It's been an ongoing joke in my house that I've become obsessed with apple cider vinegar. And it's true. Recently, I discovered that it helps with a number of ailments – not just for me personally, but also for my pets.
And honestly, it's no laughing matter. While I'm not one to throw around words like “miracle cure,” because it sounds a little hokey – not to mention that it sounds like the claims of a snake oil salesman – I'm pleased with how apple cider vinegar has helped me, mainly with my skin condition and itchy ears.
Because of this, I've done extensive research on using apple cider vinegar on dogs, and needless to say, there are a lot of potential uses for this common household product. As I mentioned above, it cured my own itchy ears, and it's commonly used as a natural remedy for dog ear infections.
You may be asking why apple cider vinegar works for dogs? And what it can help treat? If those are questions on your mind, you've come to the right place.
A few common maladies that apple cider vinegar can help with include:
As mentioned above, a tiny bit of apple cider vinegar in the ears can help with itchy ears and even ear infections in dogs. Floppy eared dogs tend to get a lot of ear infections, and you may not even realize it until they start having severe issues such as bleeding, usually because of excessive scratching or shaking their head too much.
But you don't have to wait until medical attention is necessary. Apple cider vinegar is both harmless and helpful in preventing, and yes, even curing ear infections in dogs.
Look into your dog's ears. Are they caked with dirt or a brown sludge? If so, it's a good chance they have yeast in their ears. Simply getting water in their ears can lead to this, and for many dogs who enjoy swimming, ear infections are super common, especially during the summer months. But they don't have to be!
Dilute the apple cider vinegar with some water, just a small capfull to about twice as much water, and pour directly into the ear. Try to let it sit for as long as your dog will allow, scratching and rubbing the ear to help it get deep down into the ear canal. Your dog will probably want to shake his head to get the water out, and that's fine. It'll help get the gunk out now that you've loosened it up. You may also want to dry the inside of the ear with a cotton swab, but don't get too deep into the ear. Just clean the outside part you can see.
This should help stop itching almost instantly, but you will want to keep it up for a few days, at least, to make sure any sign of infection is killed off
once and for all. You can also regularly clean your dog's ears with this solution even when no sign of irritation is present. It'll help keep the bacteria at bay.
Allergies and tear stains
It's so pitiful to look at your pooch and see what looks like tears coming from their eyes. They look so sad, and chances are, they're miserable too. As miserable as you would if your allergies were acting up at least.
The good news is that apple cider vinegar also helps get rid of those sad eye stains as it helps cure their allergies as well. It's incredibly simple. Just apply a tiny bit of apple cider vinegar to their food or water – a capfull will usually suffice. It will work from the inside out to help with all the common signs of allergies including tear stains, itchy skin, and hair loss.
Fleas and ticks
Who likes to apply nasty chemicals to their dog's skin monthly? If you're looking for a more natural way to control fleas and ticks, the solution might be as simple as apple cider vinegar applied to the skin after a weekly bath. Just dilute the apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle with some water (about a cap full again), and spray directly onto your dog after bath time. Applied weekly, it might also help with skin conditions like hot spots, pimples, thinning hair, all while deterring pests.
Who knew that a simple solution to so many common problems was a product most of us keep around the house for salad dressings and the like? There are also people who swear that apple cider vinegar helps aid digestion and weight loss, and as we mentioned above, it's absolutely harmless, so it's always worth a try. Especially if you've tried everything else and can't figure out a solution. Who knows, ACV might be the “miracle” cure you're looking for.
But as with all things, please talk to your veterinarian before starting any sort of medical regimen, holistic or otherwise, just in case your pet has special needs. After all, no two canines are alike, and while apple cider vinegar may be safe for most dogs, it's always best to check with your vet just to be on the safe side.