The apple is a powerful fruit and research across the world reveal that Hippocrates, the father of medicine, treated his patients with none other than apple cider vinegar – also known as ACV. It makes sense because it is a powerful cleansing and healing elixir. Today it is used for cooking, for cleaning, and for health! It is a natural antibiotic and antiseptic, fighting bacteria and germs. It is traced back to the Egyptian race as far back as 3000 BC. Find out if it is the right choice for your dog!
Today, ACV is touted as a ‘Perfect Food’, particularly natural, organic, raw apple cider vinegar. It is made from crushed apples that have matured naturally in wooden barrels, boosting their natural fermentation. Natural ACV should be a rich brownish color, with formations like cobwebby substances called the “mother” which you might notice at the bottom of the ACV bottle. Pure organic apple cider vinegar contains iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, and other essential minerals and vitamins.
Being a superfood for humans, the question many pet owners ask, especially if their pets suffer from ailments is, “Can I use this“ wonderful stuff for my dog – can he also benefit? More and more pet parents are trying to switch over from using chemically based products for their pets to all-out natural remedies. Let us look at the benefits of apple cider vinegar for your dog; starting by sayingthat the vet says it’s absolutely healthful for your dog!
If you are looking for a natural tick and flea repellant, you will find apple cider vinegar is the one. You can literally spray your dog with a 50/50 solution of ACV and water just before you let your dog outside to go and run around – this is an effective way of preventing ticks, fleas and other landfall getting onto your dog’s fur. ACV also keeps the PH levels in your dog’s blood a bit acidic and fleas can’t stand this.
This seems to be a major problem with dogs – and it is so heartbreaking to see a beloved pet scratching his skin to find relief from itchy skin. Sometimes it even bleeds. ACV helps here, thank goodness. It helps to soothe and relieve rashes caused by a yeast infection, helping to prevent the spread of the yeast infection.
Dogs who are prone to skin conditions such as demodectic mange or sarcoptic mange have found great relief with ACV. The natural acid helps to eliminate dead skin cells, exposing new and healthy ones. Vets say that ACV helps to dry out the raw, itchy skin to the point that you don’t need to shave the dog. Not only is ACV wonderful for skin conditions in dogs, but look what CBD oil also does to contribute. The wonders of nature!
In saying that it is important that you don’t just apply the ACV concoction straight on to open wounds or hot spots on your dog – the acid will sting his raw skin like crazy.
If it is not possible for you to apply the ACV to your dog’s coat, there is always the option of giving it to them in their water or food. Never feed your dog straight apple cider vinegar. It can be added to the dog’s water, starting with a small amount, like a tablespoon in a big bowl of water. Make sure your dog drinks his water readily with the ACV in before you add a bit more. Remember to place a second bowl of plain water next to the bowl with ACV, in case your dog can’t get used to it in his water – then he still has his regular water available too.
ACV has strong antibacterial properties and is therefore effective in keeping your dog’s ears clean and free of harmful bacteria and yeast. Holistic vets recommend that you take ACV and half purified water to prevent ear infections. Check your dog’s ears regularly for wax, cleaning out anything that shouldn’t be there – use individual cotton balls soaked in the ACV solution. Continue cleaning gently until there is no more gunk in his ear. Don’t use earbuds.
Even if your dog doesn’t have any skin problems, ACV is still wonderful just to bring life back into his coat. What do you think of this sweet-smelling tonic? Try adding some anti-bacterial, antiseptic herbs to the ACV. This tonic is good for all dogs, improving their coats, soothing irritated skin and repelling bugs and healing sores. Try these herbs (the flowers or stalks): rosemary, lavender, lemon peel, calendula, chamomile, sage. Place the herbs in a glass jar up to half if you use dried herbs. Then pour over ACV to cover the herbs. Seal the jar tightly, leaving in a nice warm place for about 2 weeks. Afterward, strain the liquid through some cheesecloth into glass storage bottles, storing in a cool dark place. Shake before using. To use this delightful mixture, dilute it with equal amounts of water and pour the liquid over your dog (not his head) after shampooing and then towel dry. Don’t rinse with water.
If your dog has digestion problems like diarrhea or constipation, adding ACV to his drinking water once a day helps, because ACV has healthy enzymes in it which reduces bloating and gas in the dog.
ACV has wonderful anti-inflammatory properties which help to reduce muscle pain and inflammation. For aching muscles or muscle strain, apply a compress of ACV to the affected area for around 15 minutes. Do this 2-3 times a day. If you need something stronger, try making a vinegar herbal liniment. Here’s how:
Use this liniment to massage into his bruises, sore muscles and joints. You could also make a compress by soaking a small clean washcloth with the solution and applying it to the affected area for as long as your dog allows you to do it!
Because ACV has antibacterial and antiseptic properties, it is effective in preventing and curing infections, particularly urinary tract infections. A UTI is often due to bacteria invading the urinary tract from a system that is too alkaline. The acidity of the ACV helps to neutralize the dog’s PH levels, preventing new infections from starting up.
(Remember to discuss with your vet any new treatments or medications you give to your dog!)
The health benefits of ACV are certainly undeniable. However, it doesn’t mean that each and every dog needs apple cider vinegar on a regular basis. It is important to talk with your vet, especially a holistic vet, in deciding the appropriate amount of ACV for your dog's individual needs. But you won’t be sorry to get your dog onto ACV – There are no bad days when you arrive home to your dog’s love – he deserves what he gives off so much – love!