Diatomaceous Earth for Pets and Animals


D.E. for Pets and Animals

Diatomaceous Earth is a popular natural flea control solution for dogs and cats. Find out how diatomaceous earth can help your pets and animals today.

What is Diatomaceous Earth?

Diatomaceous earth is a plant-based powder that occurs naturally within the earth. The powder gets its unique name because it’s derived from “diatoms”, which are algae-like plants that have existed on earth for millions of years.

As diatoms broke down over the years, they left behind a chalky white powder called diatomite. Today, diatomaceous earth manufacturers harvest this powder, combine it with other diatom derivatives, and release it as diatomaceous earth.

The earth is popular for all sorts of different purposes, including gardening (where it acts as a natural insecticide) and house cleaning (where it helps fight off bed bugs, cockroaches, and other bug problems).

Today, more and more pet owners are also using diatomaceous earth to solve flea-related problems in pets.

Benefits of Using Diatomaceous Earth on your Pets

Many pet owners use diatomaceous earth as a natural pest-killer on dogs. Just like diatomaceous earth fights pests in your garden and home, it can also fight pests on your cats and dogs.

Best of all, diatomaceous earth kills pests using natural methods instead of a chemical-based toxic solution.

If you’re using diatomaceous earth on your dogs or cats, then be sure to use food-grade DE instead of filter grade. Filter-grade diatomaceous earth is the stuff typically used in pools and it can damage your pet (it has a higher silica content and is not suited for human or animal use).

Food-grade diatomaceous earth isn’t just safe for pets: you can safely ingest it as well! So if you like being extra careful about what you give your pet, then there’s nothing wrong with DE.

There are two ways to use diatomaceous earth on your pets:

Feeding Diatomaceous Earth to your Dogs and Cats Can Eliminate:

— Roundworms
— Whipworms
— Pinworms
— Hookworms

If you’re feeding diatomaceous earth to your pet, then you should feed the animal for at least 30 days. This will destroy adult worms while also targeting hatchling eggs and smaller worms throughout the lungs and stomach.

Dusting your Pet’s Fur with Diatomaceous Earth Can:

— Control External Parasites, Like Fleas And Flies
— Kill Any Ticks And Eggs In Fur
— Be Applied To Your Pet’s Fur Or To The Bedding And Carpet Areas Wherever Your Pet Lies Down

In addition to targeting pests and critters, there’s also some evidence that diatomaceous earth can absorb methyl mercury, e-coli, endotoxins, viruses, organophosphate pesticide residues, drug residues, and the bacteria created by intestinal infections. This can make it an effective overall cleanser for your pet.

How to Use Diatomaceous Earth on your Pet

As a Food

— For dogs, you should add one tablespoon per day of food-grade diatomaceous earth to dog food for dogs over 55 pounds.

— For puppies, smaller dogs, and normal-sized cats, use one teaspoon per day.

— Larger cats (cats over 13 pounds) can safely be given 1 ½ teaspoons of food-grade DE. Kittens and smaller cats (2 to 6 ½ pounds) can be given ½ teaspoon of food-grade DE.

If the kittens are still nursing or only taking milk, you should avoid giving them DE until they have moved to solid food.

Some pets may be picky when they see a white powder in their food and they might refuse to eat it. If that’s the case, then DiatomaceousEarth.com recommends adding the DE directly to the bag of cat or dog food. Then, shake the bag to distribute the powder evenly throughout the food. This will mask the scent. To use the right dosage of DE, simply take note of the number of servings in the bag of food, then multiply the appropriate DE dosage by the number of servings and add that amount to the bag.

If that doesn’t work, then you may want to try mixing a dosage of DE with a quarter cup of water. Then, pour it over your cat’s food.

As a Powder Coating

If you’re using diatomaceous earth externally to control parasites, simply rub the diatomaceous earth powder into your dog’s coat to control fleas while also sprinkling it on the bedding. You should wear a dust mask when applying the diatomaceous earth powder, as it can irritate your lungs and mucous membranes in your nose.

