How to Give a Dog an Epsom Salt Bathby Chris Miksen
"This seems like a big ploy to give me an actual bath."
Epsom salt baths can help reduce inflammation and keep cuts and scrapes clean, lessening the chance of infection. If your pup is the kind of canine who hates baths, you can tell him some good news: an Epsom salt bath isn't a true bath. But then you have to deliver the bad news: he has to stand in water for about 10 minutes.
Fill your bathtub with enough warm water to submerge your pup's affected paw or leg. Make sure the water is fairly warm, but not so hot your little guy will be uncomfortable. If he's not a fan of baths, you can always fill a plastic container or something similar with water, just as long as he can step into it with the problematic paw or leg. He'll have to stand in there for a little while, so make sure he's comfortable.
Add 1 cup of Epsom salt per gallon of water. Mix the salt around in the water so that it dissolves. Don't worry about being exact with your measurements. You won't hurt your pup if you add a bit too much or are just under a cup.
Persuade your pup to step into the water. If you're filling up a bathtub, call him in after you have the water turned off, especially if he's weary of running water. If he's not having any of this bath stuff and refuses to step in, gently lift his paw or leg and set it into the water, or lift him into the tub.
Let his paw or leg soak in the water for about 10 minutes. You can massage the affected area if you want, just to keep him calm and feeling comfortable.
Lift his paw out of the water. Rinse his paw and leg with lots of fresh water so all the salt comes off. Pat dry the area and let him run off and do those extremely important canine tasks. Drain or dump the water, and repeat the entire process once more later in the day. Continue the salt soaks twice-daily until his injury is all healed up.
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- Plastic container or tub (optional)
- Be patient and gentle when handling your pup's affected paw or leg. The area is likely tender, so he won't like you touching it. If he resists, place your hand behind his elbow and slowly slide it down, lifting up as you get to his paw.
- Although Epsom salt soaks help relieve swelling and can reduce the chance of your pup getting an infection, always have a talk with your vet if your pup ever injures himself. The injury may require medical attention.