Apple Cider Vinegar for Dogs: The Natural Health Option

Apple Cider Vinegar for Dogs: The Natural Health Option

  • Kirsten Thornhill - 05.03.2020

At times continue, we are seeing more and more paw parents make the switch from chemically based, conventional medicines to all-natural remedies. When you get down to the nitty-gritty, it’s not really a surprise why so many people prefer non-toxic alternatives when treating their four-legged friend’s issues and ailments. No harsh toxins or chemicals? No artificial ingredients? Virtually no side effects? We’re in.

If you are new to the holistic and natural health world, welcome! It may take you by surprise just how accessible the majority of natural remedies are. In particular, the all-natural healing helper that we’re talking about today, may well already be in your cabinet as we speak. With that being said, let’s get right to it! In today’s article, we’ll be discussing Apple Cider Vinegar and how it may be able to make a drastic difference in your doggo’s life (and yours too)!

Apple Cider Vinegar: What Is It 

Commonly referred to as ACV, apple cider vinegar is a type of vinegar that has been making heads turn in the last few years for the ways in which it can help improve human health. More recently, many individuals began to wonder if these health benefits could also help their canines and felines.



In short, the answer is yes! Studies have shown that ACV has impressive health properties for both cats and dogs. Paw parents are thrilled at the results they are seeing with the use of ACV, internally and externally on their four-legged friends. 

Is Apple Cider Vinegar Trending

Apple cider vinegar is very similar to white vinegar. The major difference lies within the fermentation process of the apples. ACV is made through a fermentation process full of potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium iron, and other essential vitamins and minerals. 

With a long list of health advantages, it’s not a shock that ACV is used medicinally. Even though health blogs and internet trends have only caught on to the concept in the last few years, ACV has foundational roots in holistic healing all the way back to 400 B.C. when Hippocrates was said to use the solution to treat colds and other illnesses. 

The Dog Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

You’ve probably been curious as to just how ACV may be able to help your pup. You soon find out that many of the benefits are comparable to those found in us humans. 

1. A Natural Flea Killer 

ACV is a natural tick and flea repellent. At one time or another, you’ll likely have to deal with your doggo getting fleas. Yuck! These gnarly pests exist everywhere, even in climates you wouldn’t think twice about. Many paw parents don’t like the idea of a monthly, not to mention, chemically-based prevention medication, but clearly still want your doggo to be flea and tick free. Here’s where your apple cider vinegar comes into play. 

Spraying your pup with a 50/50 solution (50 water, 50 ACV) before they endure the outdoors is an effective way to prevent ticks and fleas from finding a home in your dog’s fur. 

In addition, you may need extra flea and tick protection during the flea and tick season. ACV helps keep the pH levels in your doggo’s blood slightly acidic, which fleas do not like. Thus, dog owners have found that adding 2 tablespoons of ACV to their pet’s meal or water does just enough good!

2. Relieves Itchy Skin 

If you have a pup who can’t seem to find any relief from their itchy skin, apple cider vinegar may be able to help! ACV can help relieve rashes caused by yeast and soothe the skin. More so, apple cider vinegar has the ability to prevent the spread of yeast and helps prevent yeast infections from further developing. 

In addition, doggos who are more prone to skin conditions such as sarcoptic mange or demodectic mange have found wonderful results with using ACV. Apple cider vinegar contains naturally-occurring acids that aid in dead skin cells elimination and helps expose new, healthy ones. Many all-natural, holistic veterinarians suggest that treating developing hot spots with ACV may help dry them out and even eliminate the need to shave the dog. Yipee!

Paw parents have found that mixing a 50/50 solution of ACV and water in a spray bottle then applying it to their dog’s fur coat works like magic for itchy and dry skin. But, it is important to not apply the ACV concoction directly onto open wounds or hot spots, as the acidity may sting the raw skin. If applying the ACV to your dog’s fur coat isn’t quite possible, paw parents can also feed ACV to their pet via food or water. 

3. Tear Staining and Coat Treatments

Even if your pup isn’t one that suffers from skin irritations, ACV can still be a wonderful supplement for bringing light and life back into your pup’s dull coat. In addition, apple cider vinegar can be used to wipe away brown saliva stained fur and tear stains. 

Many paw parents have found positive results in reducing dandruff with ACV. By simply massaging their coat with full-strength ACV before shampooing, you’re on the right track to reducing your pup’s dandruff. 

4. Natural Ear Cleaner

Itchy skin is usually accompanied by two itchy ears. Because of its powerful antibacterial characteristics, ACV is an effective way to keep your doggo’s ears clean, yeast-free, and bacteria-free! Holistic vets suggest using a half and half solution (like we mentioned above) to prevent ear infections from recurrence and further development. 

