Apple cider vinegar is a type of vinegar that is manufactured from the fermentation of apple cider. It involves the breakdown of sugars in food substances using yeast and bacteria. The process starts with the conversion of sugars to alcohol and then the solution is fermented further to vinegar.
Over the years, most people believe that apple cider vinegar is rich with enzymes and nutrients that are fundamentally important to humans. But the question is: are these properties also beneficial to dogs?
Let’s start by saying that apple cider vinegar isn’t harmful to your dog. To give you a better understanding, we are going to discuss the various ways through which apple cider vinegar might actually be an excellent addition to your dog’s cleaning and feeding routines.
Why is Apple Cider Vinegar Beneficial to Dogs?
Research has shown that apple cider vinegar has a couple of nutritional and health benefits to your dog. Below are some of them;
1. Improves the Digestion of Your Dog
The first question that runs through your mind is; can my dog consume apple cider vinegar? Will it harm my dog? Well, ACV might be safe for consumption by the dog but you really need to be careful with the amounts you administer.
The natural ingredients in apple cider vinegar will improve the digestion of your pooch by reducing bloating or gas, but it’s advisable to give her the ACV in controlled amounts. That is because too much of the ACV will lead to stomach upsets and other related health complications.
All in all, ACV is great addition for dogs suffering from diarrhea or constipation. But you should note that a portion of plain apple cider vinegar will be as uncomfortable to dogs as it is to humans. In that case, you should add a few drops of this ingredient to water before giving it to your dog. It’s also best that you look for raw apple cider vinegar than the commercial produced one for better results.
2. Prevents and Cures UTIs
So far, there has not been any evidence showing apple cider vinegar can cure UTIs. Therefore, I wouldn’t recommend this ingredient as a first resort to any urinary infection in dogs. However, some of the dog owners say that using apple cider vinegar on their dogs on a daily basis has prevented urinary tract infections.
When there is too much alkalinity in the urinary tract, it allows the entry and growth of bacteria. Therefore, it’s only logical that the acidity in the apple cider vinegar will balance out the alkalinity hence reducing the UTI infection. However, before settling for the ACV in treating the unrinary tract infections, please contact your vet.
3. Prevents and Cures Ear Infections
Most people use apple cider vinegar to flash out debris out of their dog’s ear. During summer, your dog is likely to get a brown sludge or debris stuck out in her ears especially after a long day in the pool or the sea swimming and diving. However, with apple cider vinegar, you can take care of such an infection easily.
You only need to dip a piece of cloth in a solution of ACV and plenty of water. But before use, you should consult with your vet because if her ears have any open wounds or any bleeding, the use of apple cider vinegar might worsen the state. Also, you should monitor your dog closely after every use. In case you notice that she is excessively scratching her ears, you should stop using the apple cider vinegar immediately.
4. Clears Any Yeast Infections
Malassezia primarily causes yeast infections on the skin or gut of your animal. The immune system of your pooch is always alert and keeps the numbers of this fungus in check. However, the stress in her immune system might at times be too much, and causing the fungus to overgrow.
In that case, you will need an additional treatment in order to reduce the numbers of the fungi. Yeast infection causes irritation of the skin, constant licking on the affected areas, smelly skin, foul-smelling discharge from the ears and head-shaking among other symptoms. All these symptoms will make your pooch really uncomfortable.
Fortunately, apple cider vinegar can get rid of the yeast infections completely after a few uses. But, as I keep on insisting, you should consult with your vet before choosing this type of remedy.
5. Eases Pain in the Joints
Apple cider vinegar is also a good home remedy for joint pains which are majorly caused by arthritis. Arthritis is a disease that is caused by deposition of calcium in the joints especially when your dog is getting older. These calcium deposits may cause stiffness as well as discomfort to your dog.
When your dog ingests apple cider vinegar, it will help her breakdown the calcium deposits hence relieving the pain and discomfort. If you add apple cider vinegar in your dog’s water, remember to measure one teaspoon for every 50 pounds of your dog’s weight.
More to that, always avail plain water next to the water with apple cider vinegar. That is because dogs may drink less water when it is mixed with ACV. The plain water will help prevent dehydration and ease the burning sensation from the ACV.
Precautions and How to Administer Apple Cider Vinegar to Your Dog
As you have figured by now, not all vinegars are good for your dog’s health. Don’t use any clear vinegar from the supermarket since they are considered ‘dead’. That means the vinegar doesn’t contain any enzymes and any other ingredients found in the raw apple cider vinegar. Therefore you might end up doing more harm than good to your dog.
The best vinegar is the raw apple cider vinegar. You can either use it to rinse your dog’s ears in case of an ear infection, spray where she sleeps to get rid of fleas or simply mix it in her drinking water to help with ingestion problems.
You can also mix the apple cider vinegar with honey if you plan on adding it in your dog’s drinking water in the bowl.
That way, she will take the water with much ease and heal any of her joint problems quickly. It is important to consult first with your vet so that you know whether of or not apple cider vinegar is safe for your dog.