Vinegar Dog Treatments

Apple Cider Vinegar Dog Treatments

Apple cider vinegar has a long history of use for humans, but did you know that your precious pooch can benefit from these simple home remedies as well?

Practically any human use for apple cider vinegar can be also be used on dogs. Below are some vinegar dog treatments we think you will find very helpful!

Apple Cider Vinegar Dog Treatments for Health Problems

Your dog can reap the following benefits by ingesting apple cider vinegar at a ratio of 1 teaspoon per 50 lbs of body weight. It can be added to your dog’s food or its daily water. Use whichever method works best for your pet! (Always make sure to use apple cider vinegar rather than distilled vinegar when given as a food supplement.)

Apple cider vinegar contains over 30 important nutrients, 6 vitamins, 12 minerals, essential acids, enzymes, and a large dose of pectin. It is a good source of potassium and has excellent antibacterial and antifungal properties to boost the immune system.

Apple cider vinegar will help maintain your dogs acid/alkaline balance. You can test your dog’s urine with pH strips from the drug store. The dog’s balance should be between 6.2 and 6.5. If your dog’s numbers are lower the urine is too acidic. Adding apple cider vinegar to the diet will help re-establish the correct balance.

Apple cider vinegar will also improve digestion and act as a urinary system tonic. It has been shown to clear urinary tract infections and prevent the formation of bladder and kidney stones.

According to Organic Pet Digest, “Apple cider vinegar has also been found to be helpful in the treatment of the following: allergies, osteoporosis, cancer, candida, high cholesterol, constipation, muscle cramps, diarrhea, depression, ear discharge, eczema, fatigue, bladder problems, metabolism and stiff joints.”

As a general supplement and to use as a digestive aid, a good rule of thumb is to start at 1 teaspoon per 50 lbs of body weight mixed in your pet’s food twice daily.

  • Pets 5- 12.5 lbs – 1/4 tsp twice daily
  • Pets 12.5-25 lbs – 1/2 tsp twice daily
  • Pets 25 – 37.5 lbs – 3/4 tsp twice daily
  • Pets 37.50-50 lbs 1 tsp twice daily
  • Pets 50-62.5 lbs 1 1/4 tsp twice daily
  • Pets 62.5-75 lbs 1 1/2 tsp twice daily
  • Pets 75-87.5 lbs 1 3/4 tsp twice daily
  • Pets 87.5 – 100 lbs 2 tsp twice daily
  • and so forth…

If your pet ingests the above dosage with no problem, you can up the dose to as high as 1 tsp per 15 lbs twice daily.

Note: When using vinegar externally it is better to use distilled white vinegar on light colored dogs.  Apple cider vinegar may stain the coats of light colored dogs.

Vinegar Dog Treatments for Urinary Tract Infections

Apple cider vinegar is a urinary system tonic. It will clear urinary tract infections and prevent the formation of kidney and bladder stones.  (Always make sure to use apple cider vinegar rather than distilled vinegar when given as a food supplement.) A good dosage is 1 teaspoon per 15 lbs of body weight per day

Vinegar Dog Treatments for Coat & Skin Health

To eliminate dandruff, pour full-strength vinegar directly on your dog’s fur after bathing and rinsing. (This will also rejuvenate the coat and help balance your dog’s skin pH levels.)

For a shiny, healthy coat mix 1 cup of vinegar with 2-4 cups of water and use as a final rinse.

Spray vinegar full-strength on your dog’s coat to normalize the pH balance of its skin. (This is one of my personal favorites! It also helps eliminate hot spots, makes the coat very shiny, deodorizes the fur, and helps repel fleas and ticks.)

Vinegar Dog Treatments for Itching

Itchy skin and hot spots from dog allergies will heal quickly when sprayed with apple cider vinegar and may keep you from having to shave your dog. Fill a clean spray bottle using full strength vinegar unless your pet’s skin is broken, in which case you should dilute half and half with water.

For itchy feet soak your dog’s paws in full strength apple cider vinegar. (Dogs with skin allergy problems often have itchy feet. If you notice your dog aggressively chewing on its feet, this should help.)

Vinegar Dog Treatments for Ear Problems

Clean your dog’s ears with full strength apple cider vinegar. Do this by placing several drops in each ear and gently massage. You can also apply full strength to a cotton swab to clean the ears.

Place 5-10 drops of vinegar in your dog’s ear as needed to treat ear infections.

