Epsom salt for dogs

Just like hoomans, dogs also need a relaxing bath after a long, tiring day.

Be it from an afternoon jog or running errands in the backyard chasing birds, a nice bath after would sound great.

But wait, have you ever heard of bathing dogs in Epsom salt?

Mind you, it’s not even an actual salt! (We’ll get there in a bit.)

And there are a LOT of deets you need to know by now about this holistic dog care trend.

But before you scroll down, here’s a quick guide to help you navigate through the page:

dogs bathing in epsom salt benefits

Epsom Salt for Dogs: 5 Surprising Truth

The magnesium content found in Epsom salt is a beneficial mineral for your dog’s health.

Now, let’s break down the wonders of Epsom salt bath for your dogs as shown below:

1. Helps Improve Heart and Nerve Function

Magnesium supports mitochondrial function, normal cardiac rhythm, and provides other benefits.

A study confirms that this nutrient plays a vital role in producing cell energy in your dog’s body.

The mitochondria (cell organ) help turn the food your pups eat into energy and decide which cells are dead and should be destroyed.

But can dogs absorb magnesium on their skin?

A group of experts suggests that dogs definitely can.

They investigated further that since medication no longer needs to enter the stomach, “the magnesium goes directly into the bloodstream.”

With that in mind, sufficient levels of magnesium in your dog’s body contribute to the following areas:

  • Cell responses
  • Normal heart rhythm

Besides magnesium, dogs with myxomatous mitral valve disease (MMVD) need key nutrients that support normal heart function including the following:

2. Repairs Skin Conditions and Wounds

Magnesium functions as a cofactor for many enzymes involved in protein and collagen synthesis.

My Pet Nutritionist shares that to support faster wound healing in your dogs, magnesium is needed in their body.

This mineral helps reduce inflammation and assists in the production of collagen.

Not only that but magnesium is also known for its analgesic or pain-relieving benefits, too.

So, it helps to soak your pups in an Epsom salt bath if they have wounds or skin conditions.

3. Helps Maintain Body Temperature in Winter

This study finds that mammals like dogs appear to have lower levels of magnesium ions in winter than in summer.

This phenomenon is “likely to have been caused by the effects of climatic changes, such as low temperature and the atmospheric pressure fluctuation.

So, to help regulate your dog’s temperature in winter, you can have Epsom salt baths from time to time.

The magnesium component found in Epsom salts can help sustain “metabolic processes including enzymatic reactions” in your Fidos.

4. Soothes Arthritis in Dogs

Bathing them in warm Epsom salt water can help soothe their arthritis, a common long-lasting, inflammatory disease in dogs. 

This condition affects their joint health where the cartilage between the joints becomes less smooth and damaged.

Senior dogs are more vulnerable to arthritis.

We can only imagine the pain they’re feeling when the surface of their bone rubs together and your dog's joints stiffen and swell.

But thank goodness, a dose of magnesium can help relieve the pain by giving them a nice Epsom salt bath.

Important: Be sure to assist your senior pups to the bathtub to prevent accidents like slipping on a wet floor.

5. Relaxes Your Dog’s Body

This study stresses your dog’s need for magnesium, especially for “muscle contraction and relaxation.”

Experts, like this pet rehabilitation center in Singapore, also promote the wonders of hydrotherapy for dogs.

Epsom salts are used in our pool as they provide many health benefits.

—RehabVet Clinic

This trend is regarded as a holistic approach to dealing with certain canine health conditions, even fatigue.

Not just deep skin cleansing, but most importantly “improving body energy levels to accelerate the rate of natural body healing.”

bathing dogs in epsom salt

How to Bath Your Dogs With Epsom Salt

Just like a normal bath, prepare all the necessary things you need before cleaning your dog.

You can begin to brush your dog to detangle or remove loose hairs before beginning the soaking process.

Clean and trim the hair around the area if your dog has a skin issue or an injury, too.

Caution: Watch out for when your dog accidentally drinks the Epsom salt solution as it could cause stomach upsets.

You can then proceed to prepare your dog’s Epsom salt solution by following the steps below:

Step 1: Fill your tub with warm water and add a cup of Epson salts per gallon of water.

Tip: You can dab a little of the salt solution on your dog’s open wounds (if any) before immersing it in the water.

Step 2: Place your dog in the bathtub with the Epsom salt solution. Make sure the water is not too hot for your dog.

Step 3: Use a plastic cup or any small container to pour water over your dog’s body. 

Tip: It’s also ideal to have your dog in a sitting or lying down position to relax. 

Step 4: Keep your dog in the water for at least 10 minutes.

Step 5: Carefully lift your dog from the bathtub and towel dry immediately.

Soaking Your Dog’s Paws in the Epsom Salt Solution

Besides bathing your dogs, you can try soaking their paws in the Epsom salt solution, too. 

This is good for soothing your pup’s sore paws.

So, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Make a solution by adding about 4-5 tablespoons of Epsom salt into a bowl of water. Adjust accordingly if you’re using a big or small container.

Step 2: Place your dog’s paws in the Epsom salt solution and soak for at least 10 minutes. 

