Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar for Dogs
Apple cider vinegar has long been used for recipes and dying Easter eggs. What many dog owners don’t know is that apple cider vinegar offers many benefits to boost our dogs’ health as well.
Apple Cider Vinegar as a Dog Supplement
Adding apple cider vinegar to your dog’s water or food offers many health benefits which include:
- improves digestion
- combats yeast infections
- relieves allergy symptoms
- supports joint health
- clears up tear stains
Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar, a brand used by many dog owners, recommends adding 1 teaspoon for small dogs and 1 tablespoon for medium and large dogs.
Our dogs were turned off by the strong smell initially and I found that adding 2 tablespoons of canned green tripe to their meal hides the smell. If you plan to add apple cider vinegar to your dog’s water or food, start with a small amount (a capful) and gradually increase the amount until you reach the recommendation shared above.
Apple Cider Vinegar and Ear Infections
To keep ear infections at bay, it’s important to keep our dogs ears cleaned. According to Dr. Karen Becker, “The rule is to clean your pet’s ears when they’re dirty. If there’s lots of wax accumulating every day, they need to be cleaned every day. If your dog’s ears don’t produce much wax or collect much crud, you can be less vigilant and clean them less often.”
We mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and warm water to wipe down our dogs ears, paws and tummies with a washcloth a few times a week. This has cut down on the itchiness that leads to head shaking (ears) and obsessive licking (paws).
If you suspect that your dog has an ear infection, it’s important to schedule a vet appointment to have the infection treated professionally before starting a cleaning regime using apple cider vinegar.
Apple Cider Vinegar as a Cleaner
Odor remover: The strong odor produced by apple cider vinegar makes it a perfect odor remover. One of our dogs was skunked and after bathing him, our house smelled strongly of our unwanted guest. Putting a small pot of apple cider vinegar and water on to simmer for an hour removed the smell from our entire house.
Dog shampoo: A 1/2 a cup of apple cider vinegar is an effective dog shampoo when mixed with 2 cups of warm water and 1/4 of Dawn dish detergent. Just keep the mixture away from your dog’s eyes, nose and mouth.
Flea treatment: Apple cider vinegar can be used as a safe and natural flea treatment for dogs. Simply add equal parts apple cider vinegar and water to a spray bottle. If you have a dog with sensitive skin, test a small area first to make sure there isn’t a reaction. Avoid your dog’s face with the spray.
Buying Apple Cider Vinegar
According to Dr. Becker, “when purchasing an apple cider vinegar, you’ll want to avoid the perfectly clear, ‘sparkling clean’ varieties you commonly see on grocery store shelves. Instead, you want organic, unfiltered, unprocessed apple cider vinegar, which is murky and brown.”
I was pleasantly surprised by the list of benefits apple cider vinegar offers for dogs and we add it to our dogs morning meals 3 days a week. Not only is this an affordable dog supplement, it is effective as well.
Kimberly Gauthier is the proud pet parent of four dogs and the founder of Keep the Tail Wagging, where she shares personal experiences about raising her dogs naturally. You can follow Kimberly on Twitter at the Fur Mom.
Kimberly Gauthier writes about raw feeding for Keep the Tail Wagging while raising four gorgeous dogs in the Pacific Northwest.