We roared with laughter when we read the letter from a woman who told us that her uncle’s little terrier had cured his long-standing case of athlete’s foot.

Every evening when he got home, he would take off his shoes and socks, put his feet up, and read the newspaper. The dog would run to him and lick his feet all over in affectionate greeting.

In a few months, he realized that the athlete’s foot that had plagued him was no longer a problem.

Dog saliva does have some antimicrobial properties. Dutch researchers have identified compounds in human saliva called histatins that have antifungal activity. Canine saliva may also have similar properties.

Do not try this remedy if the skin is broken, however, since dogs can carry bacteria in their mouths.

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  1. ds

    Our family has used a decoction (aka ‘soup’) of malva neglecta to treat athlete’s foot for years. The plant is found growing around silos on farmsteads and other locations like flowerbeds. It is a low-growing dark green tenacious vine with leaves resembling geranium leaves, though smaller. Also called cheeseweed locally, the plant has small blue or lavender flowers and round nut-like seeds that are edible when ripe.
    To make the decoction, pull up a length of vine, wash, rip or cut in pieces if you like and place in a pot with water to cover. Bring to a boil, then cook for a while. You can use the warm solution to immerse your foot into when it is cool enough to use; or for infected bee stings or similar things involving infection, soak a clean cloth in the solution and apply as a poultice. Bathe afflicted part often in warm solution; you can reheat the same pot often. It works to draw out infection of many kinds. It can be dried to preserve for winter use.

  2. Jordan

    When I was 12 years old I went camping with my mom I didn’t wear socks when I wore my shoes wore my shoe in the water and wore them wet. For 10 days straight I was doing this by the end of the week I had the worse case of athletes foot I have ever seen. For 2 year I treated it with sprays powders and creams nothing would work so I gave up.
    That following year I would go over my friends house and his dog sammie would always sniff my foot she wouldn’t leave me alone, one day I went over there and spent the night the following morning I awoke to sammie licking and chewing on my athletes foot took away the irritation from the infection and after a few weeks of her licking and chewing on my foot I been athletes foot free for 7 years.. It works don’t mock it till ya try it you will thank me and who ever told ya to try it :)

  3. Madeline

    Try apple cider vinegar. It worked for my husband. Use a cotton ball soaked in vinegar twice a day.

  4. aprilrose

    yes it works….. I suffered for a year, both feet. My dog licked my toes on day when I was sleeping and the burning stopped. I was despite so I let him do it everyday. three weeks latter gone….. after one year and multiple docs and meds……::

  5. JIH

    Will this harm the dog? I have moderately dry skin and the dog will sometimes lick away before lying down with me. I thought he was just being affectionate. Why do they do this? And will it harm him? I won’t let him if it will.

  6. Dave

    I was just looking this up because my dog has cleared up a case of athletes foot for me AWESOME! Cure for athletes foot buy a dog.

  7. Louie

    How funny, I had the same thing happen. My little rat-terrier would lick my AF that I had only on my little toe. After a few weeks it went away!

  8. will m.

    That is one sick idea! Hilarious though…

  9. Kiersten

    Does this also work with cat saliva? I have had athletes foot since I was four and tried everything. I still have it ten years later I have three cats that love licking my feet but I don’t let them because it tickles too much. But if it works please tell me!

  10. HM

    Its true! Skeptic? Test it. It was the only thing that worked for me after using tinactin, listerine and bleach soakings…. Dog saliva… the miracle for problem feet (I told my Doctor about it and he looked at me questioningly…) Skeptic!

  11. Vet Tech

    Not only is this “treatment” ridiculous, it could be extremely dangerous to your pet! Dogs and cats are fully capable of getting tinea infections from human carriers! Not only that, but they can also transfer the same fungi back to you, other people, and other pets.
    Treating pets for fungal infections can be extremely costly and time consuming.
    If you love your furry friend and want to keep him/her healthy, please don’t give this “home remedy” a try.
    Avoid allowing your pets anywhere near your feet. If possible, wear slippers or sandals that allow your feet to breathe well. This will help to keep your floors free of the spores that can infect your pets.

  12. blgavin

    I had a Physics Professor in college that said his son had found the “cure” for athlete’s foot! The family dog’s saliva! The kid had fallen asleep on the couch after football practice and woke up with the dog licking away… after a few weeks the kid’s feet were cured!
    As a premed class we thought the Prof was pulling our chain, but he was sure that one day he was going to be a billionaire.
    This was in early 1990…

  13. Craig

    these home remedies do one thing – change the pH of your skin. turning the skin pH either higher or lower than the fungus needs to grow will eventually kill it.