Step 3: Repeat this process 2 to 3 times daily for optimal results.

Note: You can also use soft cloths or sponges soaked with Epsom salt solution as a compress for your dog’s wound or skin infections. 

What is Epsom Salt?

Epsom salt is not really like the table salt humans use.

It’s a naturally occurring pure mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate that’s found in Epsom, Surrey, England.

Not only are Epsom salts known for their healing properties, but they’re also used in beauty, household, and gardening.

Although similar in appearance to regular salt, Epsom salt tastes bitter and definitely not tasty.

How does Epsom Salt Work in Dogs?

When Epsom salt is dissolved in water, it gives off magnesium and sulfate ions. 

And according to VDI Laboratory, your pets can absorb magnesium through the largest organ in the body — the skin.

Transdermal absorption using a topical cream, oil, or lotion is an effective method of raising magnesium levels in the cat or dog.

Exposure to magnesium through soaking in Epsom salt solution can “raise magnesium levels without the side effects seen with oral supplementation.”

Magnesium skin products can also help improve this mineral’s level in your pup’s body.

What is Transdermal Absorption?

Transdermal refers to the application of medications through the skin.

To get through the skin, a substance must penetrate the epidermis or has to be absorbed by sweat glands or hair follicles. – Source

Despite the many specific layers of the skin that work as a barrier against bacteria and UV rays, it’s also difficult for some substances to penetrate it.

But biologically, “canine skin is thinner than human skin.”

According to the vets at VCA Animal Hospitals, medications through skin application can be “more effective or work faster than some oral medications, allowing for better treatments.”

Additionally, it can be easier to administer treatments through the skin than have your pups swallow pills.

And because treatments are applied on the skin, your dogs can avoid getting side effects from pill intake, too.

Medicines can still work effectively without “passing through the intestinal tract and liver” in your Fidos.

Can medicines for dogs be made into a transdermal form?

Not all dog medications can be made into a transdermal form.

That’s because treatments differ depending on the type or severity of your dog’s health condition.

There are health problems that topical treatments alone can’t fix.

So, be sure to consult your vet for a proper assessment before administering certain medications to your dogs.

What treatments for dogs are available for skin application?

Common topical skin treatments for dogs include the following:

epsom salt bath in dogs

Should you feed your dogs Epsom salt?

Don’t get me wrong, Epsom salts are beneficial for your dogs.

But the saying “Too much of something is harmful” can come in handy for us dog lovers.

Should you feed your dogs with Epsom salt?

No, don’t feed Epsom salts to your dogs, especially in large amounts.

Too much ingestion of this magnesium sulfate compound can cause hypermagnesemia in your dogs.

Hypermagnesemia in Dogs

This condition is the excessive amount of magnesium in your dog’s blood that can lead to the progressive loss of the following functions:

  • Nervous
  • Muscular
  • Respiratory
  • Cardiovascular

Symptoms of Excessive Magnesium in Dogs

When your dogs eat large amounts of Epsom salt, watch out for the following symptoms:

Treatments for Hypermagnesemia in Dogs

Your vets may advise you to give your dog a magnesium-free diet because the aim here is to eliminate the excess levels of this mineral.

Besides that, your vet can also advise you to get your pup on fluid and calcium therapy.

Calcium enhances the excretion of magnesium from your dog’s body. 

Epsom Salt for Dogs: FAQs

How long can you soak a dog in Epsom salt?

You can soak your dog in an Epsom salt solution for a good 10 minutes.

If your dog has open wounds, gently soak the affected area or dab it using a soft cloth or sponge.

For optimal results, you can soak your dog’s paw or wound 2 to 3 times a day, too.

However, be sure to check with your vet if your pup’s wound needs special attention apart from soaking in Epsom salt water.

Is Epsom salt with coconut oil good for dogs?

Epsom salt can be used with coconut oil for optimal relaxation for your dogs.

Since coconut oil has antibacterial and healing properties, it’s a perfect combination with Epsom salt in treating wounds.

However, consult your vet if your dog is sensitive to such things to ensure general safety.

Can I soak my dog's paws in Epsom salt?

You can soak your dog’s paws in Epsom salt water for about 10 minutes.

Besides giving a soothing feel to your dog’s paws, soaking in Epsom salt solution also heals pad injuries or scratches.

what is epsom salt good for

Epsom Salt for Dogs: Before You Go…

Bathing in Epsom salt benefits your dogs for sure.

Not only is it therapeutic, but you can literally DIY an Epsom salt solution at home since they are readily available in the market.

But be aware that Epsom salt for dogs has its limitations.

Avoid your pup from drinking the solution to prevent stomach upsets.

Also, do not feed Epsom salt to your dogs in large quantities.

Your vet can advise you on the right dosage should the need arise.

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Compassion for pets is fuel to Lenin's lifelong mission. As a fur mom to a Havanese dog and 6 stray cats, Lenin sees the joy in rescuing and giving pets a chance at a forever home. Even in her career as a freelancer, Lenin focused on writing everything about pets — from breed profiles to nutrition down to some of their interesting facts.