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Apple Cider Vinegar for Dogs: 9 Uses & Benefits

Nicole Cosgrove

Apple cider vinegar has been touted as a tonic for everything ranging from weight loss to blood sugar control in humans. It is used as a cleaner because of its antibacterial properties, and it is taken to help calm a sore throat and even to reduce the risk of developing certain cancers.

With so many perceived positive benefits, it is little wonder that attention has turned to its use in animals. In particular, apple cider vinegar is proving to be a popular addition to a dog’s daily diet.

Below are various ways in which apple cider vinegar can be used to improve your dog’s health, keep them looking and feeling younger, and increase their general wellbeing. We have also listed the different ways in which you can give this powerful supplement to your dog.

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Uses

1. Adding It to Food

One of the easiest ways to give apple cider vinegar to a dog is to put it in their food. You only need to add about a ½ teaspoon to a bowl of food. When adding it to food, your dog may not get the full amount that you add. Some residue is likely to be left around the bowl or in food debris that escapes the area.

West Highland White Terrier dog at home eating
Image Credit: Alejandro rodriguez, Shutterstock

The vinegar does have a strong smell, and some dogs will be put off by the smell. If you feed both wet and dry food, the wet food will better mask the smell of the vinegar.


2. Adding It to Water

Alternatively, add the cider vinegar to water. In this case, you can add a little less because your dog will take in more of the liquid. Add between ¼ and ½ a teaspoon to a full bowl of water.

Your dog must always have access to drinking water. As such, you should provide a separate bowl of clean and unaltered water so that there is still water available.


3. Cleaning Ears

Apple cider vinegar can be used to generally clean ears, and it has also proven effective in the fight against ear infections. The vinegar balances the pH in your dog’s ear and will fight bacterial and yeast infections.

You will need to dilute the apple cider vinegar, at roughly a 50:50 ratio, with warm water. Once you’ve created the mix, soak a cotton ball and wipe out the ears until they are clear. Do not pour the mixture directly into the ear.

French,Bulldog
Image Credit: Javier Brosch, Shutterstock

4. Skin Treatment

This balancing of pH levels also makes an apple cider vinegar mix beneficial for the skin. If your dog suffers from dry, flaky patches, or you regularly find him scratching and biting at areas of his skin, dilute some of the vinegar and apply it to the affected area of the skin using cotton wool.

You should first conduct a spot test 24 hours before applying the full batch. This gives enough time for an adverse reaction to show.


5. Cleaning the House

Apple cider vinegar has been used for its natural cleaning properties. It can disinfect surfaces and clean dirt and grime, allowing you to both protect your pup from the grime and clean up after them. Add some to warm water and then wipe surfaces, mop the floor, and clean stubborn stains.

You should apply a spot test 24 hours before cleaning, in the same way you would when using a cider vinegar skin rub.

diswashing cleaning-pixabay
Image Credit: jarmoluk, Pixabay

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Benefits

6. Soothing

Apple cider vinegar is soothing. It can remedy itchy and flaky skin and cure ear infections. It can also settle the stomach and help ease discomfort in your dog.


7. Oral or Topical

It can be given orally, usually in food or water, and it can be applied topically, which makes it a convenient bottle to have around the house. It can even be used as a cleaning product.


8. Natural

Apple cider vinegar is natural. It does not contain chemicals or toxins, and in most cases, it is safe to give to dogs, although you should perform a spot test or give a small portion, initially, to ensure that your dog is not allergic or sensitive.

homemade apple cider
Image Credit: JennyandtheSummerDay, Pixabay

9. Healthier Looks

Feeding or applying apple cider vinegar can help keep your dog looking young. It has antioxidant properties and can prevent itchy and flaky skin while also helping the gut and other areas of the body.

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Apple Cider Vinegar for Your Dog

Apple cider vinegar is used by us humans to heal a variety of woes, and many people take it regularly as a tonic or preventative. This natural remedy offers similar benefits to dogs and is especially useful to combat itchy skin, prevent stomach complaints, and reduce ear inflammation and ear infections.

Never give undiluted apple cider vinegar to your dog, ensure that it is properly diluted, and do not give apple vinegar products that have been formulated for human consumption because they will contain additional ingredients that are no good for your pup.

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Featured Image: focal point, Shutterstock

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.