Can Dogs Have Apple Cider Vinegar?

With origins traced as far back as the earliest human civilizations, apple cider vinegar has many applications. Hippocrates, an ancient Greek physician and founder of medicine, used the elixir for medicinal purposes.

It swirled in Abraham Lincoln’s special night mug. It was probably used to flavor the last tasty cake you ate. And now it likely sits on your kitchen counter, and you’re probably wondering if your dog can have this same apple cider vinegar that has so benefited humanity.

Of course, dogs can and should have apple cider vinegar because it packs a number of benefits. One such benefit is to reduce the level of alkalinity in your pooch’s body, lowering the likelihood of forming bladder stones.

In this article, you’ll learn whether apple cider vinegar is toxic to dogs, how often apple cider vinegar should be given to dogs, why dogs may hate apple cider vinegar, and how to make apple cider vinegar at home. Let’s start by reviewing the many ways it can benefit your dog’s health.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar For Dogs?

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As a much-touted panacea, apple cider has several health benefits, some of which I explain below.

Prevents Heart Failure

The major cause of heart problems in dogs is high blood pressure and excess cholesterol.

Studies have revealed that the acidity in apple cider vinegar can reduce cholesterol levels and blood pressure, preventing the occurrence of fats that block arteries and cause dogs to develop a weak heart.

Repels Fleas And Ticks

Applying apple cider vinegar to your pooch’s skin right before bathing helps ward off fleas and other blood-sucking insects. But this is not the only way that this potent elixir can deter pests and parasites.

When consumed, apple cider vinegar increases the blood’s pH levels. This is due to vinegar’s acidic property, which raises a dog’s blood acidic level.

This increase in your furry pal’s pH levels ultimately makes your furry friend’s blood unpalatable to parasites like fleas and ticks.

Cures Bad Breath

Bacteria and other pathogens can’t survive in an acidic environment. Given that the abundance of bacteria is the chief cause of foul breath, a substance with acidic properties like apple cider vinegar helps eradicate bacteria that causes bad breath.

Additionally, the acidity in vinegar can help soften and erode plaque that builds up on your four-legged companion’s teeth. And since plague results from accumulated dead matter and calcium that causes foul breath, removing such unwanted deposits eventually reduces bad breath in dogs.

Kills Parasitic Stomach Worms

Worms can enter dogs’ stomachs when dogs rummage through the trash or eat food off the floor. The activities of these worms are parasitic, eventually causing your furry pal to become sick.

A caring dog parent can help prevent the disastrous health effects of parasitic worms by occasionally administering apple cider vinegar to their furry pal.

The reason behind the effectiveness of apple cider vinegar against worm infestation is its ability to alter the pH levels in the stomach, making it uncomfortable for parasites.

Aids Digestion

Given that parasitic worms attach to the stomach walls to suck blood, they cause discomfort and improper stomach function that leads to indigestion. Hence, the complete removal of worms through the introduction of apple cider vinegar helps improve digestion in dogs.

In addition to repelling worms, apple cider vinegar also possesses acidic properties that induce the speedy absorption of fiber and other digested substances in dogs. This makes apple cider vinegar a perfect elixir for dogs battling indigestion.

Boosts Immune System

The single most important quality that makes apple cider vinegar so unique is its acidity, which helps balance a dog’s pH levels.

Consequently, this creates an optimal environment for blood cells, boosting the activities of disease-fighting and immune-boosting white blood corpuscles. Dogs can benefit from a balanced pH blood level in several other ways.

Prevents Bladder Stones

Dogs with high alkaline blood levels are prone to developing bladder stones due to an overabundance of calcium compounds causing the formation of urinary crystals. Fortunately, the acidic apple cider vinegar can help restore and balance the proper pH levels to prevent this.

Is Apple Cider Vinegar Toxic To Dogs?

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No, apple cider vinegar isn’t toxic to dogs. It has many beneficial qualities, one of them being its ability to restore blood pH levels to normalcy.

However, as with every substance, there are risks to giving your dog apple cider vinegar, especially if your four-legged companion is battling an existing health condition.

Here are some of the conditions that can make apple cider vinegar harmful to your canine pal:

Improper Dilution

Ideally, apple cider vinegar is meant to be mixed equally with water before being given to dogs. In other words, the solution must be balanced to reduce the corrosive nature of the acidic elixir.

Unfortunately, dogs that drink improperly diluted apple cider vinegar experience severe and painful throat burns that may take months to heal.

