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15 unbelievable ways apple cider vinegar (ACV) can help your dog

Apple cider vinegar for dogs is like an untapped resource. For thousands of years, it has played an important role in cooking and as a natural medicine for humans. In humans, it has shown to have health benefits like improvement in blood sugar levels, reduction in cancer and heart disease risk as well as indigestion relief. However, this staple ingredient has also shown to have many benefits in dog health.

What is Apple cider vinegar?

As you must have understood from the name, apple cider vinegar is made by fermenting apples along with yeast and sugar. The yeast turns the sugar into alcohol in a process known as fermentation. Bacteria further converts the alcohol into acetic acid. This acetic acid provides the vinegar with a sour taste and strong smell. It is slightly acidic with a pH of 3.1 to 5. According to the FDA, Apple cider vinegar contains traces amounts of minerals and vitamins except for potassium (11 g potassium in 1 tablespoon).

Apple cider vinegar if used in the right manner can prevent 15 ailments in dogs
Apple cider vinegar is a serious contender in the home remedy section for dogs

Why should you use apple cider vinegar for your dog?

Just like humans, apple cider vinegar has shown numerous health benefits in the case of dogs. However, most of these benefits have not been scientifically proven so far. The health benefits mentioned here are a collation of individual experiences of dog guardians who have used apple cider vinegar for their pups and found it beneficial.

  • Apple cider vinegar as an antiseptic for dog wounds:

Dogs play rough and almost always have scrapes and small wounds to prove it. If you apply apple cider vinegar to the wounds, it will prevent infestation of the wound by harmful viruses and bacteria. It will also speed up the healing process. However, apple cider vinegar should not be applied to open wounds, as it can cause a pretty bad sting.

  • Apple cider vinegar to heal dog skin problems:
Apple cider vinegar has been known to reduce itchiness in dogs due to its inherent detoxifying properties. Dogs suffering from seasonal allergies or fleas which leads to itchy skin can get instant relief if apple cider vinegar is used in the conditioner post-bath. 

  • Apple cider vinegar for preventing flea infestation:
The smell and taste of apple cider vinegar provide an unpleasant environment which is not favourable as a flea habitat. For this, make a 50:50 solution of apple cider vinegar: water and spray it on your dog’s fur. People also recommend using raw apple cider vinegar on the regions which act as flea attractants like tail base, armpits and behind the ears. 

  • Apple cider vinegar to soothe irritated dog paws:
Walks on rough roads, hot pavement, sandy beaches or even just a long walk can cause abrasions on your puppy's paws. As per recommendation from K9 instinct, you can either dip your dog’s paws or spray them with diluted apple cider vinegar. 

  • Apple cider vinegar to improve your dog's digestion:
According to natural dog health remedies, apple cider vinegar can prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and viruses while maintaining the acidity of the stomach. It’s rich in potassium which further remineralises the body. 

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  • Apple cider vinegar as a treatment of dog diarrhoea:
Apple cider vinegar has the ability to balance the digestive enzymes in your dog’s stomach which makes it a great candidate for healing an upset tummy.

As per natural dog health remedies, apple cider vinegar is in the running as the go-to remedy for intestinal gas, constipation as well as food poisoning. It has also been observed to cause a reduction in faecal odours.

  • Apple cider vinegar for UTI relief in dogs:
Apple cider vinegar can also help if your dog suffering from urinary tract infection (UTI). The following doses are recommended to be added to either water or food (peanut butter or yoghurt):
1 tsp for small-sized dog breeds
1 tbsp for medium-sized dog breeds
2 tbsps for large size dog breeds. 

  • Apple cider vinegar for dog's healthy joints:
Apple cider vinegar can break down the calcium deposits in your dog’s joints and cause remineralisation of the bones. Therefore, it is recommended to be used for dogs suffering from hip dysplasia or arthritis.

  • Apple cider vinegar to relieve muscle ache and soreness:
Apple cider vinegar has anti-inflammatory properties which promote the reduction in muscle pain as well as inflammation. The cooling effect of the same helps to soothe and relax the muscles. 
In case of muscle strain or sore muscles, apply an apple cider vinegar compress to the affected region for 5 minutes. Do this 2 to 3 times a day. You can warm the solution a little bit for added benefit.

