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Is Apple Cider Vinegar Good For Dogs?

Written by Ella White


Happy Aussie puppy jumping through grass

Apple cider vinegar (sometimes referred to by the acronym ACV) has been hailed as a natural remedy for numerous health issues in humans. From aiding digestion to improving skin health, it seems there’s no end to the benefits of this liquid elixir. This has led many pet owners to wonder whether apple cider vinegar could also offer benefits for their pets. 

In this article, we'll explore the potential uses of apple cider vinegar for dogs, and precautions  you should take when it comes to making informed decisions about incorporating it into your pet's care routine.

Potential Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar for Dogs

Apple cider vinegar is made through the fermentation of apple cider, resulting in a liquid that contains acetic acid along with nutrients such as vitamins B and C, and minerals like potassium. Its popularity in natural health circles stems from its purported antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Some pet owners and holistic veterinarians suggest that apple cider vinegar can offer several benefits for dogs, including:

However, it's crucial to note that scientific evidence supporting these benefits is limited, and what works for one dog might not work for another.

How Do I Use Apple Cider Vinegar?

If you're considering incorporating apple cider vinegar into your dog's routine, it's important that you do so safely to avoid any adverse effects. Always consult your vet before making any changes to their routine. If your vet believes that apple cider vinegar could be beneficial for your dog, you can use it in the following ways:

For Topical Use

Dilute ACV with water (usually a 50/50 mix) and apply it to your dog's skin with a spray bottle or a soft cloth. This can be used for soothing itchy or dry skin/learn/dog-health/dog-itching-remedies or as a natural flea repellent. It’s also believed to add shine to your dog's coat. Always avoid open wounds or irritated areas, as it can cause a stinging sensation.

Digestive Aid

It's thought that apple cider vinegar can help improve digestion and support a healthy gut environment.

Add a small amount of diluted apple cider vinegar to your dog's water or food — start with a teaspoon per 50 pounds of body weight, mixed into their water bowl. Make sure that it's well-diluted to prevent any gastrointestinal discomfort.

Precautions and Considerations

While apple cider vinegar can be beneficial for some dogs, it's not suitable for all. If you are going to incorporate it into their diet or use it topically for skin complaints, consider the following precautions:

  • Always dilute: apple cider vinegar should never be given to dogs undiluted, as its high acidity can cause digestive upset, damage tooth enamel, or irritate the skin.
  • Monitor for reactions: Keep an eye out for any adverse reactions, such as gastrointestinal discomfort, skin irritation, or worsening of symptoms.
  • Consult your vet: Before introducing any new supplement to your dog's diet, especially if they have pre-existing health conditions or are on medication, it's best to consult with your veterinarian.

The Bottom Line

Apple cider vinegar might offer some benefits for dogs, such as aiding in skin health, digestion, and natural flea control. However, it should be used with caution, and always in diluted form, to avoid potential risks. 

While the anecdotal evidence surrounding the benefits is compelling, it's essential to prioritize your pet's safety and health by using apple cider vinegar carefully and under the guidance of a professional. As with any natural remedy, what's beneficial for one dog might not be for another, so it's key to observe your pet's reaction and consult with your vet to ensure it's a safe option for your furry friend.