How to Give Your Dog a Foot Bath in 10 Simple Steps

Read the hilarious account of how I ended up giving my dog puppy pedicures!

Have you ever thought to yourself: “man, I’d really love to pamper my dog a little more, maybe I should start giving her spa treatments – I bet she’d love a good foot soak,” but just don’t know where to begin?

Well, look no further. Below, you’ll find the 10 simple steps that led to me becoming somewhat of an expert on the issue.



Step 1: Take your dog to the vet due to a broken nail. Yep, you read that right. I TOOK MY DOG TO THE VET BECAUSE SHE BROKE A NAIL. (in my defense, it was, like, really broken)

Step 2: Have the vet tell you that it’s infected and she needs antibiotics (which totally makes you feel justified for taking your dog to the vet for a broken nail). Also, she tells you that you should soak her foot in salt water for ten minutes twice a day. For a week.

Step 3: Laugh hysterically.

Step 4: Stop laughing. Because you realise she seriously wants you to get your dog (that hates water and is bigger than you) to put her foot in a container of water and leave it there for ten minutes. Twice a day. For a week.

Step 5: Go home and wrack your brain trying to figure out how you’re going to do this. Have a stroke of genius – plastic bags!

Step 6: Gather your supplies.

You’ll need:

  • A plastic bag
  • Tape
  • Espom salts
  • Water

Step 7: Mix the salt and water in the bag, stick her paw in it and wrap the tape around her leg (see photo above).

Step 8: Convince your dog not to run around the house with a bag full of water on her foot. Continuous bum scratches and cheese help to keep her stationary.

Step 9: After ten minutes of treating your dog like she’s the Queen of Sheba, remove the bag.

Step 10: Question the life choices that have led to you giving your dog a foot bath.


Trust me, after a few days of this your dog will decide that foot baths are the best thing ever and start to expect demand them every evening. I suspect it has something to do with the cheese and bum scratches.



Update: After writing this I thought I’d google “how to give your dog a foot bath” just to see what came up. And, well, apparently it’s a thing (see: here and here). Turns out my vet isn’t just an evil mastermind who gets her kicks from seeing if she can talk people into doing ridiculous things like soaking their dog’s feet in saltwater.

And another update: For anyone wondering, after more than two weeks (broken toenails take a really long time to heal!) of foot soaking, Juno completely lost the nail on the injured toe. The infection never came back (I guess the foot baths worked) and the nail is starting to regrow. She still runs circles every time I go near the cupboard with the Epsom salts in it, thinking it’s time for her pedicure.


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