Vinegar Dog Treatments for Pet Accidents and Other Things

To treat pet stains on carpets mix 1 part vinegar with 3 parts water. (For light or white carpets it is best to use white distilled vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar.) Pour this mixture onto stained areas and blot (do not rub) dry.

For a smelly coat, spray on full-strength vinegar and allow it to air dry.

Spray pet bedding with vinegar to freshen and deodorize.  You can also add vinegar while laundering to freshen bedding.

Read The Pet Owner’s Guide to Dog Allergies



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  1. says

    I have read your post about vinegar. There are three kinds of vinegar. I need clarification on which to use for my dog, externally and internally. Clear distilled, clear apple cider, and organic with “the mother”. The organic “mother” used externally for hot spots tends to make her smell bad. Please advise thanks.

    • says

      Organic, raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar such as Bragg is the best for internal use. Either is good externally, but distilled white vinegar is best for dogs with light colored fur. Apple cider vinegar may darken or stain white or light colored fur.

  2. says

    The Raw Organic Apple Cider Vinegar with the “mother” is the best to use. The “mother” is made of chain like enzymes that destroy bacteria. An absolutely amazing product. Clear distilled vinegar does not posses the enzymes that destroy bacteria both internally and externally. I have been using “Braggs” ACV for all my dogs for years and even created my own product with ACV called KetchPup. The benefits are endless and life changing. I hope this helps and great work, your dog is going to love you.

  3. Trish says

    I tried to order KetchPup, but the web site says it will not be available for several months. Is there a recipe one can make at home until the product is available? I have a 90 lb. dog and need to get 2 Tbsp. of ACV into her per day. Just started with 1 tsp per meal. Not sure if she will tolerate 1 Tbsp. per meal.

  4. says

    I just bathed my rottwiler with dish soap and after her bath i duluted white vinager and water and sprayed it on her i mixed itin a small spray bottle half vinager and have water and i do this after every bath using white vinager that siad delutted with water will this hurt my dod by putting a teaspoon of this in her water please email me back ty jd

  5. Sarah says

    I just wanted to add a note that may help others – My Corgi started licking his front paw Friday evening and all weekend long which has been driving us nuts! He’s never had any health, skin or allergy issues. We tried socks, bandage, Kong with peanut butter, etc. to get him to stop licking and as a last resort poured pure white vinegar on his foot at full strength. About 2 cups worth.

    The moment we did this he immediately relaxed and has ignored his foot ever since. I rinsed with cool water afterwards and will keep an eye on it but the immediate transformation was amazing. The top of paw is red/irritated but there is no broken skin or bumps/sign of injury so felt safe doing so. This blog makes us feel much better about the decision to use vinegar and thank you for posting this discussion!

  6. anthony says

    Have a Yorke poodle mix 5.5 pounds. We’ve been battling paw chewing off and on her whole life 2.5 years. Prednisone worked ok last warm season along with benadryl . A few weeks ago it flared up worse again lots of licKing and chewing and a few tummy sores or hot spots. Tonight is the first time I’ve tried apple cider vinegar diluted on belly, a few drops in water, and paws soaked. Please let this help her!!! Thank you all for great info

    • says

      Paw licking is most likely due to some sort of allergy with a secondary infection of yeast and/or bacteria. The term for this is pododermatitis. The vinegar will help the yeast and bacteria but will not help the underlying cause which is usually allergies. The licking perpetuates the issue. Good luck!

      • Janet says

        My 3 dogs have been chewing on feet for past month. Will acv help our vet says allergies use antihistime til we find one that works. Its gotten pretty bad. 🙁

  7. Linda says

    I just happened upon this website and love the fact that a veterinarian is responding to people’s questions instead of us fumbling around with “what if’s” or advice that may not be accurate. I will keep this in my “favorites”. I have a 115 pound German shepherd that has hot spots. He discovered that I was spiking his pieces of hot dog with his antihistamine meds my vet gave me. He fought me when I tried to place the pills in his mouth so I had to give up. I am so glad to know that vinegar will work. I am going to try it on him. He is suffering terribly. Also will try it on another Shepherd I have who constantly licks the pads of his feet. Thanks so much for this site.

  8. Teresa Johnson says

    I have a 60 pound 6 month old bull dog pit mix I put his advantix drops on and didn’t think and took him to the beach the next day the following week he and patches of hair missing I took him to vet they did skin scraping it was negative I then saw the fleas he is black and white in fear of over dosing him I didn’t want to apply any more advantix so I bathed him w flea shampoo and rinsed with acv not knowing it would stain, he still has some fleas I treated house and yard what do you suggest I do till his next advantix application??? (Goin crazy)

    • says

      Sorry about your flea problem!!! Fleas are a headache as I am sure you are aware!