Some pet owners prefer the powder coating method instead of the food coating method because cats and dogs lick off the powder anyway. As the animal licks the powder off their fur, it works as an internal cleanser as well.

After a few days of leaving DE on your dog’s skin, it’s time to bathe them and vacuum the area you covered with DE. This will collect any dead bugs (and half-dead bugs) that may still be lying around.

Thoroughly shampoo your dog or cat. Consider using a soap-free shampoo or moisturizing shampoo. Since diatomaceous earth dries out the skin, your pet’s skin ,is likely a little dehydrated, so you should avoid drying out their skin even further.

After your dog or cat has been washed and dried, comb through the fur with a flea comb to help remove any fleas and eggs that may have been left behind.

How Does Diatomaceous Earth Work?

Diatomaceous earth works by physically attacking harmful parasites inside your pet. Instead of killing these pests using toxic chemicals, the diatomaceous earth actually targets them using microscopic sharp edges in its particles. These microscopic sharp edges tear apart the bug’s exoskeleton, then lodge themselves on the bug to dry it out. This kills the bug.

Fortunately, these microscopic sharp edges are too small to harm dogs, cats, or humans. You can safely rub food-grade diatomaceous earth between your fingers without cutting yourself. It passes through your dog or cat’s body without any negative effects.

diatomaceous supplement


  1. Sue Parker

    Doe this eliminate tapeworms??

    • Ken Price

      From what I have read the answer is yes.

    • Shirley Casey

      My dog already Has tapeworm. Will D E kill them too? I noticed it isnt listed in the types of worms they kill.

      • Fern

        Feeding Diatomaceous Earth to your Dogs and Cats Can Eliminate:
        — Roundworms
        — Whipworms
        — Pinworms
        — Hookworms

      • Jean Smith

        I am a multi multi cat household. How can I be sure each gets the correct dose??

        • Catlaxy

          You must seperate each (like putting them in the bathroom) and give each the correct dose. It’s easier if you wet the dry food to make it mushy or use wet food.

        • Lindsay

          Put it in your cat boxs mix it in w thr litter. It keeps it dry easy to scoop and the oders down. Its AWESOME. Yes it kills tapes worms it cleans out the intestines

    • Amy

      It worked for me for tapeworms. I’d also read that other things could help w/ works so in addition to DE I fed them every day a little bit (1-2t) of mixing it/alternating days either shredded coconut by itself or with shredded carrots, ground up pumpkin or whole pumpkin seeds, coconut oil, minced garlic. I’d read that all of that could help w/ worms so every day I would give them some combo of this but not all of it in case it bothered their stomachs. I’d read the worms don’t like some of this and i didn’t even know my dog had worms until I fed his food which has carrots in it, and he threw up carrots mixed with the tapeworms. probably after 3 weeks or so I had them tested and no eggs in their poop so they were worm free.

      • Claudia

        Please double check with your vet before giving any dog garlic. Garlic and onions are said to be toxic for dogs.

        • Genny

          onions can be, yes, but garlic is not. Garlic is a great addition to any pet’s feeding regimen.

          • Anna

            Garlic and onions are toxic to cats and dogs.

        • Angela Trechok

          Also real Turkey, my dog almost died twice from myself & another time a family member watching her, PLEASE BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU FEED YOUR PET’S!!!!!

        • Dawn Knoth

          I’ve seen that garlic is ok in very small amounts. It is in dog biscuit recipes on pinterest

      • frenchie11

        But no garlic for cats, it can kill.

        • Stace

          Not true. That’s propaganda probably started so ppl would buy expensive flea treatments instead of using garlic to kill worms/repel fleas. Prevention Magazine top Veterinarian Dr Pitcairn, wrote an encyclopedia of natural health treatments for pets and garlic and onions are recommended.
          I have given my cats garlic and they have expelled worms as a result of this.
          Modern veterinary practices seem to have been over run with those who are primarily greed driven> Beware.

          • Stace

            and I have also used diamotaceous earth mixed in their food as well.
            Be careful to give them SMALL amounts and make sure they are not having trouble defecating afterwards, because diamataceous earth can constipate.
            If you see your pet straining to pass feces after ingesting D.E., give them a teaspoon or two of coconut oil and that will help.

