Apple Cider Vinegar Skin and Coat Treatments
–After shampooing your dog, give him a final rinse with 1 cup vinegar diluted in 2 to 4 cups water. Experiment with different dilutions for best results.
-Reduce your dog’s dander by massaging full-strength cider vinegar into the coat before shampooing.
-Apply full-strength or diluted ACV to calluses, rough skin, sunburn, or skin irritations.
-Combine skin-friendly herbs like calendula blossoms, St. John’s wort blossoms, and/or comfrey leaves with ACV to improve its healing effects on cuts, wounds, abrasions, etc.
-Wendy Volhard, author of Holistic Guide for a Healthy Dog, recommends spraying itchy skin and developing hot spots with apple cider vinegar. “Any skin eruption will dry up in 24 hours,” she says, “and will save you having to shave the dog. If the skin is already broken, dilute ACV with an equal amount of water and spray on.”
How is Apple Cider Vinegar Different From Other Vinegars?
Its name comes from the Latin words vinum (which means wine) and acer (which means sour). Vinegar can be made from any liquid that contains sugar, which includes everything from fruit juice to plain sugar water. Within a few days of being exposed to air, naturally occurring or added yeasts cause the sugar to ferment, turning it into alcohol. If not interrupted, fermentation continues in response to naturally occurring or added acetic acid bacteria until all of the alcohol becomes acetic acid. This is how wine, beer, and ale are used to create wine and malt vinegars. Some vinegar factories shorten the fermentation process to just two or three days by using modern bacterial cultures and special pumps, but traditional vinegars valued for their culinary use are still made the old-fashioned way.
However it’s made, vinegar has a distinctive fragrance and a low pH. On the pH scale, water is neutral at 7.0, tomato juice is acid at 4.1, distilled white vinegar is more acid at 2.4, and the pH of lemon juice is 2.2. Apple cider vinegar tends to be less acidic, with a pH between 4.25 and 5.
One of the earliest known vinegars was made 5,000 years ago in Babylon from fermented dates. In ancient Rome, fermented rye, figs, grapes, and dates were popular ingredients. Today’s vinegars are made from corn, barley, and other grains; grapes; apples; and other fruits.
According to the Vinegar Institute, an international trade association representing vinegar manufacturers and bottlers, worldwide vinegar sales are now approaching $225 million annually, with the fastest growth in organic vinegars. Nearly half of the vinegar sold in North America is balsamic, with red wine vinegar the next most popular at 13 percent and cider vinegar tied with rice wine vinegar at 8 percent each.
Only 1 percent of sales go to distilled white vinegar. However, distilled white (usually made from corn) and distilled apple cider are the most familiar supermarket vinegars. These inexpensive vinegars are filtered and pasteurized to make them sparkling clear. Better-quality wine, cider, or malt vinegars are often aged for years in wooden barrels to improve their flavor and left unfiltered and unpasteurized.
To vinegar connoisseurs, there’s a world of difference between distilled or rapidly produced vinegar and traditionally made vinegars that are brewed slowly in small batches and aged to perfection. Some gourmet vinegars cost over $200 per 100 milliliters (about 7 tablespoons).
Traditionally made organic apple cider vinegar is widely sold and far less expensive than gourmet balsamics, but it too is valued for its culinary uses. Some popular brands, such as Bragg, Spectrum, Eden Organics, Solana Gold Organics, and Dynamic Health, are made from organic apples that are crushed to make cider, then aged in wooden barrels.
Because it is raw and unfiltered, this vinegar is not clear like distilled vinegars. Instead, it contains a dark, cloudy substance that resembles dusty cobwebs. This substance, called the “mother” or “mother veil,” consists of naturally occurring pectin and apple residues whose protein molecules are connected in strand-like chains. As the Bragg website explains, “The presence of the mother shows that the best part of the apple has not been destroyed. Vinegars containing the mother contain enzymes that other vinegars may not contain due to over-processing, filtration, and overheating.”
Apple cider vinegar is usually light golden brown or orange in color. While the acidity of homemade cider vinegar varies, most manufacturers maintain a 5-percent acetic acid level, which is recommended for the safe pickling and preserving of low-acid foods.
Side Effects of Apple Cider Vinegar for Dogs
Dogs with too low of a pH (less than 6) may experience side effects, like vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, and other GI symptoms after ingesting apple cider vinegar through their food or water.
If you give apple cider vinegar to your dog and notice these adverse effects, you should have your dog’s pH levels checked by your veterinarian to determine if apple cider vinegar is really the right solution.
Oral administration of apple cider vinegar can exacerbate health conditions like kidney disease, which often mean a more acidic pH in your dog’s body. One of the simplest ways to assess your pet’s pH levels are with urine test strips or a pH check by your veterinarian.
Due to apple cider vinegar’s acidity, make sure to avoid getting it in your dog’s eyes. Never give apple cider vinegar undiluted to your dog. Also, never use apple cider vinegar on open wounds, cuts, or sores because it burns. Using apple cider vinegar too frequently may also lead to dry skin and irritation in some dogs.
14 Surprising Ways To Use Apple Cider Vinegar For Your Dog
Over the past few years, natural remedies have become more popular among pet parents. You may have heard about using apple cider vinegar for people, but how about using apple cider vinegar for dogs?
Apple cider vinegar promises many health benefits ranging from reducing weight to alleviating itchy skin and even controlling fleas.
The medicinal benefits of apple cider vinegar trace back all the way to 400 B.C. with Hippocrates using it for common ailments like the cold. While there are limited scientific studies confirming these benefits, many anecdotal reports show positive health results for people and their dogs. Here’s everything you need to know before considering apple cider vinegar for your dog.