections. Many methods to get rid of fleas on dogs have been advanced.
Among the numerous methods, many dog owners are opting for methods that don’t involve the use of chemicals. Methods that do not harm the environment such as the use of Diatomaceous Earth for Fleas.
What is Diatomaceous earth? How does it work?
Studies have found that diatomaceous earth has sharp edges that resemble bits of broken glass. The mode of action of DE is mechanical. The diatoms kill insects and parasites by removing the protective outer shell that helps them in conserving moisture, they then dehydrate and subsequently die. DE comes in various forms, granulated DE, milled DE, and Calcine DE.
Granulated diatomaceous earth – Granulated DE is usually available as a powder and is always fit for consumption for humans and pets. For DE to be fit for consumption it must contain less than 1% crystalline silica. Granulated DE is used as the food grade.
Milled diatomaceous earth – Also called micronized DE. It is a very fine form of DE that is used in the manufacture of insecticides and pesticides.
Calcined Diatomaceous earth – This form of DE is usually heat treated and is used in water filtering and manufacture of explosives.
Benefits of Diatomaceous earth for Dogs
DE is non-toxic since no chemicals are used. It is safe for humans and pets and hence a suitable alternative for chemical sprays. It poses no harm to the dog.
2. Excellent dewormer
DE can get rid of roundworms, whipworms, pinworms, hookworms, and tapeworms in 7 days. Dogs should be fed for 30 days so as to effectively eliminate hatching eggs and worms in and out of the stomach.
DE, however, does not effectively eradicate tapeworms.
3. Healthy Supplement
Diatomaceous earth is rich in minerals like calcium, iron, sodium, silicon and other minerals. Feeding it to your dog keeps it healthy and gives it that good awesome look.
DE is also fit for consumption for human beings and their benefits are healthy skin, lower blood cholesterol, and good looking hair and skin.
Diatomaceous Earth dosage & ingredients for Dogs
Granulated DE is readily available in health and pet shops.
As earlier pointed out DE is used in pets to boost digestion and help get rid of internal parasites and worms. Ensure that the DE to be used is food grade. On the amount of DE to give to your dog consult with your veterinarian.
However, these are the generally recommended amounts for your dogs:
- Small dogs & the puppies – A half teaspoon of your food grade DE once a day in food
- Dogs below 50 lbs –1 teaspoon of your food grade DE once a day in food
- Dogs over 50 lbs- 1 tablespoon of your food grade DE once a day in food
- Dogs over 100 lbs- 2 tablespoons of your food grade DE once a day in food.
Safety Cautions on Using Diatomaceous Earth for Fleas on Dogs
These are the precautions that you need to watch out for:
- Ensure that the DE you are giving your dog is food grade. Food grade should have less than 1% crystalline silica.
- Ensure that you mix well the food and DE. Failure to mixing well causes irritation to the lungs of the dog and you as well due to the dust.
- You can wear a face mask to avoid the inhaling of the dust and gloves to prevent your hands from drying.
- Store the DE in dry conditions. Damp conditions greatly reduce their effectiveness.
Using Diatomaceous Earth for Dogs
Apart from using DE as food, it can be sprinkled to kill fleas and other insects and parasites. For application to dogs, these are the required ingredients: Diatomaceous earth (DE), neem and Yarrow. All the ingredients should be dry for maximum effectiveness.
These are the steps to be followed.
Step 1 – Identify areas where you will apply the diatomaceous earth. You should identify where your pets spend most of its time. This might be its kernel, the carpet.
Step 2 – Vacuum the areas where your pet resides or hangs out the most. This might be its kernel, your carpet. This is done to capture any fleas and flea eggs that may be around. It is important to note that DE has no effect on flea eggs and will wait for them to hatch so it acts on them.
Step 3 – Apply DE to the area. After vacuuming sprinkle the DE on carpets, floors, beddings once a week for 30 days. Ensure the surfaces where you are applying are dry. Leave the sprinkled DE for several weeks before vacuuming it.
Step 4 – Let your dog roam around the areas with DE for a few days then give it a bath. Since bathing dogs dries their skin and so does DE, ensure that you use a soap-free moisturizing shampoo.
Step 5 – There are high chances that most of the fleas will be eradicated after the bath, vacuuming, and use of DE. You can use a flea comb on your dog for several days just to ascertain that none was left.
Step 6 – Vacuum the areas where you had sprinkled the DE. The recommended vacuum cleaner is the shop vac- a professional grade. Vacuuming will ensure that you have collected any remaining fleas with their eggs, larvae, and pupae.
Apart from being ingested to kill internal worms, diatomaceous can be sprinkled to ensure the fleas menace is eradicated. This is a very recommendable method since no chemicals are in use making it safe for the pet (dog), you and the environment.