Excessive Consumption

While it’s essential to dilute apple cider vinegar with water, it’s also important to give it in measured quantities.

Frequent apple cider vinegar consumption, even when diluted, raises stomach acidity beyond the standard healthy requirement, causing gastric injuries and other unwanted health issues.

Kidney Problems

Generally, dogs’ diets should contain more alkaline content because their organs function better in an alkaline system.

Hence, when there’s a problem with a dog’s kidney, it’s almost always counterproductive to introduce a substance with acidic content. This is because kidneys need an alkaline environment for speedy health restoration.

Now, there are instances when acidic substances can be helpful, especially if there’s an overabundance of calcium and salt in your dear Fido’s system. So to be on the safe side, it’s better to consult your vet to learn whether it’s okay to add apple cider vinegar to your dog’s diet.

Stomach Upset

The mildly harsh nature of apple cider vinegar may be too hard to bear, especially if your canine has a weak stomach.

This means that your furry buddy may stool uncontrollably if lacking a strong stomach to handle highly acidic substances. In such a case, it’s better to seek other food alternatives to deliver the benefits of apple cider vinegar.

Generally, many folks restrict the consumption of apple cider vinegar to only two times a week. Others tend to increase this interval when using the elixir as a medication. Whatever the case, the opinion of a veterinarian should be the ultimate deciding factor.

How Can I Make Apple Cider Vinegar For My Dog?

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Making a balanced mixture of apple cider vinegar is easy to do at home. However, please remember that apple cider vinegar can cause severe internal and external burns and, as such, shouldn’t be left carelessly lying around.

That said, you can follow this step-by-step guide on how to make apple cider vinegar at home:

  • Get fresh apples, preferably organic. Four or five should be enough to fit into a standard-sized glass jug. However, you can add more depending on the quantity of apple cider vinegar you intend to make.
  • Wash the apples and slice them into smaller pieces, making sure to take out the seeds and stems before putting the pieces into the blender.
  • Add a spoon of sugar to the content because the yeast needs to feed on sugar to populate.
  • Next, get a jug of water and fill the jug halfway, so it doesn’t spill over when the associated fermentation bubble causes the water level to rise. Also, it’s important that the water used in making apple cider vinegar should be distilled and free from the presence of chlorine or other disinfectants. This is because chlorinated water contains compounds that inhibit the production of yeast responsible for causing fermentation in apples.
  • When that’s done, use a long, slender spoon to mix the apples in a glass, so the sugar circulates throughout the entire container.
  • Cover the top of the glass with a piece of serviette paper or a coffee filter and use a rubber band to hold it in place before storing it away in a warm place. The reason for using a coffee filter or serviette, instead of a lid, is to allow air to get into the glass since bacteria and yeast cannot survive without air.
  • Once in the morning and the evening, use the spoon to move the fruit pieces around so the yeast and other fermentation agents can be evenly distributed, speeding up the fermentation process.
  • After 30 days, the apples would have a sweet-sour aroma, and the foam at the top of the jar will start to reduce. Also, you would see some residue at the bottom of the jar. This residue is known as the mother and may be used for cooking or making other concoctions at home.
  • Get a bowl and a tiny-meshed sieve and turn the vinegar into the bowl, making sure not to unsettle the mother in the process.
  • With the filtered vinegar separated, you can mix it with water and add it in measured doses to your furry buddy’s water or meal.

How Often Should My Dog Use Apple Cider Vinegar?

There isn’t a specific period recommended for dogs to have apple cider vinegar. The factors that may influence the frequency of use may be the size of your furry pal and the vet’s recommendation.

That is, larger dog breeds like the Rottweiler and German Shepherd can consume more apple cider vinegar than their smaller counterparts, such as the Chihuahua.

Why Does My Dog Hate Apple Cider Vinegar?

Dogs hate apple cider vinegar for the same reason some people dislike it—it has a strong aroma and tart taste that may leave your pooch’s face crinkling in disgust.

Apart from disgust, you may notice signs like avoidance, lack of appetite, whimpering, and lack of excitement at the sight of food.

When you discover your canine companion isn’t happy about you mixing apple cider vinegar in their food or water bowl, reduce the quantity of apple cider vinegar per serving and assess your doggie’s reaction.

If, after reducing the amount of apple cider vinegar, your pooch still refuses to drink or eat, then you’ll have to stop and look for other alternatives.

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Pete Decker