Clay is not widely used in anglophone countries whilst in Francophone ones, nearly every household will have a packet in its cupboard. Clay is part of any good horse stud, agistment properties and equine rehabilitation places and is readily available in saddleries or produce stores in various forms.
Green clay can be used internally and externally with animals and humans.
I would not advise in forcing animals to eat green clay but instead to leave a container with water and few spoons of clay in it. They will drink the water if they feel the need to ingest the clay.
Ingestion of green clay is said to help many affections in humans and pets. See Feeding Clay to Animals for more information. I have personally given clay to my dogs and horses as described above and they drank the water (also called clay milk) as they needed it. If you decide to give clay to your pet, it should be done for 3 weeks, then 1 week off, repeated as needed.
Externally, clay can be used for ulcers and skin infections, burns, cuts, wounds, acne, blood circulation, inflammation, bruises, contusions, rashes, tendons injuries, arthritis, abscesses, muscular aches and pains etc.
It is said that clay helps cells regenerate, enhancing healing and tissue formation, leaving the new skin supple and healthy. It is also said that it seems to “draw the pain out” providing great relief.
There are many French horse sites that promote its uses and here are some (they are in French though)
- L’hydratation des sabots (Hydration of the hooves). This site recommends clay ointments to hydrate dried hooves
- La Fourbure – Jerome Beaumann, Marechal Ferrant (Founder, Jerome Beaumann, Farrier) recommends clay poultices as well as homeopathy
- Cheval Avenir – Sauvetage de Providence (Future Horse – Rescue of Providence) This is the site of a rescue organisation. This thread tells the story of Providence, a mare rescued from abuse and neglect who was destined to be slaughtered. This particular section of the thread shows pictures of Providence getting special treatments for her badly damaged legs using clay. The rescue was successful and Providence has now a peaceful and joyful life at the centre.
- Haras Picard du Sant (Picard du Sant Stud) This stud uses clay as a worming agent
In external application, clay should be made into a paste, or mud, using water or oil like coconut or olive oil. Adding essential oils to it, depending on the requirements, may enhance its healing action. It is possible to use clay dry, like a talc.
It is ok if your pet licks it and this is why you must only used ingredients that are safe for your dog or horse, or cat. For example, if you are making a clay paste with essential oils that, once applied, can be licked by your dog, you must only use essential oils that can be ingested by your pooch.
Clay is easy to use with pets and is entirely natural.