How to Give a Dog an Epsom Salt Bath

Easy
15 - 25 Minutes
1 Day

Introduction

Epsom salt baths are useful for many reasons. Epsom salt is healing and soothing. It relaxes tired, sore muscles as well as improves nerve functions. If your dog has dry, itchy skin, an Epsom salt bath can soothe and relieve tender skin. If your dog has been injured or is healing from surgery and can take wet baths, Epsom salt can assist with quicker healing and improve swelling. An Epsom salt bath can also gently soothe wounds. Your dog’s feet see so much of the world and are often the first thing to become injured. Sticks and stones cause harm to tender paw pads, while stepping on sharp objects can cause injury. An Epsom salt bath can relieve much of these injuries while soothing minor scratches and keeping your dog’s paws in great condition for daily walking and running. 

Dog's Perspective

Your dog may not enjoy baths altogether, or he may be tender and sore, causing apprehension about bathing. If this is the case, you may need to work up to a soaking Epsom salt bath over time. A quick Epsom salt treatment and a treat reward might help in these cases. 

The Small Injury Soaks Method

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Towel
Step
1
Prepare
If your dog is dealing with a small injury such as one paw or one area on his skin, you can Epsom salt treat or soak that area without submerging your entire dog in an Epsom salt bath. To do this, prepare your dog and the area you need soaked. If it needs to be brushed or shaved to reveal the injury, do this before you're ready for the soaking.
Step
2
Epsom salt soak
Prepare a bowl of warm water and Epsom salts. You will want to add about a cup of Epsom salt per gallon of water. If your bowl is smaller than a gallon, measure accordingly. The measurements do not have to be exact.
Step
3
Soak
Set the area on your dog you would like to have treated with an Epsom salt bath in a place you can soak in the bowl. If instance, if it is a paw, just place this area inside the bowl and let it soak for about 10 minutes. If this is not an area you can place inside a bowl or container, you will need to do an Epsom salt rinse.
Step
4
Epsom rinse
Place your dog somewhere where you can pour water over the injured or affected area and have it drip down either into a tub or bowl, or onto the ground outside. When you have the area isolated and your Epsom salt bath ready, just pour small amounts of your Epsom salt water over the affected area. You will want this area to be wet with the Epsom salt for several minutes to be effective.
Step
5
Clean rinse
Once you are done either soaking the affected area or Epsom rinsing the affected area, be sure to give your dog a nice clean rinse with clear running water. To do this, you can have a second bowl prepared with clean water and have your dog soak in that bowl for a few moments or have clean water ready to pour over your dog's Epsom soak area just to give it a nice clean rinse.
Step
6
Treatments
If you are treating an injury or affected skin such as dry patches or healing wounds, you will want to do an Epsom rinse or soak at least twice a day until the injury has fully healed.
Step
7
Reward
Be sure to reward your dog for a job well done, patience, and tolerance at the end of every Epsom salt soak or rinse
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The Epsom Dip Method

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Towel
Step
1
Fill tub
Fill the tub you use to give your dog a bath with warm water. You'll want enough water to submerge the area of your dog you want to soak in the Epsom salt bath. If you have an older arthritic dog or a dog with sore shoulder muscles this may be a higher bath. If you just need to soak your dog's paws you only need a few inches of water.
Step
2
Add epsom salt
Add about 1 cup of Epsom salt per gallon of water. Use your hands or a large wooden spoon to stir the salt around so it dissolves.
Step
3
Add dog
Put your dog in the Epsom salt bath and let him soak. If he needs persuasion to stay still and stand in the water for the soak, feel free to talk to him pet him, love on him, and provide him with lots of treats if necessary.
Step
4
Soak
Let your dog soak in the Epsom bath for at least 10 minutes. If he has sore muscles, you can dip your hands in the water and gently pour water over his muscles while massaging him. If he has injuries such as paw injuries, let him stand there and just soak.
Step
5
Rinse
Once your dog is done with his Epsom salt bath, you'll want to rinse him with fresh water. This will get all the salt off of his fur and skin. There is no need to actually wash your dog during an Epsom salt bath. This is therapeutic soaking, not bathing for cleaning.
Step
6
Dry and brush
Take your dog out of the Epsom salt bath and dry him with a towel. If he's dealing with an injury, simply pat dry that area. Try not to rub the skin, as you may cause irritation or pain. If you can brush him out to avoid tangles, do so after he's towel-dried. Also while brushing, avoid any injuries with the brush.
Step
7
Repeat
If your dog has injuries or dry skin you may need to repeat this Epsom salt bath about twice a day until his skin or injury is healed.
Step
8
Treats
Always end your Epsom salt bath with a nice treat for your dog. This will reward him for a job well done and for being patient while standing in water for about 10 minutes with nothing else but you for entertainment.
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Caution & Considerations

  • If your pup is injured, be sure you are careful and cautious of any sore injuries before moving him around in the bath.
  • Try to keep your dog from drinking the Epsom salt bath water. Epsom salt can cause tummy issues as it has a natural laxative effect. Your dog’s bath water should be diluted enough as not to have such an effect.
  • You can soak your entire dog in an Epsom salt bath or dip affected areas only.
  • If your dog can handle it, increase the time he spends in the Epsom salt by a bit each time you give him an Epsom salt bath.
  • Epsom salt is great for soaking or for spot treatments. You can give one injured paw an Epsom salt soak with a bowl of water without the hassle of a full bath.
  • Massaging your dog’s skin or healing injury with the Epsom salt bath could help with healing and tender or sore muscles.
  •  Use Epsom salt externally only.
  • Epsom salt baths should be used according to skin conditions or injury. Your dog does not need an Epsom salt bath each time he bathes.
  • Epsom salt creates soft soothing water which can help soften and soothe your dog’s dry skin as well as his coat.

Conclusion

If your pup had been injured or is dealing with achy muscles after a long day of play, an Epsom salt bath is perfect for unwinding and pampering. An injured paw or wound elsewhere can be soothed and moisturized with an Epsom soak. Get out of the doghouse and care for your pup the way you’d care for yourself with Epsom salt.

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