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Apple Cider Vinegar Can Help Your Dog

Take advantage of apple cider vinegar’s many health and household benefits!

By: Connie Wilson

Last Updated:


This amazing tonic has a myriad of canine applications, from deterring fleas to treating skin conditions and removing odours. Here’s how to take advantage of apple cider vinegar’s many health and household benefits!  

I love ordinary products that do extraordinary things, and apple cider vinegar (also referred to as ACV), is one such product extraordinaire. ACV is made from fermented apples. It is one of the oldest fermentation processes known to humankind and has been used medicinally for thousands of years. I first learned about its many uses years ago when I was looking for more natural remedies to incorporate in my life. I was intrigued to learn that the ancient Egyptians used ACV not just as an antiseptic, but also as a weight loss agent, while in ancient Greece, Hippocrates (known as the father of modern medicine), advocated drinking vinegar as an energizing tonic and a healing elixir and also used it externally for cleaning wounds, inflammations, and burns. Meanwhile, Caesar’s armies used ACV to cook with and for its antiseptic properties against insect and snakebites. Cleopatra’s beautiful complexion was attributed to her daily use of diluted ACV as a facial tonic.

Today we’re seeing a resurgence of this popular but common household staple to help humans with everything from relieving sore throats, bug bites, and constipation, to even regulating blood sugar levels and lowering cholesterol. 

So, if this simple and natural but multifaceted home staple is
so useful for humans, is it also good for our dogs? The simple answer is yes—most experts agree that its documented human benefits also help dogs; but, as always, it’s a good idea to check with your vet first. 

Made from just apples and water, it may be suprising to learn that it has strong antioxidant and antibacterial qualities. Slightly acidic (it has a pH of 3.1 to 5), it can soothe a dog’s overly alkalized digestive tract, notes Whole Dog Journal, which recommends starting with the addition of a teaspoon of ACV to your dog’s water bowl. ACV is packed with potassium—11 grams in a tablespoon. You can also use it to rinse any vegetables or fruit you and your dog consume; Cook’s Illustrated found that cleaning produce with a solution of 1 part vinegar and 3 parts water removed 98 percent of bacteria, proving it to be more effective than anti-bacterial soap. 


6 ways apple cider vinegar can help dogs

#1 Add to water and food to aid digestion and regulate weight and blood sugar

#2 Use to clean ears and fight infection

#3 Repel fleas and ticks

#4 Relieve itchy/flaky skin, improve lack luster coats, and soothe irritated skin and hot spots (dilute 50/50 with water)

#5 Fight yeast infections on paws (soak your dog’s paws in a solution of half ACV and half water)

#6 Remove dog and cat urine odours in the home (works to remove skunk odour too!)



Clean your dog’s ears by dampening a cotton ball with a solution of equal parts apple cider vinegar and water, and use it to swab the inside of the ear. The vinegar helps to control the growth of unfriendly bacteria and other microorganisms that are a common cause of ear infections, and as a result, this will help keep your pets from scratching their ears.


ACV won’t kill fleas but they definitely don’t like it! For minor flea infestations, washing your dog with a gentle shampoo, followed by a thorough rinse then spraying on apple cider vinegar diluted with an equal amount of warm water. Allow your dog to drip or shake dry. The vinegar rinse will acidify your pet's skin making it unattractive to fleas and ticks.


Apply unpasteurized apple cider vinegar with the aid of a soft cotton ball, directly to burns or skin acne to soothe and promote healing.

For dry itchy skin, hot spots, or skin infections you can bathe your pet in warm water then rinse him or her with a solution of 1 part ACV to 3 parts water. This vinegar rinse will also leave their coats soft and shiny.


Sponge undiluted vinegar into your dog’s coat and skin. Be careful not to get the solution in your pet's eyes. Allow it to dry and then follow with a mild pet shampoo and warm water rinse.


Since ACV is a great deodorizer and safe for your dog, you can use it to disinfect dog toys and bedding. Spray it anywhere you need odor control and/or a gentle disinfectant.


Last Updated:

By: Connie Wilson
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