Pet food recalls due to elevated aflatoxin levels have increased recently, causing great concern to pet parents.  The concern is warranted. A 2012 study at the Koret School of Veterinary Medicine reported a mortality rate of 68% of dogs who ingested tainted commercial dog food.  Contamination has all but wiped out some fish farms.  We are only alerted to regulation toxic levels of aflatoxin of course – low levels are legal and go unreported.  Unfortunately, even low levels of aflatoxin (a mycotoxin) may cause disease and otherwise effect the performance levels and growth of animals.

Natural Pet Protection from Aflatoxin (and other Toxins) with Montmorillonite Clay

As we try to protect our pets from harm, the feeling of helplessness from a lack of control of pet food contamination is unnerving and stressful.  There are natural, scientifically proven ways to protect our pets from toxins, however, and one of the most effective is Calcium Montmorillonite Clay.  In fact, clays are instinctively sought out in the animal kingdom by many species to self-medicate, detoxify, and improve digestion.

In 2007, animal scientists at Texas A&M University demonstrated the effectiveness of Calcium Montmorillonite Clay (a type of smectite/bentonite) as an effective aflatoxin binder in animal feeds.  Further study was conducted to encourage direct use by grain feed producers.  This resulted in the OTSC developing a policy statement on the use of smectite clay binders to sequester aflatoxin in grains for animal feeds marketed in Texas.

In spite of scientists’ attempts to make the public and industry aware of the mycotoxin-binding effects of some smectite clays, it continues to be underutilized for this purpose.  The health benefits of ingesting Calcium Montmorillonite Clay are becoming somewhat better known, as its inclusion in a few pet food brands demonstrates.  It is sensitive to processing so the benefits remaining in the end product are consequently reduced to some degree, but the minerals are very stable.

For the full effect, high quality Calcium Montmorillonite Clay can be administered as a supplement to bind and reduce adsorption of aflatoxin and other mycotoxins.  The binding effects extend to other toxins as well, including radiation, chemicals and bacteria.  When a toxin is bound, it is sequestered and passed as waste without harming the animal.  Calcium Montmorillonite Clay also offers more than 60 naturally balanced macro, micro and trace colloidal mineral elements in a highly bio-available form.


Calcium Montmorillonite smectite bentonite clay in water for pets

Caution:  All Calcium Montmorillonite Clay is not created equal. Lower grades can include dangerous levels of impurities and pet/pond or cosmetic grades are not regulated to human-edible standards. Make sure you purchase from a reputable supplier who provides information such as the product certification number.

Calcium Montmorillonite Clay can be stirred into water (it is relatively neutral in taste). If your pet won’t drink it, try mixing it into a little bit of their favorite wet food in the morning. Wait two hours, then give them their normal breakfast and feed normally for the remainder of the day.

Birds: Calcium Montmorillonite Clay can be mixed with water or grit, providing crucial minerals as well as Silicate. Several species of herbivorous birds were actually observed flocking to the site of a mudslide so they could enjoy easy access to the clay-rich soil [Diamond, Jared 1998].

Internal dosage

As always, we strongly recommend consulting with your Veterinarian (traditional, holistic or naturopath) before making any changes in your pet’s diet.

1/4 tsp (give or take, based on the size of the animal) is most commonly prescribed (humans usually take about a teaspoon with 6-8oz of water).  I fill a spice bottle and just add a dash to my cat’s food.  Since Calcium Montmorillonite Clay impacts digestion, it is recommended that it be introduced in small amounts. Increase the amount until you reach the dose you have decided upon. If your pet experiences digestive issues, simply cut back on the amount and work your way up.

Note:  If your pet is taking medication, give it to him more than two hours before or after feeding the clay.

The only reported side-effect from the ingestion of Calcium Montmorillonite Clay is the possibility of constipation with insufficient water intake (as may be the case with dry pet food), or if too much is used.  If your pet has a buildup of toxins, ingestion may temporarily result in loose stools as his system expels them.

Office of the Texas State Chemist (OTSC)
J.B. Dixon.  Aflatoxin sequestration in animal feeds by quality-labeled smectite clays: An introductory plan. Texas A&M University. 2007.
V. E. Mendel. Montmorillonite Clay in Feedlot Rations. University of California.
J. H. Quisenberry.  The Use of Clay in Poultry Feed.  Department of Poultry Science, Texas A&M University. 1967.
“Healing clays” hold promise in fight against MRSA superbug infections and disease. Arizona State University School of Life Sciences.
Bruchim, Y.  Accidental fatal aflatoxicosis due to contaminated commercial diet in 50 dogs. Koret School of Veterinary Medicine. 2012.
Bonna, R.J. Efficacy of hydrated sodium calcium aluminosilicate and activated charcoal in reducing the toxicity of dietary aflatoxin to mink. 1991.

