When it comes to keeping our animals healthy, I for one always try to treat them as naturally as possible. I don’t like running to the vet if I know what the situation is and know how to fix it.
In our most recent case here on the farm, I had to get creative to find a workable solution to our problem. Read on to find out more about the visitors we seriously needed to get rid of!
HOUSTON WE HAVE A PROBLEM
It’s a cold hard fact that living on a farm brings with it the harsh reality that poo needs to be dealt with. In our case, we have 4 dogs currently on the premises and that leads to a lot waste piling up on the lawn.
After spending a few minutes of my morning picking up piles of not-so-delightful doggie poo I started to notice we had a little problem. Whether it was something cropping up with the two new additions or with our two original dogs, I just didn’t know. The fact of the matter was, we definitely had something that didn’t belong – namely, parasites.
Without showing you pictures or delving too far into how I knew, lets just say I saw “rice” when we don’t feed rice. This was a perfect indicator that someone most likely had tapeworm.
Of the most common canine intestinal parasites, tapeworm can be a bit tricky to treat. The Pyrantel Pamoate Suspension I keep on hand only treats things such as pinworms, roundworms and hookworms. Unfortunately, this would not serve to help me out of our current situation.
A NATURAL SOLUTION
Because I couldn’t treat tapeworm with the traditional medication I had on hand, this lead me to investigate using food grade Diatomaceous Earth (DE). I needed to evict and eradicate this segmented foe over the long term.
Many parasites within the intestinal tract can be treated by consuming food grade DE. They key for me, was making the product attractive to eat as well as being easy to dose. This could get tricky, not only did we have varying sizes of dogs but we had a visiting pooch with food sensitivities.
Diatomaceous Earth works by causing small cuts on the surface of a parasite causing it to die. Since DE is finely crushed crustaceans, this will do no harm to the animal or unfortunately, the tough parasitic egg. From egg to worm, the cycle is roughly 4 weeks. A 30-day length of treatment would ensure whatever eggs left in the dog’s system would hatch and the worm in turn, killed off. For other intestinal worms, this length of treatment may not be required.
The general dosage rule for food grade DE is up to 1 tablespoon per day for large dogs over 50 pounds. For those under 50 pounds, up to 1 teaspoon per day was suggested.
If your dog is a hearty eater and you can regulate exactly what they eat, dosing is fairly easy. Just sprinkle the powder over their food. In the case of multiple dogs with communal feeding, it may be best to incorporate the Diatomaceous Earth into a treat.
DIATOMACEOUS DOGGIE DELIGHTS
When developing this recipe I had to keep in mind our foster German Shepherd with food issues. It could contain no wheat and no chicken; those were the two ingredients we knew he’d have issues with. This recipe essentially uses Diatomaceous Earth in place of wheat flour.
- 1 Cup Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth
- 1 Cup Rolled Oats
- 1/4 Cup Peanut Butter Powder
- 1-2 Tablespoons Molasses
- 1 Tablespoon Beef Base Powder
- 2 Eggs
- Water to dampen ingredients into a dough
Combine all ingredients, use just enough water to form the mixture into a thick cookie-style dough. I separated each cookie into a generous 1 tablespoon ball and flattened with the bottom of a glass so the cookies would bake and dry evenly. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, reduce heat to 200 degrees for another 20 minutes. Shut the oven off and allow the cookies to cool in the oven. This will ensure they are super dry and crunchy. Makes approximately 2 dozen cookies. Give 1 cookie per day per animal over 50 pounds, 1/2 cookie per day for those under 50 pounds.
OTHER DIATOMACEOUS EARTH USES
Since living on the farm I have been utilizing food grade Diatomaceous Earth for many things. In the chicken coop I add it into my dust bath recipe FOUND HERE. It’s a natural way to keep mites at bay and to lighten up soil for bathing. If you don’t offer a dust bath, simply keep it on hand to sprinkle in nesting boxes or directly onto a bird.
For dogs and cats it can be used as an effective flea and tick powder. Although, I’ve found that Neem Oil is far more effective and doesn’t create a dusty mess. Read more on Neem Oil HERE.
I have even used Diatomaceous Earth in wine making! In the form of Bentonite, DE plays a huge part as a fining agent.
In the garden, DE works to eradicate any number of pests. Sprinkled on the ground it can help control slugs. On leaves, it can help reduce aphid numbers. Just note, anything you use in the garden can also have an effect on the good bugs and amphibious critters!
No matter what you choose to use Diatomaceous Earth for, seek out a food grade product. This makes it multi-functional in the fact that it will be safe to consume. I buy my DE on Amazon to get the best price for a 100% natural product. CLICK HERE to find the Root Naturally product I recommend.