      • Kelly

        Garlic & onions are deadly to dogs. Please don’t give them garlic. Great job and ideas on the rest…thank you.

      • Chris

        Everyone responding to the garlic…. I believe it doesn’t happen immediately. I think it’s a time factor. It weakens the kidneys and other digestive organs and causes failure. I’ve seen dogs get a uti that lead to paralysis. Same as our body, the damage caused by too many carbs, sodas, alcohol, smoking, drugs, etc. isn’t seen immediately, it happens overtime. Please research the garlic and then research again to understand the role it plays on pets’ organs.

      • Beka

        I thought dogs could NOT have garlic? Am I misinformed? I’ve seen multiple verifiable sites stating it is unsafe.

    • Robin Crownover

      Does it help horses with EPM?

    • jen

      yes from what i have expierenced

    • Nicky

      Nothing has answered the question bout dose it kill tape worm? Need a yes or no please

      • Tracy

        I found this site because my cats have tapeworms & I was wondering the same thing. From what Amy wrote above on July 8, 2016 it worked for her. It sounds like she used it on dogs (and she used a combination of other things; so I’m not sure if it works on cats too. FYI, please don’t feed your pets garlic; it can be toxic to them. I personally don’t take the chance since it “can be” toxic. In case you missed Amy’s comment, she wrote:

        “It worked for me for tapeworms. I’d also read that other things could help w/ works so in addition to DE I fed them every day a little bit (1-2t) of mixing it/alternating days either shredded coconut by itself or with shredded carrots, ground up pumpkin or whole pumpkin seeds, coconut oil, minced garlic. I’d read that all of that could help w/ worms so every day I would give them some combo of this but not all of it in case it bothered their stomachs. I’d read the worms don’t like some of this and i didn’t even know my dog had worms until I fed his food which has carrots in it, and he threw up carrots mixed with the tapeworms. probably after 3 weeks or so I had them tested and no eggs in their poop so they were worm free.”

        Since your comment was from a month & a half ago I’m curious if you tried it and if it worked? Do you have cats, dogs, or both? I guess it’s worth a shot, and I like that it does kill the other worms too. I’m going to start feeding it to my cats and dogs today so I’ll try to remember yo come back here and leave a comment to let you, or anyone else know, if it worked for my cats and dogs.

    • Rene

      I use it in all our dogs and cats food. It has cleared up all parasites. Our outside cats are super healthy.

  2. Heather Dodson

    i would also like to know if diatomaceous earth would elimtnate tapeworms ?

  3. hellen

    tapeworms come from fleas if erradicating fleas there should be no tapeworms

  4. Rowena

    If you need to wear a dust mask how is it safe for dogs food/body? Dogs sniff everything – so if they breath silica into their lungs if must be harmful? If I sprinkle it outside – same problem.

    • Catlaxy

      It’s very heavy. It doesn’t dust up easily. Only when you are coating it you should be careful. This is just a precaution. And at worst only causes irritation

  5. Judy Bunch

    Could I use D E food quality for my 3 miniature goats and chickens?
    For flies and parasite prevention?
    What doseage?

    • Laura P

      Dosage on package

    • Rene

      They actually make a granual form just for chickens.

  6. Lori

    How often do I use this on my dog as a flea preventative? We believe that Frontline killed our 8 year old dog and are desperately looking for a safe flea preventative. Please help!! We lost our beloved Lillie and don’t want to lose another dog.

    • I sprinkle on my dog and his bedding one a week.
      I give stirred into wet food once a week.
      And sprinkle on top of dry food every day.
      Works great. His has a beautiful Shiney coat and
      bright eyes.

    • Ginger Davis

      What I did is dusted my floors. Place thick layer on carpets, using a broom rub it into the carpet. Leave for 48 hours then vacuum. Dust the animals bed and any furniture as well. Dust the animal lightly, wait 3 or 4 days then bathe it. Use as shampoo that has some kind of conditioner to help re-hydrate the skin as DE dries it out.