      My suggestion is to use Comfortis! I think Comfortis is a better, more natural flea product. Also, it is a pill and you don’t have to worry about it being washed off as you do with a topical like Advantix. Also, vacuum your carpets to get rid of ant residual flea eggs. I think you will see the fleas disappear if you use Comfortis on a consistent basis. Good luck!!!

  9. Teresa Johnson says

    Its not scabies, not on paws my cats don’t have any problems I don’t have any problems…

  10. Donna Mills says

    My Rottweiler had a traumatic experience and had to have surgery. She has licked the floor when she’s laying around every since. Is there anything that will help with this?

    • says

      Sounds like either compulsive disease or maybe something on the floor that triggers your dog to lick the floor. Like maybe some type of chemical that tastes good to your dog. My suggestion is to see if it will go away with time.

  11. Marcy says

    My 13-year-old Lhasa apso has a little fluid in his ears (I think it is ear medication we gave him several weeks ago for a yeast infection). He seems to have lost about 90% of his hearing. Took him to the vet yesterday and she could find nothing wrong with him. She said to mix 2 parts water and 1 part white vinegar to his ears and this will dry any fluid out. I am scared to do this because I don’t want more fluid in his ears. Does vinegar act as a drying agent? Should I use ACV instead of white vinegar?

  12. says

    Hello there, our border collie/poodle is licking his paws constantly, can I use Allen’s pure Apple cider vinegar? Since I already have some in my cupboard and never use it?

  13. says

    I also have pure white vinegar, do I need to wash paws with water after application? I don’t know which one is better and safe for him

  14. Mary says

    Hello, Dr. Smith

    I have read previous posts and I am so thankful that you help us in caring for our dogs. My question is, what is the best vinegar method of repelling fleas. I have drenched my dog with ACV and letting her dry naturally. I feel so terrible about the flea bites on her belly. Any other suggestions??

    • says

      I dont hink vinegar will work well. Usually vinegar treatments are for yeast and bacterial skin infections. I might suggest a flea product like Nexgard or Comforts.

  15. Paula Filius says

    I have 2 dogs that I want to use the vinegar on. I am currently adding it to their water for healthier skin because one of them has allergies and I would like to use it to clean their ears. I have ACV w/ Mother which I have to order because it’s not available in stores here and I also have white vinegar that is very easy to find. Which would be best for using on ears. Discoloration is not a concern I would just like to know which has the best benefits. Thank you so much!

  16. Bonnie says

    I am dealing with all of these issue with my Basset and I am getting ready to try the vinegar suggestion. I read all the post and noticed that usually you (Dr. Smith) have said use white vinegar, but in the last post for Paula’s 2 dogs you said use apple cider vinegar. I was wondering why the change in your response to her.

    • says

      Hi Bonnie! Thanks for writing. I normally recommend white vinegar for external use, because apple cider vinegar can stain the fur of light colored dogs. I prefer apple cider vinegar for oral use. A great source for this is Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar.
      If you have any other questions or if we can help you in any way, just let me know.

  17. David says

    I have several dogs on Thyroid Medication (Levothyroxine Sodium). Will giving my dogs ACV have a negative reaction to the Thyroid Medication. Thanks…

  18. Kelly says

    I have an 8 year old Mini Schnauzer 17 lbs, that just went through her 2nd Bladder Stone Surgery, what is your opinion about using ACV for Bladder Stones ?

  19. Stephanie says

    I have a blue pit female she has hot spots is it OK with the color of her fur to use regular distilled white vinegar to treat her hot spots?

    • says

      Hi Stephanie, thanks for writing! I would use apple cider vinegar on a dark dog. The distilled white vinegar may bleach the fur a bit with continued use.

  20. Amy says

    I have a few more detailed questions about ACV and bladder stones. The stones were calcium Oxadate stones. I have been reading on the different types of stones. Some of which are caused by alkaline urine and from what I can tell Oxadate stones are caused by acidic urine. Is ACV good for both types. I am dealing with Cal Oxadate stones in a 7 lb Malteese. Also is there calcium in ACV and if so should I be concerned about that. Last and final question. When they were doing ultrasound before we had bladder stones surgically removed. The vet reported that my dogs kidneys were small and tha could be indicative of kidney disease but labs are good. Starting to look into how to support kidney function. Just wanted to make sure that ACV would do no harm to kidneys. Thank you so much for your help.