Apple cider vinegar, in its raw, organic and unpasteurised form has many health benefits for humans, dogs, cats and horses.
What's in it?
Apple cider vinegar, or ACV, is acidic, helps balance out pH levels and has antibacterial properties. ACV contains iron, potassium and magnesium and other essential vitamins and minerals. For us humans, we add it to food as a salad dressing or take it straight from the spoon. It can also be taken in a drink by mixing with honey and hot water.
Apple cider vinegar can benefit your dog, cat and horse too by adding it to food and using it externally.
Why is it Good for My Dog?
It’s beneficial in so many ways – it’s a flea repellant, antibacterial ear cleaner, a tear stain remover, constipation bothered, and an all-around superfood. Make sure it’s the right kind of apple cider vinegar though. You probably won’t find it on the supermarket shelf.
You may also like: Golden Milk For Dogs- An Anti-inflammatory Powerhouse
Why Does it Need to be Organic, Raw, Unpasteurised and Contain the ‘Mother’?
Commercially produced apple cider vinegar is highly refined and processed and is not a truly traditional ACV. Most apple cider kinds of vinegar you find on the shelves are clear, like apple juice. This shows that the vinegar has been filtered and pasteurised. Unprocessed vinegar should be cloudy, with floating almost stringy matter swirling around in it. This is the all-important Mother.
The “Mother of Vinegar” is a natural substance composed of mostly living enzymes created during the fermentation of vinegar. It also contains friendly bacteria as well as other healthy nutrients. The Mother contains most of the important minerals, vitamins and amino acids that are released or created during the fermentation process.
Commercially produced vinegar, even that supplied by various ‘Health Shops,’ most often has the Mother removed to make a clear, shiny and consistent product that looks pleasing to the eye on the supermarket shelf. Filtering also makes ACV easier and cheaper to produce. If you are looking for the real deal, you’ve come to the right place.
Added to food twice a week – in water or directly into food it will help break down calcium deposits found around the joints as dogs get older which cause stiffness and discomfort. Continued use will make joints noticeably more flexible and less painful.
ACV keeps the pH levels in the blood slightly acidic which fleas dislike intensely so it helps keep the little blighters away.
Skin and Coat
If your dog has dry skin and a dull coat ACV will soften the skin and bring the fur back to its former glory.
My personal favourite thing obviously. Because it brings the skin back to health itchiness is significantly reduced.
Add once a day to water if your dog has diarrhoea and repeat every day for a week to relieve constipation.
There is evidence that the acidity levels in ACV help to break down plaque and tartar on teeth.
You may also like: Natural Dental Health for Dogs
Use a 1:1 ACV to water mix in a spray bottle – add the same ratio mix to shampoo as well – to use ACV on all the conditions listed below.
- Itchy skin – use only on unbroken skin as it will sting otherwise – spray or wipe your dog down with the 1:1 mix as and when required, and after a bath or being in the water.
Help your pooch get rid of the scratching: How Detoxing Your Dog and Their World Can Help Scratch That Itch
- Parasite control – spray or wipe down your dog a couple of times a week. Fleas can’t stand the acidity of ACV and will jump straight off.
- Ear cleaning – the antibacterial properties of ACV make it a good ear cleaner. Add the mix to cotton wool and carefully clean down inside the ears, only as far as you can see mind!
- Tear staining – wipe away tear stains, and use daily on tear-stained fur or brown saliva stained fur (especially on paws) to bring the fur back to normal. Use daily.
- Deodorising – add to shampoo to help with flea control then comb through damp fur afterwards to deodorise and keeps fleas at bay.
- Coat condition – comb through and give your dog’s coat a sleek and shiny look.
How Much Should I Feed?
In water or food
Small to medium dogs – 5ml or 1 teaspoon in water
Medium to large dogs – 10ml or 1 dessert spoon in water
All cats 1.25ml or 1/4 teaspoon in water or food – best measured with a small 2 or 5ml syringe as it’s such a tiny amount
For a healthy horse add 60ml to feed once a day. Mix 1:1 with water.
*as a note of caution we don’t recommend giving your dog ACV internally if they have a history of bladder stones.
If you’re adding ACV to water always make sure there is another bowl of plain fresh water nearby in case they don’t fancy the ACV that day.