    • vicki hood

      So sorry about Lillie. Never use any spot flea killer. No flea soap (poison). Bar soap kills fleas as does your shampoo. 2 washes– one wash left on for 5 minutes. You may have to pick a few from their face as face is not washed with soap. Read my suggestions about 20 mule team borax (dry) sifted into flea breeding carpets, couches and throw rugs. 20 MT is a natural product that kills fleas in your home for way better than a year.

      • Beka

        I’m curious when you say bar soap as well as our shampoo are you referring to human’s soaps? Is there any particular ones you recommend?

  7. Taylor H

    Can I use silaLive on pets fur for fleas?? Or should I just use regular food grade DE for that?

  8. Martha

    We’re do you buy that diatomaceous?

  9. Robin

    I use food grade DE to control internal parasites in my horses. To start I feed 1/2 cup twice daily for two months. After a negative fecal count I reduce amount to 3/4 cup daily for two months and then to 1/2 cup daily with continued negative parasite counts. My horses love the DE and they look great!

  10. Lisa

    Does waterless shampoo count as shampoo when washing your cat after sprinkling them with DE?

    • Catlaxy

      No you must wash it out because if it stays on it dries out their skin

  11. connie

    How long does it take for DE to start working after feeding, or rubbing into the dog’s coat?

  12. Mitch

    Can it be effective on ‘Feather Mites’ (Chorioptic mange) in horses and ponies.

    • DE is effective against all things that crawl on your animals be they lice, mites or fleas. It is widely used by chicken owners to kill Feather Mites so having used it extensively myself and know it works I can see no reason why it won’t kill Feather Mites on horses and ponies too.

  13. Karen Lang-Ferrell

    If humans have to wear a mask to apply it the skin of pets to avoid breathing in the dust, would it not also irritate the nasal membranes and lungs of the pet?

    • You only need to apply very little to the fur or feathers or your pets. Sprinkle a small amount at a time and rub it into the fur or feathers so that it gets to the animal’s skin. DE is now available in a shaker (like talcum powder container) so its easier to apply but if you buy a larger quantity you can always find something you use indoors e.g. washing up liquid container well cleaned out and allowed to dry and apply it that way.

    • Robin Becker

      That is exactly what I was wondering.

  14. Opal Sherman

    How much would be the correct amount to give to your cockateil of the diatomaceous earth?

  15. Karl Gray

    Where can you buy this from?

    • DE can be bought online or at most larger animal feed suppliers. Don’t be put off by the price, you only need to use a small amount so it lasts a long time. Always check the use by date before buying or you might find you are left with a lot to throw out.

  16. jamie castillo

    I don’t know what happened to the post I did this morning it was a book and I’m not ready to write another at this time. I apologize, this has been a very sad and 8 mo for me and my sweet fur baby,I got mange from her,2 yrs old puppy,it’s hard for me ,I cry all the time,I’m worried more about her then myself,mate be lives it’s a mental break down,out of the hole world my mate should at least if not all the way at least some,,and dosnt belive,she won’t look & won’t talk about it,so me & my fur baby have no support in this matter,,,maybe some other time I will share our story,thank u,I pray all the time could others help pray for us.we r pushing 9 mo now…

    • I was able to cure mange or demodex in my young dog with a combination of natural remedies. Coconut oil applied to the affected skin daily. Bathe the dog weekly with Theraneem pets shampoo and finish with a peppermint & tea tree essential oil moisturizing conditioner. Stop feeding kibble. Feed only meat no carbs. I used Stella & Cheweys freeze dried chicken dinner patties. Add coconut oil to the feed as well. Also, very important is adding probiotics to the diet. I did this with Dogzymes Probiotic Max. Her mange started out no big deal and kept getting worse even though I had treated according to standard protocol. It turned into a yeast infection and she was almost completely bald until I called Nature’s Farmacy and the lady there was so helpful giving me this information which in no time turned things around and she was improving quickly until her coat was even better than before! My husband is a believer now in natural remedies when he used to be very skeptical.

