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Epsom salt for dogs

Updated July 19, 2017

It is becoming more popular to treat our pets with home remedies in an effort to save on those expensive vet bills. Epsom salt is an effective and popular ingredient in a variety of home remedies that will often take care of the problem quickly and for just a fraction of the cost.

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Foot Baths

Epsom salt can be used for foot soaks on dogs that have toe or foot issues. An open sore on the foot pad, a scratch on the toe or an irritated or inflamed quick will all benefit from a nice soak in an Epsom salt bath.

Anal Sac Maintenance

Epsom salt can also be used for taking care of an anal sac that isn't expressing like it should. A direct compress of Epsom salt and water will help naturally ease those full anal sacs.

Itchy Skin

For those dogs with itchy skin, whether it is from allergies or insect bites, a soothing compress of Epsom salt, or if possible, a soak, does wonders.

How to Prepare the Soak/Compress

Dissolve 1/2 cup of Epsom salt into 1 gallon of very warm, almost hot water. Stir well until all the salt has dissolved. Hold your dog steady while submerging his affected paw in the foot bath, being careful not to spill the bowl. If necessary, have a helper so one can hold the dog and one can hold the paw and the bowl. For those areas that aren't able to be soaked, dunk a towel in the salt/water mixture, wring out, and apply directly to affected area in the form of a compress.

Length of Treatment

With both a soak and a compress, you want to aim for 10 minutes of treatment. Some dogs just won't allow for that, so a minimum of 5 minutes will also do. Soak or apply the compress between two to four times a day, and do this for seven days. Results will be noticeable within just a couple days, but keep up the treatment so your pooch gets the full benefit.


Do not allow your dog to drink any of the Epsom salt water as this could cause diarrhoea. If the problem or issue gets worse, stop treatment immediately, and contact your vet.

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About the Author

Deanna Koch has worked as an IT professional since 1995. She attended Drake University with a major in computer science. Koch started writing professionally in 2000 when she began writing application user manuals and guides. Her user manuals were distributed in the marketing department of Target Corporation, and her many how-to guides are available for download on Drake University's website as well as eHow.

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