Healthy Additions: Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar is a remedy well known for its many health benefits. It is antibacterial and contains beneficial bacteria necessary for a functioning immune system.

Apple cider vinegar is also anti-fungal, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. ACV also has antioxidant effects, protecting cells from damage, because of its polyphenols. This is good news for preventing cancer.


How It’s Made

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is mostly apple juice. To make the vinegar, fermentation is created by adding yeast to the apple juice sugars, in turn creating alcohol. Then, helpful bacteria turns the alcohol into acetic acid, the part that gives vinegar its taste and smell.

Now when apple cider vinegar is left raw and unfiltered, it has a darker color, and sediment that formed during fermentation collects in the bottom. This is called “with the mother” and means that it contains the beneficial bacteria that gives ACV it’s health benefits.

Pasteurized and filtered ACV is as acidic as raw ACV, but does not contain the health benefits we are going to talk about now.



The benefits of apple cider vinegar range from healing wounds, and draining infections, to killing parasites, improving skin and coat condition, and balancing blood sugar.

ACV Is Useful As:

  • A natural home remedy for sunburns.
  • A healing agent for inflammation and itching from bug bites and stings.
  • A bath rinse the dog’s coat and skin to reduce
    dandruff, grease, and itching.
  • An ear rinse to kill yeast, fungus, and harmful bacteria.
  • A topical solution applied to hotspots, wounds and itchy skin for relief.
  • A topical flea/tick repellant and to kill ringworms.
  • A rinse for fresh produce and to remove pesticides.

“As a bonus, it does not interfere with the body’s beneficial bacteria, which are the immune system’s first line of defense against harmful microbes.” – CJ Puotinen, Whole Dog Journal.



ACV is highly acidic and drinking a lot of it may damage teeth, hurt the throat and cause an upset stomach. As with all foods, ACV should be used in moderation to obtain optimal health benefits.

The other possible downside to ACV is its strong smell that some dogs may not like. Combining with coconut oil and blueberries in a frozen treat is an excellent option for masking the smell and optimizing the benefits.

(Note: Consult with your veterinarian before feeding your dog ACV if he is on medication. ACV may interact with these medications: laxatives, diuretics, blood thinners, heart disease medications or diabetes medications.)


How to Use Topically:

Use apple cider vinegar diluted 50:50 with water topically for hotspots, itchy skin, infections, wounds, bites and stings, ringworm, and sunburns. It can be applied using a cotton ball when needed.

If the skin is broken or bleeding, ACV should be diluted one part ACV to four parts water. Test this solution in a small area of healthy skin to be sure it causes your dog no irritation before applying to the affected area.

When bathing your dog, you can rinse him in diluted ACV before finishing and drying him off to promote healthy skin and coat condition.

If your dog has an eye infection, you can rub apple cider vinegar, diluted 50/50 with water, on the back of his neck to drain the infection away from the eye. Be sure to get it down under his fur to his skin.

(Please do not use ACV in your dog’s eyes and always consult a veterinarian in the event of an eye infection. Your dog’s eyes cannot be replaced.)

Here is an ear rinse recipe for dogs with ear infections. This recipe is helpful for dogs with yeasty, inflamed or itchy ears. If your dog has floppy ears, tie them back after using this rinse to let them dry thoroughly. This prevents creating a moist environment for bacteria to grow.



How to Feed:

When consuming, apple cider vinegar should be diluted to about one teaspoon to one cup (8 oz.) water.

If you want to add ACV to your dog’s diet, you can add ¼ to ½ teaspoon to his meal or water bowl once a day, or you can make him some treats.

Here’s a great soft treat recipe using apple cider vinegar:

Store in air-tight container in the fridge for up to one week. This recipe makes one cookie pan of treats.


I hope you will find apple cider vinegar a wonderful Healthy Addition that is especially useful for you and your dog!


Cassy Kay



dogs, dog food, heathy additions, coconut oil, digestion, health, allergies, wound care, healing, fats



Puotinen, CJ. “The Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar to Dogs.” Jan. 2012. Web. Accessed Oct. 26, 2017. 

Karen, Dog Training, and Dog Health Adviser. “Apple Cider Vinegar is Good for Your Dog, Cat and You – Health Benefits, Uses, Dosage.” Feb. 10, 2013. Web. Accessed Oct. 26, 2017.

Peralta, Jessica. “3 Simple Ways Apple Cider Vinegar Can Help Your Dog.” Web. Accessed Oct. 26, 2017. 


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