      • Bekabeardslee@icloud.com

        Would enjoy speaking with you further if you don’t mind/still read this.

    • Linnie

      Jamie Castillo,
      I’m not sure. Am totally understanding your post. Are you saying that you caught animal mange from your dog? And that your girlfriend will not talk about it?
      If that is what I am understanding, there are ointments that a General doctor can prescribe for you, to clear that up. And if it is on your head and the hair came out, the good thing is, it will grow back. The most important thing to do is get the dog treated first. With the animal in the house and getting on furniture, bed, etc the parasite could be on them as well. And probably is. You might consider having the furniture steam cleaned. A have also known people who’s animal had mange and treated the dog at home with mineral oil. Rubbing the dog down in the oil daily. It suffocates the parasites under the dogs skin. Get yourself treated soon. You do not want the parasites under your skin to leave scars. But your hair will come back. Good luck to you and your mate. It will all get better. Prayers to you and your family.

    • Julia Miller

      Treat the mange

    • Amy Wallis

      I’m sorry you are going through this. I would like to hear the whole story. I also dont know who your furry friend is but I have seen used motor oil effectively kill mange on a dog! The dogs fur was simply coveted by the oil n wha LA! I will pray for all of you! GOD bless u!

      • Tracy

        Using motor oil on your dog for mange (or other issues) is an old wives tale. PLEASE DON’T EVER USE MOTOR OIL ON ANY ANIMAL as it can cause serious negative skin reactions and it can make your dog very sick or can even KILL THEM if they lick it.

        • Ingrid Stettler

          That is crazy to use Motor Oil ???

    • Joanna Ball

      Olive Oil works good on mange as it suffocates the mites. Plus if your animal licks it no harmful effects like motor oil. Got a pup because someone had thrown him out a car window. So road rash and demodectic mange cured after about a week of good food and care.

  17. Damian

    Will D E harm Puppies after being put on the mother

    • Mike

      No it is safe for all dogs. We used it to cure demodex. Works great

  18. Tasha

    Will D E help with fleas if my cat invests it or does it have to be applied to the fur?

    • Keith J.

      D E is absolutely non-toxic and safe – just make sure it’s the “Food-Grade” variety.

  19. Bev Madrid

    Does it help my dogs itchy skin from allergies being I live in Arizona alot of allergies here. I have and faithfully take this amazing food every day.

  20. Morris

    The Diatomaceus earth is working very well when applied on pets fur or spread on beddings, the product kills fleas and other parassites 100%.
    Please avoid this method as in the long run can kill your pet.

  21. D. Mikus

    Does diatomacious earth do anything for tritrickamonas foetus,criptosporidium, or claustridium perfringins?(excuse spelling). Would it kill them? It’s for cats. Dosage and length of trestment?

  22. Blackbutterflyskullwoman

    Can I use this on My domestic Pet Rabbits ? To kill Fleas etc..Can this be applied on The entire Body of a Dog or
    Cat or Rabbit??

  23. Patricia Bass

    How do i go about treating this for pinworms /threadworms, it’s been a nightmare for me and my fur babies… their weight is 16, 12, and 40 pounds

  24. Melissa Perkey

    My dog takes phenobarbital to control seizures. Are there any drug interactions i should worry about?

  25. Ryan

    Dose it kill tapeworms that are already in my cat

  26. Nicky H

    I hav been sprinkling this on my mini corgis food. I feed her 6pm every night but seems like wen we go to bed her tummy is so skiny as if she hasnt eaten at all. Im not sure if its cuz of DE or wat. This dosnt hapen wen i dont giv her the DE, so wat is hapening with this its concerning me.

    • Ruth

      Because she’s expelling worms. Keep it up for a full month. Once she’s parasite free she will absorb the nutrients from her food better 🙂 Then just a tad bit to maintain that new excellent health…

  27. Karen brown

    Hi how much do I give to my cats in there food

  28. Voniece A

    DE food grade is the only one you should be using for any pets,animals, people, etc.

  29. Lynn

    Can DE be helpful with tinea/fungus on dogs and cats?

