For years, apple cider vinegar has been all the rage among natural lifestyle advocates for its many health benefits and uses throughout the home. But did you know apple cider vinegar can benefit your dog, too? From skin health to fresher breath, here’s 5 surprising ways apple cider vinegar can improve your pup’s life.
Nothing distracts from a shiny, healthy coat like doggy dandruff. Plus, if your pup has dandruff, it’s likely they also have itchy skin—and that’s no fun. A topical application of apple cider vinegar can lessen or temporarily eliminate canine dandruff, and by combating itchy, dry skin, it can also help prevent it from returning.
Mix a solution of 50/50 apple cider vinegar and water. After bathing your dog as normal, apply this solution to your pup’s fur using a spray bottle. Then, massage the spray into their coat using your hands. Do not spray on or near your dog’s face—use your hands to apply the solution to these sensitive areas. Be aware: If your pooch has any open wounds or scratches, the apple cider vinegar may irritate these areas. It might be best to wait until such issues have healed before using this approach.
Prevent Ear Infections
Does your dog suffer from recurring ear infections or itchy ears? Apple cider vinegar can help. Mix a solution of half purified water with half apple cider vinegar; then, soak a cotton ball with the mixture and use it to gently clean your dog’s ears and ear flaps. (Use a cotton ball not a q-tip to avoid potentially damaging your pup’s inner ear.) This solution works to keep the ear clean (and therefore help prevent infection) by removing dirt and other pollutants. It also helps stifle the growth of bacteria and fungi, known causes of ear infection.
If your pooch’s ears are red, swollen or have open wounds, the apple cider vinegar could sting these areas; it’s best to wait until such issues have been resolved before trying this solution.
Relieve Hot Spots
Almost anything that causes skin irritation or itchiness can result in a hot spot. Once started, the skin only gets itchier, and unfortunately scratching further aggravates hot spots. Apple cider vinegar not only addresses many of the root causes of hot spots, but also helps relieve general skin irritation and itchiness. Mix one part purified water with one part apple cider vinegar; then, soak a cotton bowl with this solution and use it to dab the affected area.
Reapply daily or as needed until the problem improves. However, never use this method on open wounds or raw skin, as the apple cider vinegar could cause pain in these areas.
Fowl puppy breath can make it hard to spend quality one-on-one time with your dog. After all, a stinky mouth is not exactly conducive to cuddling. By adding a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to your dog’s food bowl each day, you can help fight the bacteria that causes bad breath. You should notice fresher breath in as little as a couple days.
Caused by mites, mange is an extremely itchy skin condition that often results in loss of hair and skin damage. Apple cider vinegar can help with both the mites and the irritation. Simply dilute apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle or bucket (roughly 70% ACD to 30% purified water) and thoroughly wet the affected area with the mixture. Do not rinse off the solution, let it air dry instead (excess moisture can be removed with a towel). Repeat daily or as needed. Having your pet stand in the bath will make the process much less messy.