Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous Earth (DE), or Diatomite is a naturally occurring siliceous sedimentary rock, made of fossillized hard-shell algae (called diatoms). Aside from its many industrial uses, including water filtration, cleaning up oils peels, etc.), DE was used for decades for all kinds of farm animals and pets. There is no research saying it is safe or rabbits or for any animals, but the long use and positive results are enough for many to use it with confidence. For example, Surrey SPCA recommends use of DE for pets, and all the vets I asked said they use it.

There is an online article by a vet,  saing that DE is made of miniature sharp particles that can harm the  delicate insides of rabbits. I know some pet rescuers who are afraid DE will dehydrate the bunny if you put it on its skin to kill fur mites. However, there is overwhelming info and testimonies explaining that such sharp shreds are so tiny that they only bother insects (scratching their waxy cover and thus making them lose hydration through those scratches and as a result they die). However, the size of such sharp particles is so small, it will not harm an animal or humans. If it was, then many would use it to kill  mice and rats. Instead, after decades of observing how DE keeps their animals healthy and parasite free (detoxes, removes heavy metals and toxines, kills worms, mites, lice, fleas, and their larvae and eggs), farmers have smartened up and started using it themselves, and even giving it to their children. There are many explanations of how DE works, but here is my own conclusion: Imagine your body is like a neighbourhood with many streets (organs) and houses (cells). DE is like a garbage truck company that goes all around the neighbourhood with its tiny barrels, picking up the garbage and taking it out. DE is not metabolized in the body, it goes out  untouched, but filled with our internal filthy stuff. When you use a type of DE that comes with naturally occuring minerals (e.g. from clay), some of those are used by the body as necessary .People online say they do not have to do specific organ cleanses (like colon cleanse, liver cleanse, etc.) as DE does it all over time.

WARNING: not all DE is safe for internal use or any kind of animal use. Never use the kind of DE made for pools and water filtering. That DE is calcinated at very high temperature with other strong chemicals, and is not for animal or human consumption, it will actually harm. Never use for animals types of DE made for any other industrial use. The only DE you and your pets can use internally is FOOD GRADE - with less than 1% crystalline silica.

There are many kinds of food grade DE, at many prices. The more pure form is a white powder, and is sold on the internet at quite high prices. Then there is the Red Lake Earth, which is a gray powder, having a percentage of clay mixed with the DE. They say the difference is like eating whole grain bread rather than white bread. The RLE kind of DE comes with numerous natural minerals we need in our body (and animals' body) for healthy metabolism, etc.  They have a few products, some for keeping the bedding dry longer, and to monitor smell. For internal use you have to buy the powder used as an anticaking agent in animal feed. This kind of gray DE is prepared and distributed by Absorbent Products in Kamloops BC, and you can find it at most feed stores around Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley. Here is some info from the RLE site:

  • Red Lake Diatomaceous Earth is a unique, naturally occurring deposit which typically contains 67% Diatomaceous Earth (skeletal remains of algae) and 33% Montmorillonite (calcium bentonite). Our Diatomaceous Earth products meet both food and feed grade Specifications. Approved for use as an anti-caking agent or as an inert carrier in all types of feed in amounts not to exceed 2%  of total diet.

Is DE safe for rabbits? I can not show you any scientific research saying that, but you will find tones of anectodat proof and testimonies online. Most vets believe in it, others don't. It is your own decision, do your research, and make a decision for yourself and your rabbits.

I have used it for my rabbits almost a year now, and I had great results in killing mites, and keepinf them healthy. I am also using it myself, on and off. Whenever I use it I feel higher energy, I sleep better, and I accomplish more in one day despite having fibromyalgia.

If you think of using DE for yourself, remeber to start small, as it is very detoxing, and you can get severe headaches or other fast detox symptoms from the poisons DE is trying to remove from your body, if you do not eliminate it fast enough after being released. So start small, half a teaspoon in your juice or a cup of water (has a muddy look and taste if alone), first thing in the morning. After you detox slowly for a few days you can increase the dose. I have gone as far as using a teaspoon mornings and evenings, but I saw testimonies on the internet from people using two teaspoons.

If you are thinking of using DE for your pet, internally, also remember to start small. I have seen high doses used by other people for their pets, but I thought it would be too much. I started by sprinkling a pinch of DE on the regular pet food, and I increased to a low dose over time. I am not saying how much, you will have to make up your mind depending on your pet's size (weight). And remember to provide plenty of water for your pets when using DE, just like any detoxing agent needs water to carry and eliminate toxins and heavy metals. If you are afraid of dehidration, you can start by putting DE in your pets' water. Pets often know what they need. When I provide two bowls with water (side by side, one with DE and one without), there are times when the muddy water (with DE) is used more, and other times the clear water (no DE) is used more. I trust that animals mostly know what they need for the day.


  1. Hi. We have just started using diatomaceous earth on our rabbit and hamster who are both infested with mites. Our homeopathic vet recommended that we use a jay cloth and gently pat it on them every day...I am wondering if you know how long it will take to get rid of the infestation. It seems to be caking up on their skin at the moment. We are only on day three of the treatment. We are also treating their bedding.

  2. Can you be more specific on how to dose for a 5lb rabbit? Can I put it in her water bottle?