The interplay of animal life and earth can be fascinating. Wild animals’ tendencies to consume raw earth has been well documented, with them often going to phenomenal measures to gain access to clay-rich rocks and soils. It was once thought that only a few animals would consume these soils on occasion to supplement mineral deficiencies during times of famine. It has now been observed that many varieties of species have evolved to ingest clay to counteract environmental and man-made toxins or to aid in healing sickness. In fact, for many, their very survival depends upon having access to this natural resource.
Today, we understand that certain clays have strong negative ionic absorptive and adsorptive properties, which when taken internally can bind with an abundance of harmful, positively-charged substances and safely pass them out of the body. Animals, not having this scientific understanding, have instinctually been bred by nature to seek out clay when they have consumed an excess of unfriendly compounds. Working synergistically with plants, clay has made available entirely new staple foods containing both valuable nutrients and harmful bitter components which would previously have been unavailable as sustenance. In a similar manner to how early humans learned to cook their otherwise inedible food sources, many animals have learned how to use clay to turn the odds of survival in their favor. It is a wonderful example of simple animalistic use of natural tools.
While more prevalent among herbivores that consume higher levels of plant toxins, all types of animals have been observed consuming clay-based soils. Animals kept in captivity, which have grown to have a need for clay but are artificially kept apart from it by their unaware captors, often show obvious signs of degeneration in their health. Many people do not understand how these animals have intertwined their health maintenance with clay. Gorillas eat clay to combat diarrhea; rats will seek it out if they ingest pesticide; birds keep internal parasites under control with it; elephants dig down to subsurface clay with their tusks to attain their massive sodium, potassium, calcium, and manganese requirements. Even wolf and tiger droppings have been found with large clay deposits in them.
Knowing how important clay consumption is to all these animal species for a variety of reasons, it is worth considering including it in your own pet’s food or water supply. Man does not yet understand all of the instinctual reasons that animals go to such great lengths to seek out clay, but we do know how much healthier and happier they seem as a result. Most house pets will even choose food and water containing clay over plain food or water. Instinctually, they too know they benefit from it. Clay baths for your pets can also have good results on reversing external conditions and maintaining coat luster. Just as with human consumption, choose a high-mesh quality clay for your pets. And for external use, bath clay is perfectly appropriate.
Since clay is a known treatment for diarrhea in humans, it follows that it would work similarly for dogs. Dry powder drinking clay can be added to the dog’s food or mixed in with their water. It’s likely the dog will get more clay directly into their system by mixing it in their food. However, calcium bentonite clay requires hydration in order to activate, making it imperative that the dog drink a lot of water after ingesting dry clay.
The article Montmorillonite Clay for Diarrhea in Dogs contains a third method for giving the dog clay. See which one works for you and your dog.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.*