First, check your pup’s ears on the regular for gunk and wax. Clean out anything that shouldn’t be there, using cotton balls soaked in the 50/50 solution. Continue this process until their ears are gunk free on the cotton ball. 

5. Fights Infection

Apple cider vinegar has natural antiseptic and antibiotic properties that prevent harmful bacteria and viruses from entering. Even if your pup doesn’t have a preexisting condition, ACV treatment may help prevent infections from developing. 

6. Aids in Digestion

If your pup suffers from regular digestion issues, like constipation or diarrhea, adding ACV to their drinking H2O once a day can help! The healthy enzymes present in apple cider vinegar have been shown to reduce gas and bloating. 

7. Helps Muscle Bruises and Sprains

When used topically, paw parents can help ease their pet’s bruises, sore muscles, and other various injuries. By using a simple cotton ball, applying a 50/50 concoction of ACV and water to your doggo’s body, they’ll reap the benefits one day at a time. 

8. Eases Joint and Arthritic Discomfort 

When used internally, ACV can help in reducing joint inflammation caused by arthritis. Adding ACV to your elderly dog’s food as little as twice a week can help break down calcium deposits found around the joints. Thus, helpling ease the stiffness, pain, and distress around the joints. 

9. Prevents and Heals UTIs

As we mentioned previously, ACV has antibacterial and antiseptic properties, making it effective at curing and preventing infections. In particular, it’s beneficial for dogs that frequently suffer from urinary tract infections (UTIs). UTIs often occur due to bacteria invading the urinary tract from an overly alkaline system. The acidity that appears in ACV helps in neutralizing the dog’s pH levels and is useful in relieving current infections as well as preventing new ones from occurring. 

10. Promotes Dental Health

Researchers are continuing to suggest that the benefits of apple cider vinegar help prevent tooth decay. It’s suggested that the acidity levels in ACV help in breaking down plaque and removing tartar on your doggo’s teeth. 

By simply adding a teaspoon of ACV to your fur baby’s food or water, you can help in maintaining their dental health. 

How Much Apple Cider Vinegar Do I Give My Dog

Dog experts suggest the following guidelines for ACV into their dog’s food and water:


Small to Medium Dogs: 1 teaspoon or 5 ml 

Medium to Large Dogs: 1 tablespoon or 10 ml 

We suggest starting your doggo off with less than the recommended safe dose. Why? We feel that when implementing any new supplement into your dog’s daily life, it should be done slowly and gradually. The last thing you’d want to do is to potentially cause harm when you’re trying to do the complete opposite. There’s absolutely no need to rush the process when it comes to ACV treatment. 

Apple Cider Vinegar: The Risks and Side Effects

Here we are, the potential risks. Even though ACV is 100% natural, it may cause harm if not used appropriately. Apple cider vinegar is extremely acidic in nature and can irritate the eyes, skin, and the digestive tract if used in high doses. It is recommended to dilute the ACV when giving it to your pup, both externally and internally. 

Veterinarians also advise paw parents to make sure that their dog is continuously staying hydrated if they plan on adding ACV to their dog’s drinking water. Some pups won’t totally love the flavor of ACV and some even refuse to drink it. Ugh. It’s important to leave out a clean water source, just to ensure that your dog’s isn’t dehydrating in protest of the ACV water. 

When using apple cider vinegar in doggy baths, be sure to rinse the fur out thoroughly. This is a general rule of thumb for all shampoos. Even if they are all natural and safe, shampoo residue can cause skin irritations. Thus, if you don’t rinse the fur completely, you could be accidentally creating irritation while you were trying to prevent it in the first place. 


It’s most likely that by now, you’ve heard of CBD and its benefits. Much like apple cider vinegar, many people didn’t know the herb supports healthiness until they were able to read or hear about it from other humans or pet parents having such success.


Because CBD for dogs is 100% natural and non-toxic, it can be used in parallel with apple cider vinegar. 

Apple Cider Vinegar: A Final Thought

When all is said and done, stay in “the know”. The best way that paw parents can make educational and rational decisions for their fur child is by being well aware and knowing of all there is to know about what they are exactly dealing with. 

If your pup is having GI issues, what is the underlying cause of it? If it’s something like food allergies or anxiety, ACV may be able to help relieve the symptoms, but may not cure the root of the problem. 

Yes, apple cider vinegar can make a large difference and work miracles in balancing bacteria, but figuring out the root of the problem may lie in excess bacteria in the diet. 

Whether you are curing a current illness or helping to prevent one from developing, raw apple cider vinegar can make a difference in your dog’s life. 

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