Desheng, Q. Adsorption of Aflatoxin B1 on montmorillonite. 2005.
Kannewischer, I. Smectite clays as adsorbents of aflatoxin B1: initial steps. 2006.
Motalebi, A. et al. Effect of Temperature on the Produced Aflatoxins in the Rainbow Trout Feed in West Azerbaijan Province. 2008.
Eaton, D.L. Groopman, J.D. The Toxicology of Aflatoxins: Human Health, Veterinary, and Agricultural SignificanceThe Toxicology of Aflatoxins: Human Health, Veterinary, and Agricultural Significance. 1994.
Robertson, R.H.S. Fuller’s Earth: a History of Calcium Montmorillonite. Ventura Press. 1986. (Available used through Alibris)
Sherwood, Patricia. The Healing Art of Clay TherapyThe Healing Art of Clay Therapy. Acer Press. 2004.
Knishinsky, Ran. The Clay Cure : Natural Healing from the EarthThe Clay Cure : Natural Healing from the Earth Healing Arts Press. 1998.
Engel, Cindy. Wild Health: Lessons in Natural Wellness from the Animal KingdomWild Health: Lessons in Natural Wellness from the Animal Kingdom. Houghton Mifflin. 2003.


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24 thoughts on “Natural Pet Protection from Aflatoxin (and other Toxins) with Montmorillonite Clay ©

  1. It’s so frustrating that we have to be so diligent when pet food companies don’t!! I’m glad we have some protection and your clay offers a lot of natural healing. I read The Clay Cure….so much in such a little book!! Highly recommended!!

  2. We’ve been using montmorillonite clay in our dog’s water dish for almost a year. Every time I turn around there’s another good reason to continue and now I have one more. I’ll be placing another order soon, thank you.

  3. Oh I just love discovering new natural treatments especially when they can be used for the entire family. Thanks for this great blog! I’m excited to read more about clay and to try it.

  4. It’s so inspiring to read your success stories and suggestions. The more I research and use calcium montmorillonite clay, the more convinced I am of it’s benefits.

    We carry very few products because we insist that they be unique, premium quality and of great value to the natural care of pets. Calcium montmorillonite clay certainly meets that criteria and we’re proud to tell you about its benefits.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment, I enjoy the feedback. 🙂

  5. Thanks to a commenter here I tried your clay on my dog’s hot spots. What a difference! She even has hair growing back already….thi s stuff is a godsend.

  6. I can’t get over how amazing calcium montmorillonite clay is but the real surprise is it’s not used more often. Ever since I first tried it I’ve found more uses for it and it works every time. Last winter my cat cut her leg on snow crust. I tried antibiotic ointment but it wasn’t getting much better until I used clay. It was healed in 3 days flat! Thanks for supplying this amazing natural cure plus info.

  7. I always find the best & unique information here. You’ve made calcium montmorillonite clay a staple in my house for everything from homemade treats to bee stings.

  8. I too have had it up to here with recalls!! Using natural protection is something I’m willing to try and I’m also making more and more of my own dog food.

  9. It sounds like wonderful stuff in many ways, I agree. I think it’s time for me to try clay!

  10. Feed raw and you won’t have to worry about it! My dogs east raw meat, vegetables and fruit and they’re in fantastic shape!

  11. More dog foods should contain montmorillonite clay so the protection is built right in.

  12. The montmorilonite clay has been in use in the Hanson household for a month now. Maybe it’s mind over matter but I think my arthritic dog is moving better. 🙂 Maybe it’s the warmer weather. Doesn’t matter because it has so many other benefits.

  13. I firmly believe that healing clay is something we were meant to eat and that includes my dogs! I hope we all live naturally to be 105!

  14. Montmorillonite clay is one of those natural miracles that has solid science to prove it. Not only studies but simple science of how the body works and how the clay works. Together they work the miracle. 🙂

  15. Another WOW from me! I read Wild Health and feel so enlightened about healing clay and so many other natural cures. I wish there was more information out there about it.

  16. I just read about calcium montmorillonite clay as a detoxifier for animals and I decided to research the web for more information. You’re right it can do all that and a lot more. I can’t wait to try it for my pets and for myself.

  17. Those aflatoxin and other pet food recalls scare me! Thank you for this calcium montmorillonite clay line of defense,,, my order came in last week and only took 3 days.

  18. Clay is absolutely the most effective, gentle and useful detox available and it’s the natural choice of many animals.

  19. I figure why not? Montmorillonite clay has a ton of minerals so even if it doesn’t bind toxins it’s a great supplement. Whatever it does, my dogs seem a lot more energetic and appears to help my Shepherd’s allergies.

  20. I’m scared to death of radiation so we started using calcium montmorillonite clay after the fukushima reactor blew. I’ll start giving it to my dog for aflatoxin now that I know.

  21. Calcium bentonite clay grabs and expels almost any toxin. I just found out about it grabbing bacteria too but it doesn’t surprise me. I bet they’ll find out it does more too!

  22. Wow! I absolutely will be trying calcium montmorillonite clay for Deeks (my dog) and myself! Thank you so much for posting about natural pet care and these new (old) treatments!! 🙂

  23. My dogs and I have been drinking montmorillonite clay for many years. We don’t know how many chemicals we are exposed to but clay gets rid of them all. It was the best health decision I’ve ever made.

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