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 ways that don’t involve 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 conserve 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 always fit for humans and pets’ consumption. 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 an excellent 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 used in water filtering and explosives manufacture.
Benefits of Diatomaceous earth for Dogs
2. Excellent dewormer
DE can get rid of roundworms, whipworms, pinworms, hookworms, and tapeworms in 7 days. Dogs should be fed for 30 days 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 neat look.
DE is also fit for human beings’ consumption, 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 eliminate 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 incorporate OK causes irritation to the dog’s lungs and you due to the dust.
- You can wear a face mask to avoid the dust and gloves’ inhaling to prevent your hands from drying.
- Store the DE in dry conditions. Damp conditions significantly 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 their 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 bathe it. Since bathing dogs dries their skin, so does DE; ensure that you use a soap-free moisturizing shampoo.
Step 5 – There are high chances that most fleas will be eradicated after the bath, vacuuming, and use of DE. You can use a flea comb on your dog for several days 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.