You’ve probably heard that apple cider vinegar is often touted as a cure all for any and every disease that afflicts humanity. But did you know that it’s also pretty good for your canine companions?
While it’s not quite as effective against everything under the sun for dogs like it is for humans, Apple cider vinegar is actually pretty useful for a lot of grooming issues, helps with digestion and avoiding urinary tract infections. It can be a great supplement for your dog’s health.
How is Apple Cider Vinegar Made?
Vinegar can be made from any liquid that contains sugar. Most of the time, it’s made out of grains and fruits. Apple Cider Vinegar is made by mixing yeast and bacteria to juice extracted by crushing and squeezing apples -specifically Acetobacter aceti – together, and then exposing it to the air.
Once it has that distinct “vinegar-y” smell and taste from the acetic acid, it can go two ways – it can be sold raw and unfiltered or it can be pasteurized.
What is the Difference between Apple Cider Vinegar and Regular Vinegar?
Distilled white vinegar is generally made out of fermenting grain alcohol or ethyl alcohol. Apple Cider Vinegar, on the other hand, is made from apples.
Distilled White vinegar is already high in the acetic acid that makes vinegar vinegar-y, but does not contain many other minerals. Apple cider vinegar, on the other hand, has high levels of citric acid, formic acid, succinic acid malic acid, and lactic acid in addition to acetic acid. Apple cider vinegar also has several different types of helpful antioxidants called polyphenols.
What is in Apple Cider Vinegar?
Acetic acid is helpful with cleansing bacterium like E. coli from surfaces – including those of leafy greens. It’s also been found to have anti-diabetic effects, and to be helpful with weight loss in humans.
Lactic acid is helpful for cutting the growth of unwanted yeast and bacteria both inside and outside of the body.
In large doses, malic acid, or malate, has been used to enhance exercise efficiency and to alleviate pain and improve energy levels in chronic pain patients. Ash vi
Ash gives apple cider vinegar a higher alkalinity, and helps your body maintain healthy pH levels.
Calcium is important for bone growth and repair.
Potassium is key in building muscles, growing, and heart activity. It’s also been found helpful to prevent brittle teeth and hair loss.
Which Apple Cider Vinegar should I use for my Dog?
Is Apple Cider Vinegar Good For Dogs?
If your dog has a history of bladder stones, you should avoid it at all costs. Otherwise, yes, apple cider is good for dogs in a variety of ways. As with any natural supplement, check with your veterinarian before adding anything to your dogs daily regimen, especially if they are already on other medications. Some natural supplements react badly with prescription medications, and you don’t want your dog to be the one to figure it out first.
How should Dogs Take Apple Cider Vinegar?
Depending on what you are trying to treat your dog for, the method of taking apple cider vinegar will change.
For topical problems, you will want to create a solution of apple cider vinegar and water to dilute it. If undiluted, apple cider vinegar can cause the same kinds of skin irritation on your dog that you are hoping to fix.
What Is Apple Cider Vinegar Useful for? And How Much Should Your Dog Have?
– Fleas & Ticks
Just like humans don’t like the smell or taste of vinegar, neither do fleas, ticks and mites. If you have a bug problem on your dogs or around your house, it can be helpful to wash your dog and a Apple cider vinegar and water solution. You can also create a spray that will help you spot treat flea infestations.
While these solutions and the washes will not kill fleas, ticks or mites, it will cause them to jump off of your dog and try to find a new home. I recommend doing this wash or spray outside so that the fleas have somewhere else to go other than your home, especially if you have other pets.
PRO TIP: If your dog has light colored fur, apple cider vinegar can cause some minor yellowing. If that’s something that bothers you, you can replace it with distilled white vinegar.
If your dog has an allergic reaction to flea bites that causes dry skin and a rash, you can also put Apple cider vinegar in their water dish once a day to make their blood a less tasty treat for the bugs that bother them.
– Cleaning Ears & Fur
The lactic acid in apple cider vinegar is also helpful for cleaning up yeast problems in your dogs ears and on their skin. You can tell there is a yeast buildup on your dog’s ears if there is a waxy residue and scabbing around the opening of their ears. You might notice your dog rubbing his ear or tilting his head more often than normal.
You can treat this, if it’s early enough in the build up stage, with apple cider vinegar on a cotton swab or a small piece of cloth.
