Apple Cider Vinegar: A Home Remedy For Dogs

clear glass bottle with red liquid beside sliced lemon on blue textile

Key points

  • Apple cider vinegar is a very common home remedy made by fermenting sugar from apples. Yeast and bacteria are combined to create a “mother” during the fermentation process, and this combination is responsible for the product’s health properties.
  • Apple cider vinegar can help relieve pain and itchiness, prevent urinary tract and skin infections, help clean the pet’s ears, lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, remove toxins from the kidneys, and contribute to the pet’s overall gut health.
  • Apple cider vinegar can be used in the form of liquid, spray, wipes, and capsules.
  • Not all dogs react well to apple cider vinegar. It’s not recommended to use ACV with low pH (<6) for dogs because the pet may experience vomiting, diarrhea and constipation. Using apple cider vinegar too often or giving it in large doses can cause adverse effects as well, so always run a 24-hour spot test before giving your dog ACV.

Using home remedies as an alternative to conventional drugs is becoming more and more popular. Apple cider vinegar is one of the most commonly used home remedies both for humans and for dogs, and its usage dates back to 400 B.C. This remedy is known to have many health benefits from aiding with weight loss and to helping with flea prevention and skin itchiness.

red and yellow apples floating on water

Apple cider vinegar is produced by fermenting sugar from apples which results in acidic vinegar. This vinegar contains acetic, lactic, malic, and citric acids. Apple cider vinegar helps to balance the body’s pH and improves digestion. There aren’t many studies that prove apple cider vinegar’s benefits, but many medical trials and customer reviews show that using the remedy can have positive results.

Is Apple Cider Vinegar Safe For Dogs?

The answer is yes, giving apple cider vinegar to your dog is safe. It can provide the pet with many health benefits, including improving the digestive system function, helping the pet’s coat look shinier, and reducing allergy risks. Apple cider vinegar also balances the body’s pH, which helps reduce inflammation and boost the immune system.

Mixing apple cider vinegar in dog’s water

black labrador retriever puppy biting purple and white ball

One part of apple cider vinegar should be mixed with one part of water. It’s worth mentioning that not all dogs may benefit from consuming apple cider vinegar. Since it is slightly acidic with its pH varying from 3.5 to 5, dogs with normal body pH won’t benefit from this remedy as much as pets whose blood is too alkaline. The optimal urine pH for dogs is about 6-6.5, while the ideal blood pH is around 7.

If your dog doesn’t show any positive results after you start giving it apple cider vinegar, you can buy simple urine test strips in a regular human pharmacy and check your pet’s urine pH at home. For example, dogs that consume high-protein diets can sometimes have a higher pH than normal because high-protein diets cause the pet’s system to become too alkaline (with a pH greater than 7). In this case, apple cider vinegar will lower the pet’s pH to a healthy level by intensifying stomach acid secretion and helping the dog break down fats, proteins, and carbohydrates in food.

You can also use apple cider vinegar topically for disinfecting purposes, but you should always dilute it with the same amount of water. You should also run a spot test first to see if your dog shows any undesired reaction to the solution, including vomiting, scratching, itchy and red skin.

Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits For Dogs

Helps With Different Skin Conditions

There are numerous ways you can use apple cider vinegar to improve your dog’s health. For example, it is known to help soothe itchy skin that results from infections and rebalance the body’s pH, which is necessary to maintain overall health.

Prevents Urinary Tract Infections

Apple cider vinegar has strong antibacterial properties, and it can therefore be used to help with canine urinary tract infections.

closeup photography of brown and white puppy

Cleans Itchy Ears

Apple cider vinegar can also be used to relieve allergy symptoms such as itchy ears and combat ear infections. The substance can also be mixed with other remedies and used to prevent yeast overgrowth and clean the ears.

Prevents Heart Diseases

This product also works well as a dietary supplement because of its antibacterial and probiotic properties. Some studies have found that apple cider vinegar lowers cholesterol and triglyceride levels, therefore preventing heart disease. Acetic acid contained in ACV reduces blood lipid levels and lowers high blood pressure.

Lowers Blood Sugar Levels

Scientists have shown that using apple cider vinegar for 8 to 12 weeks can lower blood sugar levels, preventing diabetes.

Cognitive Disorders

Apple cider vinegar contains several phenolic compounds, including gallic acid, caffeic acid, catechin, p-coumaric acid, epicatechin, and chlorogenic acid. Recent studies have shown that foods containing these compounds lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in humans, so it is likely that giving your dog apple cider vinegar can prevent the pet from developing the Canine Cognitive Disorder (CCD) and improve its cognitive skills in general.

