Over the past decade, one product that has stolen the limelight in health news is undoubtedly apple cider vinegar. Its immense health benefits for humans have helped it quickly rise onto the list of foods.
In fact, it’s not just for humans. Even your furry friend can benefit from apple cider vinegar.
In its raw, organic and unpasteurized form, apple cider vinegar has excellent antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and immune-boosting properties.
This golden liquid concentrated with the healthy goodness of apples contains several minerals, vitamins, essential acids, enzymes and pectin (highly soluble fiber). All this makes it effective in helping to treat various canine health problems.
It is good for your dog’s skin, joints, paws and more. However, when using any apple cider vinegar remedies for your pet, be sure you follow the appropriate dosage and usage. If you have any questions, consult your vet.
Here are the top 10 uses of apple cider vinegar for dogs.
1. Deters Ticks
Dogs easily pick up ticks while playing in and around tick-infested yards or woods.
Instead of looking for a commercial tick repellent, you can trust apple cider vinegar. Its acidic nature deters ticks, so they won’t want to latch onto your pet’s body.
If your dog is bitten, apple cider vinegar can help soothe the itchiness and pain caused by tick bites. If he or she starts showing signs like pain and swelling in the joints, loss of appetite and a fever, consult your vet.
- Pour equal amounts of apple cider vinegar and water into a spray bottle.
- Optionally, add 2 or 3 drops of lavender oil.
- Shake the bottle to mix the ingredients.
- Spray it on your pet’s body, then run a comb through the wet fur.
- Do it once daily or a few times a week, depending upon the severity of the tick infestation. It will also help deter ticks and prevent an infestation.
2. Controls a Mange Infection
Mange is a common skin disorder in dogs that causes a lot of discomfort. Symptoms of the condition include severe itching, hair loss, lethargy, painful sores from constant scratching and scabs forming at localized areas.
Apple cider vinegar’s antiseptic and antimicrobial properties make it quite effective at controlling a mange infection.
- Mix together 1 cup each of apple cider vinegar and water in a spray bottle.
- Spray the solution on your dog’s fur, while combing it between sprays.
- Do not rinse it off. Allow it to air-dry on the fur.
- Repeat 2 or 3 times a week until the issue is resolved.
3. Reduces Skin Itchiness
One common problem that most dogs suffer from is itchy skin. This can be due to an endless number of reasons, from tick bites to dandruff to being in an unhygienic condition or surroundings.
To control itchy skin in pets, apple cider vinegar is very effective. Its acidic nature helps restore the pH level your pet’s skin, which is important for killing off pathogens and reducing the itchiness.
- Mix 2 to 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into 1 quart of water.
- Give your dog a nice bath.
- After the bath, pour the solution over your dog’s body, carefully avoiding the eyes.
- Pat dry your dog with a towel, then let the coat dry naturally.
- Repeat a few times a week, depending upon the severity of the itchiness.
4. Treats Flea Bites
Another benefit of apple cider vinegar is that you can use it to treat flea bites, which can cause itchiness as well as pain.
First of all, it provides instant relief from itching and pain. Also, its acetic acid content reduces the risk of infection, which would be very uncomfortable for your pet.
- Mix equal parts of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and water.
- Pour the contents into a spray bottle.
- Spray the solution on the affected areas on your pet’s body.
- Repeat a few times daily.
You can also spray the solution on flea-infested surfaces to get rid of the root cause of the problem.
5. Fights Urinary Tract Infections
If your dog is straining to urinate or there’s blood in the urine, it is a clear sign of a urinary tract infection. It’s a problem that can affect both male and female dogs.
As apple cider vinegar is one of the best detoxifying and purifying agents, it helps keep the bladder healthy and inhibits growth of the microbes responsible for the infection.
To treat a urinary tract infection, simply mix some apple cider vinegar into your dog’s food or water daily for a few days. You can also mix it with yogurt. The suggested dosage is:
- 1 teaspoon for small dogs (up to 14 pounds).
- 1 tablespoon for medium dogs (15 to 34 pounds).
- 2 tablespoons for large dogs (35 to 85 pounds).
If your dog appears to be experiencing a lot of pain, consult your vet.
6. Alleviates Arthritis Pain
Just like humans, aging dogs suffer from arthritis. Arthritis in dogs occurs due to small calcium deposits in the joints, which can cause a lot of discomfort while moving as well as joint stiffness.
Apple cider vinegar can alleviate arthritis-related discomfort by helping break up the calcium deposits. Also, the potassium in it aids in replacing worn-out tissues within the body.
- Dilute apple cider vinegar with an equal amount of warm water. Soak a washcloth in the mixture until it’s saturated. Place the wet cloth directly on the dog’s joints for 10 minutes at a time. Do it 2 or 3 times a day.
- Also, add apple cider vinegar to your dog’s water to help break down calcium deposits from within. See #5 above for the appropriate dosage for your dog’s weight.
7. Soothes Sore Paws
Whether your dog has sore, itchy or inflamed paws, an apple cider vinegar soak is a quick solution to these problems.
Due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, it can fight the cause of the problem as well as provide relieve from the discomfort.
- Mix 2 parts water and 1 part apple cider vinegar in a large bowl.
- Soak your pet’s irritated paws in it for up to 5 minutes.
- Don’t rinse it off, but thoroughly dry your dog’s paws after soaking.
- Repeat once or twice daily as needed until your dog shows improvement.
8. Cures Ear Infections
Ear infections in dogs are quite common. They can occur due to bacteria, fungi or ear mites.
Apple cider vinegar’s antibacterial and antifungal properties can provide quick relief and healing.
- Dilute apple cider vinegar with distilled water in a ratio of 1:1.
- Fill a bulb syringe with the solution.
- Gently put about 10 drops of the solution into your dog’s ear.
- Use cotton balls to clean out any “gunk” in your pet’s ears.
- Repeat once a day for a couple of days.
Note: Before using apple cider vinegar, it is important to make sure that the inside of the ear is not red or raw. If it is raw, consult your vet.
9. Cleans Tear Stains
Tear stains can take away the beauty from your pet’s face. You can use apple cider vinegar to get rid of the ugly stains.
The acetic acid in it controls the growth of bacteria or yeast in your dog’s system, which can otherwise cause eye infections and excess tearing.
- Mix apple cider vinegar and water in equal amounts.
- Dip a cotton ball in it and use it to clean the stained area around your dog’s eyes. Be careful not to allow the solution to get into your pet’s eyes.
- Repeat as needed.
10. Maintains a Proper pH Level
It is imperative to maintain a proper pH level in your furry companion’s body. Apple cider vinegar can help balance your dog’s pH level, especially if your dog’s system is too alkaline.
With apple cider vinegar, it is possible to balance the pH level of the fluids in the body, including blood and urine.
All you need to do is add apple cider vinegar to your dog’s drinking water. The dosage is based on your dog’s weight.
- 1 teaspoon for dogs up to 14 pounds.
- 2 teaspoons for dogs between 15 and 34 pounds.
- 1 tablespoon for dogs between 35 and 85 pounds.
- Do not give apple cider vinegar to your dog if your dog doesn’t like it or if it doesn’t suit your dog.
- Do not apply undiluted apple cider vinegar on your dog’s body, as it can sting.
- Be careful to avoid spraying an apple cider vinegar solution into your pet’s eyes, ears and nose.
- Do not use an apple cider vinegar solution on an open wound. It can sting if the wound is raw.