Tapeworms making your dog grumpy? Looking for home remedies to cure your dog of worms? Here is a great solution – diatomaceous earth! Read on to find out how food grade diatomaceous earth helps to eliminate worms and parasites from your dog and bring back its playful side!
Humans become habituated to things very quickly and easily. But if there is something that we become almost instantly attached to, I think it is a new pet! Dogs are very aptly called ‘a man’s best friend’ and have been one of the oldest animals to be trained by humans. A dog in the house is a bundle of joy – and watching your puppy grow up is one of the most beautiful things! But imagine your dog just going all low and grumpy one fine day and refusing to play with you… sad, isn’t it? One of the times when dogs become less playful and more irritable and nervous is when they are infected with tapeworms. But there is good news for those seeking a home remedy to cure their dog of tapeworms – diatomaceous earth!
What is Diatomaceous Earth?
Diatomaceous earth – also known as kieselgur or simply diatomite – comes from diatoms. Diatoms are a kind of algae that form a major chunk of the phytoplankton (the autotrophic component of plankton). The most peculiar feature of diatoms is, their cell-walls are made up of silica. Diatoms are as old as the dinosaurs – they have been in existence since the Jurassic period.
Diatoms are found in fresh as well as saline water, and so is diatomaceous earth. When diatoms die, they sink down and settle on the sea-floor. These diatom fossils are what make up diatomite. Diatomite is thus mainly a siliceous sediment found at the bottom of the sea. This earth has some interesting properties that have been explored and exploited in various fields for the benefit of mankind. It is mined from the sea-floor and processed to make it edible – this is called food-grade diatomaceous earth. This earth has been used in cosmetics and toothpastes. It has also been used to protect stored food-grains from bugs. One of the applications is for pest-control.
Diatomaceous Earth to Treat Tapeworms in Dogs
One of the best home remedies for tapeworms in dogs is to use diatomaceous earth. It works in two main ways, explained below.
This product is highly porous. Due to this, when it comes in contact with tapeworms in your dog’s body, it acts as a physico-sorptive agent and dehydrates the worm. The worm hence is killed due to excessive loss of water.
Diatomaceous earth has razor-sharp particles! Due to this, there have also been instances of using this substance for fleas! When it comes in contact with fleas – the tiny little pests that carry tapeworms and transmit them to your pet dog – it gets stuck in the joints in the exoskeleton of the pest. As the pest moves, these diatomite particles rub against the susceptible body of the pest beneath the exoskeleton and cut through it, killing the pest. In short, it acts as an abrasive. The physico-sorptive properties of the powder also help to drain the lipids from the waxy coating on the exoskeleton causing further harm to the fleas.
Safe and Easy To Use!
Diatomaceous earth is easy to feed to your dog and hence makes the best home remedy. It is available in powder as well as capsule form. All you have to do is mix the powder with the dog-food and let your dog eat its way out of the infection. Puppies can be given a daily dose of ½ or 1 teaspoon. Adult dogs can be given a daily dose of 1 to 2 tablespoons, depending on how big your dog is. Diatomite is safe, because it is not a chemical! It is a natural product and hence does not cause any side-effects. The only real care you should take while giving your dog diatomite is to NOT inhale the powder. Inhaling diatomite can cause mild breathing problems in some individuals. But apart from that, you’re good to go! You can examine your dog daily to check if there are any dead tapeworms in the fur or stools passed – dead tapeworms means diatomite is working! If you still see ‘tiny rice grains’ moving about in the stools or in the hair around the dog’s rectum, you may increase the daily dose till you see a fall in the number of live tapeworms.
Here is an additional tip – you can sprinkle some food-grade diatomaceous earth on your dog-mat or the carpet as well. It will help keep the fleas in check. No fleas means no vehicles for the tapeworms to be transmitted to your dog!
They say having a dog is as good as having a child – it needs a lot of attention, care and love! But just as a small child may not be able to tell what is wrong with it, dogs too become helpless when they get sick. Keeping your pet clean is of utmost importance with respect to health of the pet and the family as well; for only a healthy body can host a happy mind!