Prevents Obesity

ACV lowers the body’s oxidative stresses that come with obesity. Oxidative stress occurs when free radicals in your dog’s body start destroying its cells. Oxidation is a natural process that occurs in the body, but if the number of free radicals exceeds the number of antioxidants (molecules that fight free radicals), this can lead to DNA damage, cancer, and many other severe health issues.

fawn pug lying on red textile

In addition to everything mentioned above, apple cider vinegar also:

  • Repels fleas and ticks
  • Combats dandruff
  • Fights tooth decay
  • Helps to treat paw yeast infections
  • Removes toxins from the kidneys
  • Relieves GI symptoms such as gassiness and burping

Apple Cider Vinegar For Canine Skin Conditions

sliced apple beside black handled knifeDogs that experience skin itchiness and dryness will benefit from apple cider vinegar. Since apple cider vinegar contains acid, it can help balance skin pH and prevent your pet from developing different infections due to its antiseptic and antibacterial properties. The vinegar also calms the irritated skin and reduces pain and discomfort.

The best way to relieve your dog’s symptoms is to give it a bath with apple cider vinegar in it. You can also mix apple cider vinegar with water in a 1:1 ratio and spray the mixture over your pet’s coat, but make sure that none of the mixture gets into open sores and hotspots, as it will sting and hurt. Another way to use this mixture is to apply it after shampooing your pet without rinsing it out. This will prevent your dog from getting fleas and improve the quality of its coat.

Another alternative is to use apple cider vinegar tea body rinse to soothe and calm itchy skin. All you need to do is mix ½ cup apple cider vinegar with ½ cup cooled brewed green tea and 1 cup distilled water. After bathing your dog, massage the mixture into your dog’s coat and rinse afterward.

Before using any of these methods, run a 24-hour spot test on your dog to ensure it doesn’t have any adverse reaction to the product.

How To Use Apple Cider Vinegar For Dogs?

To get the most benefits from using apple cider vinegar, you need to use it in its raw and unpasteurized form. This is important because apple cider vinegar gets its healing properties from the combination of yeast and bacteria that are developed during the fermentation process. This mix of microorganisms is also called a “mother”.

There are different forms of apple cider vinegar, including the standard liquid version, pill form, homemade topical sprays, and wipes. However, it’s better to use either the liquid version or a homemade spray because ACV wipes and capsules made for humans can contain xylitol and other ingredients that are toxic to dogs. Plus, capsules don’t always contain live enzymes responsible for a large portion of ACV’s beneficial properties.silver and brown beaded necklace on brown wooden table

The liquid form of the product is also more beneficial for dogs with GI issues. It’s recommended to add 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of apple cider vinegar to your pet’s water bowl or food once a day. For skin and ear conditions, it’s better to use apple cider vinegar topically by diluting it with water in a 1:1 ratio and either spraying the solution onto the dog’s skin and coat or applying using a cotton ball.

Appropriate Dosage For Dogs

The general recommended dosage of apple cider vinegar depends on your canine’s weight, but it’s best to consult with your veterinarian to get advice tailored specifically to your pet.

Here is the generally recommended dosage of ACV for dogs:

  • 1 teaspoon for dogs weighing up to 14 pounds
  • 2 teaspoons for dogs weighing between 15 and 34 pounds
  • 1 tablespoon for dogs weighing between 35 and 84 pounds

If you want to use apple cider vinegar for cleaning, mix 1 part distilled apple cider vinegar with 3 parts water. It can also serve as a natural deodorizer to eliminate foul smells.

Apple Cider Vinegar Side Effects For Dogs

You should avoid giving apple cider vinegar to your dog if they have low urine or blood pH (less than 6) because it can cause side effects such as upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation. If you notice any of these side effects after introducing the product to your dog, consult with your vet so they can run tests and determine whether your dog’s body fluids have a healthy pH level.

bunch of apples

Make sure that apple cider vinegar doesn’t get into your dog’s eyes when using the product. Never apply apple cider vinegar to open wounds, cuts, or sores, and never give your dog undiluted vinegar. Frequent topical use of apple cider vinegar may result in dry and irritated skin, so be careful and don’t apply it too often.

Where To Purchase Apple Cider Vinegar

Organic apple cider vinegar is available in many grocery stores and places that sell natural remedies for humans. When purchasing apple cider vinegar, look at the labels, as they should indicate whether the solution is raw, organic, and unfiltered. A high-quality unfiltered product will appear cloudy, while commercially produced apple cider vinegar will be clear. It’s recommended to use unpasteurized products because high-heat pasteurization kills all the beneficial bacteria. Organic vinegar also won’t contain any pesticides.

Before giving apple cider vinegar to your dog you should consult your veterinarian to eliminate potential risks and avoid adverse side effects.


Can dogs drink apple cider vinegar?

Yes, dogs can drink apple cider vinegar in small doses after it’s been diluted with water in a 1:1 proportion.

How does apple cider vinegar help dog paws?

If your dog tends to chew or lick its paws, soaking them in an apple cider vinegar mixture for a few seconds can help relieve the itchiness.

Can apple cider vinegar make dogs sick?

Yes, not all dogs tolerate apple cider vinegar. It can also cause gastrointestinal upset if used in large doses or given without being diluted first.

Is apple cider vinegar good for dogs’ teeth?

Yes, apple cider vinegar has antiseptic properties and prevents tooth decay.