Apple cider vinegar is an ancient home remedy for a variety of ailments, and it is safe for pets as well as their human companions as a topical antiseptic or dietary supplement. Apple cider vinegar is a product of apple cider and is inexpensive, making it easily accessible for many pet owners. As with most home remedies, a veterinarian should be consulted before apple cider vinegar is administered.
How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Pets
Odor Removal and Disinfectant
As beloved as pets may be, their odors aren't always welcome, particularly inside the home. To remove unwanted odors, veterinary professionals at PetMD recommend adding 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar to a load of laundry, along with oxy-powdered laundry detergent. When your pet smells unpleasant, spritz full-strength apple cider vinegar on his coat and allow him to air dry. The vinegar will leave no scent of its own once it has dried. A pet's toys can be disinfected with a light spray of full-strength apple cider vinegar.
Hair and Skin
Apple cider vinegar can benefit a pet's coat and reduce his dander output, according to the Whole Dog Journal. Massage apple cider vinegar into your pet's coat before a shampoo, or rinse him with an apple cider vinegar dilution after a bath to increase coat health. Apple cider vinegar can be applied to sunburns, scrapes, rough skin or irritations for relief and quick healing. A few drops of apple cider vinegar gently massaged into a dog's ears can keep them healthy and clean.
Internal Applications for Cats
Cats can safely ingest small amounts of apple cider vinegar, which may ward off urinary tract infections. If your pet cat is diagnosed with a urinary tract infection, you can add 1/4 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar mixed with her wet food twice a day, under the supervision of a trusted veterinary professional. The acidic nature of apple cider vinegar makes it difficult for the infectious bacteria to thrive, according to the website VetInfo. A teaspoon of apple cider vinegar added to a cup of filtered water once a day may prevent further infections.
Internal Uses for Dogs
Dogs who are fed a raw or bones and raw food diet may benefit from apple cider vinegar in their food for disinfectant purposes. Because apple cider vinegar is a natural preservative, it may help these foods last longer as well as destroying any harmful bacteria. You can add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a dog's water, which can ward off flea infestations, according to the Organic Pet Digest. The ingestion of apple cider vinegar may help a dog's digestion and keep his body free from internal parasites.