  14. NEO

    My nephew had a case of athlete’s foot that wouldn’t go away, even with prescription strength stuff. Our doctor told us to have him soak his feet in a couple of gallons of water with a couple of ounces of bleach in it. After a couple of days, it was gone, and we had been battling this for weeks! For people who seem to have recurring bouts of it, start soaking the bottom of the tub or shower with a strong bleach solution, and it will keep it at bay.

  15. Andrew

    I started having athletes foot about 7 years ago – I should have done something about it straight away because after a while it was under my toe nails and they all became brittle. I took lamisil and other stuff and it just kept coming back. I have a golden retriever, who LOVES to lick my feet after a hard day!! I must admit, its ticklish at first but you soon get used to it. I just put on the PS3 and stick my feet up and the dog gives me my “manicure”, sometimes even nibbling the nails!! This morning I showed my feet to my wife and even she thought that they were getting better. It ain’t cured, (yet) but its a damn sight better than lamisil!!

  16. JJK

    My father was a police officer & had horrible athletes foot. My Aunt had this huge dog that whined at my dad’s feet every time we went over there. My dad would take off his shoe’s & socks & the dog would go nuts licking his feet, in no time at all my dad’s feet were healed & it never came back !

  17. MD

    My son-in-law had terrible problems with his feet. They where blistered and peeling all the time and the order would take your breath away. He went to the doctor and nothing seemed to work. One day I got the baking soda out and dumped it in his shoes. The skin started peeling with in a few days and it all cleared up and he hasn’t had a problem since.

  18. Mahmut

    I use talcum powder every day. It helps; doesn’t cure, but fungus peels off after awhile. Lamisil and ultramin helped, but reoccurred. So this is the chepeast way I found to keep it at bay.

  19. zaib vakil

    I had a plaguing wart on my finger that just wouldn’t go away. My doctor would freeze, it and it would manifest in a different place. I saw a yoga program in which the guru said that applying morning saliva to the eyes and face and letting it dry and then washing the face and eyes would make them glow. I applied my early morning saliva on the wart and actually saw it sizzle the first time I put the saliva.Takes 3 wks of application for the wart to go away. I’ve been wart free since then. It worked for my daughter too.


    I suffered with severe athletes foot for years before heeding the advice of my dad. The soles of my feet were covered with a thick layer of fungus and blisters would appear on my heels and between my toes.I tried everything possible from home remedies to drugs.
    My dad told me how to cure it and I have not had the problem in at least 10 years.
    Put on pure cotton socks. Use canvas shoes that are about ready for the trash can or can be discarded if they fall apart after the treatment.
    Put on the socks and shoes and pour regular isprophyl alcohol into each shoe to saturate the socks and shoes.
    Keep these shoes on all day, preferably outside while working. Remove the shoes and socks at night and take a shower or bath to clean them thoroughly.
    That’s it. You will notice nothing for at least a week or maybe more. Finally, your feel will peel tremendously and your feet will be a smooth and pink as when you were a kid.
    My dad tells me that the alcohol soaks through the first layer of skin that is infected with the fungus and effectively kills it from underneath the tough outer layer of skin of which a topical ointment is hard to penetrate. The peeling is a result of the killed fungus letting go of the skin.
    There might be a slight warmth on your feet when you put the alcohol on, but it does not burn or blister. It does not effect the non-fungus areas of your feet,only the infected areas.
    I usually do this treatment about once a year in the summer, but I have not had to do it for couple of years now. I believe this because it did work for me. I told my Dermatologist about this and told him if he had any patients with this problem that I could cure it for the cost of a pint of rubbing alcohol!

  21. kate

    I had a friend who swore that a dog’s saliva had a compound in it that kept infection at bay and sped up healing. I have to admit that when I had a horrifying rash on my leg that I scratched raw, the only thing that helped it was the dog licking it every day. After hours of doctor appointments and hundreds of dollars, all I needed was some help from my best friend!

  22. TD

    We used cinimon oil to treat my husband’s persistent outbreaks. It not only cured him but our bedroom smelled like a bake shop instead of a gym locker. It has been almost 20 years since his last break out the the skin on his feet looks and feels great.

  23. Carol

    Don’t laugh about the dog’s saliva! My husband has often suffered from athlete’s foot. Our dog always licks my husband’s feet at night. My husband and I just realized after reading this that he has not had an “outbreak” of athlete’s foot in several years!

  24. Matt

    Whilst in the army we were told to urinate on our feet in the shower to prevent Athlete’s Foot.

  25. Jean Davis

    Do you have any other remedies for persistent Athlete’s Foot problems on the sole of the foot? I have tried lamisil ointment and prescription pills to no avail. Thanks.

  26. john

    Another athlete’s foot remedy is to urinate on your feet while in the shower.

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