Apple cider vinegar has many health benefits for humans and naturally, anything that works for us we want to share it with our canine companions. But what are the benefits of apple cider vinegar for dogs? Let’s find out!
Apple cider vinegar is usually acidic in nature and our dogs tend to have alkaline blood and alkaline urine which is why most dogs benefit from apple cider vinegar (ACV).
Here are 4 Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar For Dogs
Itchy Skin and Paws
Apple cider vinegar works well with itchy skin and paws because the itch is often caused by bacteria and ACV creates a hostile environment for bacterias. Once the bacteria is gone, your dog gets relief.
You can make a 50:50 solution of ACV and water and add it in a spray bottle. Spray it on the itchy parts of their skin.
If they have itchy paws you can spray the same mixture in their paws until it is moist. Then use the cotton swab to massage the mixture and remove the excess.
Remember, ACV does burn so, don’t apply it on big open wounds and never apply it in large quantities. If you want to treat their itchy paws with it, first check if their paws are clear from cuts and wounds.
2. Flea and Tick Repellant
ACV works as a natural flea and tick repellant. Many store-bought repellants contain a lot of chemicals which are harmful to them and may make their fur and skin brittle. ACV is natural and great for their skin.
If you don’t want the trouble of the bandana, simply spray a bit of the magic mixture before you go out on a walk.
3. Fights Ear Infections
Yes, you’re right, the same magic mixture can fight ear infections given that the infection is not too severe. Try not to spray it in their inner ear, just spraying it peripherally and massaging the mixture, can help them fight infections.
Please keep in mind that if the infection persists and if they get a foul smell from it, you must take them to the vet.
4. Fighting Yeast Infections
Yeast infections and UTIs are again caused by bacteria and ACV creates a hostile environment thus killing the bacteria. ACV is safe for your dog to ingest given that it is taken in small quantities.
How Much Is Too Much?
There is no exact measurement on how much you should give your dog but you should never give them too much. Start by giving them half a teaspoon and a bowl full of water. Never give them ACV directly, not only will they hate the taste, it will burn their mouth and they may never try it again.
Check if they are drinking the water and always add an extra bowl of freshwater beside the ACV water. Some dogs are picky and if they don’t like the taste of ACV they may just pull their nose up and never try water again.
Too much ACV can have some adverse effect on them too. It can erode the teeth, the oesophagus or food pipe and the fine linning in the cheeks and gut. If they have a large amount of ACV for a long period of time they may even get bone problems. So always start with half a teaspoon in a bowl full of water and never exceed 1 teaspoon for small dogs; 1 tablespoon for giant dogs.
When Should I Not Give ACV?
Though most dogs benefit from ACV, it can make some dogs really sick. Dogs that are prone to tooth problems and weak bones are better off without it.
Dogs that have acidic blood and urine don’t need ACV. Dogs that have frequent constipation or loose motion usually have slightly acidic urine and they don’t require ACV.
Dogs with a history of kidney problems, liver problems and adrenal problems don’t require ACV. The extra acid puts pressure on the kidney causing kidney stones.
Another reason for not giving them apple vinegar is if they are allergic to it. You will immediately see allergic reactions once you give them ACV. Most dogs are mildly allergic to it, and a bit of water will rid it out of their system. However, in very few cases, pet parents required medical care.
The best way to know if your dog needs ACV is to check the pH value of their urine. It is very simple and you can do it at home. All you need is a pH strip. Check the acidity levels of their morning urine with the pH strip. Writer and nutritionist Wendy Volhard recommends that if the reading is somewhere between 6.2 to 6.5 they don’t need ACV, however, if it is around 7.5 they will do great with a small dose of ACV.