How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Pets

By Joanna Ehlers

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.

Odor Removal and Disinfectant

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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

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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

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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

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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.