  30. Crystal McMullen

    Can this be dustedbon puppies younger than 6 weeks??

  31. Snowcat

    Is it absolutely necessary to bath the cat after a light dusting?
    I have four with fleas and cannot imagine bathing anyone one of them with out being shredded.

  32. Yvette Houseman

    Can I use de to treat my yard to get rid of the hookworms that are in it? I don’t want my dogs to get re-infected.

  33. Debbie Guerrera

    Can I use the DE for finches whom have mites, if so how much and where do I apply it at ?

    This is an emergency because I have hatchlings in a nest located in the cage of coarse.

  34. Summer

    How would you use DE as a preventative on a regular basis? We would like to switch from the topical/oral flea & heartworm meds we are currently using. Would you just put the DE into the dog’s fur once a week? Would you need to put it in the dog’s food for preventative? If yes, would you stop at 30 days? How would you know when to start feeding it again? My 6 yr old, 35lb dog has anxiety, throws up a lot and licks her paws, so we want to stop giving the chemicals to her without getting fleas, worms & ticks.

  35. Cunningham

    Garlic causes anemia

  36. Tom

    Onioms, garlic and leeks contain a compound called ‘allicin’
    which will kill red blood cells in cats.
    Garlic and onions also cause digestive upset in dogs.
    I follow a rule,
    ‘NO onions or garlic for my cats in any way. Solves the problem for me

  37. Chris

    Isn’t Diatomaceous unsafe in the sense of inhalation for both us AND the animals? It contains silica and as the post above mentioned “wear a mask”. When your dog went to lick, scratch, etc. Or when you pet, put your nose near your dogs coat, etc. would you not be/continuously releasing the powered back into the air? May be over thinking this one, but none the less it is an irritant in regards to this matter.

  38. Diane

    If I give my dog D E will it have a reaction to it like me. I got flu like symptoms and headache. Also we are suppose to take it without food yet they are saying to mix it in their food.

  39. Bekabeardslee@icloud.com

    Has anyone used this on their larger dogs that (much to my dismay) are living outside? My half pit/half rott is around 85lbs with skin allergies including chicken/beef dog food allergies, flea saliva allergies and overall sensitive and dry skin. When I was still allowed to keep him indoors I would bathe him once a month with blue dawn to kill the fleas (which works) and then slather him up in coconut oil to remoisterize his coat and skin (which also worked plus he loves the taste lol). Due to having to move back to my dad’s he’s not allowed inside and has been bitten by mosquitoes (thanks to the recent practical flooding in south central Texas) and contracted I’m assuming sand fleas/dirt fleas. I’m in no way able to get him to the vet in the next few weeks (hence the moving back home) and I’ve purchased (obviously) food grade DE to help him out in the mean time. I’ve began to add it to his food (which I’m now switching back from lamb [since he grew tired of the] to salmon and/or whitefish since he needs the extra amino or omega fatty acids) but in terms of dusting his coat, he has anxiety issues which induce pick granulomas(?) (where he incessantly licks until it’s raw) so is it safe to get close to the sore spots or no? I’m assuming not but I also would like to dust the areas which he lays in and around his kennel but being that he’s got the raw spots should I wait to dust the dirt (he prefers the dirt under the table in the giant tent garage my dad has opposed to the plastic floor of his kennel due to the humidity and heat that is San Antonio [Id get him some type of bedding but he chews it up and swallows stuffing out of EVERYTHING toys beds you name it]). Any (so long as it’s not condescending, he’s 6 and has been mine his entire life I know him best not random people from the internet 🙃) information, ideas, or help is appreciated!

  40. Mary McRae

    Can I use DE on a kitten with a warble? He’s a rescue cat, and I’m not exactly sure how old he is, but he can eat solid food. If I can, any tips on how I should go about treating it?

  41. Sara

    Can I use DE in a momma cat that just had a litter of kittens yesterday?

  42. Kerri

    So if you put de on your carpet to kill fleas, is it safe for a puppy to lay on said carpet until you vacuum it up?

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