Healthy Puppy Treats: Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous Earth

Have you ever heard about Diatomaceous Earth? No? Well, we hadn’t either!

A neighbour of ours was having an ant problem and a friend mentioned some bizarre word (who says Diatomaceous Earth!?!) and said it could help. Apparently it’s a powder the ants don’t like it and will go away. Nice. Ooh-kay…

Moving along we totally forgot about it until it came up again a few months later. (What is with that word! :-?)
Wait, so WHAT is that stuff? “Dia-Toma-What?” 

There began our research into this incredible, overall fairly unheard of, product. We’re discussing the uses of the food grade product here, however we did actually end up using it to get rid of ants in the summer as well! Who knew! 😀 

What is Diatomaceous earth (DE)?

Diatomaceous earth is the fossilized remains of a tiny marine organism called a diatome. (That is to say, it’s OLD!) They are collected from river beds, purified and ground into a fine powder. There are 2 kinds of DE: food grade and non food grade.

It’s important for all ingestion for people and pets to ONLY use the food grade product.

Where can I find Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth? 

Because we were looking to give this product to our pets, as well as take it ourselves, we had to find only the best of the best. Having done loads of research and checking into companies, we have found that is the best company to buy from.

From their About Us section on their website: “We are Diatomaceous Earth Canada, providing Canadians with the best quality Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth available in North America. We pride ourselves on our remarkably pure DE along with compostable/biodegradable packaging materials. An amazing natural product with plastic free packaging, perfect for both people and the environment. We’re an online based business with a warehouse in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Ontario and most of our products is shipped by our distribution partners throughout Canada.” 
This kind of company is one we can certainly stand behind!
And for those who are Amazon Prime members, you can find their company there as well, offering free shipping to save a few $$$. 

Diatomaceous Earth and Pets

For us, it became about the dogs. Our four-legged family members could benefit IMMENSELY from this ‘super old dirt’! 

Among a huge list of things, FOOD GRADE Diatomaceous Earth is helpful for internal/external use against parasites/worms, colon cleansing, improved immunity, removes heavy metals and toxins, improved coat, appetite, metabolism and digestion.
As well as offering protection from fleas, mites, lice, ticks; anything with an exoskeleton. It can be used externally by powdering the coat to prevent or eliminate fleas etc. 

Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth is a non-toxic and effective natural solution. It can also neutralize pet odors, as well as other less than fresh odors around the house. Safe for pet beds, carpets etc.  Simply place the toys in a bag with some of the powder, close the bag and give it a good shake! Keep away from inhalation, and definitely do this outside! Once the dust if off, they smell like, well, nothing! Well, that WAS truly the point! For carpets and dogs beds, apply the powder and then vacuum back off. Like new (ish)!

Diatomaceous Earth contains minerals such as magnesium, silicon, calcium, sodium, iron, potassium, copper, zinc, phosphorus and selenium. Better sleep, improved energy, healthy skin, hair and nails are seen as well. Fantastic! 
But this list is not exhaustive of all the benefits of Diatomaceous Earth! We’re only talking basically pets for the most part. It’s definitely incredible stuff with loads of applications.

How do I feed DE?

Puppies: add ½ tsp of food grade DE to 1-2 oz. of water in a small dish BEFORE breakfast. Make sure your puppy drinks it all. Then you can give their regular water and food bowl.
Use up to 30 consecutive days, then take a break for a month, then continue as desired in 30 day cycles. Parasite cycles are generally around 30 days so the whole cycle is cleared with this method.
Adult dogs: add 1tsp to water and mix. Use same time amount as puppies.
For people it is recommended to take it in the morning on an empty stomach. Start with 1 tsp. to a glass of water for the first week. Then 1 Tbsp once a day for 6 months. Then take a month off. You can then continue for another 6 months etc for life.
Please note: If you choose to serve the Diatomaceous Earth to your dog in a dog treat, DO NOT also add to water! Only 1 serving per day, EITHER in the water or by treat (posted below).

How Else Can I feed Diatomaceous Earth to my dog?

Good question, and that’s actually why I started writing this in the first place!!

I’ve been experimenting with baking food grade Diatomaceous Earth into a healthy treat for our dogs and have come up with one that looks good, smells fantastic, it holds up well in cookie form and best of all, the dogs LOVE it! They kinda go nuts for it! I wanted not only the goodness and benefits from the Diatomaceous Earth but also other nutritious foods that are great for the dogs! 

Now for the fun part! Making wholesome, delicious and SUPER nutritious dog treats!

Homemade Pumpkin/Diatomaceous Earth Dog Treats: by Curious Puppies

This recipe makes approximately 48 treats.
Each contain 1 tsp of Diatomaceous Earth, which is 1 daily serving for a dog over 6 months old.
**Break in half for puppies under 6 months old.**

1 cup pure pumpkin puree
8 Tbsp molasses
8 Tbsp water
4 Tbsp avocado (or other non-seed) oil

2 cups whole wheat or unbleached flour
1 cup Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
2-3 tsp cinnamon (my dogs always prefer that little extra)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix all of the wet ingredients listed together and when incorporated, add in the dry ingredients and stir until consistent dough forms.
Once the dough has reached a nice consistency to scoop, use a cookie scoop or tablespoon to measure out approximately 48 balls. No need for perfection as they are going to be enjoyed ravenously by your dogs and not critiqued for their beauty. Having said that, many of you love to bake into shapes such as a dog bone or other visually attractive shape. Go for it! However it works for you and your dog to enjoy is free to do.

Once you have your balls or shapes laid out onto a baking sheet, you can flatten with a fork, the back of the spoon/scoop or your hand. However you choose, it’s just fun! Put some love into your cookies; your little fur balls will enjoy even more! 

Finished product, cooling before our doggo devours!

When it comes to baking, you simply add your tray and cook to desired firmness. For harder treats, bake around 25 minutes. For softer more chewy treats (always a fave in our house) bake for closer to 10-12 minutes. Please note ovens do vary so I always tend to check in on them sooner than later. Due to some rising during baking, I tend to take them out around halfway and give another little squish so they cook through more uniformly. They’re good either way! Once done baking they just need to cool before feeding. These can be store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 months, or our preference is to keep them in the freezer, up to 8 months. We usually take out a few at a time to keep in the cupboard at room temperature. Just keep an eye they don’t “grow” in the warmer months!