How To Use Diatomaceous Earth To Keep Your Dog Safe From Fleas And Ticks

Diatomaceous Earth

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Diatomaceous earth is a natural substance that can be used to keep your dog safe from fleas and ticks. This substance is made up of the fossilized remains of tiny algae-like creatures called diatoms. Diatomaceous earth works by absorbing the oils and waxy exoskeletons of these pests, causing them to dehydrate and die.

Don’t you hate when you pick up your dog’s poop and see little white worms wiggling around in it?! Fleas, ticks, and internal parasites can be a major pain for dogs and their pet parents. 

Not only do they cause an irritating nuisance for your dog, open wounds from excessive itching can lead to dangerous bacterial infections.

Also, intestinal worms can cause all kinds of nutritional issues. Plus, they’re just plain gross, right?! Read how diatomaceous earth for dogs can get rid of fleas, ticks, and worms in a natural way!

What Is Diatomaceous Earth?

Diatomaceous earth is a fantastic natural solution for pests such as fleas, ticks, and worms.

Diatomaceous earth is the fossilized, silica shells of microscopic algae.

Diatomaceous earth is a naturally occurring substance made up of the fossilized remains of tiny aquatic organisms called diatoms. The skeletons of these diatoms are made of a material called silica, which is an effective insecticide.

When ground into a powder, diatomaceous earth can be used to kill fleas and ticks. The fossilized shells of diatoms turns into an extremely fine powder that’s used as a preventative against various types of insects and other pests as both external parasite control and for internal use!

Is Diatomaceous Earth Safe For Dogs?

Often, the first question that comes up is can diatomaceous earth hurt my dog? The answer is that diatomaceous earth powder is very safe for dogs when given properly.

Using food grade quality DE powder in correct amounts is extremely safe and has great health benefits! It’s also safe for use around children, unlike many conventional flea treatments. This is a high quality brand of diatomaceous earth that’s perfect!

How Does Diatomaceous Earth Work?

The sharp edges of the diatomaceous earth particles cut through the exoskeletons of fleas and ticks, causing them to dehydrate and die. Diatomaceous earth is most effective when it is applied directly to the dog’s fur, where it will come into contact with the insects.

What Does Diatomaceous Earth Do For Dogs?

Diatomaceous earth numerous benefits! What are the health benefits of diatomaceous earth? Well, it contains many beneficial trace minerals when added to your dog’s food.

The calcium it contains can assist with bone formation, blood clotting, and nervous system function. The sodium helps maintain cellular fluid balance, aids in the transfer of nutrients, and helps process waste.

It also contains magnesium, which is key for many metabolic functions. It also works terrifically as flea prevention.

How To Use Diatomaceous Earth On Your Dog

To use diatomaceous earth on your dog, start by combing through their fur to remove any loose dirt or debris. Next, apply the powder to their fur, using either your hands or a powder puff.

Be sure to cover their entire body, paying special attention to areas where fleas and ticks are most likely to hide, such as the base of the tail and behind the ears. Once you have applied the powder, brush it through their fur with a comb to distribute it evenly.

What Type Of Diatomaceous Earth Do I Need?

There are a few different types, but the one needed is labeled (very important!) ‘Food Grade’ quality.

Food-grade de is super affordable here on Amazon and has passed standards to be consumed in meals, which is necessary for natural deworming.

There are different grades of diatomaceous earth available, such as ‘Pool Grade’, which is not recommended for use around kids or pets.

How Do I Feed It To My Dog to Kill Worms?

It’s super easy to treat your dog’s worms by adding diatomaceous earth food-grade to your pet’s diet. I simply mix it into Roxy & Rico’s food and stir it up.

The white powder is very drying, and since it can irritate lungs if inhaled, it’s important to mix it in well. 

I scoop a bit directly into their dry food bowl, and mix it with a bit of fish oil and hemp oil. The oils help moisten it a bit and makes it easier for them to eat without inhaling any. You can also add it to wet food, if your dog prefers.

How Does Diatomaceous Earth Work to Kill Fleas and Ticks?

Believe it or not, it doesn’t only need to be eaten to be a great natural flea and tick control!

Made from tiny, fossilized remains of aquatic organisms called diatoms; it causes insects to dry out and die by absorbing the oils and fats from the cuticle of the insect’s exoskeleton.

dog with fresh dog breath

How To Use Diatomaceous Earth For Fleas

Wondering how to apply diatomaceous earth? Simply brush it onto your dog’s coat and to their sheets, bedding area, and carpet as an effective means of flea control.

Treating your yard is also essential in control of external parasites, otherwise those pests keep coming back. You can spread it in your yard; just sprinkle it when the grass is dry because it’s not effective when it gets very wet.

Be cautious of wind when spreading. Even though DE powder is safe and all-natural, as mentioned above, it can irritate lungs if inhaled. You may want to consider wearing a mask to avoid inhalation.

