Apple cider vinegar has been used for centuries, and for a multitude of reasons, from cleaning agents to health benefits. However, what many people do not know, is that thousands of dog owners use apple cider vinegar for just as many reasons. Because of the many side effects of drugs and medicines, more and more people are turning to the holistic approach, especially for their dogs. Having said that, let us look into the many uses for apple cider vinegar, or ACV as it is more commonly referred to, for your own dogs.
Dog owners that have taken on the holistic approach have found many benefits of ACV and use it on a regular basis for their best friend. However, before we discuss any of these remedies, here is a list of just some of the benefits apple cider vinegar is used for:
- Improves the condition of hair and fur
- Clears the skin of infections, both fungal and bacterial
- Prevents biting insects, like mosquitos, fleas and ticks
- Acts as a natural antibiotic
- Improves digestion
- Reduces calluses on elbows and joints
These are just a few of the proven uses by holistic owners, and even though there haven’t been scientific studies proving their effects, owners regularly post how effective this wonder treatment is. It is recommended that the best apple cider vinegar to use is the raw, unpasteurized and unfiltered variety. This comes with a cloudy sediment in it, which contains enzymes that help improve digestion while at the same time promoting beneficial bacteria growth in the body.
Even some veterinarians recommend the use of AVC in moderation for some of the uses listed above. For instance, a dog over 50lbs in weight should benefit greatly from just two teaspoons of AVC daily, however, if he doesn’t like it in his water, you can always add it to his food. This will not only help his digestive system, but also help keep his PH balance in check. A dog’s PH level should be between 6.2 and 6.5 and you can measure this by slipping a PH strip into the stream of urine in the morning, which you can purchase at most pharmaceutical stores.
As well as keeping PH levels well balanced, apple cider vinegar also is beneficial for dogs with joint problems, like hip dysplasia. The ACV breaks down calcium deposits in the joints and helps to put minerals back into his bones. Moreover, it can also help to prevent diseases, and common infections because it helps boost the immune system, increasing stamina and resistance. Apple cider vinegar is especially helpful to those dogs with weak immune systems, just be sure to use the raw, unfiltered ACV, because the regular distilled variety has no health benefits whatsoever.
Another great use of apple cider vinegar is a 50/50 mix with water and apply it to your dogs skin, then let it air dry. This will kill off ticks and fleas, as well as help prevent future infestations, and you can even spray him with the same 50/50 mix before walks to deter pests and parasites. Moreover, that same apple cider vinegar will give your dogs coat an extra sheen and he will look so much more vibrant and healthy.
Keep in mind, that many dogs get itchy or dry skin, which can be caused by allergies, either seasonal or flea and tick allergies. However, apple cider vinegar is great for preventing both itchy and dry skin, and you can apply a 50/50 mix to their skin for almost instant relief. If you have a hot spot, where the dog constantly licks or itches, apply some AVC water mixture to ease the swelling and redness, and you will notice the difference. However, never apply AVC to an open wound on the dog’s skin.
Apple cider vinegar is also good for upset stomachs, due to the balancing of digestive enzymes in the body. It serves as a good remedy for food poisoning, as well as digestive problems such as constipation or gas. AVC also helps to reduce fecal, and urine odors too, and because of the high content of potassium in AVC, it is also good for dogs with heart or diuretic problems. Other side benefits of using apple cider vinegar include the prevention of urinary tract infections (UTI), kidney infections and even bladder stones.
Ear infections in dogs can be one of the more frustrating things, because they are sensitive and awkward, also your dog can make them sore constantly itching and scratching at them. The best solution is to make up a 50/50 mix of water and AVC, and soak a cotton swab in the mixture, then gently rub the inside of the ear. Rinse and repeat this until all dirt, or gunk is out of the ear and this should make a big difference to your dog. That being said, As with all infections, you should always consult your vet, prior to treating them.
When you realize how much a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar can do for your dog, it makes sense to at least try it out for yourself. It is relatively cheap in price, and even if it only helped your dog with two or three of the above mentioned health problems, that means less trips to the vet annually. However, you should always keep regular appointments with your vet ,and keep up on checkups and inoculations, and ask your vet about apple cider vinegar too.
Several other benefits from using AVC are:
- Acid reflux
- Tear stains
There are many holistic health practitioners around today, and you should see if there is one in your area. Many people and their dogs are seeking a more natural approach today, because we are more health conscious now. Moreover, with so many ill side effects with drugs, and drugs being so expensive, it makes sense to look more into holistic treatments. Whenever you find something that works, you always wonder how you ever managed to get by without it, apple cider vinegar is one of those things that just works. Having said that, give it a try, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain, and we are sure your dog will thank you for it.