Apple cider vinegar for dogs is a boon in disguise.
Ensure the proper health of your pup by using this amazing supplement

  • Apple cider vinegar as a preventer and natural remedy for ear infection:
According to the whole dog journal, A mix of apple cider vinegar and water-soaked cotton can be used to clean ears and keep infections at bay. As per Dogs First, if your dog is suffering from an ear infection, one of the best natural remedies is apple cider vinegar. Make a 50:50 ratio of apple cider vinegar with warm olive oil and rub it on the ear lobes. If your dog is suffering from an ear infection related to dust mites, take some apple cider vinegar on cotton and swab the ear.

  • Apple cider vinegar to clean your dog’s regular use stuff:
A mix of Apple cider vinegar along with hydrogen peroxide and common utensil detergent can be used as a cleaner for your dog’s things. You can put the solution in a spray bottle and use it as a disinfectant for the bed, crate as well as the mattress of your dog. 

  • Apple cider vinegar to sanitize your dog’s laundry and toys:
Add a small amount of apple cider vinegar to your detergent when doing your dog’s laundry. It will sanitizer as well as freshen up the clothing and sweaters. 
Bonus tip: Every toy your dog owns goes into his mouth. Wipe down the toys with apple cider vinegar to remove the germs and keep them squeaky clean.

  • Long term benefits of apple cider vinegar for dogs:
Apple cider vinegar has the ability to prevent kidney infections, bladder stones as well as UTI. 

  • Effect on cancer and diabetes:
As per current research, apple cider vinegar has been shown to not cure cancer but it has the ability to shrink tumours size. In the case of diabetes, it has been noticed to keep the blood sugar levels in control.

Is apple cider vinegar safe for dogs?
As per Dr Cailin Heinze (Assistant professor of nutrition at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University), one or 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar diluted with water is unlikely to have any negative effect on the health of your pup. In case more than 2 teaspoons or if undiluted apple cider vinegar is fed, it may cause problems in dogs who are not completely healthy. 
After researching for this post, I am planning to add apple cider vinegar to Delta's diet.
After researching for this post, I am planning to add apple cider vinegar to Delta's diet.
Precaution to take when using apple cider vinegar topically:
  • When using apple cider vinegar, be very careful to not spray or bring the vinegar in contact with your dog’s nose, mouth or eyes.
  • It’s preferable to use a sponge when applying topically so that you can avoid the aforementioned high-risk regions. 
  • Never ever use raw apple cider vinegar on open wounds. This will put your pup in an incredible amount of pain. 
  • Consider talking to your vet before applying apple cider vinegar on your dog if he/she has broken skin.

Precaution to take when feeding apple cider vinegar:

Never ever feed raw apple cider vinegar to your pup. It can burn his/her oesophagus and stomach. 
An undiluted version of apple cider vinegar can cause harmful effects on the tooth enamel of your pooch. 

When to not use Apple cider vinegar?

Use of apple cider vinegar is not recommended for canines suffering from kidney disease (as recommended by PetMD). This is because the acid of the Apple cider vinegar could be harmful. Also, if your pooch does not seem inclined towards treats or foods containing apple cider vinegar or is suffering from an upset stomach, don’t provide him/her with apple cider vinegar.

Which apple cider vinegar to use for my dog? 
Organic raw or unfiltered apple cider vinegar is the best one to use for your pooch. Unfiltered apple cider vinegar generally comes with the mother i.e. the cloud of bacteria and yeast which played a role in the fermentation process. This ‘mother’ adds to the probiotic factor of apple cider vinegar which increases its healthy quotient for your dog.

Alternatives for apple cider vinegar in dogs:
If your dog has an allergic reaction towards apple cider vinegar or vomits after ingesting apple cider vinegar, discontinue its use immediately. There are other natural alternatives to apple cider vinegar like coconut oil. Read about the benefits of coconut oil for your dog (topical as well as dietary) here. 

Before adding apple cider vinegar to your dog’s diet, consult your vet. As all remedies mentioned here are on observation bases, there is no scientific information sheet about the risks and benefits of the same

Apple cider vinegar can be used from treating fleas all the way to reducing tumour size. However, before you add any new ingredient to your dog’s diet or water, make sure to consult your vet. 

Have you given your pup apple cider vinegar? If yes, then for what? And how was the experience? Let me know in the comment section. Also, if you have any specific question about dog care, drop it in the comments and I will be sure to address it soon. 

I would like to thank you for taking time off and reading this blog post and also for taking such amazing care of your fur baby.