Many of us have probably read about the benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar for humans, but were you aware that it is useful for your dog as well?
Does your dog have itchy, dry skin? How about constant rashes on or below their paws? If you answered yes to either of these, Apple Cider Vinegar may become your new best friend! (Besides your dog.)
I am here to show you many ways that Apple Cider Vinegar can be used everyday to assist you and your dog friend with scenarios that may come up.
Is ACV okay for Dogs?
Just like any other substance you may give your dog, first consult a vet before doing so. ACV may not be great for all dogs. Some dogs may have an allergic reaction to Apple Cider Vinegar, which can cause a gag up or gas issues.
Most research says that ACV overall has many great benefits for dogs, as long as served in the right amount and portions.
Some Dangers of Apple Cider Vinegar
While ACV can be very beneficial to your everyday dog problems, you must keep an eye out for a couple things:
- ACV is very acidic: If you are going to feed your dog any ACV, it must be diluted with water. Too much Apple Cider Vinegar can make a dog nauseous, and can throw their digestive system into a loop.
- ACV can irritate the skin and eyes: Be very careful when applying to your dogs skin. Once again, diluting the ACV will allow you to properly coat your dogs skin without major irritation issues.
What Makes ACV great
You may be asking yourself, why waste my time using ACV instead of just going to my Vet or getting prescriptions?
Apple Cider Vinegar is easily accessible, affordable, and packed with nutrients. It contains enzymes and minerals that are all natural, and are extremely beneficial for your dog.
Along with these great features, Apple Cider Vinegar, with “the mother” is unrefined, unpasteurized and unfiltered. The “mother” in certain ACV has very beneficial bacteria that strengthens a lot of immune systems, as well as having other strong usages.
15 Benefits of ACV for Dogs
Mix a small portion of ACV with Yogurt
ACV Helps with Digestion and Gas
One of the biggest problems our dog Joker has that he is quite gassy. Even when we feed him in portions, he tends to continue his digestion/gas related days that it is hard to bare. Recently, we have started with half a tablespoon of yogurt, as well as a teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar in his food once a day. We have begun to notice a small improvement.If you do not feel comfortable mixing into their food, a quick drip into their water bowl will also work.
The Acid in ACV helps a lot of dogs digestive tracts and will often help cure your case of a gassy dog. Like most suggestions, always analyze your dog’s eating habits, and if uncertain discuss with your local vet.
ACV Helps with Itchy, dry skin
Another issue that dogs often have is a dry skin, which causes them more so than not to scratch away with their paws/nails. This can increase based on the weather changes, and the area you live in.
Our older dog, Sadie, had some very itchy, allergic skin a coupe of years ago. While w used a medicinal cream at the time, we now turn to ACV diluted to help rub into her belly area when she has drier skin.
How you can work on helping the itch is by taking a 50% water and 50% apple cider vinegar mix. The easiest way to place this on your dogs dry skin is by a water bottle spray, or dabbing it on the skin with a light paper towel.
While this is a good idea to try, make sure that your dog is not scratching an open wound, as this may burn the wound and cause more pain for your dog.
Using a damp paper towel and ACV can relieve dry skin
Alternative to clean dogs ears
While there is a simple solution that can be used monthly from your local vet, ACV can be an alternative solution to cleaning out your dog’s ears each month.
You should check your dog’s ears often for gunk and ear wax material. Stick with the 50/50 rule, meaning that 50% of your ear solution still needs to be water based. A gentle paper towel dipped into the fluid and then lightly rubbed on the inner portions of your dogs ear will be enough. Usually, we clean our dogs ears about once a month.
If your dogs are anything like ours, they cannot stand to have their ears done, and will scamper away when you try to do so. Having a second person there to comfort and hold the dog still will help soothe the process.
Getting Rid of Bad Breath
This is a common category that so many dogs owners have no clue on how to approach. Why is my dog’s breath so bad? You can easily get a toothbrush, use baking soda combined with warm water and parsley, and try your best to hold your dog still as you brush away.
However, Apple Cider Vinegar is a much more useful way of possibly ridding your dog of bad breath. The natural ingredients can easily begin to help your dog’s breath become tolerable. Usually, the easiest way to sneak ACV in is by adding a teaspoon or two right into your dogs water bowl.
While you will begin to notice changes, (hopefully), you must observe your dog for not only reactions, but other habits that will not help their breath. (eating feces, and prowling for small animals outside.)
Warm water, ACV, parsley can help brush dog’s teeth
Muscle Soreness in older Dogs
As dogs get older, so do their bodies. Your vet may recommend a prescription cream, or rub that will help your elderly friend through those tough times with body pains.
ACV can help you along the way. Apple Cider Vinegar helps soothe your dog’s arthritis issues. There are two ways to do so: Your dog can ingest the ACV in their daily
Water, or you are able to put it on a soft compress and lightly rub your dog in the spots of arthritis and pain.
While it may not cure the full soreness or arthritis, it will absolutely help.
Minimizing house odors and stains from your dog
If dog smells is irritating you, or stains your puppy is making just won’t completely clean up, ACV may help your bring a refreshing fix.
If your carpet just can’t get that smell out, try mixing warm water with a teaspoon or so, and gently rub out the spots in your carpet. If your dog is stinky on their fur, repeat the process and lightly scrub your dog.
