Yes, owners can give apple cider to their pets. It is safe for pets with no kidney problems.
Diluted in food or water, a teaspoon or two is not harmful for normal-sized dogs. It should be less for cats, said Dr. Cailin Heinze, veterinarian and assistant professor of nutrition at Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in “Can Pets Have Apple Cider Vinegar?” By Vanessa Voltolina in PetMD.
A cat or dog with a kidney problem can not process acid. The acidity of the apple cider vinegar can be harmful to the pet, Heinze said.
“In fact, in a situation such as this, the food recommended to these pets is more alkaline in nature, and is an important conversation to have with a trusted veterinarian to determine what your animal should and shouldn’t have as a result of this diagnosis,” Heinze said.
For healthy pets, take a cue from them. If they do not like food or treats or water with apple cider vinegar, do not force it on them. If your pet develops upset stomach, do not give it to your pet.
Never give apple cider vinegar undiluted.
“However, keep in mind the fact that the vinegar is an acid that can burn the delicate mucus membranes of the digestive tract. While we can eat it as part of our favorite salad dressings, ‘I don’t believe there is anything to support it [for improved health in pets],’” said Heinze. “It can often have a laxative effect, or cause stomach upset, so I usually discourage the use of apple cider vinegar,” Heinze added.
Always ask the vet if you have questions about your pet’s diet.
Apple cider has other uses that are very important for dogs, said Brent Chittenden in “ Top Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar for Dogs in Dogs Naturally
But first, look for raw, organic unfiltered apple cider vinegar (ACV). “Organic ACV will allow you to avoid pesticides … and other toxic chemicals used in commercial farming,” Chittenden said.
Shake the bottle before using it.
For Dog Skin Allergies
ACV can help dogs with itchy skin and rashes caused by yeast and poison ivy. Make a mixture of 50 per cent ACV and 50 per cent water, then apply it directly on the itchy spots. However, do not apply on open wounds as the ACV will sting.
You can feed ACV to your dog by mixing in the food or water if yeast is your main concern, said Chittenden. “In The Veterinarians’ Guide to Natural Remedies for Dogs, Dr Donna Starita Mehan DVM explains that yeast doesn’t do well in an acid environment. So feeding 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of ACV twice daily can help,” she said.
For Fleas On Dogs
ACV can help protect your dog from fleas. Spray your dog with a 50/50 solution of ACV and water.
“And for some added oomph, put ACV in your dog’s food or water during flea and tick season. Add up to 1 Tbsp for a 50 lb dog. You may want to start with less, in case your dog doesn’t like the taste. The acidity will help make your dog less appealing to ticks and fleas,” Chittenden said.
Apple Cider Vinegar Tea Body Rinse
There is an alternative to the 50/50 ACV and water mixture.
Chittenden said: “you may want to try an apple cider vinegar tea body rinse. This body rinse can be useful to restore skin pH, soothe itchy skin, calm rashes and welts. It has some added benefits for keeping biting flies, fleas and gnats at bay as well.”
Ingredients to mix together in a glass bottle or jar with a cap are (shake well before use):
½ cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup brewed green tea (cooled)
1 cup distilled water
After bathing your dog, Chittenden said you can apply this room temperature rinse to your dog’s coat and skin, then massage it in. Rinse well and pat dry. “Or you can let the apple cider vinegar mix air dry for the added benefit of bug relief. You can also pre-make this blended mixture and store the glass jar in the refrigerator. But allow it to warm to room temperature before use. It’ll be good for 1 or 2 weeks. If you spot any mold on it, throw it away,” he said.
Other Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits For Dogs
1. Blood Sugar Control
ACV can help regulate blood sugar levels in your dog. “Studies show that taking apple cider vinegar for 8 to 12 weeks can reduce blood sugar levels. This could help prevent diabetes .. or in an already diabetic dog, could mean she needs less insulin,” Chittenden said.
ACV can make your dog’s heart more healthy, Chittenden said. “The acetic acid in ACV can help reduce high lipid levels and high blood pressure,” he said.
“There is evidence that ACV has antimicrobial properties. In particular, ACV can help restrict the growth of toxic bacteria like E. coli, S. aureus (staph infection) and yeast like C. albicans (candida). This means you can use it to help manage infections in your dog … including urinary tract infections,” Chittenden said.
4. Urinary Tract Infections
Chittenden said there are some evidence ACV can help with urinary tract infections (UTIs). “Research is still ongoing … but there are some indications that ACV may be able to reduce the inflammation that causes UTIs,” he said.
5. Cognitive Disorders
It can also keep your dog’s mind sharp. Chittenden said: “Recent studies show that foods that contain phenolic compounds can help lower Alzheimer’s risk in humans. So they could help protect your dog from Canine Cognitive Disorder (CCD). ACV contains a number of these phenolic compounds including:
It can help reduce oxidative stresses which come with obesity. “Oxidative stress occurs when free radicals (unstable, damaged molecules) begin to harm the cells in your dog’s body. Oxidation is a normal process in the body, but if free radicals become unbalanced, the damage can contribute to numerous health issues … including complications from obesity,” Chittenden said.
“One study noted that feeding male rats a daily dose of ACV reduced the oxidative stressors. This lowered the risk of obesity related diseases,” he added.
Gut health is important to a dog’s overall health because nearly 90 per cent of your dog’s immune system is in her gut. “Probiotics are good bacteria that support your dog’s gut health. And prebiotics feed those good bacteria to help them work better,” Chittenden said.
“The fermentation process used for raw ACV makes it a useful prebiotic. ACV’s prebiotic properties support the good bacteria in the gut, helping with digestion and keeping the gut nice and healthy,” he added.
Recommended amount of ACV
Mixed in water or food, give the following daily amount depending on the size of your dog:
1 tsp for dogs up to 15 lbs
2 tsp for dogs 16 to 35 lbs
1 tbsp for dogs 36 to 84 lbs
Reminder from Chittenden: “When you use apple cider vinegar internally or topically, remember to monitor your dog for any adverse reactions. Dogs who are sensitive to ACV may vomit or get itchy skin.”