This is one of those tricks I wish I’d known 20 years ago when I moved into my first home and got my first dog, Jasmine! We struggled SO hard with managing fleas!

Every time we’d take her on a mini-vacation with us, we’d leave a flea bomb in the house, treat the yard with flea spray, and bring her to the groomers to do a flea dip. All that stuff is super unhealthy, filled with harsh chemicals, and didn’t even work as well as diatomaceous earth has as a natural alternative!

For example, my neighbors back then weren’t quite so motivated to manage their yards, so it was a constant battle against a flea infestation. Now I know better, so I do better.

Treating the yard regularly gives the best results. It means I haven’t even seen a flea in years, and I don’t have to evacuate the house while the toxic chemicals work to kill the pests!

Sign up for our list and get a FREE printable pet identification sheet! It’s super helpful for pet sitters or if your dog wanders away for home!

Does Diatomaceous Earth Dry Out Dog Skin?

Diatomaceous earth can be a bit drying when applied too often. If you’re trying to actively kill fleas, brush it on no more than once a day.

Pay close attention to the condition of your dog’s skin and take a break if you notice the skin starting to look dry and flaky. Make sure they have access to fresh water, of course.

You can also add fish oil to your dog’s diet to help condition their skin. Learn more about the benefits of fish oil here!

How Long Does It Take For Diatomaceous Earth To Kill Fleas On Dogs?

Research shows it takes a few hours for fleas to make contact with diatomaceous earth and for it to start drying them out so they die off. The typical flea life cycle is 2-4 weeks.

Due to the different stages of the flea life cycle, it may take a few days for the adult fleas to die off, but the flea eggs may need additional time. You might need to run the vacuum cleaner a bit more often to pick up the fallen yuckies.

Does Diatomaceous Earth Kill Worms In Dogs? 

Diatomaceous Earth is fantastic for use against so many different types of worms. Much like with fleas, the sharp edges of DE work by creating microscopic cuts in the worms’ protective coating, so they dry out and die off.

Because worms have a longer life cycle than fleas, you’ll need to add it to your dog’s food for at least a month.

I add it to my dog’s food daily as a preventative. This allows them to get the full nutritional benefit of diatomaceous earth while also staying protected against worms. Diatomaceous earth is even good for human consumption and can improve the quality of your hair, skin, and nails!

What Types Of Worms Does Diatomaceous Earth Work Against?

Roundworms are the most common worms that a dog can get, as they spread so many different ways. Mothers can pass it to babies, or they can contract it by eating rodents or poop from other dogs with roundworms.

Whipworms, hookworms, and tapeworms are all other types of intestinal parasites pet owners should be aware of, that can be picked up from contaminated dirt that has been in contact with an affected dog’s poop. 

Even though diatomaceous earth is amazingly helpful at prevention and deworming, it’s important to have your dog tested periodically to ensure they’re not suffering from worms.

Even older dogs can be affected by worms, and there are often no symptoms. Since regularly adding diatomaceous earth powder to Roxy & Rico’s food, they’ve happily been worm-free at all their vet checkups! 

The Benefits of Using Diatomaceous Earth On Your Dog

Diatomaceous earth is natural and safe

Diatomaceous earth is a naturally occurring substance made up of the fossilized remains of tiny aquatic organisms called diatoms. It is nontoxic, odorless, and tasteless. It has been used for centuries in a variety of applications, including as an abrasive, absorbent, anti-caking agent, and filtration medium.

Diatomaceous earth is effective

Diatomaceous earth works by physically puncturing the exoskeletons of fleas and ticks, causing them to dehydrate and die. It is also effective against other insects, such as ants, cockroaches, earwigs, silverfish, and spiders.

Diatomaceous earth is easy to use

Diatomaceous earth can be applied directly to your dog’s coat or added to their food or water. It is important to use food grade diatomaceous earth that has been purified for safety.

The Downside Of Using Diatomaceous Earth On Your Dog

Diatomaceous earth can be messy

Diatomaceous earth is a fine powder that can be very messy. It can be difficult to apply diatomaceous earth to your dog without making a mess.

Here’s How Much Diatomaceous Earth To Give Your Dog Per Day:

Small Dogs and Puppies* – ½ tsp of food grade DE

Dogs under 50 lbs – 1 tsp of food grade DE

Dogs 50-100 lbs – 1 tbsp of food grade DE

Dogs over 100 lbs – 2 tbsp of food grade DE

*It is recommended to hold off on adding it to their diet until they move to solid food.

Diatomaceous earth can be a great way to keep your dog safe from fleas and ticks. It is natural, safe, effective and easy to use. The downside is that it can be a bit messy. If you are looking for a safe and effective way to protect your dog from fleas and ticks, diatomaceous earth may be the answer.

See how great diatomaceous earth is as a natural flea treatment and dewormer?! What’s your go-to strategy for getting rid of these yucky things?

