Dogs can also benefit from natural remedies. One of these is Epsom salt, which is gaining much traction nowadays, given its health benefits. If you’re considering using Epsom salt for dogs, here’s what you need to know.
What is Epsom Salt?
This special type of salt is a pure mineral compound consisting of magnesium and sulfate. It comes from a bitter saline spring at Epsom in Surrey, England. It is a natural remedy for several illnesses in humans and is also used for beauty, gardening, and household purposes.
As mentioned earlier, it is made up of two minerals: magnesium and sulfate. Magnesium is primarily in charge of managing the activity of over 325 enzymes in your dog’s body. It also assists in muscle and nerve function. This product also helps reduce inflammation and prevents the hardening of the arteries. Meanwhile, sulfate aids in flushing out toxins and improves the nutrient absorption of your dog.
Is Epsom Salt Safe For Dogs?
Using Epsom salt for baths is perfectly safe for your furry friend. In fact, not only humans can benefit from using Epsom salt. It can bring a lot of health benefits to your dog, too. But how does that work?
When taking an Epsom salt bath, the skin absorbs the salt dissolved in water. Once the salt is absorbed, it’s ready to deliver the nutrients to your dog’s body. This process is called the transdermal approach treatment. In most instances, the nutrients are delivered to the body using the liver and intestines. However, in a transdermal approach, the minerals no longer need to pass by these organs since they go directly to the bloodstream.
You can soak an affected part of your dog or turn it into a full bath. This process makes the treatment work faster since enzymes are no longer needed to break down the minerals as they enter the body. It’s also easier to apply, unlike liquids or pills, which can be hard to administer to some pets. And the best part? They’re adjustable depending on your dog’s injuries and preferences.
Uses of Epsom Salt on Dogs
Epsom salt has a lot of utility in helping dogs with varying health conditions. A 10-minute soak on an Epsom salt-filled bath can help them relax and relieve some of their pain.
For example, dogs with orthopedic instabilities such as arthritis and swollen joints can certainly benefit from an Epsom salt bath. Its relaxing properties can alleviate some of the pain they’re feeling. If your dog has allergies to some medication, Epsom salt is a healthy alternative treatment. It can also help clean open wounds and other skin conditions that your dog might have.
Benefits of Epsom Salt
Here are other ways Epsom salt can help your dog:
Sharp objects and surfaces around the house can scrape, puncture, or wound your dog. In these cases, disinfecting the wound is an essential part of its healing stage. An Epsom salt bath can clean the surface of the wound, ridding it of dirt, bacteria, and other potential contaminants that can cause infection.
All you need to do is to mix Epsom salt with water. Swab the affected area with the salt solution using a cotton ball. Repeat this several times a day, depending on the condition of the wound. Take note that if your dog has serious wounds, it’s best to visit the vet instead of forcing a home remedy option.
Soothe Irritated and Itchy Skin
Fleas, allergens, soaps, and other substances can make your dog’s skin itchy. You can eliminate or minimize the itch and irritation by giving them an Epsom salt bath. This all-natural substance can gradually ease any discomfort your dog may feel.
It also has no harmful chemicals that can be harsh and irritate the skin of your dog in the long run. Give your dog an Epsom salt bath two to three times a week to relieve their skin irritation, itches, and the like.
Revitalize Dry Skin
When your dog’s skin is dry, it makes them prone to hair loss and scratches. Aside from relieving itchiness and discomfort, an Epsom salt bath can also rejuvenate parched skin. This salt bath can hydrate the dry areas of your dog’s skin. Hydrate the dry areas of the skin by giving your dog a soak in an Epsom salt bath to bring back the moisture of your dog’s skin and keep it healthy and supple.
Relax Sore Muscles
Too many walks, playtime, and running around can make your dog have sore muscles more often. A warm Epsom salt bath can do wonders in putting your dog at ease. Its relaxing properties can help soothe your dog and loosen any of their tense muscles and relieve any aches in their body. It can also help them unwind and ease their distress.
Precautions When Using Epsom Salt
Knowing how to use Epsom salt correctly is vital to maximizing its benefits. Here are some of the things you need to watch out for when you want to give an Epsom salt bath for your furry friend:
- Epsom salt is for external use only. Do not let your dog drink or swallow them.
- Make sure not to get any of the Epsom salt in your dog’s mouth. Ingesting this salt can upset their stomach.
- Be careful when handling sore injuries while taking this bath. Take your pet to the vet if you’re unsure about the severity of its injury.
Preparing an Epsom Salt Bath for Dogs
There are two ways to make an Epsom salt bath, depending on your dog’s condition and preferences. Here’s a guide to help you prepare for it.
Assembling The Materials
Before you begin, here are a few things you need to do:
- Gather all the supplies you need.
- Place the Epsom salt, towels, cups, shampoo, and cotton swabs in the bathroom within your reach. Having these at arm’s reach makes the bathing process easier.
- Gently brush your dog’s hair to loosen or untangle the strands.
- If your dog has a skin issue or injury, clean and trim the affected area first so it doesn’t get infected.
A full Epsom salt bath is perfect for relaxing the tense and sore muscles of your dog. Let them unwind and give them this special bath twice a day. You can follow these simple steps to give the best salt bath to your dog:
- Fill the basin with warm water. Make sure that the water is not too hot for your dog.
- Add Epsom salt to the water according to the instructions on the label. Mix well so it can fully incorporate into the bath.
- Convince your dog to get inside the water. You can try any of these tricks to help them feel at ease with the water:
- Try dabbing a small amount of water on your dog’s wound.
- If your dog is afraid of running water, you can call them after filling up the tub.
- You can also test the waters by dipping their leg or paw into the water.
- Slowly place your dog inside the bathtub. They may resist at first, but you can gently introduce them to the water.
- Using a plastic cup, gently pour water on your dog’s body. This can help them get used to the sensation of the water. Continue doing this until they’re comfortable enough.
- Let your dog bathe for at least 10 minutes. Persuade them to relax and sit down in the tub so they can become more comfortable. If your dog can handle it, you can always extend their Epsom salt bath time.
- Once they’re done with the bath, carefully lift them and pat them dry with a towel.
If your dog isn’t comfortable with a full bath, you can opt to give them a partial soak. This alternative is especially useful if you’re only going to treat a specific sore area of your dog’s body like their paw or leg. Repeat this two to three times a day to achieve the best results.
Here’s how to do it:
- Fill a bowl or plastic container with warm water.
- Add Epsom salt according to its instructions and stir to dissolve it into the water.
- Place your dog in a comfortable position before soaking them into the bath since they’ll be in the same position for quite some time.
- Gently dip the affected limb or paw and let it soak for at least 10 minutes. You can massage the affected area to help put your dog at ease.
- Use a sponge or terry cloth to compress the injured skin, if there is any.
- Once you’re done, rinse the area with fresh water to remove any leftover salt.
- Use a clean, dry towel and gently pat the affected area dry.
Relieve Pain and Irritation with Epsom Salt For Dogs
Epsom salt is an excellent natural remedy for irritated skin and tense muscles. Using it the right way can help keep your dog healthy. However, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s not a substitute for veterinary care. For serious infections or injuries, it’s best to seek proper veterinary advice.
Want more dog health advice and tips? Check out the Lick Sleeve blog.