If your dog is suffering from constipation, you may have considered giving them some Epsom salts in order to clear things out. This is an effective laxative for humans, but how well does it work in your four legged friend?
Epsom salts, also known as magnesium sulfate, have a variety of uses. You can take some internally to flush the digestive system or use while bathing in order to replenish magnesium levels. There’s nothing to indicate that you shouldn’t give your dog an Epsom salt bath. However, some owners and vets think it’s not a good idea to administer Epsom salts to your dog internally.
You’ll often find that what’s good for us is not necessarily good for them. Dogs are more in tune with nature, which is why they are known to get over mild inconveniences rather quickly, whereas we’re used to treating every little sniffle and tummy ache we get with OTC drugs and all natural remedies. Sometimes you just have to give your dog space to be a dog, and let situations evolve on their own until it’s obvious your dog needs some sort of intervention. That’s why it’s always good to work hand in hand with your vet.
Can I Give My Dog Epsom Salts? Answer: Not Recommended
A dog’s digestive system has a lot of similarities, but also a lot of differences to a human’s. For starters it’s on a smaller scale, so it responds differently to what goes in it.
You can feel free to give your dog a bath full of Epsom salts, as this has been known to help with dry skin problems, but you don’t want them drinking the bathwater, and you don’t want to use this to help them with any digestive troubles they might be having.
Better Constipation Solutions
If your dog is constipated or otherwise having a digestive problem that you think needs some attention, you can consult your vet’s assistant to see what they recommend.
If you’d rather go the home remedy route you can try giving them some canned pumpkin, as this has been a common solution among dog owners with varying degrees of success. It’s supposed to add bulk to the digestive system, and also moisten things up to help them be able to do their business a little more comfortably.
All Natural or Not
Many dog owners will give their dog Epsom salt thinking that it’s all natural and therefore harmless. While it does occur naturally, it still takes human engineering to mine it, which means it’s something that most mammals walking the earth would not stumble upon, making a big unnatural for your dog to ingest.
Since their system is not used to it, and since when we humans use it we know what sort of dosage to use, it’s not something that you would want to give them, and guesstimate on.
Think of Wild Dogs
One of the main reasons you want to avoid giving your dog Epsom salts is that it’s not something they would ever come across if left to fend for themselves in the wild. If wild dogs have stomach problems, they just let it pass. Nature takes care of most issues, and does so pretty quickly for dogs.
They don’t have lingering stomachaches the way humans do, and they’ll eventually either pass what’s blocking them up, or the situation will escalate, at which point you should take them to the vet.
Conclusion on Epsom Salt
If you want your dog to experience the soothing effects of an Epsom bath, go right ahead. You can use the same sort directions for them as you would for yourself. Just add a few cups of the salts to the bath, mix it in with the water and then let your dog soak for 5-10 minutes.
They don’t need to go any longer than that to get the positive benefits. Although you can get the same sort of boost by taking them out to the park and getting their exercise in, but this is a great way to help sooth their muscles and joints after an afternoon of playing.