With so many possibilities outside of your dog getting into, having Apple Cider Vinegar on hand will only help your smelly cause.
Mixing ACV in yogurt and food can settle stomachs
No dog owner ever wants to hear the words “your dog has fleas.” It is one of the worst feelings in the world for yourself and your dog. ACV will not rid your dog of fleas, but more so give them temporary relief of itching.
The mixed bottle of 50/50 water and ACV can also act as a repellent of fleas. If you are in a heavy wooded area, or are concerned about fleas, this option might be the best for you.
Fleas need to be treated by a vet, but if temporary needs until you get to your doctors, ACV rubbed in with gloves will be able to help your dog be a little more comfortable.
Antibacterial and Boosting the Immune System
The properties that are present in Apple Cider Vinegar boost not only a human’s immune system, but dogs as well. A small teaspoon a day can go a long way in helping you dog’s immunity increase. Pour a teaspoon to half a tablespoon over your dog’s food, or you may drip into their water bowl. However, always have a small backup water dish for access in case your dog reacts poorly to the ACV, or it deters them away.
Along with your dog’s immune system, the properties in ACV will help establish a solid metabolism in your dog.
Strengthen your Dog’s nails and teeth
While there are some great chew toys to strengthen your dog’s teeth, these are not always effective to the extent you may want.
ACV has plenty of bacteria fighting enzymes in it that can help prevent tooth decay, and also help avoid plague and other fungus within your dog’s nails.
A light scrub on your dog’s nails, even during a bath, will help prevent and begin to remove bacteria under the nails.
Like any other usage of ACV, make sure not to give more than a tablespoon a day to dog’s that weigh at least 50 pounds. Dog’s under 50 pounds should only have closer to a teaspoon a day.
Lightly pull back gums to clean teeth area
Clear up Dog UTI’s
One of the worst pains for both a dog and an owner it a UTI or bladder infection. This painful, stressful infection can cause real problems with your dog.
Most recommendations for usage of ACV for bladder issues and UTI’s suggest for dogs under 30 lbs to serve them no more than a teaspoon, for dogs 30-80 pounds one tablespoon, and for larger dogs over 80 pound, two tablespoons added to their food or water bowl will be sufficient.
Issues with Paws
Whether your dog has got a small rock or twig poked into his paw, or if it is simply irritated, ACV has the right solution to cure your puppy’s paw pain.
Mix 50% water and 50% ACV into a large bowl, or use a ½ cup or so mixed into a bathtub. Soak your dog’s paw for 4-5 minutes, do not rinse. After time is up, dab your dogs paw dry very well, and hopefully, their soothing will begin.
I would recommend also soaking a wet rag in the solution and pressing on the dog’s paw gently. If your dog’s like mine, they will not want to stay still for 5 minutes, and will panic if you grab their paw for an extended time.
Treat Hot Spots
Did your dog get a hot spot? Apple Cider Vinegar is very helpful in treating these spots.
Mix the AC and water solution, split 50/50%, into a medium bowl.Take a sponge, Loofah or other light rag, and submerge into solution. Dab gently on the spot. Repeat daily until the hot spot is cleared up.
Just like any other usage, never apply to an open wound.
Treat Dog Dandruff
If you are like me, from time to time, you notice white flakes throughout your dogs skin and fur. This is often dandruff, and while a shampoo may help with this issue, Apple Cider Vinegar is just another way to prevent and begin to remove dandruff.
Begin by starting you dog bath as usual, rinsing well. Next, lightly pour ACV across your dogs back, and begin massaging in to all of the fur and skin with gentle gloves.
When complete, rinse your dog very well to ensure all of the Apple Cider Vinegar has been cleaned out of your dogs skin. Dry accordingly.
Cleaning Raw Dog Food
At home, if you are feeding your dog a raw diet, and may be concerned about any bacteria, an ACV spray mixture can be beneficial in assisting.
Spraying the fruit or vegetables as you are preparing the food with 50% water and 50% Apple Cider Vinegar will put your mind at ease of those added bacterias within your raw food. Rinse well after spraying and before continuing to add to the raw food supplement.
Muscle Sprains and Possible Bruises
My dogs are crazy. They often go flying around the yard uncontrollably, and will bump into porches, chairs, poles and more.
During these moments, bruises and sprains can occur. Using a nice gentle sponge with ACV and water mixed will help in assisting your beaten up doggy’s body. Reapplying daily until their bruises go away is recommended.
Hopefully these suggestions were beneficial to you. As always, reach out to your vet first to make sure they recommend using ACV before trying any of the above strategies.
What other ways do you use Apple Cider Vinegar for your dog?
Jen Jones is a professional dog trainer and behavior specialist with more than 25 years of experience. As the founder of ‘Your Dog Advisor’ and the ‘Canine Connection’ rehabilitation center, she applies a holistic, empathetic approach, aiming to address root causes rather than merely treating symptoms.
Well known for her intuitive and compassionate approach, Jen adopts scientifically-proven, reward-based methods, encouraging positive reinforcement over punishment. Jen specializes in obedience training, behavior modification, and puppy socialization. Her innovative methods, particularly in addressing anxiety and aggression issues, have been widely recognized. Jen has worked with many of the world’s leading dog behaviorists and in her free time volunteers with local animal shelters and rescue groups.