If you suspect there is an actual ear infection, you should take your dog to the vet. Much like with humans, ear infections are no fun for your puppy, and the best way to treat them is with actual medication. However, once your dog is healed, using an apple cider vinegar rinse for your dogs ears can be a great.
Apple cider vinegar has also been found to help your dog’s coat be stronger, healthier and more shiny when used as a shampoo additive, and when taken orally.
It’s also a pretty good deodorizer. You can add apple cider vinegar to the shampoo you use, and also comb it through their damp fur after their bath.
– Cleaning Tear Stains
The tear stains that you sometimes see out on the inner corner of dogs eyes are made up of a compound called porphyrin. A waste product that is generally created from digesting food with high levels of iron. It’s usually excreted through your dogs bile, urine and feces, tears and saliva as well.
Heavy tear stains on your dog is a cause for concern!, you should take them to see the vet before you try apple cider vinegar at home.
The same wash and spray that you made to avoid fleas and ticks can be used to help reduce the amount of itching your dog does. If your dog is itching at particular areas, you can wash those areas with apple cider vinegar to help cleanse the bacteria on their skin and clear up whatever is making them itch.
You should only use it on hotspots if the skin is not broken
– Cleaning Teeth and Nails
You can use an apple cider vinegar and water solution to clean your dog’s teeth and nails. This is best done at bathtime. You can use an apple cider vinegar and water solution as a toothpaste-like liquid when you are cleaning your dog’s mouth, but you’ll want to dilute it well with water.
– Helps with Digestion
If your dog has an upset stomach, diarrhea or constipation, adding Apple cider vinegar to their water can help regulate their digestive system. In smaller doses, Apple cider vinegar can help with upset stomach and diarrhea. In larger doses, Apple cider vinegar has a laxative effect in most app.
– Urinary Tract Infections
While apple cider vinegar is not a treatment for an already existing urinary tract infection, it can help to create an internal environment that is less friendly to these kinds of infections.
If your dog has the early signs of arthritis, adding apple cider vinegar to their water every day may be helpful. Apple cider vinegar has a fairly high concentration of calcium, which is what the body uses to grow and repair bones. You may not see an effect quickly, but dog owners everywhere have found it helpful for their dogs.
How much Apple Cider Vinegar Should You Give Your Dog?
It also depends on what you are treating them for. Here are some basic guides to help you get the right amount for your furry friend.
For Paws, Skin & Fur:
Mix 1 tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar with 1 pint of water and rinse with this solution immediately after a bath. You can soak their paws in this for up to five minutes each. Make sure you get the solution rubbed into their skin well, otherwise it will not have the desired effects.
If you wish to create a spray, mix 1 tablespoon per quart of water and only use it once a day. Keep an eye on their reaction to having the apple cider vinegar on their skin. If they act like it burns, rinse it out immediately.
Make sure to keep it out of their eyes and open wounds. It will hurt and they will not like it.
For cleaning the inside of your dogs ears, you’ll want to make a small amount of apple cider vinegar solution. Mix 5 milliliters of apple cider vinegar with 5 milliliters of water, and soak a cotton swab in it. Use the swab to clean the interior of the ear once a day for a week. Make sure to keep your cleaning to the parts of the ear that are easily accessible so that you don’t tear anything in your dog’s delicate ears.
For Internal Use:
You need to make sure you’re using the right amount of apple cider vinegar for your dog. Here’s a basic guideline!
- For dogs up to 14 pounds, add 1 teaspoon to their bowl of food or water once a day.
- For dogs between 15 and 34 pounds, add 2 teaspoons to their bowl of food or water once a day.
- For dogs above 35 pounds, add 1 tablespoon to their bowl of food or water once a day.
If your dog doesn’t like the taste, try diluting it further and separate into two doses. You should also keep a bowl of plain water available at all times so that your dog doesn’t dehydrate itself because it doesn’t like the taste of apple cider vinegar.
What Should You Watch For In Your Dog?
Just because apple cider vinegar is a natural substance, that does not mean that every dog is going to be able to take it. Not all dogs are going to react well to the taste of Apple cider vinegar, and that’s okay.
If you see these problems occurring in your dog, you can try diluting the dosage of apple cider vinegar a little bit more than you are.
Again, you should consult with your doctor before giving your dog apple cider vinegar in case it could exacerbate already existing medical conditions like bladder stones or kidney disease, and cause harm to any skin issues.