My understanding of how diatomaceous earth (DE) works is that it's rubbed into the dog's coat. As fleas move through the coat, they come in contact with particles of DE, which pierces their carapaces, causing them to dehydrate and die.

Given that, can DE be used for flea control on shaved (e.g. the Poodle in a Continental clip or Portuguese Water Dog in a lion clip) or hairless (e.g. the Xoloitzcuintli [a.k.a. Mexican Hairless] or Chinese Crested) breeds? If so, how should it be used?

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Diatomaceous earth is capable of being fed to livestock to rid them off intestinal parasites. Feed-safe quality diatomaceous earth is safe to apply to bedding to rid it of bedbugs and still be slept in. It can be safely applied to pet fur to help deter parasites, but I would not recommend letting it accumulate as it may result in irritation. DE will keep their skin dryer than normal, and you should expect them to itch.

Since you are referring to hairless or (temporarily) short-haired dogs, it can be applied with the same sort of talc brush used by barbers, but be careful to avoid orifices and eyes. I recommend washing the dog after 48 hours of application.

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