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 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 been shown to have many benefits in dog health.
In this blog post, I will discuss 17 amazing benefits of this natural remedy for dogs. If you are interested to know more about dog care, please subscribe to the blog so that I can send you the latest articles directly in your inbox.
Topics covered in this blog post
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 convert the alcohol into acetic acid. This acetic acid provides the vinegar with a sour taste and a 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).
Why should you use Apple cider vinegar for dogs?
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 for dogs: benefits
Apple cider vinegar 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 for dogs itchy skin:
If you decide to use Apple cider vinegar for dogs skin, do a 24-hour spot test before. To conduct this test, spray or apply some diluted Apple cider vinegar to a spot on your dog’s body and leave it for 24 hours. If your dog does not develop irritation, redness, or vomiting within 24 hours, then your dog is not sensitive to Apple cider vinegar and can be used on your dog’s skin.
Apple cider vinegar for a good quality dog coat
You can also use the 50-50 Apple cider vinegar-water mixture before you shampoo your dog to achieve a good coat quality. You can add 2 tablespoons of ACV to a quarter of water and apply it to your dog once the shampooing is done. Do not rinse this off. This will provide an added benefit towards long-lasting shine as well as for repelling pests.
Apple cider vinegar for dogs fleas:
The smell and taste of Apple cider vinegar provide an unpleasant environment that is not favorable 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 for dogs ticks:
Mix 8 oz of Apple cider vinegar with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp baking soda. Transfer this mixture into a spray bottle. Add 4 oz of warm water slowly to the mixture. Store the bottle in a cool and dry space. Spray this over your dog’s fur to get rid of ticks. The acidic component of Apple cider vinegar makes the dog’s skin inhabitable for the ticks. Therefore, they will leave your dog’s skin on their own.
Apple cider vinegar for dogs ears:
Apple cider vinegar helps dog’s ears by re-balancing the pH. Apple cider vinegar can be used internally or topically for dog’s ears. One of the common uses of Apple cider vinegar in the case of dogs is to clean the year as well as to treat ear infections.
A lot of dogs suffering from skin allergies tend to develop ear infections. Apple cider vinegar rebalances the pH of the ear, cleans the ear as well as combats bacterial and yeast infections. If you plan to use Apple cider vinegar on your dog’s ears, never use it on open or raw wounds since it will sting. Always dilute the Apple cider vinegar with water till you achieve a 50-50 ratio before using it on your pup.
Apple cider vinegar as a preventer and natural remedy for ear infection:
A mix of apple cider vinegar and water-soaked cotton can be used to clean ears and keep infections at bay. 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-based ear cleaners
This is one of the simplest ear cleaner recipes. Pour half a quantity of purified water and half a quantity of Apple cider vinegar in a bottle. Soak a cotton ball in the mixture and wipe your dog’s ears. Continue wiping till there is no more dirt or gunk coming out from the ear. Do not pour the mixture into the ear canal.
If Apple cider vinegar reaches the middle ear, it can cause diseases like exacerbation of the middle ear or vestibular disease. If you notice your dog reacting sensitively towards the Apple cider vinegar solution, do not use it on your dogs here and immediately seek veterinary help.
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. You can either dip your dog’s paws or spray them with diluted apple cider vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar for dogs: improves 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 remineralizes the body.
Apple cider vinegar is acidic and has a pH of 3.1 to 5. If your dog has a stomach pH that is within this range, he or she may not benefit from the oral ingestion of ACV. The optimal range of pH for a dog should be 6 to 6.5 in urine samples and just a little over 7 in the blood samples.
How to check the dog’s pH?
You can check your dog’s PH by using urine test strips available at human health pharmacy stores. You can either check the pH in order to determine what your pup’s natural body pH is or you can use this test before and after administering Apple cider vinegar to check if your pup is responding positively towards the use of this concoction.
Most dogs are used to high protein diets. However, a lot of commercial dog diets have more grain in them than protein. This causes the dog’s digestive system to become alkaline in which case the pH goes higher than seven. If your dog’s digestive pH goes and the optimal range, it can lead to diseases like allergies, bladder stones, urinary crystals, vomiting, or diarrhea. If your dog has a pH beyond the optimum pH range or if your dog consumes a lot of fiber, Apple cider vinegar can be of definite help to your pooch. ACV will bring down your dog’s pH to a healthy range and will promote digestion by increasing the acid in the stomach which is needed to break down carbohydrates, proteins as well as fats present in the food.
If your dog has digestive issues like excessive burping or gas, using the liquid Apple cider vinegar is best. You can add 1/4 21/2 t teaspoon of Apple cider vinegar to your dog’s water bowl or food once every day. If you decide to add ACV to your dog’s water, make sure there is a clean water bowl available in case your dog finds Apple cider vinegar’s taste uncomfortable. Never administer raw Apple cider vinegar to your dog.
Apple cider vinegar as a treatment for dog diarrhea:
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 fecal odors.
Apple cider vinegar for UTI relief in dogs:
Apple cider vinegar can also help if your dog suffering from a urinary tract infection (UTI). The following doses are recommended to be added to either water or food (peanut butter or yogurt):
- 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 remineralization 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 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 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 sanitize 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 tumors size. In the case of diabetes, it has been noticed to keep the blood sugar levels in control.
Is Apple cider vinegar bad 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.
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Precaution when using Apple cider vinegar
Precautions 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.
Precautions 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?
The use of Apple cider vinegar is not recommended for canines suffering from kidney disease. 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.
Apple cider vinegar is available in many forms which range from the liquid version all the way to topical sprays, capsules as well as wipes. If you decide to use apple cider vinegar for dogs, go for either the homemade sprays or the liquid version depending on your need. Do not go for the capsules or human wipes since they may contain ingredients that might be toxic to your pup like xylitol.
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 an observation basis, there is no scientific information sheet about the risks and benefits of the same.
Apple cider vinegar for dogs can be used from treating fleas all the way to reducing tumor 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 purpose? And how was the experience? Let me know in the comment section. Also, if you have any specific questions about dog care, drop them in the comments and I will be sure to address them soon.
I would like to thank you for taking the time off and reading this blog post and also for taking such amazing care of your dog.
See you in my next blog post