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Apple cider vinegar is known to have a wide array of benefits for human skin hair and overall health. But, did you know that it’s also immensely beneficial for dogs as well? Well, it’s true! Really, the benefits of apple cider vinegar for dogs should not come as a total surprise, partially because of the chemical constituent of apple cider vinegar.
So before we dive into why and how it’s beneficial, let’s understand apple cider vinegar itself.
Contents & Quick Navigation
- Properties of Apple Cider Vinegar
- Is Apple Cider Vinegar Safe for My Dog?
- Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar for Dogs
- Uses of Apple Cider Vinegar for Dogs
- In Conclusion
Properties of Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is made from apples and water by fermenting apple cider. Fermentation, as we know, is the gradual breaking down of food sugars by bacteria and yeast, resulting in alcohol and finally vinegar itself.
#1. Chemical Properties of Apple Cider Vinegar:
So, apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, lactic acid, citric and malic acids.
If we look at the of these components individually, we see that they have a range of functions on their own.
It plays an important role in the slow digestion of starch to help prevent glucose spike and citric acids are known to improve kidney health, mineral absorption, fighting free radicals and revitalizing skin.
It helps to control intestinal infections and malic acid reduces pain, enhances energy and increases the production of collagen.
Potassium is also an important component of apple cider vinegar. According to FDA, one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar has about 11 grams of potassium.
From the above, while we can safely state apple cider vinegar may not be packed with nutrients, we know for sure that it has powerful antioxidant and antibacterial properties.
In addition, if it is mixed and taken with nutrient-dense food, it helps the body in assimilating nutrients from this food and digesting the food itself.
#2. Physical Properties of Apple Cider Vinegar:
Apple cider vinegar is a light yellow-brown liquid and is best when taken in its raw, unfiltered and unpasteurized state with the mother of vinegar present in the bottle—that just means it’s unfiltered.
Now, you might be wondering: why is it so important to have the “mother” vinegar present? Well, it’s the leftover after the fermentation; it’s got all the good live bacteria and enzymes the health benefits are derived from. We also recommend unpasteurized because the heat from the pasteurization process may kill the good bacteria.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is slightly acidic in nature, with a pH of about 3.1 to 5—which basically means it’s safe for your dog’s digestive tract.
Is Apple Cider Vinegar Safe for My Dog?
Definitely yes but, you need to administer it or apply it (if you are applying it externally) in recommended and appropriate amounts.
Note: if your dog has an overly acidic system then, it would be best to avoid it.
Here are some of the precautions you may take while giving apple cider vinegar to your dog:
- While administering it to your dog, to be consumed, make sure to give it in diluted form (best with water).
- While rinsing your dog with it, make sure it doesn’t get into their eye.
- Do NOT use apple cider vinegar on open wounds as it may lead to severe burns.
Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar for Dogs
#1. Antibacterial and Antifungal Nature Helps GI Tract and Immune System
The antibacterial, antifungal and antiseptic properties of ACV prevent bacterial and viral growth in the digestive tract, effectively promoting good gut health. Also, because of its pH balance, it helps the healthy bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract thrive too.
By balancing the digestive enzymes, ACV can help if your dog is suffering from food poisoning, gas or constipation.
ACV helps enhance the immune system and improves stamina, boosting your dog’s resistance to disease.
#2. Potassium Helps Orthopedic Health and Heart Health
While the blood’s acid-alkaline balance is normalized by ACV, the potassium helps remineralize bones. What does that mean for your dog? Well, ACV is great for promoting the orthopedic health of dogs; it can help with arthritis and hip dysplasia.
Because of the potassium, ACV is also good for your dog’s heart health.
#3. For Skin and Coat Health
ACV is a detoxifying agent with positive effects on your dog’s skin and coat. It’s useful and helps with itchy, flaky skin.
Due to its cooling properties, it provides relief from hot spots or lesions that may arise on your dog’s skin. However, you should exercise caution while applying it on open sores because it may burn.
If your dog is suffering from allergies, you can give him a rinse with ACV in order to stop the itching sensation.
It can be used to get rid of fleas.
You can use ACV for minor skin irritations such as calluses, sunburns, and abrasions.
#4. Prevention of Kidney and Bladder Stones and Urinary Tract Infections
Apple cider vinegar is known to help the urinary tract infections because of its mild pH levels, as it is easy on your dog’s body.
Uses of Apple Cider Vinegar for Dogs
#1. As a Disinfectant
Apple cider vinegar can be used as a mild disinfectant due to its cleansing properties. Simply dilute 50% apple cider vinegar with 50% water and spray it with a sprayer or apply it with a sponge after your dog’s bath to get rid of dandruff, and for a soft and shiny coat.
It can also be used as an insect repellent (in mild cases).
#2. For Relieving Muscles
In order to provide relief to tired muscles, simply warm a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water and use it to massage your dog. Alternatively, you can also apply an ACV compress on your dog’s affected muscles for 15 minutes or so, twice a day.
How does it help with sore muscles? Well, ACV has anti-inflammatory properties that help the muscles relax.
#3. Detoxification Agent
Apple cider vinegar is great to give your dog as a detox. Start slowly by adding little amounts of apple cider vinegar to your dog’s water and gradually increase the amount.
Check for signs of allergies before increasing the dosage.
What do I do if my dog does not like the taste of ACV?
Well, the answer is: mix it with his food or a bit of honey and you’re good to go.
#4. As an Ear Wash
You can keep your dog’s ears clean simply by putting apple cider vinegar in each ear and gently massaging the base of the dog’s ear. This will help keep their ears dirt-free and ensure wax is easy to remove.
#5. As a Rinse
If you want to rinse your dog with ACV after his shampoo or bath, simply make a mixture of a quart of water and two tablespoons of ACV— use it twice a week.
After you’ve rinsed your dog with ACV, do not use water; simply pat them dry.
#6. As a Foot Soak
You can soak your dog’s feet in apple cider vinegar to provide relief from itchiness in the paws due to allergies.
To make this soak mixture, add one cup of apple cider vinegar with two cups of water.
Then, soak your dog’s paws in it for a while.
While apple cider vinegar has many health benefits for your dog, it’s up to you to decide how much to give your dog and under what circumstances.
However, make sure to buy the best ones and exercise caution while watching out for allergic reactions.
A word of precaution: not all kinds of vinegar like white vinegar are the same as ACV, so do not give them to your dog.
And remember—as we have stated previously, the best apple cider vinegar for dogs is the one that is raw, unpasteurized and organic.
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