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. 

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.

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

Grooming Questions & Answers

Question
Mattie
West Highland White Terrier
24 Months
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Question
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Mattie
West Highland White Terrier
24 Months

Mattie has been tested for allergies and takes a weekly shot. However when she goes to the groomer a few hours after she some home she breaks out in spots mainly the back area and a little piece down each side. Especially when the groomer uses the electric clippers on her back I asked her not to do that it helped but her skin apparently doesn't itch no scratching or chewing the feet. just red and I mean red. after grooming. we use hypoallergenic shampoo from the vet and it seems to be okay as long as she doesn't use the clippers. do you think the Epsom salt bath would help if we did it at home. I can groom her face and head no problem and I am wondering if grooming should be on the back burner for a while. any suggestions gratefully accepted Jimie Carole Bowen

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
0 Dog owners recommended

Thank you for the question. I would use the Epsom Salt bath on Mattie; it could be quite effective in calming down her skin. Make sure that Mattie does not drink any of the water from the bath. Here is a good article on Epsom Salts https://rehabvet.com/facilities/benefits-salt-water/. I would put the grooming on the back burner, yes. It will give the skin a chance to heal. Since you can trim her at home easily, I would do that. Brush her gently and often to keep the tangles out and I bet she will have a cute new look. I would ask around for referrals to groomers who can do quick scissor cuts to ease the irritation of Mattie's skin since it seems that your groomer won't give up the clippers. I agree with your concern - a comfortable pup is better than one with sore, irritated skin. She'll look adorable no matter what!

My White schnauzer is very sensitive. I advised my groomer no shaving under belly or around anal area just scissors. My dog will break out and sometimes would need antibiotics and rub belly on rug,so much better scissor cut

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Question
Jelly
Pit bull mix
5 Years
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Question
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Jelly
Pit bull mix
5 Years

How do you "soak" a taller dog? Mine is about 2ft at the shoulders. I don't think I could get her to lay down in the tub either.

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
0 Dog owners recommended

Hi there, you are right - soaking a taller dog is not easy. If Jelly is comfortable in the bath, you could continue to fill the tub while she is in it. But even then, filling it only halfway is probably best. Then, you would have to continually pour the water over her until the fur is soaked. Be sure to rinse and dry Jelly well once you are finished. Alternatively, if it is warm enough where you live, you can fill a child's pool and have it outside. She may lay down in that. Make sure she does not drink the water. Is she having skin issues? I would call the vet to rule out parasites or infection if the skin problem goes on longer than a few days. Good luck!

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Question
Ayasha
Labrador Retriever
5 Years
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Question
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Ayasha
Labrador Retriever
5 Years

I noticed my dog licking his feet and shortly after I noticed a smell coming from his feet. Do you know what can it be? What can I give him?

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
0 Dog owners recommended

Hello, it is possible that Ayasha has a yeast infection of some type but this question is best addressed to a vet. We have the option to pose a question to a vet here: https://wagwalking.com/wag-health. You can also call your own vet who will be able to take a look and diagnose for you. All the best to Ayasha!

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Question
Macy
pit/boxer mix
7 Years
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Question
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Macy
pit/boxer mix
7 Years

Well my dog Macy has had a really red rash inside both of her back legs and stops just a little short of her belly. We noticed these red, rashly sort of spots while we all were on vacation. When we got back home they seemed to be clearing up.. then they would flare back up again. Everytime I catch her licking them I stop her because she makes it worse. Now the spots are bright red and they have to hurt. I've threatened to get a cone to put on her when we aren't there to stop her from licking the infected area. My old roommate(who was her previous owner) told me she gets rashes like these every year because of the grass but, the house we live at has concrete and asphalt. I take her 3 times a day the the park around the corner so she can go to the restroom. I'm going to try a Epson Salt bath/soak today to see if it helps some. Honestly, should I just take her to the vet? I'm becoming concerned about it. It is now working on 2 months of her having this rash. I'm kinda feeling horrible about not taking time off work and taking her to a professional for relief. I love her so much and just want her to enjoy her life with us instead of being in discomfort or being itchy.. could it be a nerve problem? HELP ME PLEASE!!

Hi Macy.
My Meagan 21 month old bulldog was having the red rash and bumps. They decided we had to change her food. After the 4 tries of different kibbles the vet said Meagan can’t digest protein. We had to go on Royal Canin HP kibble. No more bully sticks and treats. The only treats she can have is Science diet HP treats from the vet or Chewy. You can’t buy these in a pet store. She’s also on allergy pills. 2 pills every 12 hours.
It’s seems to help. Poor girls eyes are red and sneezing today. Have no idea what’s going on today. Good luck.

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Question
Mia
Yorkshire Terrier
8 Years
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Mia
Yorkshire Terrier
8 Years

Mia has lost a patch of hair on her side from scratching. It is NOT red and the skin is not broken. How should this be treated?

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
0 Dog owners recommended

Thank you for the question. I think it's important to find out why the hair loss occurred. Sometimes reasons like allergies, a reaction to a grooming product, or microscopic mites can cause a dog to scratch, even though it looks as though there is no reason. A trip to the vet is my recommendation if Mia continues to scratch or loses more hair. In the meantime, you can try an oatmeal bath as described here. https://wagwalking.com/grooming/bathe-a-dog-with-oatmeal All the best to you and Mia!

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Question
Mick
shitzhu/maltese mix
11 Years
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Question
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Mick
shitzhu/maltese mix
11 Years

Fall and spring extreme skin itching to point of raw skin. 1/2 benedryl helps him to sleep at night. Gave epsom salts warm bath. Anything else I can do to help him?

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Question
Wolf
Poodle
9 Years
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Question
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Wolf
Poodle
9 Years

What is the safest, most effective way to clean miniature poodle ears?

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