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  1. Lola The Rescued Cat says:

    I much prefer natural remedies over medications. This is something I definitely want to learn more about.

    1. omshantipups says:

      I prefer them too. I know medicine has it’s place so I’m all for doing whatever works! I’ll be sure to share more natural remedies.

  2. Tenacious Little Terrier says:

    We use a flea preventative. I’ve tried several natural methods but Mr. N is a bug magnet and has a flea allergy. He needs the big guns.

    1. omshantipups says:

      Ahh, definitely sounds like you found what works for him, and some bugs are pretty tough!

  3. Jana Rade says:

    I haven’t tried it yet but it in the back of my mind. I was actually toying with the idea to try and use it environmentally for ticks but would need a truck-load. So I’ll see. But it is a feasible option.

    1. omshantipups says:

      We’re pretty lucky we don’t get fleas or ticks much where we live now, since our yard is crazy big and would take a ton! When we lived in Puerto Rico, we had a postage-stamp size yard so it was easier to treat.

  4. I’ll keep this in mind. Thankfully I’ve yet to see anything wiggling in our dog’s poop!

    1. omshantipups says:

      Lucky! It’s SO GROSS! We used to have it happen every once in awhile when we lived in a warm climate right by our neighborhood dog park. Now that I keep them on it, we don’t have any issues.

  5. Amelia Johnson says:

    The only DE I could find locally came from Red Lake Earth. It’s red…not a color I want to put on my white dog. I used it in the carpeting that I brought in that had been in a house with cats that go in and out to kill any critters that might have dropped into the fibers.

    I know people that swear by the effectiveness of DE for fleas.

    1. omshantipups says:

      Oh, that red would definitely have been an interesting look on a white dog! Good choice staying away!

  6. I’ve Pinned this post as definitely want to remember it when our next furry family member finds us. I think our new pool is using (non-food grade) diatomaceous earth as the mineral filtration system too.

    1. omshantipups says:

      Thanks so much for pinning!

  7. Kamira G. says:

    I heard of diatomaceous earth once a long time ago for humans, however did not know your dogs could benefit too. This is great to know there is something natural dog owners can use to help prevent or rid of worms! I wonder if it’s good for cats too?

  8. Irene McHugh says:

    Thanks for this post. Diatomaceous Earth has been on my research list for a while now, but I hadn’t even started collecting resources to figure out if we’d want to go this route. I’ve got a much better idea of how I could use this natural remedy proactively now.

  9. The Dash Kitten Crew says:

    I would prefer, wherever possible to use a more holistic approach to our cat care so am always interested in things like this. I do know DE is a proven method of combating fleas which makes it a good thing!

  10. I have never heard of this, but I am always keen to try more natural remedies for our dogs. I have never found little wiggly things, so far, and hope I don’t. I will have to learn more about Diatomaceous Earth. Thank you for sharing.

  11. WOA!! I had no idea I could give this to Montecristo too! We take it. On the regular. One month on one month off. Because we travel all over the world it’s the best way to make sure we have no intestinal and blood parasites. Going to include the wee man now! Might make the dose even smaller though … at barely 3.5 pounds… just to start.

  12. Talent Hounds says:

    Very interesting. I am nervous of ticks and fleas and we get lots around here from spring onwards. I prefer a more natural approach. We have a small yard so it might work well environmentally too.

  13. We have so many ticks in our area, that it is really scary. I’d love to use it the yard, as we find ticks on us from time to time.

  14. Sweet Purrfections says:

    I’ve heard several of our cat blogging friends talking about using diatomaceous earth in their homes. My girls don’t go outside, but we do live in the South where there are lots of pests, so they do get a monthly flea/tick/heartworm treatment.

  15. Stephanie Seger says:

    Does this work on ticks too? We had a major tick infestation a few years ago and it about drove me to insanity. I ended up using Frontline and some other toxic chemicals on our bushes outside to kill them, but I would prefer something natural if it works. Fortunately, in AZ fleas and ticks are normally not a problem.

  16. Cathy Armato says:

    We used DR to kill scorpions when we lived in Arizona. I didn’t know you could get a food grade kind for pets!

    1. Cathy Armato says:

      Oops!! I meant DE not R. Stupid auto correct!

  17. Angela Broussard says:

    could you tell me how often to give to my pet? I just found that she has a pin worm from eating a flea. I never see fleas on her. she weighs 7 lbs

    1. omshantipups says:

      Hi Angela! I would recommend confirming the dose with your pet’s veterinarian, but for small dogs and puppies, 1/2 teaspoon a day is the suggested amount. You can always start with a pinch and build up from there if you have concerns due to her small size.

  18. Just discovered one of our new puppies has round worm so we are starting all 3 dogs on Panacur today however I’m now searching for a preventative method. So this works? Can it be spread over the yard area where they’ve been using to go potty to rid of any parasites like the worms animals can get?

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